AWS rolls out new graph database, more database functionality

At re:Invent, Amazon Web Services unveils new services for Aurora and for DynamoDB, along with Neptune -- a fully managed graph database.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer on

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At its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Amazon Web Services introduced an array of new database functionalities. The new offerings include Aurora Multi-Master, Aurora Serverless, DynamoDB Global Tables, DynamoDB backup, and Amazon Neptune -- a fully managed graph database.

Aurora, AWS's MySQL-compatible and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database, is the fastest-growing service in the history of the AWS, AWS CEO Andy Jassy said.

Also: Amazon cloud bolsters efforts in containers, databases, compute at AWS re:Invent 2017

Aurora Multi-Master, available in preview, should help customers eliminate downtime. It scales out across multiple data centers, and it enables writes across multiple availability zones, creating a tolerance for failure. If one a customer's writes fails in a certain availability zone, it should have effectively no impact on the application, Jassy said.

Amazon is also launching a preview of Aurora Serverless -- an on-demand, auto-scaling serverless version of Aurora. Customers get all the capabilities of Aurora without having to provision database instances, only paying for what they use on a second-by-second basis.

Billing is based on Aurora Capacity Units, which represent a combination of compute power and memory. AWS plans to make Aurora Serverless available in production form with MySQL compatibility in the first half of 2018, with PostgreSQL compatibility available later in the year.

For DynamoDB, AWS's NoSQL database service, AWS is launching DynamoDB Global Tables to allow customers to easily replicate tables across multiple regions. DynamoDB already allows customers to replicate tables across three availability zones -- with Global Tables, they can replicate tables across two or more AWS regions with just a couple of clicks. It's generally available now and should be useful for customers like Expedia, which would want to ensure a mobile app has the same low latency for customers whether they're using it in North America or Europe.

AWS also launched DynamoDB backup, enabling on-demand, continuous backups of DynamoDB tables with a single click. While backing up tables, applications can remain online and run at full speed.

Lastly, AWS launched a limited preview of Amazon Neptune, a fully managed graph database service. It allows customers to store billions of relationships and query them with millisecond latency. Amazon Neptune supports fast-failover, point-in-time recovery, and multi-availability zone deployments for high availability. It runs within a customer's Amazon Virtual Private Cloud and allows customers to encrypt data at rest.

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