Setting up your environment for Amazon Aurora - Amazon Aurora

Setting up your environment for Amazon Aurora

Before you use Amazon Aurora for the first time, complete the following tasks:

If you already have an AWS account, know your Aurora requirements, and prefer to use the defaults for IAM and VPC security groups, skip ahead to Getting started with Amazon Aurora.

Sign up for AWS

When you sign up for AWS, your AWS account is automatically signed up for all services in AWS, including Amazon RDS. You are charged only for the services that you use.

With Amazon RDS, you pay only for the resources you use. The Amazon RDS DB clusters that you create are live (not running in a sandbox). You incur the standard Amazon RDS usage fees for each DB cluster until you terminate it. For more information about Amazon RDS usage rates, see the Amazon RDS product page. If you are a new AWS customer, you can get started with Amazon RDS for free; for more information, see AWS free tier.

If you have an AWS account already, skip to the next section, Create an IAM user.

If you don't have an AWS account, you can use the following procedure to create one.

To create a new AWS account

  1. Open

  2. Follow the online instructions.

    Part of the sign-up procedure involves receiving a phone call and entering a verification code on the phone keypad.

Note your AWS account number, because you'll need it for the next task.

Create an IAM user

After you create an AWS account and successfully connect to the AWS Management Console, you can create an AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) user. Instead of signing in with your AWS root account, we recommend that you use an IAM administrative user with Amazon RDS.

One way to do this is to create a new IAM user and grant it administrator permissions. Alternatively, you can add an existing IAM user to an IAM group with Amazon RDS administrative permissions. You can then access AWS from a special URL using the credentials for the IAM user.

If you signed up for AWS but have not created an IAM user for yourself, you can create one using the IAM console.

To create an administrator user for yourself and add the user to an administrators group (console)

  1. Sign in to the IAM console as the account owner by choosing Root user and entering your AWS account email address. On the next page, enter your password.


    We strongly recommend that you adhere to the best practice of using the Administrator IAM user that follows and securely lock away the root user credentials. Sign in as the root user only to perform a few account and service management tasks.

  2. In the navigation pane, choose Users and then choose Add users.

  3. For User name, enter Administrator.

  4. Select the check box next to AWS Management Console access. Then select Custom password, and then enter your new password in the text box.

  5. (Optional) By default, AWS requires the new user to create a new password when first signing in. You can clear the check box next to User must create a new password at next sign-in to allow the new user to reset their password after they sign in.

  6. Choose Next: Permissions.

  7. Under Set permissions, choose Add user to group.

  8. Choose Create group.

  9. In the Create group dialog box, for Group name enter Administrators.

  10. Choose Filter policies, and then select AWS managed - job function to filter the table contents.

  11. In the policy list, select the check box for AdministratorAccess. Then choose Create group.


    You must activate IAM user and role access to Billing before you can use the AdministratorAccess permissions to access the AWS Billing and Cost Management console. To do this, follow the instructions in step 1 of the tutorial about delegating access to the billing console.

  12. Back in the list of groups, select the check box for your new group. Choose Refresh if necessary to see the group in the list.

  13. Choose Next: Tags.

  14. (Optional) Add metadata to the user by attaching tags as key-value pairs. For more information about using tags in IAM, see Tagging IAM entities in the IAM User Guide.

  15. Choose Next: Review to see the list of group memberships to be added to the new user. When you are ready to proceed, choose Create user.

You can use this same process to create more groups and users and to give your users access to your AWS account resources. To learn about using policies that restrict user permissions to specific AWS resources, see Access management and Example policies.

To sign in as this new IAM user, sign out of the AWS console, then use the following URL, where your_aws_account_id is your AWS account number without the hyphens (for example, if your AWS account number is 1234-5678-9012, your AWS account ID is 123456789012):

Enter the IAM user name and password that you just created. When you're signed in, the navigation bar displays "your_user_name @ your_aws_account_id".

If you don't want the URL for your sign-in page to contain your AWS account ID, you can create an account alias. From the IAM dashboard, choose Customize and enter an alias, such as your company name. To sign in after you create an account alias, use the following URL:

To verify the sign-in link for IAM users for your account, open the IAM console and check under AWS Account Alias on the dashboard.

You can also create access keys for your AWS account. These access keys can be used to access AWS through the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) or through the Amazon RDS API. For more information, see Programmatic access, Installing, updating, and uninstalling the AWS CLI, and the Amazon RDS API reference.

Determine requirements

The basic building block of Aurora is the DB cluster. One or more DB instances can belong to a DB cluster. A DB cluster provides a network address called the cluster endpoint. Your applications connect to the cluster endpoint exposed by the DB cluster whenever they need to access the databases created in that DB cluster. The information you specify when you create the DB cluster controls configuration elements such as memory, database engine and version, network configuration, security, and maintenance periods.

Before you create a DB cluster and a security group, you must know your DB cluster and network needs. Here are some important things to consider:

  • Resource requirements – What are the memory and processor requirements for your application or service? You will use these settings when you determine what DB instance class you will use when you create your DB cluster. For specifications about DB instance classes, see Aurora DB instance classes.

  • VPC, subnet, and security group – Your DB cluster will be in a virtual private cloud (VPC). Security group rules must be configured to connect to a DB cluster. The following list describes the rules for each VPC option:

    • Default VPC — If your AWS account has a default VPC in the AWS Region, that VPC is configured to support DB clusters. If you specify the default VPC when you create the DB cluster:

      • Make sure to create a VPC security group that authorizes connections from the application or service to the Aurora DB cluster. Use the Security Group option on the VPC console or the AWS CLI to create VPC security groups. For information, see Step 4: Create a VPC security group.

      • You must specify the default DB subnet group. If this is the first DB cluster you have created in the AWS Region, Amazon RDS will create the default DB subnet group when it creates the DB cluster.

    • User-defined VPC — If you want to specify a user-defined VPC when you create a DB cluster:

      • Make sure to create a VPC security group that authorizes connections from the application or service to the Aurora DB cluster. Use the Security Group option on the VPC console or the AWS CLI to create VPC security groups. For information, see Step 4: Create a VPC security group.

      • The VPC must meet certain requirements in order to host DB clusters, such as having at least two subnets, each in a separate availability zone. For information, see Amazon Virtual Private Cloud VPCs and Amazon Aurora.

      • You must specify a DB subnet group that defines which subnets in that VPC can be used by the DB cluster. For information, see the DB Subnet Group section in Working with a DB instance in a VPC.

  • High availability: Do you need failover support? On Aurora, a Multi-AZ deployment creates a primary instance and Aurora Replicas. You can configure the primary instance and Aurora Replicas to be in different Availability Zones for failover support. We recommend Multi-AZ deployments for production workloads to maintain high availability. For development and test purposes, you can use a non-Multi-AZ deployment. For more information, see High availability for Amazon Aurora.

  • IAM policies: Does your AWS account have policies that grant the permissions needed to perform Amazon RDS operations? If you are connecting to AWS using IAM credentials, your IAM account must have IAM policies that grant the permissions required to perform Amazon RDS operations. For more information, see Identity and access management in Amazon Aurora.

  • Open ports: What TCP/IP port will your database be listening on? The firewall at some companies might block connections to the default port for your database engine. If your company firewall blocks the default port, choose another port for the new DB cluster. Note that once you create a DB cluster that listens on a port you specify, you can change the port by modifying the DB cluster.

  • AWS Region: What AWS Region do you want your database in? Having the database close in proximity to the application or web service could reduce network latency. For more information, see Regions and Availability Zones.

Once you have the information you need to create the security group and the DB cluster, continue to the next step.

Provide access to the DB cluster in the VPC by creating a security group

Your DB cluster will be created in a VPC. Security groups provide access to the DB cluster in the VPC. They act as a firewall for the associated DB cluster, controlling both inbound and outbound traffic at the cluster level. DB clusters are created by default with a firewall and a default security group that prevents access to the DB cluster. You must therefore add rules to a security group that enable you to connect to your DB cluster. Use the network and configuration information you determined in the previous step to create rules to allow access to your DB cluster.

For example, if you have an application that will access a database on your DB cluster in a VPC, you must add a custom TCP rule that specifies the port range and IP addresses that application will use to access the database. If you have an application on an Amazon EC2 cluster, you can use the VPC security group you set up for the Amazon EC2 cluster.

For more information about creating a VPC for use with Aurora, see How to create a VPC for use with Amazon Aurora. For information about common scenarios for accessing a DB instance, see Scenarios for accessing a DB instance in a VPC.

To create a VPC security group

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and open the Amazon VPC console at


    Make sure you are in the VPC console, not the RDS console.

  2. In the top right corner of the AWS Management Console, choose the AWS Region where you want to create your VPC security group and DB cluster. In the list of Amazon VPC resources for that AWS Region, you should see at least one VPC and several subnets. If you don't, you don't have a default VPC in that AWS Region.

  3. In the navigation pane, choose Security Groups.

  4. Choose Create security group.

    The Create security group page appears.

  5. In Basic details, enter the Security group name and Description. For VPC, choose the VPC that you want to create your DB cluster in.

  6. In Inbound rules, choose Add rule.

    1. For Type, choose Custom TCP.

    2. For Port range, enter the port value to use for your DB cluster.

    3. For Source, choose a security group name or type the IP address range (CIDR value) from where you access the DB cluster. If you choose My IP, this allows access to the DB cluster from the IP address detected in your browser.

  7. If you need to add more IP addresses or different port ranges, choose Add rule and enter the information for the rule.

  8. (Optional) In Outbound rules, add rules for outbound traffic. By default, all outbound traffic is allowed.

  9. Choose Create security group.

You can use the VPC security group you just created as the security group for your DB cluster when you create it.


If you use a default VPC, a default subnet group spanning all of the VPC's subnets is created for you. When you create a DB cluster, you can select the default VPC and use default for DB Subnet Group.

Once you have completed the setup requirements, you can create a DB cluster using your requirements and security group by following the instructions in Creating an Amazon Aurora DB cluster. For information about getting started by creating a DB cluster that uses a specific DB engine, see Getting started with Amazon Aurora.