Throughput capacity planning for global tables - AWS Prescriptive Guidance

Throughput capacity planning for global tables

Migrating traffic from one Region to another requires careful consideration of DynamoDB table settings regarding capacity.

Here are some considerations for managing write capacity:

  • A global table must be in on-demand mode or provisioned with auto scaling enabled.

  • If provisioned with auto scaling, the write settings (minimum, maximum, and target utilization) are replicated across Regions. Although the auto scaling settings are synchronized, the actual provisioned write capacity might float independently between Regions.

  • One reason you might see different provisioned write capacity is due to the time to live (TTL) feature. When you enable TTL in DynamoDB, you can specify an attribute name whose value indicates the time of expiration for the item, in Unix epoch time format in seconds. After that time, DynamoDB can delete the item without incurring write costs. With global tables, you can configure TTL in any Region, and the setting is automatically replicated to other Regions that are associated with the global table. When an item is eligible for deletion through a TTL rule, that work can be done in any Region. The delete operation is performed without consuming write units on the source table, but the replica tables will get a replicated write of that delete operation and will incur replicated write unit costs.

  • If you’re using auto scaling, make sure that the maximum provisioned write capacity setting is sufficiently high to handle all write operations as well as all potential TTL delete operations. Auto scaling adjusts each Region according to its write consumption. On-demand tables have no maximum provisioned write capacity setting, but the table-level maximum write throughput limit specifies the maximum sustained write capacity the on-demand table will allow. The default limit to 40,000, but it is adjustable. We recommend that you set it high enough to handle all write operations (including TTL write operations) that the on-demand table might need. This value must be the same across all participating Regions when you set up global tables.

Here are some considerations for managing read capacity:

  • Read capacity management settings are allowed to differ between Regions because it’s assumed that different Regions might have independent read patterns. When you first add a global replica to a table, the capacity of the source Region is propagated. After creation you can adjust the read capacity settings, which aren’t transferred to the other side.

  • When you use DynamoDB auto scaling, make sure that the maximum provisioned read capacity settings are sufficiently high to handle all read operations across all Regions. During standard operations the read capacity will perhaps be spread across Regions, but during failover the table should be able to automatically adapt to the increased read workload. On-demand tables have no maximum provisioned read capacity setting, but the table-level maximum read throughput limit specifies the maximum sustained read capacity the on-demand table will allow. The default limit is 40,000, but it is adjustable. We recommend that you set it high enough to handle all read operations that the table might need if all read operations were to route to this single Region.

  • If a table in one Region doesn’t usually receive read traffic but might have to absorb a large amount of read traffic after a failover, you can raise the provisioned read capacity of the table, wait for the table to finish updating, and then provision the table down again. You can either leave the table in provisioned mode or switch it to on-demand mode. This pre-warms the table for accepting a higher level of read traffic.

Route 53 ARC has readiness checks that can be useful in confirming that DynamoDB Regions have similar table settings and account quotas, whether or not you use Route 53 to route requests. These readiness checks also help you adjust account-level quotas to make them match.