Overview of Performance Insights - Amazon Relational Database Service

Overview of Performance Insights

By default, Performance Insights is enabled in the console create wizard for Amazon RDS engines. If you have more than one database on a DB instance, Performance Insights aggregates performance data.

DB load

The central metric for Performance Insights is DB Load. The DB Load metric is collected every second.

Active Sessions

An active session is a connection that has submitted work to the DB engine and is waiting for a response. The DB load represents the average active sessions (AAS) for the DB engine. For example, if you submit a SQL query to the DB engine, the database session is active while the engine is processing the query.

To obtain the AAS, Performance Insights samples the number of sessions concurrently running a query. The AAS is the total number of sessions divided by the total number of samples. The following table shows 5 consecutive samples of a running query.

Sample Number of sessions running query AAS Calculation
1 2 2 2 sessions / 1 sample
2 0 1 2 sessions / 2 samples
3 4 2 6 sessions / 3 samples
4 0 1.5 6 sessions / 4 samples
5 4 2 10 sessions / 5 samples

Related to AAS is the average active executions (AAE) per second. To calculate the AAE, Performance Insights divides the total execution time of a query by the time interval. The following table shows the AAE calculation for the same query in the preceding table.

Elapsed time (s) Total execution time (s) AAE Calculation
60 120 2 120 execution seconds / 60 elapsed seconds
120 120 1 120 execution seconds / 120 elapsed seconds
180 380 2.11 360 execution seconds / 180 elapsed seconds
240 380 1.58 360 execution seconds / 240 elapsed seconds
300 600 2 600 execution seconds / 300 elapsed seconds

In most cases, the AAS and AAE for a query are approximately the same. However, because the inputs to the calculations are different data sources, the calculations often vary slightly.


The DB Load metric has subcomponents called dimensions. You can think of dimensions as categories for the different characteristics of the DB Load metric. When you are diagnosing performance issues, the most useful dimensions are wait events and top SQL.

Wait events

A wait event causes a SQL statement to wait for a specific event to happen before it can continue running. For example, a SQL statement might wait until a locked resource is unlocked. By combining DB Load with wait events, you can get a complete picture of the session state. Wait events vary by DB engine:


For Oracle, background processes sometimes do work without an associated SQL statement. In these cases, Performance Insights reports the type of background process concatenated with a colon and the wait class associated with that background process. Types of background process include LGWR, ARC0, PMON, and so on.

For example, when the archiver is performing I/O, the Performance Insights report for it is similar to ARC1:System I/O. Occasionally, the background process type is also missing, and Performance Insights only reports the wait class, for example :System I/O.


Whereas wait events show bottlenecks, top SQL shows which queries are contributing the most to DB load. For example, many queries might be currently running on the database, but a single query might consume 99% of the DB load. In this case, the high load might indicate a problem with the query.

By default, the Performance Insights console displays top SQL queries that are contributing to the database load. The console also shows relevant statistics for each statement. To diagnose performance problems for a specific statement, you can examine its execution plan.

Maximum CPU

In the dashboard, the Database load chart collects, aggregates, and displays session information. To see whether active sessions are exceeding the maximum CPU, look at their relationship to the Max vCPU line. The Max vCPU value is determined by the number of vCPU (virtual CPU) cores for your DB instance.

If the load is often above the Max vCPU line, and the primary wait state is CPU, the system CPU is overloaded. In these cases, you might want to throttle connections to the instance, tune any SQL queries with a high CPU load, or consider a larger instance class. High and consistent instances of any wait state indicate that there might be bottlenecks or resource contention issues to resolve. This can be true even if the load doesn't cross the Max vCPU line.

You can find an overview of Performance Insights in the following video.

Supported DB engines for Performance Insights

Following, you can find the DB engines that support Performance Insights.

DB Engine

Supported DB Engine Versions

Amazon Aurora with MySQL compatibility

2.04.2 and higher 2.x versions (compatible with MySQL 5.7), and 1.17.3 and higher 1.x versions (compatible with MySQL 5.6).

Not supported on db.t2 or db.t3 DB instance classes. For DB clusters enabled for parallel query, the minimum Aurora MySQL versions are 2.09.0 and 1.23.0.

Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL compatibility

All versions.

Amazon RDS for MariaDB

All 10.5 versions, all 10.4 versions, 10.3.13 and higher 10.3 versions, and 10.2.21 and higher 10.2 versions.

Not supported for MariaDB version 10.0 or 10.1. Not supported for MariaDB version 10.3.13 DB instances in the Europe (Frankfurt) and Europe (Stockholm) AWS Regions. Not supported on the following DB instance classes: db.t2.micro, db.t2.small, db.t3.micro, and db.t3.small.

Amazon RDS for MySQL

8.0.17 and higher 8.0 versions, version 5.7.22 and higher 5.7 versions, and version 5.6.41 and higher 5.6 versions.

Not supported for version 5.5. Not supported on the following DB instance classes: db.t2.micro, db.t2.small, db.t3.micro, and db.t3.small.

Amazon RDS for Microsoft SQL Server

All versions except SQL Server 2008.

Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL

Versions 10, 11, 12, and 13.

Amazon RDS for Oracle

All versions.


Amazon RDS Performance Insights isn't supported in the Middle East (Bahrain) Region, Africa (Cape Town) Region, or in AWS GovCloud (US) Regions.


This guide describes using Amazon RDS Performance Insights with non-Aurora DB engines. For information about using Amazon RDS Performance Insights with Amazon Aurora, see the Using Amazon RDS Performance Insights in the Amazon Aurora User Guide.