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My organization would like to better understand the Amazon RDS architecture. In particular, my managers would like to understand RDS's "tenancy" model, that is, how the service accommodates multiple customers and how an Amazon RDS DB Instance works.

Here are a few possibilities listed in order of offering the most to the least isolation:

  1. A DB instance is on a single and exclusive VM running MySQL; no other DB instance runs on this VM
  2. A DB instance is just one of several that runs on a given VM, but each DB instance gets its own MySQL instance
  3. Multiple DB instances can connect to a single MySQL server on a single VM but special software makes the connection look we are connecting to our own dedicated MySQL instance.

My guess is that number 1 is correct, but my bosses would be happier with something more definitive than just a guess, something like an Amazon white-paper or other document explaining the RDS architecture.

Does anyone have a pointer to such a document?

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1 is correct. As evidence, the available RDS instance types (http://docs.amazonwebservices.com/AmazonRDS/latest/UserGuide/Concepts.DBInstance.html) correspond exactly to the appropriate EC2 instances.

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Can you explain this: in the Amazon RDS pricing calculator, there is a pull-down for Class ("small", "large", etc.), and a box for the number of DB Instances. So, if you specify 2 for the number of DB Instances and "large" for the Class, do you get two large VMs? –  user35042 Jun 11 '12 at 22:51
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Yes, but they're not linked or anything. Same thing if you go into a car dealership and ask for two minivans - they don't weld them into a Batmobile. :-) –  ceejayoz Jun 12 '12 at 4:10
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