Working with Amazon RDS Custom - Amazon Relational Database Service
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Working with Amazon RDS Custom

Amazon RDS Custom automates database administration tasks and operations. RDS Custom makes it possible for you as a database administrator to access and customize your database environment and operating system. With RDS Custom, you can customize to meet the requirements of legacy, custom, and packaged applications.

The following video is an overview of Amazon RDS Custom from Amazon re:Invent 2021.

Addressing the challenge of database customization

Amazon RDS Custom brings the benefits of Amazon RDS to a market that can't easily move to a fully managed service because of customizations that are required with third-party applications. Amazon RDS Custom saves administrative time, is durable, and scales with your business.

If you need the entire database and operating system to be fully managed by Amazon, we recommend Amazon RDS. If you need administrative rights to the database and underlying operating system to make dependent applications available, Amazon RDS Custom is the better choice. If you want full management responsibility and simply need a managed compute service, the best option is self-managing your commercial databases on Amazon EC2.

To deliver a managed service experience, Amazon RDS doesn't let you access the underlying host. Amazon RDS also restricts access to some procedures and objects that require high-level privileges. However, for some applications, you might need to perform operations as a privileged operating system (OS) user.

For example, you might need to do the following:

  • Install custom database and OS patches and packages.

  • Configure specific database settings.

  • Configure file systems to share files directly with their applications.

Previously, if you needed to customize your application, you had to deploy your database on-premises or on Amazon EC2. In this case, you bear most or all of the responsibility for database management, as summarized in the following table.

Feature

On-premises responsibility

Amazon EC2 responsibility

Amazon RDS responsibility

Application optimization

Customer

Customer

Customer

Scaling

Customer

Customer

Amazon

High availability

Customer

Customer

Amazon

Database backups

Customer

Customer

Amazon

Database software patching

Customer

Customer

Amazon

Database software install

Customer

Customer

Amazon

OS patching

Customer

Customer

Amazon

OS installation

Customer

Customer

Amazon

Server maintenance

Customer

Amazon

Amazon

Hardware lifecycle

Customer

Amazon

Amazon

Power, network, and cooling

Customer

Amazon

Amazon

When you manage database software yourself, you gain more control, but you're also more prone to user errors. For example, when you make changes manually, you might accidentally cause application downtime. You might spend hours checking every change to identify and fix an issue. Ideally, you want a managed database service that automates common DBA tasks, but also supports privileged access to the database and underlying operating system.

Management model and benefits for Amazon RDS Custom

Amazon RDS Custom is a managed database service for legacy, custom, and packaged applications that require access to the underlying operating system and database environment. Amazon RDS Custom automates setup, operation, and scaling of databases in the Amazon Web Services Cloud while granting you access to the database and underlying operating system. With this access, you can configure settings, install patches, and enable native features to meet the dependent application's requirements. With RDS Custom, you can run your database workload using the Amazon Web Services Management Console or the Amazon CLI.

Currently, Amazon RDS Custom supports only the Oracle Database and Microsoft SQL Server engines.

Shared responsibility model

With Amazon RDS Custom, you get the automation of Amazon RDS and the flexibility of Amazon EC2. By taking on additional database management responsibilities beyond what you do in Amazon RDS, you can benefit from RDS automation and the deeper customization of EC2. To meet your application and business requirements, you manage the host yourself.

In the shared responsibility model of RDS Custom, you get more control than in Amazon RDS but also more responsibility. Shared responsibility has two meanings:

  1. You own part of the process when using a feature.

  2. You have full access to the feature, and it's your responsibility to make sure that any customizations work with that feature.

The following table details the shared responsibility model for RDS Custom.

Feature

Amazon EC2 responsibility

Amazon RDS responsibility

RDS Custom for Oracle responsibility

RDS Custom for SQL Server responsibility

Application optimization

Customer

Customer

Customer

Customer

Scaling

Customer

Amazon

Shared

Shared

High availability

Customer

Amazon

Customer

Customer

Database backups

Customer

Amazon

Shared

Shared

Database software patching

Customer

Amazon

Shared

Amazon

Database software install

Customer

Amazon

Shared

Amazon

OS patching

Customer

Amazon

Customer

Amazon

OS installation

Customer

Amazon

Shared

Amazon

Server maintenance

Amazon

Amazon

Amazon

Amazon

Hardware lifecycle

Amazon

Amazon

Amazon

Amazon

Power, network, and cooling

Amazon

Amazon

Amazon

Amazon

You can create an RDS Custom DB instance using Oracle Database. In this case, you do the following:

  • Manage your own media.

    When using RDS Custom, you upload your own database installation files and patches. You create a custom engine version (CEV) from these files. Then you can create an RDS Custom DB instance by using this CEV.

  • Manage your own licenses.

    You bring your own Oracle Database licenses and manage licenses by yourself.

You can create an RDS Custom DB instance using Microsoft SQL Server. In this case:

  • You don't manage your own media.

  • You don't need to purchase SQL Server licenses separately. Amazon holds the license for the SQL Server database software.

Key benefits of RDS Custom

With RDS Custom, you can do the following:

  • Automate many of the same administrative tasks as Amazon RDS, including the following:

    • Lifecycle management of databases

    • Automated backups and point-in-time recovery (PITR)

    • Monitoring the health of RDS Custom DB instances and observing changes to the infrastructure, operating system, and databases

    • Notification or taking action to fix issues depending on disruption to the DB instance

  • Install third-party applications.

    You can install software to run custom applications and agents. Because you have privileged access to the host, you can modify file systems to support legacy applications.

  • Install custom patches.

    You can apply custom database patches or modify OS packages on your RDS Custom DB instances.

  • Stage an on-premises database before moving it to a fully managed service.

    If you manage your own on-premises database, you can stage the database to RDS Custom as-is. After you familiarize yourself with the cloud environment, you can migrate your database to a fully managed Amazon RDS DB instance.

  • Create your own automation.

    You can create, schedule, and run custom automation scripts for reporting, management, or diagnostic tools.