This topic describes the features, architecture, benefits, and scenarios of serverless ApsaraDB RDS for MySQL instances. This topic also describes how to use the instances.


Serverless RDS instances are provided by Alibaba Cloud for small- and medium-sized enterprises or individual developers. Serverless RDS instances allow you to scale CPU and memory resources in real time, which is new to RDS instances with standard SSDs or enhanced SSDs (ESSDs). Serverless RDS instances also allow you to isolate network resources, namespaces, and storage resources. Serverless RDS instances support the pay-as-you-go billing method for computing resources and provide the following benefits: low resource usage, ease of use, flexibility, and low price. The instances can help you quickly and independently scale computing resources to adapt to fluctuating workloads, reduce costs, and improve efficiency.

The following figure shows the changes in resources that are used by a regular RDS instance and a serverless RDS instance if your workloads greatly fluctuate.

Resource comparison

The preceding figure provides the following information:

  • Regular RDS instance: A large number of resources are wasted during off-peak hours. As a result, resources are insufficient during peak hours, which affects the performance of the regular RDS instance.
  • Serverless RDS instance:
    • The serverless RDS instance scales resources based on your business requirements, and a small number of resources are wasted. This improves the resource usage.
    • The serverless RDS instances can provide sufficient resources during peak hours, which ensures the performance and service stability.
    • You are charged based on the on-demand resources that are used to run your workloads. This significantly reduces costs.
    • No manual specification changes are required. This improves O&M efficiency and reduces costs for O&M administrator and developers.
    • The automatic start and stop feature is supported for the serverless RDS instance. If no connections are established, the serverless RDS instance is automatically suspended to release computing resources. If a connection is established, the serverless RDS instance is automatically started. The process is imperceptible to users.
    • The serverless RDS instance optimizes high-throughput write operations and high-performance batch processing operations and support auto scaling. This is suitable for scenarios in which large amounts of data and large traffic fluctuations are involved.




  • Low cost: Serverless RDS instances do not rely on other infrastructure and services and can provide stable and efficient data storage and access services. If you are in the startup phase of your business, you can use a serverless RDS instance to run your workloads immediately after you create the serverless RDS instance. You are charged only for the resources that you use based on the pay-as-you-go billing method.
  • Large storage capacity: You can purchase a storage capacity of up to 32 TB for a serverless RDS instance. The system automatically expands the storage capacity based on the data volume of the RDS instance. This effectively prevents your services from being adversely affected by insufficient storage.
  • Auto scaling of computing resources: The computing resources that are required for read and write operations can be automatically scaled. You do not need to manually scale the resources. This greatly reduces O&M costs and system risks.
  • Fully managed and maintenance-free services: The ApsaraDB RDS team is responsible for all O&M operations, such as database engine upgrades, system deployment, scaling, and alert handling. The O&M operations are performed in the background and do not affect the running of services in the system. This prevents service interruptions and allows you to focus on business development.

Billing rules

For more information, see Pricing of serverless RDS instances.


  • Infrequent access to databases, such as development and test environments
  • Software as a service (SaaS) scenarios, such as website building of small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Individual developers
  • Educational scenarios, such as teaching and student experiments
  • Uncertain load scenarios, such as IoT and edge computing
  • Demands for fully managed or maintenance-free services
  • Scenarios in which services are changing or unpredictable
  • Scenarios in which intermittent scheduled tasks are involved

Get started with serverless RDS instances