Normally I run my own MySQL server (within EC2), but I was looking for the possibility's of RDS ( https://aws.amazon.com/rds/ ).

As I understand RDS is (directly after setup) optimized for relational databases. What I don't understand is who is performing the query in the end? Is RDS just an optimized HDD (or SSD ) with MySQL running or does it perform the queries too?


RDS is just an EC2 instance with MySQL installed. The only major difference is that AWS installs/manages the software and handles stuff like backups, instead of you.

  • Ok, so in the end RDS will perform the MySQL queries and will immediately gives the base EC2 instance some "air" to spare for other things? – user3892683 Mar 23 '15 at 20:51
  • @user3892683 Yes, but it isn't a magic bullet. Depends where the bottleneck - blindly adding an RDS to the mix can cause slower performance if you're not diagnosing first. – ceejayoz Mar 23 '15 at 20:59

Amazon RDS is not just storage. It is a special instance type running the DB software, preinstalled on this special instance type. You connect to it via the Amazon Internal network.

So instead of connecting to localhost:3306 you would connect to the address you get in the console for your RDS instance.


import MySQLdb
db = MySQLdb.connect(
    host = "rds-instance.availability-zone.rds.amazonaws.com",

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