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Running MySQL 5.6 on Amazon RDS: Q&A

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Here are some of the interesting questions from the recent Percona webcast, Running MySQL 5.6 on Amazon RDS.  It's a must-watch for anyone who's using, or planning to use, Amazon RDS.  If you weren’t able to attend, or you just want to watch it again, the recording and slides are available for viewing/download. I’ve also answered the questions that I didn’t have a chance to field during the event:

Q: Would you recommend Amazon RDS over manually setting up a MySQL/Percona server on an EC2 instance?
A: This depends on many factors including your data set size, workload, uptime requirements, what the rest of your stack looks like and many other factors.

Q: Can you compare InnoDB 5.6 full text search to the Amazon CloudSearch offering?  Are they comparable functionality?
A: I’ll blog in more detail about Amazon’s CloudSearch in the near future.

Q: What are the ballpark figures for provisioned IOPS costs?
A: The official RDS overview page has detailed answers, but I believe the price is somewhere (depending on the region) around $0.10 per IOPS-month ($0.20 for multi-AZ deployments) in addition to the $0.125 per GB-month storage fee ($0.25 for multi-AZ).

Q: I want to have a minimal-outage migration from Amazon RDS with MySQL 5.5 to RDS with MySQL 5.6. In non-RDS situations, I make a MySQL 5.6 replica of the MySQL 5.5 instance, and then I make a quick switch to the MySQL 5.6 replica. What can I do in RDS?
A: Nothing yet. Here's a quote from the AWS blog:

“Upgrading an existing database instance from MySQL 5.5 to MySQL 5.6 is not currently supported. However, we intend to provide this functionality in the near future.

In the meantime, if you would like to port your existing MySQL 5.5 database to MySQL 5.6, you can use mysqldump to export your database from your existing MySQL 5.5 database instance and import it into a new MySQL 5.6 database instance.”

Q: We finally got to meet the background baby on this slide.  Awesome! This goes down as my favorite already!
A: Apologies for the baby in the background. It should be noted that those were screams of joy as she played with Elmo.

Q: Can IOPS be easily increased as well (similar to storage)?
A: Yes. Simply click “Instance Actions” and then click “Modify,” and the option to increase provisioned IOPS is there.

Q: How do you shutdown RDS? I see nothing in the console?
A: Simply click “Instance Actions” and then click “Delete”. This will walk you through the process of deleting an RDS instance

Q: Is it possible to shutdown RDS instances when you don’t need them? Is there an impact on pricing if I do?
A: Yes, it is possible (see previous answer). For on-demand instances, you only pay for the hours you use, so once they are deleted, you won’t pay for them any more (reserved instances are another story, which I covered in the webinar).

Q: Do you know how Amazon RDS backs up MySQL instances? Is it with LVM snapshots, or a tool like xtrabackup?
A: My guess would be something equivalent to EBS snapshots, but that’s only a guess. Anybody from Amazon want to comment?

Q: Amazon RDS Standby is different than a Read Replica, correct? Do we have access to the RDS Standby like we do with a Read Replica?
A: Correct. A Read Replica is different from the multi-AZ standby. There is no access to the RDS standby (except in the event of a failover, when it becomes the primary).

Q: What is the best way to migrate existing data (on a MySQL instance in EC2) into Amazon RDS?
A: Mysqldump. There are other, more complicated ways, but mysqldump is the easiest and most proven.

Q: I need to set outgoing firewall rules to the multi-AZ RDS server. Since I only get a CNAME from RDS, do I have to set my outgoing firewall to the entire internet on port 3306?
A: I’m not sure that I follow. Access to the instance should be controlled via RDS Security Groups (or VPC setup).

Thanks again for attending and submitting your questions. Amazon is making constant improvements in RDS, making it a more and more compelling option to a number of organizations.

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Published at DZone with permission of Peter Zaitsev, DZone MVB. See the original article here.

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