During the first re: Invent 2020 keynote, AWS previewed the next version of Amazon Aurora Serverless. The new serverless version for the MySQL 5.7-compatible edition of Amazon Aurora scales in a split second and offers Multi-AZ support, global databases and read replicas.
On the product side, the most important improvements are highlighted, including scalability to hundreds of thousands of transactions in milliseconds and automatic scaling for small capacity adjustments. A key difference between the two versions is the way the incremental capacity works: Instead of doubling the instance size with each increase, Aurora Serverless v2 scales in steps of 0.5 Aurora Capacity Units (ACU). In addition, the new service supports multiple availability zones and adds enterprise features that are currently only available on the standard Amazon Aurora. The decision to roll out a v2 version instead of gradually adding new features to the existing product is not a common AWS option, but it does underscore the very different auto-scaling and design of the new Aurora Serverless. While it’s still in preview, there have been positive responses from developers and database specialists who showed interest in the new managed serverless relational database. Christian Abdel-Nour, Senior Oracle Database Specialist, comments:
After helplessly observing non-cloud systems swaying between wasted resources and deficits, the presentation on the scaling benefits of Aurora Serverless v2 was enlightening.
Jeremy Daly, Chief Technology Officer at AlertMe and AWS Serverless Hero, ran some detailed testing and wrote a long review, “Aurora Serverless v2: The Good, the Better, and the Possibly Amazing.” He highlights some of the limitations of the previous Aurora Serverless and the advantages of the new one:
There have been some improvements to the product over the past 18 months, but there were still numerous issues with scaling / shrinking speed, failover time, and the lack of clustering capabilities provided by Aurora (…) the introduction of Amazon Aurora Serverless v2 . I finally got access to the preview and spent a couple of hours breaking it down. My first impression? This thing could just be a silver bullet! (…) Beyond the amazing scaling capabilities is the fact that it supports the full range of Aurora features, including global database, Multi-AZ deployments, and read replicas.
Many of the new extended functions are not yet available in the preview phase, in which the new scaling properties are introduced. For example, the data API, global Aurora databases, Performance Insights, Aurora Multi-Master, RDS proxy and the pause capacity function are still missing.
One of the challenging aspects of the new service is the pricing. Even if Amazon claims customers can save up to 90% on database costs (compared to sizing for peak load) and suggests that most customers will save money switching from Aurora Serverless v1 to v2, different deployments and database patterns make it difficult to compare directly. Jeremy Daly adds:
There is no way to gloss over this. The cost of Aurora Serverless v2 seems very high. In fact, v2 ACUs are twice as expensive as the original v1 ACUs (…). However, there are some key differences here when it comes to how these costs are calculated. One difference concerns the incremental ACUs of v2 compared to the doubling of the instance sizes required for v1 (…). The other difference concerns the shrinking time.
The preview is currently only available in the United States (N. Virginia), supports MySQL 5.7, and requires preview permission.