Comparison between AMAZON RDS and SQL Server on EC2

Requirement – If you are planning to migrate your In House SQL Server to Amazon Cloud and wondering which option will be best for you b/w  AMAZON RDS and SQL Server on EC2.

Here, I have created comparison table based on AWS whitepaper and documents.

Feature comparison :-

Features RDS SQL on EC2
Contol AWS In house DBA
Version 2008 R2, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017 2005, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2014, 2016, and 2017
Installation Automates installation Manual Installation
Disk Provisioning and management Automates Manually
Patching Automatic Manually
Minor version upgrades Automatic Manually
Failed instance replacement Automatic N/A
Backup and recovery of your SQL Server databases Automatic In House DBA
Automated Multi-AZ (Availability Zone) Automatic Manual Configuration required
Cost Cost effective More Control over cost
Transparent Data Encryption Available Available
CDC Available Available
On-Lined Indexing Available Available
Data-at-rest protection Available Available
Data-in-transit protection Available ( Amazon RDS creates an SSL certificate for your
SQL Server DB instance when the instance is created.)
Need to configure Manually
BD access Controls Through IAM Through SQL Server
Monitoring and Management Amazon CloudWatch Amazon CloudWatch

Here are Limitation of RDS over SQL Server on EC2 :-

  • You can create up to 30 databases on each of your DB instances running Microsoft SQL Server. The Microsoft system databases, such as master and model, don’t count toward this limit.
  • Some ports are reserved for Amazon RDS use and you can’t use them when you create a DB instance.
  • Amazon RDS for SQL Server does not support importing data into the msdb database.
  • You can’t rename databases on a DB instance in a SQL Server Multi-AZ with Mirroring deployment.
  • The maximum storage size for SQL Server DB instances is the following:
    • General Purpose (SSD) storage: 16 TB for all editions
    • Provisioned IOPS storage: 16 TB for all editions
    • Magnetic storage: 1 TB for all editions
  • If you have a scenario that requires a larger amount of storage, you can use sharding across multiple DB instances to get around the limit. This approach requires data-dependent routing logic in applications that connect to the sharded system. You can use an existing sharding framework, or you can write custom code to enable sharding. If you use an existing framework, the framework can’t install any components on the same server as the DB instance.
    • The minimum storage size for SQL Server DB instances is the following:
    • General Purpose (SSD) storage: 200 GB for Enterprise and Standard editions, 20 GB for Web and Express editions
    • Provisioned IOPS storage: 200 GB for Enterprise and Standard editions, 100 GB for Web and Express editions
    • Magnetic storage: 200 GB for Enterprise and Standard editions, 20 GB for Web and Express editions

 

  • Amazon RDS doesn’t support running SQL Server Analysis Services, SQL Server Integration Services, SQL Server Reporting Services, Data Quality Services, or Master Data Services on the same server as your Amazon RDS DB instance. To use these features, we recommend that you install SQL Server on an Amazon EC2 instance, or use an on-premise SQL Server instance, to act as the Reporting, Analysis, Integration, or Master Data Services server for your SQL Server DB instance on Amazon RDS. You can install SQL Server on an Amazon EC2 instance with Amazon EBS storage, pursuant to Microsoft licensing policies.

 

  • Because of limitations in Microsoft SQL Server, restoring to a point in time before successful execution of a DROP DATABASE might not reflect the state of that database at that point in time. For example, the dropped database is typically restored to its state up to 5 minutes before the DROP DATABASE command was issued, which means that you can’t restore the transactions made during those few minutes on your dropped database. To work around this, you can reissue the DROP DATABASE command after the restore operation is completed. Dropping a database removes the transaction logs for that database.

 

  •  When you restore a database into RDS it creates a UUID essentially for each of the DB files. If ever needed to setup a 2nd copy of a database or anything (even for recovery sake with a different name) it will fail.  You would need to drop the existing DB and replace it because of the UUID conflict.

 

Conclusion :-

For RDS – If you want Amazon to handle the day-to-day management of your SQL Server databases, Amazon RDS is the preferred way. This enables you to focus on higher-level tasks, such as schema optimization, query tuning, and application development, and eliminate the undifferentiating work that goes into maintenance and operation of the databases

SQL Server on EC2 – Running your own relational database on Amazon EC2 is the ideal scenario if you require a maximum level of control and configurability.

 

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