ApsaraDB for RDS

An on-demand database hosting service for MySQL, SQL Server and PostgreSQL with automated monitoring, backup and disaster recovery capabilities

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Alibaba Cloud ApsaraDB for RDS (Relational Database Service) is an on-demand database service that frees you up from the administrative task of managing a database, and leaves you with more time to focus on your core business. ApsaraDB for RDS is a ready-to-use service that is offered on MySQL, SQL Server and PostgreSQL. RDS handles routine database tasks such as provisioning, patch up, backup, recovery, failure detection and repair.

ApsaraDB for RDS can also protect against network attacks and intercept SQL injections, brute force attacks and other types of database attacks.

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Highly Available

● Guarantees up to 99.9% of business availability.

● Provides automatic failover in case primary instances are not available.

● Offers remote and local disaster recovery.

● Ensures reliability with automated backups, snapshots and automatic host replacement.


● Protects against network attacks.

● Provides real-time monitoring of traffic at network entry level.

● Intercepts SQL injection, brute force attacks and other types of database attacks.

● Provides second level data recovery in the case of system failures.


● Provides real-time monitoring and instance alerts.

● Easy-to-use dashboards allow you to schedule inspections and customize metrics.


● Supports up to 20,000 IOPS and 2TB storage for each instance.

● Supports read-only instances with expandable read capacity using ApsaraDB for RDS for MySQL database.


● Cost-effective and with no upfront cost or long-term commitment.

● Offers flexible payment options including Monthly Subscription and Pay-As-You-Go.

Product Details

As a highly available managed service, ApsaraDB for RDS includes automated monitoring, backup and disaster recovery capabilities. The product includes automated provisioning and scalability, which allows you to scale your databases up and down based on your application’s real-time needs.

When you choose the multi-zone deployment option, ApsaraDB for RDS automatically replicates your data across different zones and enhances the availability and reliability of your production workloads. ApsaraDB RDS also ensures automatic failover from your master database. The service supports up to 20,000 IOPS and 2TB storage for each instance and supports read-only instances with expandable read capacity using ApsaraDB for RDS for MySQL database.



Three-level Security Defense System

  • Anti-DDoS: Provides real-time traffic monitoring at network entry point. If any high traffic attack is identified, source IPs are either cleaned or blacklisted.

  • IP Whitelist Configuration: Supports configuration of up to 1,000 IP addresses. These can be connected to an ApsaraDB for RDS instance so that the risks are directly controlled at source.

  • Protection of Database from Various Attacks: Intercepts SQL injection, brute force attacks and other forms of database attacks. ApsaraDB for RDS also provides SQL audits, allowing you to keep track of who accessed the instance when, and what action was taken at that time.


Three-Tier High Availability and Disaster Recovery Architecture

  • Primary/Standby Architecture: Increase availability by running your application on two instances in different zones with automatic data synchronization. When the primary instance is not available, the system will automatically initiate failover to the standby or secondary instance.

  • Local Disaster Recovery: Enhances data reliability by deploying primary and standby instances in different zones with independent power sources and network environments.

  • Remote Disaster Recovery: Synchronizes data in real time at different locations through data transmission. During any disaster, you can switch to the remote disaster recovery instance from the primary instance to guarantee business availability. This is currently in public beta state for MySQL ApsaraDB for RDS.


● Elastic Scalability: Scales up or down based on your applications’ real time requirements to ensure 100% resource utilization.

● Massive Storage Space: Supports up to 20,000 IOPS and 2TB of storage for a single ApsaraDB for RDS instance. You can also upgrade memory and disk space according to your requirements.

● Infinite Read Capacity: Supports read-only instances for MySQL hosting thereby increasing the read capacity. Each read-only instance has a dedicated IP address and load distribution is managed at the application level.

● Configuration: Supports configuration of up to 1,000 server IP addresses to connect to a ApsaraDB for RDS instance so that risks are directly controlled at source.


● Ease of Use: Allows you to effortlessly manage ApsaraDB for RDS instances using our web-based Management Console.

● Ease of Connection: Supports simultaneous connection to the Intranet and/or internet in the high security access mode:

  • An Internet address can be connected to the server by the public network to make it easy to manage instances locally.

  • The intranet address can be connected through other Alibaba Cloud products such as Elastic Compute Service (ECS) within the same region for faster response times and better security.

Automatic Backup

● Regular Backups: Improves disaster recovery capabilities and increases overall database efficiency by ensuring data is backed up automatically using Object Storage Service (OSS).

● Easy Recovery Options: Allows you to save point-in-time snapshots of documents and log files over the last 7 days to eliminate risks like data loss and data corruption associated with your stored data.

Automatic Monitoring

● Real-Time Monitoring: Provides crucial instance information like CPU utilization, IOPS, connections, and disk space utilization in real time so that you can monitor and protect business critical applications.

● ApsaraDB for RDS Manager: Schedule inspections and customize inspection metrics. ApsaraDB for RDS Manager also provides expert suggestions on SQL statement optimization and diagnostic reports on the performance of your instances.


ApsaraDB for RDS provides different purchase methods based on your unique requirements. You can choose to Pay-As-You-Go or subscribe monthly.

Pay-As-You-Go bills you for the exact volume actually used. Alibaba Cloud RDS supports many popular operating systems and lets you use computing and storage resources through the service method.

For Subscription the average price of fees are lower than that of Pay-As-You-Go fees and this pricing plan is perfect for those who intend to consumer more resources.

Payment Methods

You can choose Pay-As-You-Go or pay by Monthly/Annually. You can also activate or deactivate resources at any time while using Pay-As-You-Go.

Read-Only Instances

Additional Function


The following are a few common RDS scenarios:

1) Data Migration to the Cloud

● While migrating your self-hosted database to the cloud, Alibaba Cloud offers an advanced data transmission service such as a one click data migration feature. This ensures real-time synchronization of the data so that you can easily switch between different databases for the same application.

Recommended Configurations

ECS with MySQL SQL Database/PostgreSQL + ApsaraDB for RDS

2) Read/Write Splitting Architecture

To cope with the high traffic on your application, read-only RDS instances are integrated with master RDS instances. These instances together provide read/write splitting functionality which reduces the overall load on RDS master.

Recommended Configurations

RDS with Master Slave Setup

3) Storage of Multiple Types of Data

● You can use caching services such ApsaraDB for Memcache and ApsaraDB for Redis for frequently accessed applications.

● To store images and other unstructured types of data you can use Object Storage Service (OSS).

● To store links and other types of structured data, you can use ApsaraDB for RDS.

This approach to storage will result in efficient access to business data while reducing costs.

Recommended Configurations

ApsaraDB for Redis + RDS + OSS + ApsaraDB for Memcache

4) Persistent Data Retrieval

● To perform complex keyword searches on a large volume of application data, you can use Alibaba Cloud OpenSearch, which is designed to get search results within 100 milliseconds from a 100 million level data.

● OpenSearch uses RDS and ECS at the backend to perform such complex keyword searches.

Recommended Configuration


5) Big Data Analysis

● ApsaraDB for RDS with MaxCompute performs advanced distributed analysis and processes big data for scenarios like business analysis and data mining. These data integration services allow easy synchronization of data between ApsaraDB for RDS and MaxCompute so that the overall process is simplified.

Recommended Configurations

ECS + RDS + MaxCompute

Getting Started

Quickly create and better manage your ApsaraDB for RDS instances with the following developer resources, including Alibaba Cloud CLI (Command Line Interface) and ApsaraDB for RDS APIs.

Using ApsaraDB for RDS through the Management Console

Alibaba Cloud Management Console provides a simple web-based user interface that allows you to better access and configure your ApsaraDB for RDS resources.

Using this console, you can create and modify ApsaraDB for RDS instances, change the capacity of the used resources and backup databases.

For a step-by-step overview on how to manage and operate your ApsaraDB for RDS instance through the Management Console, read the Quick Start Guide.

Using ApsaraDB for RDS with the RDS CLI

Alibaba Cloud RDS gives you the freedom to use RDS resources and manage them through the Command Line Interface.

Our Command Line Interface is a handy management tool based on APIs. With this tool, you can easily manage your Alibaba Cloud products. The commands correspond to APIs in a one-to-one manner, and the tool delivers robust flexibility and scalability. You can encapsulate Alibaba Cloud APIs to obtain your expected functions.

Learn more about the Alibaba Cloud CLI developer tool.

ApsaraDB for RDS API Reference

Create, modify and manage database instances through web-based ApsaraDB for RDS APIs which allow you to gain full access and control with the ability to inspect programs and do backups of your databases.

With the help of these APIs you can manage your database instances. For example, with DescribeInstances API you can list your database instances with details like ID, size and other important details. You can even manage on your account the various permissions of that account.

To learn more and to see the full list of available ApsaraDB for RDS APIs click here.


The links below will take you to SDKs and other important documentation. These links will help developers integrate RDS with their existing applications.


1. How can ApsaraDB for RDS be accessed?

RDS can be accessed with both public (Internet) as well as private (intranet) networks. Over public networks, RDS’s connectivity may have limited bandwidth. Therefore we recommend that you connect to the RDS server through intranet networks.

2. Can ApsaraDB for RDS be upgraded?

Yes, ApsaraDB for RDS supports automated upgrades and lets you choose from a variety of specifications available. ApsaraDB for RDS can also be modified according to the needs of your application.

3. How can I ensure that the application’s connection to the database is always maintained?

To ensure higher availability of your application, we recommend to program the application to establish automatic reconnection to the database with a higher time-out.

4. Why does a SQL statement run faster on a database configured on ECS than on RDS?

MySQL or SQL Server queries running on ECS may be faster than queries running on ApsaraDB for RDS because ECS doesn’t need to transmit the query to another server. This saves time. Also, ApsaraDB for RDS is a Managed Database Service and its performance is more evident under high loads and high concurrent connections.

5. Can external servers access ApsaraDB for RDS?

Yes, ApsaraDB for RDS can be accessed by external servers through IP addresses (with public networks).

Users are recommended to use ApsaraDB for RDS with ECS instances as the network connectivity from the ECS instances to ApsaraDB for RDS instances over the intranet is faster. Also, it does not incur any network charges and is more secure.

Also, the average network latency from your external server to the ApsaraDB for RDS instance can be maintained below 10 milliseconds for quick query performance. You can ping your ApsaraDB for RDS connection address to identify the average network latency.

For example:

The average response time in the figure above is 1 millisecond.

6. Can multiple ECS servers share the same ApsaraDB for RDS database?

Yes, multiple ECS instances or servers can use the same ApsaraDB for RDS database at the same time but the load capacity must stay within the specified load capacity of that particular ApsaraDB for RDS database instance.

7. What is the maximum concurrency allowed for ApsaraDB for RDS?

The number of simultaneous online connections allowed will be different, depending upon the specific parameters set by the user. It also depends on the server specifications on which your database is running on.

8. Is ApsaraDB for RDS capable of table-splitting and read/write splitting by itself?

Alibaba Cloud RDS has read-only instances which support read/write splitting. Also, RDS products have a master-slave structure where the slave database does not support read and write requests, unlike the master instances. However, for horizontal splitting, DRDS (Distributed Relational Database Service) service can be used.

9. Why does a particular table or data in the database disappear?

ApsaraDB for RDS does NOT delete or perform any operations on the user’s table and data. Disappearing tables may occur due to incorrect coding, however this data can be recovered by rolling back the instances to the last backed-up version.

10. My ApsaraDB for RDS (RDS) instance suddenly stopped and I can only access it in read-only mode, why is this?

This situation arises when your instance size exceeds the maximum storage quota specified for your instance. In this scenario, your instance gets locked and you will only be able to select, view and/or drop tables in your database, and will not be able to edit, update or delete any data.

Under these circumstances, we recommended that you either upgrade the specifications of your ApsaraDB for RDS instances or purchase extra storage space or to drop existing tables to make more space within your existing storage quota. The system will automatically unlock your instances once sufficient storage space is available.

11. Does ApsaraDB for RDS support caching plugins such as Memcache?

Alibaba Cloud RDS itself doesn’t support caching plugins but works well with the other caching services such as Alibaba Cloud DB for Memcache to provide the required acceleration.

12. What does slow query under "Performance Optimization" in the RDS mean?

The performance optimization in the ApsaraDB for Memcache records the slow query logs, which further tracks the SQL queries that have execution time of more than 1 second.

To modify this through console, go to “Parameter Settings” section and append the parameter “long_query_time”.

It also provides information about the queries, which affect database performance so you can optimize the code to improve overall efficiency.

13. What do ApsaraDB for RDS database connections signify?

The ApsaraDB for RDS database connections indicate the number of connections your application or a server makes with the ApsaraDB for RDS instances at any point in time.

Note: It is not related to the number of users using your website or application.