Migrating MySQL Databases With AND Digital And AWS

At AND Digital we see many customers that rely on MySQL for at least some of their database requirements. If you’re not sure whether moving your MySQL database to Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) is the right choice for your business, this blog will help you decide by highlighting the pros and cons. It’s also important to note that much of this discussion is equally true for other databases.

When I talk to customers, I often find they are spending a lot of time ‘keeping the lights on’. For databases that means tying up a valuable engineer with maintenance tasks like data backups and installing and testing security patches. It might even mean physically adding extra disc drives to servers to cope with increased demand or literally sitting and watching backups in case of problems.

By moving to Amazon RDS with AND Digital, all these tasks are taken care of automatically. It offers snapshots, backups, point-in-time backups, as well as scalability and replication. Properly set up, Amazon RDS can take the worry out of database management. It also protects the business, and its critical data, from user error or staff leaving without properly documenting procedures.

When we work with clients, we ensure that the solution frees up their people’s time so they can focus on more important work. We also ensure Amazon RDS is set up to provide better disaster recovery. This means that if the main database goes down it will automatically execute a hot failover to another geographic location.

Of course, migrating to Amazon RDS is not the solution to every business challenge and it does come with some limitations. However, with proper implementation, we find they rarely impact our customers. For example, while Amazon RDS is taking care of patches, updates and backups, on the fly, shell access to the instance is disabled. Think of it like working on a shared document – you have to make sure nobody else is working on it at the same time. However, you can still access the instance through MySQL console on other machines. When we work with clients, we analyse their current requirements to make sure that it’s the right move for their specific workloads.

There are some limits on the number of simultaneous connections too, which vary according to the type of database. As well as some limits for the total amount of AWS resources used by each account within a region. But these limits are seriously large – thousands of simultaneous connections in the case of MySQL, for example. If this is an issue we can help you to minimise the potential impact on your particular set-up.

I’ve worked with a huge variety of organisations and businesses and for the vast majority, especially those considering a wider shift to the Cloud, the benefits of migrating to Amazon RDS easily outweigh the negatives. In terms of better backups and the hours not spent installing security patches and software updates, it’s already a win. You can also expect to see rapid savings in hardware expenditure and, crucially, the ability to cheaply and, more importantly, instantly, scale-up infrastructure to meet demand. 

The last part of the puzzle is equipping your people with the skills and capabilities to get the very best from new platforms. At AND Digital, we pride ourselves on the coaching and mentoring we provide to make sure that your people have everything they need not just to run systems but to develop and evolve them to meet future requirements too. We’ll leave you with the right skills and processes in place to get the very best from your Cloud migration. You might choose to carry on working with us, but you definitely won’t need to!

When we work with clients, we make sure Amazon RDS matches up with their use case and requirements. Assuming it does, then the peace of mind it gives with security updates and patches, backups and failovers really does take the hard work out of managing corporate databases. Leaving you and your people to look to the future and not worry about the day-to-day drudge of maintenance, patching and upgrading hardware.

AND Digital can help you in your Cloud journey. We have a wealth of expertise in Cloud migration of databases and other applications and can help you decide whether shifting some or all your database estate is the right choice for your business. 

If you want to know more about Amazon RDS, including discussing whether it is the right choice for your business, you can talk to us at [email protected].