Amazon RDS Proxy – Now Generally Available

At AWS re:Invent 2019, we launched the preview of Amazon RDS Proxy, a fully managed, highly available database proxy for Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) that makes applications more scalable, more resilient to database failures, and more secure. Following the preview of MySQL engine, we extended to the PostgreSQL compatibility. Today, I am pleased to announce that we are now generally available for both engines.

Many applications, including those built on modern serverless architectures using AWS Lambda, Fargate, Amazon ECS, or EKS can have a large number of open connections to the database server, and may open and close database connections at a high rate, exhausting database memory and compute resources.

Amazon RDS Proxy allows applications to pool and share connections established with the database, improving database efficiency, application scalability, and security. RDS Proxy reduces client recovery time after failover by up to 79% for Amazon Aurora MySQL and by up to 32% for Amazon RDS for MySQL. Also, its authentication and access can be managed through integration with AWS Secrets Manager and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM).

Amazon RDS Proxy can be enabled for most applications with no code change, and you don’t need to provision or manage any additional infrastructure and only pay per vCPU of the database instance for which the proxy is enabled.

Amazon RDS Proxy – Getting started
You can get started with Amazon RDS Proxy in just a few clicks by going to the AWS management console and creating an RDS Proxy endpoint for your RDS databases. In the navigation pane, choose Proxies and Create proxy. You can also see the proxy panel below.

To create your proxy, specify the Proxy identifier, a unique name of your choosing, and choose the database engine – either MySQL or PostgreSQL. Choose the encryption setting if you want the proxy to enforce TLS / SSL for all connection between application and proxy, and specify a time period that a client connection can be idle before the proxy can close it.

A client connection is considered idle when the application doesn’t submit a new request within the specified time after the previous request completed. The underlying connection between the proxy and database stays open and is returned to the connection pool. Thus, it’s available to be reused for new client connections.

Next, choose one RDS DB instance or Aurora DB cluster in Database to access through this proxy. The list only includes DB instances and clusters with compatible database engines, engine versions, and other settings.

Specify Connection pool maximum connections, a value between 1 and 100. This setting represents the percentage of the max_connections value that RDS Proxy can use for its connections. If you only intend to use one proxy with this DB instance or cluster, you can set it to 100. For details about how RDS Proxy uses this setting, see Connection Limits and Timeouts.

Choose at least one Secrets Manager secret associated with the RDS DB instance or Aurora DB cluster that you intend to access with this proxy, and select an IAM role that has permission to access the Secrets Manager secrets you chose. If you don’t have an existing secret, please click Create a new secret before setting up the RDS proxy.

After setting VPC Subnets and a security group, please click Create proxy. If you more settings in details, please refer to the documentation.

You can see the new RDS proxy after waiting a few minutes and then point your application to the RDS Proxy endpoint. That’s it!

You can also create an RDS proxy easily via AWS CLI command.

aws rds create-db-proxy 
    --db-proxy-name channy-proxy 
    --role-arn iam_role 
    --engine-family { MYSQL|POSTGRESQL } 
    --vpc-subnet-ids space_separated_list 
    [--vpc-security-group-ids space_separated_list] 
    [--auth ProxyAuthenticationConfig_JSON_string] 
    [--require-tls | --no-require-tls] 
    [--idle-client-timeout value] 
    [--debug-logging | --no-debug-logging] 
    [--tags comma_separated_list]

How RDS Proxy works
Let’s see an example that demonstrates how open connections continue working during a failover when you reboot a database or it becomes unavailable due to a problem. This example uses a proxy named channy-proxy and an Aurora DB cluster with DB instances instance-8898 and instance-9814. When the failover-db-cluster command is run from the Linux command line, the writer instance that the proxy is connected to changes to a different DB instance. You can see that the DB instance associated with the proxy changes while the connection remains open.

$ mysql -h channy-proxy.proxy-abcdef123.us-east-1.rds.amazonaws.com -u admin_user -p
Enter password:
...
mysql> select @@aurora_server_id;
+--------------------+
| @@aurora_server_id |
+--------------------+
| instance-9814 |
+--------------------+
1 row in set (0.01 sec)

mysql>
[1]+ Stopped mysql -h channy-proxy.proxy-abcdef123.us-east-1.rds.amazonaws.com -u admin_user -p
$ # Initially, instance-9814 is the writer.
$ aws rds failover-db-cluster --db-cluster-id cluster-56-2019-11-14-1399
JSON output
$ # After a short time, the console shows that the failover operation is complete.
$ # Now instance-8898 is the writer.
$ fg
mysql -h channy-proxy.proxy-abcdef123.us-east-1.rds.amazonaws.com -u admin_user -p

mysql> select @@aurora_server_id;
+--------------------+
| @@aurora_server_id |
+--------------------+
| instance-8898 |
+--------------------+
1 row in set (0.01 sec)

mysql>
[1]+ Stopped mysql -h channy-proxy.proxy-abcdef123.us-east-1.rds.amazonaws.com -u admin_user -p
$ aws rds failover-db-cluster --db-cluster-id cluster-56-2019-11-14-1399
JSON output
$ # After a short time, the console shows that the failover operation is complete.
$ # Now instance-9814 is the writer again.
$ fg
mysql -h channy-proxy.proxy-abcdef123.us-east-1.rds.amazonaws.com -u admin_user -p

mysql> select @@aurora_server_id;
+--------------------+
| @@aurora_server_id |
+--------------------+
| instance-9814 |
+--------------------+
1 row in set (0.01 sec)
+---------------+---------------+
| Variable_name | Value |
+---------------+---------------+
| hostname | ip-10-1-3-178 |
+---------------+---------------+
1 row in set (0.02 sec)

With RDS Proxy, you can build applications that can transparently tolerate database failures without needing to write complex failure handling code. RDS Proxy automatically routes traffic to a new database instance while preserving application connections.

You can review the demo for an overview of RDS Proxy and the steps you need take to access RDS Proxy from a Lambda function.

If you want to know how your serverless applications maintain excellent performance even at peak loads, please read this blog post. For a deeper dive into using RDS Proxy for MySQL with serverless, visit this post.

The following are a few things that you should be aware of:

  • Currently, RDS Proxy is available for the MySQL and PostgreSQL engine family. This engine family includes RDS for MySQL 5.6 and 5.7, PostgreSQL 10.11 and 11.5.
  • In an Aurora cluster, all of the connections in the connection pool are handled by the Aurora primary instance. To perform load balancing for read-intensive workloads, you still use the reader endpoint directly for the Aurora cluster.
  • Your RDS Proxy must be in the same VPC as the database. Although the database can be publicly accessible, the proxy can’t be.
  • Proxies don’t support compressed mode. For example, they don’t support the compression used by the --compress or -C options of the mysql command.

Now Available!
Amazon RDS Proxy is available for Amazon Aurora with MySQL compatibility, Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL compatibility, Amazon RDS for MySQL, and Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL in Asia Pacific (Mumbai), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Canada (Central), EU West (Ireland), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (London), US East (Ohio), US West (N. California), US West (Oregon), and US East (N. Virginia) regions.

Take a look at the product page, pricing, and the documentation to learn more. Please send us feedback either in the AWS forum for Amazon RDS or through your usual AWS support contacts.

– Channy;