Global tables - multi-Region replication for DynamoDB - Amazon DynamoDB
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Global tables - multi-Region replication for DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB global tables are a fully managed, multi-Region, and multi-active database option that delivers fast and localized read and write performance for massively scaled global applications.

Global tables provide a fully managed solution for deploying a multi-Region, multi-active database, without having to build and maintain your own replication solution. You can specify the Amazon Regions where you want the tables to be available and DynamoDB will propagate ongoing data changes to all of them. Global tables are available in all Regions.

Specific benefits for using global tables include:

  • Replicating your DynamoDB tables automatically across your choice of Amazon Regions

  • Eliminating the difficult work of replicating data between Regions and resolving update conflicts, so you can focus on your application's business logic.

  • Helping your applications stay highly available even in the unlikely event of isolation or degradation of an entire Region.

DynamoDB global tables are ideal for massively scaled applications with globally dispersed users. In such an environment, users expect very fast application performance. Global tables provide automatic multi-active replication to Amazon Regions worldwide. They enable you to deliver low-latency data access to your users no matter where they are located.

The following video will give you an introductory look at global tables.

You can set up global tables in the Amazon Management Console or Amazon CLI. Global tables use existing DynamoDB APIs, so no application changes are required. You pay only for the resources provisioned with no upfront costs or commitments.

Replicate data seamlessly across Regions with global tables

Suppose you have a large customer base spread across three geographic areas—the US East Coast, the US West Coast, and Western Europe. These customers can update their profile information using your application. To satisfy this use case, you need to create three identical DynamoDB tables named CustomerProfiles, in three different Amazon Regions where the customers are located. These three tables would be entirely separate from each other—changes to the data in one table would not be reflected in the others. Without a managed replication solution, you would have to write code to replicate the data changes. However, doing this would be a time-consuming and labor-intensive effort.

Instead of writing your own code, you could create a global table consisting of your three Region-specific CustomerProfiles tables. DynamoDB would then automatically replicate data changes among those tables so that changes to CustomerProfiles data in one Region would seamlessly propagate to the other Regions. In addition, if one of the Amazon Regions were to become temporarily unavailable, your customers could still access the same CustomerProfiles data in the other Regions.

  • Region support for global tables Global tables version 2017.11.29 (Legacy) is limited to US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (N. California), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), Europe (London), Europe (Frankfurt), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), and Asia Pacific (Seoul).

  • Transactional operations provide atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability (ACID) guarantees only within the region where the write is made originally. Transactions are not supported across regions in global tables. For example, if you have a global table with replicas in the US East (Ohio) and US West (Oregon) regions and perform a TransactWriteItems operation in the US East (N. Virginia) Region, you may observe partially completed transactions in US West (Oregon) Region as changes are replicated. Changes will only be replicated to other regions once they have been committed in the source region.

  • If you disable an Amazon Region, DynamoDB will remove this replica from the replication group, 20 hours after detecting the Amazon Region as inaccessible. The replica will not be deleted and replication will stop from and to this region.

  • You must wait 24 hours from the time you add a read replica to successfully delete a source table. If you attempt to delete a table during the first 24 hours after adding a read replica, you will receive an error message stating: "Replica cannot be deleted because it has acted as a source region for new replicas being added in the table in the last 24 hours".

  • There is no performance impact on source regions when adding new replicas.

  • When you change the read and write capacity of a replica, the new write capacity is reflected to other synchronized replicas but the new read capacity is not.

For information about the Amazon Region availability and pricing, see Amazon DynamoDB Pricing.

Provide security and access for your global tables with Amazon KMS

  • You can perform Amazon KMS operations on your global tables by using the AWSServiceRoleForDynamoDBReplication service-linked role against the customer managed key or the Amazon managed key used to encrypt the replica.

  • If the customer managed key used to encrypt a replica is inaccessible, DynamoDB will remove this replica from the replication group. The replica will not be deleted and replication will stop from and to this region, 20 hours after detecting the KMS key as inaccessible.

  • If you want to disable your customer managed key that is used to encrypt a replica table, you must do so only if the key is no longer used to encrypt a replica table. After issuing a command to delete a replica table, you must wait for the delete operation to complete and for the global table to become Active before disabling the key. Not doing so could result in partial data replication from and to the replica table.

  • If you want to modify or delete your IAM role policy for the replica table, you must do so when the replica table is in the Active state. If you don’t do this, creating, updating, or deleting the replica table could fail.

  • Global tables are created with deletion protection disabled by default. Even when deletion protection is enabled for a global table, any replicas of that table will start with deletion protection disabled by default.

  • While deletion protection is disabled for a table, it can be accidentally deleted. While deletion protection is enabled for a table, no one can delete it.

  • Changing the deletion protection setting for one replica table will not update other replicas in the group.


Customer managed keys are not supported in Global tables version 2017.11.29 (Legacy). If you want to use a customer managed key in a DynamoDB Global Table, you need to upgrade the table to Global Tables version 2019.11.21 (Current) and then enable it.