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What is the best/easiest way to upgrade and RDS instance running mysql 5.5 to 5.6. I have seen two potential methods:

  1. modifying the instance - this seems the easiest method - have people done it - did it work - what problems were there
  2. creating a read replica and then promoting this to the master - this seems the most robust way to do it but if people have experience of doing the option 1 it would be interesting to know.
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I recommend modifying the instance (Option 1) and let it upgrade during your maintenance period. We did this before without issues.

I prefer not to go with Option 2 if you are running a heavily transactional database because you will need to wait for the slave to catch up with the master before being able to promote it to ensure no data loss (on the new master).

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  • Did you have downtime? How login did it take? – matpol Jul 17 '17 at 8:18
  • We have a rather small transactional database (~30GB) that took less than 30 minutes to upgrade and we had an agreed downtime with the customer for at most 1 hour. Our approach might not be ideal if you're catering to a global market that does not allow any outage. – Carlo Miguel Cruz Jul 17 '17 at 8:28
  • If no downtime is allowed, you might want to go with Option 2 then just validate the transactional tables after promotion to ensure that all data are identical. This might be difficult though if you're relying on the database for auto-incremental values for identifying transactions. – Carlo Miguel Cruz Jul 17 '17 at 8:33
  • we have a virtualhosting setup so many dbs - option 2 seems best at the moment - thanks for feedback – matpol Jul 17 '17 at 9:08

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