Running MySQL on AWS: Step by Step


MySQL on AWS is the deployment of the MySQL database system on Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform. MySQL is one of the most popular open-source relational database management systems (RDBMS) worldwide, known for its flexibility, reliability, and robustness.

AWS is a leading cloud service provider offering a broad spectrum of services ranging from computing power, storage options, to networking. By deploying MySQL on AWS, you can enjoy the best of both worlds—the proven capability of MySQL and the scalability and convenience of AWS.

Running MySQL on AWS can help you achieve scalability, performance, cost-effectiveness, and ease of use. It's about utilizing AWS services that complement MySQL to create a comprehensive data management solution.

AWS Services Compatible with MySQL

There are several Amazon services you can use to run MySQL in the cloud:

Amazon RDS

Amazon RDS (Relational Database Service) is a web service designed to simplify the setup, operation, and scaling of a relational database in the cloud. It provides a cost-effective and resizable capacity while managing time-consuming database administration tasks, freeing you up to focus on your applications and business.

When you use Amazon RDS with MySQL, you can start small and scale as your application demands grow. Amazon RDS automates time-consuming administration tasks such as hardware provisioning, database setup, patching, and backups while providing cost-efficient and resizable capacity. Moreover, it delivers high availability with a primary instance and automated failover to a standby instance in case of a system failure.

Amazon EC2

Amazon EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers. With Amazon EC2, you have the flexibility to choose the optimal memory, CPU, and storage for your MySQL database.

Running MySQL on an Amazon EC2 instance gives you more control over the database environment. You can optimize the database to your particular application requirements, choose the operating system and software stack, and manage your own backups.

Amazon Aurora

Amazon Aurora is a relational database service that combines the speed and availability of high-end commercial databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open-source databases. Aurora is fully compatible with MySQL, which means you can use existing MySQL applications, tools, and scripts without modification while benefiting from Aurora’s enhanced performance and reliability.

Aurora automatically divides your database volume into 10GB segments spread across many disks. Each 10GB chunk of your database volume is replicated six ways, across three Availability Zones. Aurora continuously backs up your data to Amazon S3, and transparently recovers from physical storage failures; instance failover typically takes less than 30 seconds.

Furthermore, Aurora is designed to offer greater performance than MySQL with up to 5 times the throughput of standard MySQL running on the same hardware, and twice the throughput of standard PostgreSQL.

Steps to Run MySQL on AWS RDS

Let’s see the general process involved in running MySQL on Amazon RDS.

Setting Up Amazon RDS for MySQL

Log into your AWS Management Console, navigate to the RDS section, and initiate the process of creating a new RDS instance. Select MySQL as your database, choose the appropriate version, and specify the instance specifications according to your needs.

Next, configure the DB instance identifier, master username, and password. Remember, these credentials will be vital for accessing your MySQL database later. In the settings section, choose the VPC, Subnet Group, and Security Groups according to your preferences. Lastly, ensure that you enable automatic backups to safeguard your data.

Network Configuration

The next step entails setting up the network configuration for your MySQL on AWS. This process involves configuring the VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) and Security Groups. VPC acts as a virtual network dedicated to your AWS resources, offering enhanced security and control over your environment.

Start by creating a VPC in the VPC Dashboard under the Your VPCs section. Define the IP CIDR block, and choose the default tenancy. Next, create a Subnet for your database in the Subnets section. The CIDR block for your Subnet should be a subset of your VPC's CIDR block.

Now, create a Security Group in the Security Groups section. This will act as a virtual firewall for your MySQL database, controlling inbound and outbound traffic. Set up the inbound rules to allow traffic from your IP address on port 3306, the default MySQL port. For outbound rules, allow all traffic.

Transferring Existing Data into the AWS Environment

Once your network configuration is all set, the next challenge is transferring existing data into the AWS environment. AWS provides several tools to facilitate this process, including the AWS Database Migration Service (DMS) and AWS Schema Conversion Tool (SCT).

Start by setting up a replication instance in DMS, then define the source (your existing database) and target (your new RDS instance) endpoints. Create a migration task and specify the tables you want to migrate. If you’re dealing with complex schemas, use the SCT to convert your existing database schema to a format compatible with MySQL.

Remember to monitor the migration process closely. AWS DMS provides detailed logs and metrics to help you track the progress and troubleshoot if necessary. Finally, once the migration is complete, verify the data in your new MySQL on AWS to ensure all the data was transferred correctly.

Connection and Testing

After migrating your data, the next logical step is to connect to your MySQL on AWS and run some tests. You can connect to an RDS instance just like you would to a regular MySQL database, using a MySQL client or directly from your application.

To connect using a MySQL client, use the endpoint and port number of your RDS instance along with the master username and password you set up earlier. Once you're connected, run some test queries to verify the connection and data integrity.

Connecting from your application involves modifying your application's database connection string to point to your new RDS instance. Test the application thoroughly to ensure it interacts correctly with the database.


Running MySQL on AWS has numerous benefits, including scalability, robustness, and improved performance. By following these steps, you've unlocked the potential of your MySQL database by migrating it to AWS. However, migration is only the first step. Regular monitoring, optimization, and security enhancements are necessary to keep your database running smoothly. AWS offers several tools and services to help you in these areas, ensuring you get the most out of MySQL on AWS

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