Best practices with Amazon Aurora - Amazon Aurora
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Best practices with Amazon Aurora

Following, you can find information on general best practices and options for using or migrating data to an Amazon Aurora DB cluster.

Some of the best practices for Amazon Aurora are specific to a particular database engine. For more information about Aurora best practices specific to a database engine, see the following.


For common recommendations for Aurora, see Viewing and responding to Amazon Aurora recommendations.

Basic operational guidelines for Amazon Aurora

The following are basic operational guidelines that everyone should follow when working with Amazon Aurora. The Amazon RDS Service Level Agreement requires that you follow these guidelines:

  • Monitor your memory, CPU, and storage usage. You can set up Amazon CloudWatch to notify you when usage patterns change or when you approach the capacity of your deployment. This way, you can maintain system performance and availability.

  • If your client application is caching the Domain Name Service (DNS) data of your DB instances, set a time-to-live (TTL) value of less than 30 seconds. The underlying IP address of a DB instance can change after a failover. Thus, caching the DNS data for an extended time can lead to connection failures if your application tries to connect to an IP address that no longer is in service. Aurora DB clusters with multiple read replicas can experience connection failures also when connections use the reader endpoint and one of the read replica instances is in maintenance or is deleted.

  • Test failover for your DB cluster to understand how long the process takes for your use case. Testing failover can help you ensure that the application that accesses your DB cluster can automatically connect to the new DB cluster after failover.

DB instance RAM recommendations

To optimize performance, allocate enough RAM so that your working set resides almost completely in memory. To determine whether your working set is almost all in memory, examine the following metrics in Amazon CloudWatch:

  • VolumeReadIOPS – This metric measures the average number of read I/O operations from a cluster volume, reported at 5-minute intervals. The value of VolumeReadIOPS should be small and stable. In some cases, you might find your read I/O is spiking or is higher than usual. If so, investigate the DB instances in your DB cluster to see which DB instances are causing the increased I/O.


    If your Aurora MySQL cluster uses parallel query, you might see an increase in VolumeReadIOPS values. Parallel queries don't use the buffer pool. Thus, although the queries are fast, this optimized processing can result in an increase in read operations and associated charges.

  • BufferCacheHitRatio – This metric measures the percentage of requests that are served by the buffer cache of a DB instance in your DB cluster. This metric gives you an insight into the amount of data that is being served from memory.

    A high hit ratio indicates that your DB instance has enough memory available. A low hit ratio indicates that your queries on this DB instance are frequently going to disk. Investigate your workload to see which queries are causing this behavior.

If, after investigating your workload, you find that you need more memory, consider scaling up the DB instance class to a class with more RAM. After doing so, you can investigate the metrics discussed preceding and continue to scale up as necessary. If your Aurora cluster is larger than 40 TB, don't use db.t2, db.t3, or db.t4g instance classes.

For more information, see Amazon CloudWatch metrics for Amazon Aurora.

Amazon database drivers

We recommend the Amazon suite of drivers for application connectivity. The drivers have been designed to provide support for faster switchover and failover times, and authentication with Amazon Secrets Manager, Amazon Identity and Access Management (IAM), and Federated Identity. The Amazon drivers rely on monitoring DB cluster status and being aware of the cluster topology to determine the new writer. This approach reduces switchover and failover times to single-digit seconds, compared to tens of seconds for open-source drivers.

As new service features are introduced, the goal of the Amazon suite of drivers is to have built-in support for these service features.

For more information, see Connecting to Aurora DB clusters with the Amazon drivers.

Monitoring Amazon Aurora

Amazon Aurora provides various metrics and insights that you can monitor to determine the health and performance of your Aurora DB cluster. You can use various tools, such as the Amazon Web Services Management Console, Amazon CLI, and CloudWatch API, to view Aurora metrics. You can view the combined Performance Insights and CloudWatch metrics in the Performance Insights dashboard and monitor your DB instance. To use this monitoring view, Performance Insights must be turned on for your DB instance. For information about this monitoring view, see Viewing combined metrics in the Amazon RDS console.

You can create a performance analysis report for a specific time period and view the insights identified and the recommendations to resolve the issues. For more information see, Creating a performance analysis report.

Working with DB parameter groups and DB cluster parameter groups

We recommend that you try out DB parameter group and DB cluster parameter group changes on a test DB cluster before applying parameter group changes to your production DB cluster. Improperly setting DB engine parameters can have unintended adverse effects, including degraded performance and system instability.

Always use caution when modifying DB engine parameters, and back up your DB cluster before modifying a DB parameter group. For information about backing up your DB cluster, see Backing up and restoring an Amazon Aurora DB cluster.

Amazon Aurora best practices video

The Amazon Online Tech Talks channel on YouTube includes a video presentation on best practices for creating and configuring an Amazon Aurora DB cluster to be more secure and highly available.