Using Amazon Aurora global databases - Amazon Aurora

Using Amazon Aurora global databases

Amazon Aurora global databases span multiple AWS Regions, enabling low latency global reads and providing fast recovery from the rare outage that might affect an entire AWS Region. An Aurora global database has a primary DB cluster in one Region, and up to five secondary DB clusters in different Regions.

Overview of Amazon Aurora global databases

By using an Amazon Aurora global database, you can run your globally distributed applications using a single Aurora database that spans multiple AWS Regions.

An Aurora global database consists of one primary AWS Region where your data is mastered, and up to five read-only secondary AWS Regions. You issue write operations directly to the primary DB cluster in the primary AWS Region. Aurora replicates data to the secondary AWS Regions using dedicated infrastructure, with latency typically under a second.

In the following diagram, you can find an example Aurora global database that spans two AWS Regions.


        An Aurora global database has a single primary and at least one secondary Aurora DB clusters.

You can scale up each secondary cluster independently, by adding one or more Aurora Replicas (read-only Aurora DB instances) to serve read-only workloads.

Only the primary cluster performs write operations. Clients that perform write operations connect to the DB cluster endpoint of the primary DB cluster. As shown in the diagram, Aurora global database uses the cluster storage volume and not the database engine for replication. To learn more, see Overview of Aurora storage.

Aurora global databases are designed for applications with a worldwide footprint. The read-only secondary DB clusters (AWS Regions) allow you to support read operations closer to application users. By using features such as write forwarding, you can also configure an Aurora MySQL–based global database so that secondary clusters send data to the primary. For more information, see Using write forwarding in an Amazon Aurora global database.

An Aurora global database can support two different approaches to failover. The unplanned failover process allows you to recover your Aurora global database after an outage in the primary Region, by failing over to another Region (cross-Region failover). For more information about this manual process, see Recovering an Amazon Aurora global database from an unplanned outage.

For disaster preparedness, planned managed failover allows you to relocate the primary cluster of a healthy Aurora global database to one of its secondary Regions with no data loss. To learn more, see Managed planned failover for Amazon Aurora global databases.

Advantages of Amazon Aurora global databases

By using Aurora global databases, you can get the following advantages:

  • Global reads with local latency – If you have offices around the world, you can use an Aurora global database to keep your main sources of information updated in the primary AWS Region. Offices in your other Regions can access the information in their own Region, with local latency.

  • Scalable secondary Aurora DB clusters – You can scale your secondary clusters by adding more read-only instances (Aurora Replicas) to a secondary AWS Region. The secondary cluster is read-only, so it can support up to 16 read-only Aurora Replica instances rather than the usual limit of 15 for a single Aurora cluster.

  • Fast replication from primary to secondary Aurora DB clusters – The replication performed by an Aurora global database has little performance impact on the primary DB cluster. The resources of the DB instances are fully devoted to serve application read and write workloads.

  • Recovery from Region-wide outages – The secondary clusters allow you to make an Aurora global database available in a new primary AWS Region more quickly (lower RTO) and with less data loss (lower RPO) than traditional replication solutions.

Limitations of Amazon Aurora global databases

The following limitations currently apply to Aurora global databases:

  • Aurora global databases are available in certain AWS Regions and for specific Aurora MySQL and Aurora PostgreSQL versions only. For more information, see Aurora global databases.

  • Aurora global databases have certain configuration requirements for supported Aurora DB instance classes, maximum number of AWS Regions, and so on. For more information, see Configuration requirements of an Amazon Aurora global database.

  • Managed planned failover for Aurora global databases requires one of the following Aurora database engines:

    • Aurora MySQL with MySQL 8.0 compatibility, version 3.01.0 and higher

    • Aurora MySQL with MySQL 5.7 compatibility, version 2.09.1 and higher

    • Aurora MySQL with MySQL 5.6 compatibility, version 1.23.1 and higher

    • Aurora PostgreSQL versions 13.3 and higher, 12.4 and higher, 11.9 and higher, and 10.14 and higher

  • Aurora global databases currently don't support the following Aurora features:

    • Aurora multi-master clusters

    • Aurora Serverless v1

    • Backtracking in Aurora

    • Amazon RDS Proxy

  • Automatic minor version upgrade doesn't apply to Aurora MySQL and Aurora PostgreSQL clusters that are part of an Aurora global database. Note that you can specify this setting for a DB instance that is part of a global database cluster, but the setting has no effect.

  • Aurora global databases currently don't support Aurora Auto Scaling for secondary DB clusters.

  • You can start database activity streams on Aurora global databases running the following Aurora MySQL and Aurora PostgreSQL versions only.

    Database engine Primary AWS Region Secondary AWS Regions

    Aurora MySQL 5.7

    version 2.08 and higher

    version 2.08 and higher

    Aurora PostgreSQL

    version 13.3 and higher

    version 13.3 and higher

    version 12.4 and higher

    version 12.4 and higher

    version 11.7 and higher

    version 11.9 and higher

    version 10.11 and higher

    version 10.14 and higher

    For information about database activity streams, see Monitoring Amazon Aurora using Database Activity Streams.

  • To upgrade an Aurora global database, upgrade all secondary clusters before upgrading the primary cluster. However, for an Aurora PostgreSQL–based Aurora global database, you can upgrade the Aurora DB engine to a new minor version only. This limitation applies to Aurora DB clusters for Aurora PostgreSQL only, not to Aurora MySQL. For more information about upgrading Aurora DB engines, see Upgrading the minor version or patch level of an Aurora MySQL DB cluster or Upgrading the PostgreSQL DB engine for Aurora PostgreSQL.

  • You can't stop or start the Aurora DB clusters in your Aurora global database individually. To learn more, see Stopping and starting an Amazon Aurora DB cluster.

  • Aurora Replicas attached to the primary Aurora DB cluster can restart under certain circumstances. If the primary AWS Region's DB instance restarts or fails over, Aurora Replicas in that Region also restart. The cluster is then unavailable until all replicas are back in sync with the primary DB cluster's writer instance. This behavior is expected, and is documented in Replication with Amazon Aurora. Be sure that you understand the impacts to your Aurora global database before making changes to your primary DB cluster. To learn more, see Recovering an Amazon Aurora global database from an unplanned outage.

  • Aurora PostgreSQL–based DB clusters running in an Aurora global database have the following limitations:

    • Cluster cache management is not supported for Aurora PostgreSQL DB clusters that are part of Aurora global databases.

    • If the primary DB cluster of your Aurora global database is based on a replica of an Amazon RDS PostgreSQL instance, you can't create a secondary cluster. Don't attempt to create a secondary from that cluster using the AWS Management Console, the AWS CLI, or the CreateDBCluster API operation. Attempts to do so time out, and the secondary cluster is not created.

We recommend that you create secondary DB clusters for your Aurora global databases by using the same version of the Aurora DB engine as the primary. For more information, see Creating an Amazon Aurora global database.