ApsaraDB RDS provides highly available, reliable, secure, and scalable cloud-hosted databases that are comparable to commercial databases in terms of performance. These cloud-hosted databases cost approximately two thirds lower than self-managed databases that are hosted on Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instances, and approximately nine tenths lower than self-managed databases that are deployed on third-party database servers.

Comparison between ApsaraDB RDS instances and self-managed databases in terms of price

Item ApsaraDB RDS instance Self-managed database on ECS instance Self-managed database on third-party database server
Hardware, spare parts, and accessories You are charged only for the RDS instances that you create. For example, an RDS instance that provides 2 cores, 4 GB of memory, and 100 GB of storage to deliver up to 6,800 IOPS costs USD 1,000 per year. You must purchase at least two ECS instances to build a primary/secondary architecture. Two ECS instances that each provide 2 cores, 4 GB of memory, and 100 GB of storage to deliver up to 6,800 IOPS costs USD 900 per year.
  • You must purchase at least two database servers. A database server that delivers up to 6,800 IOPS costs approximately USD 1,200.
  • You must purchase one internal switch that is used to connect to the frontend web server. A 1U non-hosted switch costs approximately USD 140.
  • You must purchase spare parts and accessories for future repairs and replacements. These spare parts and accessories cost at least 30% of the fee that you pay for hardware.
  • The fee for hardware is approximately USD 3,300 based on the following calculation: (1200 × 2 + 140) × 130% ≈ 3300.

    If the hardware retires in three years, the annual fee for spare parts and accessories is USD 1,100 based on the following calculation: 3300/3 = 1100.

Hosting in data centers The fees for hosting in data centers are charged to the cloud service provider. No fees are charged to you. The fees for hosting in data centers are charged to the cloud service provider. No fees are charged to you. Every 1U of rack space costs USD 400 per year. The annual fee that is required to host two 1U database servers and one 1U internal switch is USD 1,200 based on the following calculation: 400 × 3 = 1200.
Bandwidth
  • If an ECS instance and an RDS instance reside in the same region, these instances can communicate over an internal network. You are not charged for the internal network traffic that you consume.
  • If an ECS instance and an RDS instance reside in different regions, these instances can communicate over the Internet. You are not charged for the Internet traffic that you consume.
  • ECS instances in the same region can communicate over an internal network. You are not charged for the internal network traffic that you consume.
  • ECS instances in different regions can communicate over the Internet. You are charged for the Internet traffic that you consume. For more information, see Public bandwidth.
Your databases can communicate only over an internal network. You are not charged for Internet traffic because no Internet traffic is consumed.
Database O&M The fees for database O&M are charged to the cloud service provider. No fees are charged to you. The monthly salary of a junior database administrator (DBA) is USD 5,000 or more. If a database project accounts for 30% of the total workload that a DBA needs to complete, the annual fee that is required to maintain the database project is at least USD 18,000 based on the following calculation: 5000 × 12 × 30% = 18000. The monthly salary of a DBA is USD 5,000 or more. If a database project accounts for 30% of the total workload that a DBA needs to complete, the annual fee that is required to maintain the database project is at least USD 18,000 based on the following calculation: 5000 × 12 × 30% = 18000.
Annual fee in total USD 1,000 USD 18,900 USD 20,300

Advantages of ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instances over self-managed MySQL databases

Item ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance Self-managed MySQL database on ECS instance Self-managed MySQL database on third-party database server
Cost-effectiveness
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • AliSQL is an independent MySQL branch that is developed by Alibaba Cloud. AliSQL provides features that are similar to the features of MySQL Enterprise Edition to improve user experience. For more information, see Overview of AliSQL features.
  • A free quota for backup storage is provided. The free quota is up to twice the purchased storage capacity based on the instance configuration. For more information, see Backup storage pricing for an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.
  • Internet traffic is free of charge.
  • User-provided domain names are supported free of charge.
  • Updates to ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL are released by Alibaba Cloud to keep pace with the latest MySQL releases.
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • Open source MySQL is used. No optimization is provided.
  • You are charged for the backup storage that you use.
  • You are charged for the Internet traffic that you consume.
  • The initial investment cost is high.
  • Open source MySQL is used. No optimization is provided.
  • You must allocate independent backup resources. This requires high costs.
  • You are charged for the Internet traffic that you consume and the domain names that you use. The domain names are charged at high prices.
Availability
  • In RDS Basic Edition, your database system requires approximately 15 minutes to complete a failover.
  • In RDS High-availability Edition or RDS Cluster Edition, your database system runs in a proprietary high-availability architecture of Alibaba Cloud. This architecture allows your database system to complete a failover within 30 seconds.
  • You can create read-only RDS instances to balance loads in your database system. For more information, see Overview of read-only ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instances.
  • Read/write splitting allows your database system to distribute read and write requests by using a unified read/write splitting endpoint. For more information, see Enable the proxy terminal feature for an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.
  • Analytic RDS instances that can be used to analyze data are in development.
  • In the basic edition, your databases require approximately 30 minutes to complete a failover.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to build a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to build a load balancing architecture.
  • If you want to analyze data, you must create analytic databases. The process of creating analytic databases is time-consuming and requires high costs.
  • Your databases are standalone. If a database server breaks down, repairs can take hours to weeks.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to build a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to build a load balancing architecture.
  • If you want to analyze data, you must create analytic databases. The process of creating analytic databases is time-consuming and requires high costs.
Reliability
  • Automated replication of data between primary and secondary RDS instances, data backups, and log backups are supported to ensure high data reliability.
  • RDS Enterprise Edition supports a recovery point objective (RPO) of 0 and a recovery time objective (RTO) of approximately 1 minute when this edition is used with MySQL 5.7 or MySQL 8.0.
  • Your databases are highly available only when they are deployed in an optimal high-availability architecture.
  • To ensure an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent research and development (R&D) services. This requires high costs.
  • Data reliability is moderate and varies based on the corruption probability of individual disks.
  • To ensure an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent R&D services. This requires high costs.
Usability
  • An automated backup and restoration system is provided to support point in time recovery (PITR) and database-level backup and restoration. In addition, streaming backups are supported to minimize the impacts on performance. For more information, see Enable automatic backups for an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.
  • An automated monitoring and alerting system allows you to monitor all supported metrics at the instance and database levels and view monitoring information that is collected over a time range of a few seconds. If the value of a metric exceeds the specified threshold, ApsaraDB RDS sends you an alert by using Short Message Service (SMS), email, or DingTalk. In addition, a free quota for alert notifications over SMS is provided based on your purchase details. For more information, see Configure an alert rule for an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.
  • You can update the minor engine version of an RDS instance with a few clicks. For more information, see Update the minor engine version of an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.
  • Automated backups are not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features. This requires high costs.
  • You must purchase an independent monitoring system and configure it in the CloudMonitor console.
  • Technical challenges are imposed on usability.
  • Version updates require high costs.
  • Automated backups are not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features. This requires high costs.
  • You must purchase or configure an independent monitoring system. This requires high costs.
  • Remote data centers require high costs and are difficult to be built. As a result, geo-disaster recovery is difficult to be implemented.
  • Version updates require high costs.
Performance
  • RDS instances that are equipped with local SSDs provide high performance.
  • RDS instances that are equipped with enhanced SSDs (ESSDs) provide higher performance than RDS instances that are equipped with local SSDs or standard SSDs.
  • You can create read-only RDS instances to improve performance and balance loads.
  • The SQL Explorer feature can meet most of your business requirements for monitoring and performance optimization. For more information, see Use the SQL Explorer feature on an ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instance.
  • If you choose local disks, data reliability is reduced. If you choose cloud disks, you must plan a disk architecture. This requires high costs.
  • ECS-hosted self-managed databases that are equipped with ESSDs are inferior to RDS instances that are equipped with ESSDs in terms of performance.
  • The cluster edition is difficult to be deployed and requires high consultancy costs and high maintenance costs.
  • You must recruit experienced DBAs. This requires high costs.
  • Database servers are updated at lower speeds than cloud computing hardware. Therefore, self-managed databases on these servers are inferior to RDS instances.
  • Computing-storage separation is difficult to be implemented and can require you to spend millions of US dollars on advanced storage media.
  • The cluster edition is difficult to be deployed and requires high consultancy costs and high maintenance costs.
  • You must recruit experienced DBAs. This requires high costs.
Security
  • IP address whitelists, security groups, and VPCs can be used to control access to ECS-hosted self-managed databases.
  • Link encryption and disk encryption must be separately configured to protect data. This requires high consultancy costs due to difficulties in the rotation of BYOKs.
  • SQL logs are difficult to be audited because they must be separately stored.
  • IP address whitelists and VPCs can be used to control access to self-managed databases on third-party servers. This requires high consultancy costs.
  • Link encryption and disk encryption must be separately configured to protect data. This requires high consultancy costs due to difficulties in the rotation of BYOKs.
  • SQL logs are difficult to be audited because they must be separately stored.

Advantages of ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server instances over self-managed SQL Server databases

Item ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server instance Self-managed SQL Server database on ECS instance Self-managed SQL Server database on third-party database server
Cost-effectiveness
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • SQL Server Web Edition is supported to increase cost-effectiveness.
  • A free quota for backup storage is provided. The free quota is equal to half the purchased storage capacity. For more information, see Backup storage fees of an ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server instance.
  • Internet traffic is free of charge.
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • SQL Server Web Edition is not supported.
  • You are charged for the backup storage that you use.
  • You are charged for the Internet traffic that you consume.
  • The initial investment cost is high.
  • SQL Server Web Edition is not supported.
  • You must allocate independent backup resources. This requires high costs.
  • You are charged for the Internet traffic that you consume and the domain names that you use. The domain names are charged at high prices.
Availability
  • In RDS Basic Edition, your database system requires approximately 15 minutes to complete a failover.
  • In RDS High-availability Edition or RDS Cluster Edition, your database system runs in a proprietary high-availability architecture of Alibaba Cloud. This architecture allows your database system to complete a failover within 30 seconds.
  • In RDS Cluster Edition, you can create read-only RDS instances to balance loads in your database system. For more information, see Overview of read-only ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server instances.
  • In RDS Cluster Edition, you can use read/write splitting to distribute read and write requests by using a unified read/write splitting endpoint. For more information, see Overview of read/write splitting.
  • In the basic edition, your databases require approximately 30 minutes to complete a failover.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to build a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to build a load balancing architecture.
  • Your databases are standalone. If a database server breaks down, repairs can take hours to weeks.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to build a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to build a load balancing architecture.
Reliability
  • Automated replication of data between primary and secondary RDS instances, data backups, and log backups are supported to ensure high data reliability.
  • RDS Cluster Edition delivers an RPO of 0.
  • Your databases are highly available only when they are deployed in an optimal high-availability architecture.
  • To ensure an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent R&D services. This requires high costs.
  • Data reliability is moderate and varies based on the corruption probability of individual disks.
  • To ensure an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent R&D services. This requires high costs.
Usability
  • An automated backup and restoration system is provided to support PITR and database-level backup and restoration. In addition, streaming backups are supported to minimize the impacts on performance. For more information, see Back up an ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server instance.
  • An automated monitoring and alerting system allows you to monitor all supported metrics at the instance and database levels and view monitoring information that is collected over a time range of a few seconds. If the value of a metric exceeds the specified threshold, ApsaraDB RDS sends you an alert by using SMS, email, or DingTalk. In addition, a free quota for alert notifications over SMS is provided based on your purchase details. For more information, see Configure an alert rule for an ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server instance.
  • Geo-disaster recovery is in development.
  • Automated backups are not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features. This requires high costs.
  • You must purchase an independent monitoring system and configure it in the CloudMonitor console.
  • Technical challenges are imposed on usability.
  • Automated backups are not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features. This requires high costs.
  • You must purchase or configure an independent monitoring system. This requires high costs.
  • Remote data centers require high costs and are difficult to be built. As a result, geo-disaster recovery is difficult to be implemented.
Performance
  • RDS instances that run SQL Server 2008 R2 with local SSDs provide high performance. RDS instances that run SQL Server 201x support next-generation compute-storage separation and can benefit from hardware dividends.
  • RDS instances that are equipped with ESSDs provide higher performance than RDS instances that are equipped with local SSDs or standard SSDs.
  • You can create read-only RDS instances to improve performance and balance loads.
  • If you choose local disks, data reliability is reduced. If you choose cloud disks, you must plan a disk architecture. This requires high costs.
  • ECS-hosted self-managed databases that are equipped with ESSDs are inferior to RDS instances that are equipped with ESSDs in terms of performance.
  • The cluster edition is difficult to be deployed and requires high consultancy costs and high maintenance costs.
  • You must recruit experienced DBAs. This requires high costs.
  • Database servers are updated at lower speeds than cloud computing hardware. Therefore, self-managed databases on these servers are inferior to RDS instances.
  • Computing-storage separation is difficult to be implemented and can require you to spend millions of US dollars on advanced storage media.
  • The cluster edition is difficult to be deployed and requires high consultancy costs and high maintenance costs.
  • You must recruit experienced DBAs. This requires high costs.
Security
  • IP address whitelists, security groups, and VPCs can be used to control access to ECS-hosted self-managed databases.
  • Link encryption and disk encryption must be separately configured to protect data. This requires high consultancy costs.
  • SQL logs are difficult to be audited because they must be separately stored.
  • IP address whitelists and VPCs can be used to control access to self-managed databases on third-party servers. This requires high consultancy costs.
  • Link encryption and disk encryption must be separately configured to protect data. This requires high consultancy costs.
  • SQL logs are difficult to be audited because they must be separately stored.
Legal liability ApsaraDB RDS for SQL Server is provided with a valid license. No legal liabilities are imposed on you. You must purchase a valid license. You must purchase a valid license. Otherwise, legal liabilities may be imposed on you.

Advantages of ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL instances over self-managed PostgreSQL databases

Item ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL instance Self-managed PostgreSQL database on ECS instance Self-managed PostgreSQL database on third-party database server
Cost-effectiveness
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • AliPG is compatible with open source PostgreSQL. AliPG provides a number of proprietary features to improve user experience. For more information, see AliPG benefits.
  • A free quota for backup storage is provided. The free quota is up to twice the purchased storage capacity based on the instance configuration. For more information, see View the free quota for backup storage of an ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL instance.
  • Internet traffic is free of charge.
  • User-provided domain names are supported free of charge.
  • Updates to ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL are released by Alibaba Cloud to keep pace with the latest PostgreSQL releases.
  • Scalable resources are provided.
  • Open source PostgreSQL is used. No optimization is provided.
  • You are charged for the backup storage that you use.
  • You are charged for the Internet traffic that you consume.
  • The initial investment cost is high.
  • Open source PostgreSQL is used. No optimization is provided.
  • You must allocate independent backup resources. This requires high costs.
  • You are charged for the Internet traffic that you consume and the domain names that you use. The domain names are charged at high prices.
Availability
  • In RDS Basic Edition, your database system requires approximately 15 minutes to complete a failover.
  • In RDS High-availability Edition, your database system runs in a proprietary high-availability architecture of Alibaba Cloud. This architecture allows your database system to complete a failover within 30 seconds.
  • You can create read-only RDS instances to balance loads in your database system. For more information, see Overview of read-only ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL instances.
  • In the basic edition, your databases require approximately 30 minutes to complete a failover.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to build a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to build a load balancing architecture.
  • Your databases are standalone. If a database server breaks down, repairs can take hours to weeks.
  • You must purchase additional software or hardware to build a high-availability architecture.
  • You must configure or purchase additional software or hardware to build a load balancing architecture.
Reliability
  • Automated replication of data between primary and secondary RDS instances, data backups, and log backups are supported to ensure high data reliability.
  • RPO customization allows you to specify an RPO of 0.
  • Your databases are highly available only when they are deployed in an optimal high-availability architecture.
  • To ensure an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent R&D services. This requires high costs.
  • Data reliability is moderate and varies based on the corruption probability of individual disks.
  • To ensure an RPO of 0, you must purchase independent R&D services. This requires high costs.
Usability
  • An automated backup and restoration system is provided to support PITR and database-level backup and restoration. In addition, streaming backups are supported to minimize the impacts on performance. For more information, see Back up an ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL instance.
  • An automated monitoring and alerting system allows you to monitor all supported metrics at the instance and database levels and view monitoring information that is collected over a time range of a few seconds. If the value of a metric exceeds the specified threshold, ApsaraDB RDS sends an alert to you by using SMS, email, or DingTalk. In addition, a free quota for alert notifications over SMS is provided based on your purchase details. For more information, see Configure an alert rule for an ApsaraDB RDS for PostgreSQL instance.
  • Automated backups are not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features. This requires high costs.
  • You must purchase an independent monitoring system and configure it in the CloudMonitor console.
  • Automated backups are not supported. You must purchase or configure the streaming backup and PITR features. This requires high costs.
  • You must purchase or configure an independent monitoring system. This requires high costs.
Performance
  • RDS instances that are equipped with local SSDs provide high performance.
  • RDS instances that are equipped with ESSDs provide higher performance than RDS instances that are equipped with local SSDs or standard SSDs.
  • You can create read-only RDS instances to improve performance and balance loads.
  • If you choose local disks, data reliability is reduced. If you choose cloud disks, you must plan a disk architecture. This requires high costs.
  • ECS-hosted self-managed databases that are equipped with ESSDs are inferior to RDS instances that are equipped with ESSDs in terms of performance.
  • You must recruit experienced DBAs. This requires high costs.
  • Database servers are updated at lower speeds than cloud computing hardware. Therefore, self-managed databases on these servers are inferior to RDS instances.
  • Computing-storage separation is difficult to be implemented and can require you to spend millions of US dollars on advanced storage media.
  • You must recruit experienced DBAs. This requires high costs.
Security
  • IP address whitelists, security groups, and VPCs can be used to control access to ECS-hosted self-managed databases.
  • Link encryption must be separately configured to protect data.
  • IP address whitelist and VPCs can be used to control access to self-managed databases on third-party servers. This requires high consultancy costs.
  • Link encryption must be separately configured to protect data.

Get started with ApsaraDB RDS