Weekly AWS Update: Friday 24th May 2019 – Part 2
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And we’re back with part 2 of our weekly update. In this, the second part of our weekly update we are taking a look at all of the RDS releases. And over the last week, there has been a lot of them. Over the last week, We’ve got an update to RDS Recommendations for Amazon Aurora. Password validation support is now available for MySQL and a bunch of performance and feature uplifts.

Each of the AWS Weekly updates we publish on this blog isn’t an exhaustive list of all the week’s updates. Instead, we try to focus on changes that might help business operating in the Australian Market. As always, if you would like to talk to somebody about how you might be able to leverage some of these new technologies and services, please feel free to reach out using the contact link at the top of the page.

The key takeaways from this week are:

  • Amazon RDS Recommendations provide Best Practice guidance for Amazon Aurora
  • Amazon RDS for MySQL supports Password Validation
  • Amazon RDS for Oracle now supports April Oracle Patch Set Updates (PSU) and Release Updates (RU)
  • Amazon RDS for SQL Server now supports SQL Server Audit
  • Amazon RDS for SQL Server now supports Always On Availability Groups for SQL Server 2017
  • Amazon RDS for SQL Server increases the Database Limit per Database Instance up to 100
  • Amazon RDS for MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL increase maximum storage size to 64 TiB and I/O performance to 80,000 IOPS

Amazon RDS Recommendations Provide Best Practice Guidance for Amazon Aurora

For those who haven’t seen it, Amazon RDS provides automated recommendations for database resources. These recommendations cover database resources, Read Replicas, and DB parameters groups. Earlier this week, AWS announced that this feature can now analyze your Amazon Aurora instance. This covers Aurora configuration, usage, and performance data, and provides automated best practice guidance. Also, Amazon RDS Recommendations suggests database parameter changes for all RDS engines.

RDS Recommendations are presented in the Amazon RDS Management Console, and you can choose to apply, schedule, or dismiss them. For more information, read the Recommendations documentation for Amazon RDS and Amazon Aurora. Anybody currently running Amazon Aurora workloads should take a look at the recommendations and make sure your instances are optimized correctly. We will look at releasing a blog article next week with how you can identify and apply improvements to your RDS workloads.

Amazon RDS for MySQL supports Password Validation

Next in the long list of RDS updates from this week is Password Validation support for RdS for MySQL. What this means is that you can use the MySQL validate_password plugin when using MySQL 5.6, 5.7, or 5.8. To leverage it all, you need to do is, configure the parameter in the DB parameter group for the particular instance. And that’s it, short, sweet and straightforward. If you’re curious about how to implement this in your own solution, you can head over to the Amazon RDS documentation available here.

Amazon RDS for Oracle now supports April Oracle Patch Set Updates (PSU) and Release Updates (RU)

Another quick and easy update for this week is an announcement about Amazon RDS for Oracle. Amazon RDS for Oracle now supports the April 2019 Patch Set Updates for 11.2 and 12.1. It also offers the Release Update for Oracle Database 12.2. For those who are not aware, Oracle PSU’s contain bug fixes and other critical security updates. This is an important announcement for all users running Amazon RDS for Oracle workloads, and they should be applied as soon as possible.

Mor information regarding Oracle PSUs, you can visit the Amazon RDS patch update documentation available here.

Amazon RDS for SQL Server now supports SQL Server Audit

Continuing on our run through the recent releases in the world of RDS, we have another RDS for SQL Server announcement. Starting on May 24th, Amazon RDS for SQL Server now supports SQL Server Audit. SQL Server Audit lets you create server audits, which can contain server audit specifications for server level events and database audit specifications for database level events. This could be a convenient feature for those organizations wishing to generate or conduct auditing against their SQL Server engines. And what’s really nice, is that these audits can be automatically sent to an Amazon S3 bucket for later review.

For those that are sitting there (like I was when I was initially reading this release) and thinking “What is SQL Server Audit” you can take a look at Microsoft’s Offical documentation available here. After that, you can review the Amazon RDS User Guide here for more information on how to set it up within the Amazon RDS for SQL Server instance. We will be doing a blog article soon on how to get started and set up SQL Server Audit, so keep an eye out for it.

Amazon RDS for SQL Server Now supports Always On Availability Groups for SQL Server 2017

Back in November of 2018, AWS announced support for Always On availability groups for SQL Server 2016 Enterprise edition. Earlier this week, they announced the same support for SQL Server 2017.

Taken from the official announcement (Available here) When you create your SQL Server database instance to run using Multi-AZ on SQL Server 2016 or 2017 latest minor versions for the Enterprise Edition database engine, Amazon RDS will automatically provision a primary database in one Availability Zone and maintain a synchronous “standby” replica in a different Availability Zone using Always On Availability Groups. If you are modifying an existing Multi-AZ instance that uses Microsoft Mirroring, you will need to first convert to the Single-AZ availability type then re-apply the Multi-AZ flag. In the event of planned database maintenance or unplanned service disruption, Amazon RDS will automatically fail over the SQL Server database to the up-to-date standby so that database operations can resume quickly.

Why is this such a powerful feature? Well, with an Always On Availability Group setup, you can easily connect to the listener endpoint to have faster failover times. If you’d like to get started using Always On Availability Groups, you can take a look at the Amazon RDS user guide available here. If enough people are interested, we can look at doing an article on the benefits and how to use it. If you’d like to see that article, leave a comment below.

Amazon RDS for SQL Server Increases the Database Limit Per Database Instance up to 100

This one has to be the announcement I’m most excited about this week. Earlier this week AWS announced that Amazon RDS for SQL Server now supports up to 100 databases per database instance. This is an upgrade from the previous limit of 30; however, it’s important to note that the new limit will depend on the instance class and availability type. What makes this feature even more flexible is that any existing database instances can support the new limits without any downtime.

This could potentially save you a lot of money, particularly in your development and test environments as it may allow you to consolidate existing instances and simplify database management. If you’d like to get started leveraging the new limits you can review the exact limits by instance size and availability types by referring to the Amazon RDS user guide available here.

Amazon RDS for MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL increase maximum storage size to 64 TiB and I/O performance to 80,000 IOPS

And last but not least is the announcement regarding the increase to maximum storage size and I/O performance for Amazon RDS for MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL. Earlier this week, AWS announced that these instance types for support up to 64Tib of storage and provisioned I/O performance of up to 80,000 IOPS. What’s really nice about it is that existing database instances can also be scaled up to 64 TiB of storage without any downtime. It’s also worth pointing out that the 80,000 IOPS is only possible when leveraging the Provisioned IOPS SSD storage option.

If you’d like a refresher on how to update the storage configuration for your Amazon RDS instances, you can visit the documentation page here.

And that will do it for part two of our AWS update for Friday the 24th of May 2019. Also, continue to keep an eye out for our continuing series on Amazon Connect, there’s a lot more to come. We post updates every Friday as well as detailed tutorials and deep dives on products throughout the week. If there something you’d like to see on the Kloud Blog, please feel free to drop a comment below.

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Amazon Web Services, Cloud Infrastructure
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