Alternative to Amazon AWS Aurora MySQL - Tungsten Clustering for MySQL High Availability (HA), Disaster Recovery (DR) and Geographic Distribution

Key Elements for Deploying Highly Available, Geo-Scale MySQL

When evaluating a solution, we need to define the requirements for our application around these following elements:

  • High Availability (HA): Local fast and automatic failover, for high availability
  • Disaster Recovery (DR): Remote fast and site level failover, for disaster recovery and continuous operations
  • Zero Downtime: Perform complex system changes or routine maintenance, while keeping applications available
  • Geo-Scale: Geographically distributed (active/passive or active/active) low-latency database deployments with a single consolidated management view
  • Read Scale: Fast local response times for read traffic, even in a geo-distributed deployment
  • Multi-Primary: Ability to deploy active MySQL clusters across multiple regions
  • Transparency: No changes to application code or stack
  • Flexibility: Avoid cloud or vendor lock-in
  • Support: Access to 24/7 support by experienced MySQL database engineers

Welcome to the first blog in the “Continuent High Noon Series!” We will be looking at the various solutions for MySQL that provide High Availability (HA), Disaster Recovery (DR), and Geo-Scale deployments. We will dig into the requirements, features, and limitations of each solution, then rate the on such topics as performance, scalability, failover, and more!

Amazon Aurora Characteristics

Amazon Aurora for MySQL is a high-performance MySQL compatible database engine for Amazon Web Services (AWS). It has been generally available since October, 2014 and can run most workloads without modification. In relation to HA, DR and Geo-scale, some of the features of Aurora are:

  • MySQL 5.6/5.7 Compatible
  • Low Latency Read Replicas
  • Distributed file system, shared among primary and replicas
  • Cross-Region Replication within AWS
  • Promote remote read replica to standalone DB cluster for DR
  • Fast for certain workloads

Amazon Aurora Cross-Region Requirements

In the context of Geo-Scale deployments, we need to have the following:

  • Source Aurora cluster as a starting point
  • Enable binary logging on the source Aurora cluster and configuration log retention
  • A VPC in the target Aurora cluster
  • Database Subnet within the VPC (getting the network settings correct is mandatory!)
  • Subnet should be public-accessible if machines outside of the network will access the Aurora instance!

Amazon Aurora Limitations

Before deciding on a MySQL HA/DR/Geo-Scale solution, it is important to get an understanding of what some of its limitations are, while assessing its features. The limitations we’re highlighting here are in the context of building a geo-scale, multi-region and highly available MySQL environment specifically.

Primary is single region only

  • Failover disconnects application
  • Long failover times ( > 30 seconds)
  • InnoDB engine only
  • Application must be read/write aware
  • All data stays in AWS (no hybrid-cloud or multi-cloud)
  • Database maintenance and schema changes will cause application outages
  • Commercial-only solution, not open source
  • “MySQL-compatible” - does not have all the features and functionality of native MySQL
  • Linear pricing - use 5x more instances, pay 5x more

Tungsten Cluster vs Amazon Aurora

Continuent Tungsten Clustering is all about geo-distributed MySQL high availability on-premises, hybrid-cloud, and multi-cloud, and our customers stay with us 7+ years on average, citing the completeness, maturity and Support as reasons to choose Continuent.

Review the Competitive Features Scorecard

The Amazon Aurora and Tungsten Cluster features comparison table helps break down each of the key elements needed that make a great MySQL HA/DR/Geo-Scale solution in an easy to view checklist.

  Amazon Aurora Tungsten Cluster
Continuous Operations 3.00 4.67
Scaling 4.00 4.40
Geo-Scaling 2.67 5.00
Performance 3.50 4.75
Transparency 3.33 5.00
Security 5.00 4.33
Management & Monitoring 4.20 4.80
Real-time Data 1.00 5.00
24/7 Support 2.00 5.00
TOTAL (Average) 3.19 4.77

View the complete Competitive Features Scorecard

View the On-Demand Webinar - High Noon: Amazon Aurora

This first of our High Noon series of on-demand webinars is focused on Amazon Aurora. It looks at some of the key characteristics of Amazon Aurora and how it fares as a MySQL HA/DR/Geo-Scale solution when compared to Continuent Tungsten Clustering.

Watch this webinar to learn about how to best build a geo-scale, multi-region and highly available MySQL, MariaDB, or Percona MySQL cloud backend.

Watch the Webinar

MySQL HA/DR/Geo-Scale Competitive Comparison

Are you looking for an Alternative to Amazon Aurora? Try Tungsten Clustering!

We’ve recently introduced this new High Noon series to help demonstrate how and why customers with business-critical or mission-critical applications have grown for years with Tungsten Clustering versus alternatives.

Please visit this page or read the blog introducing the High Noon series to learn more. Alternatively, feel free to reach out to us to start a conversation and see if Tungsten is a good fit for you!

In case you’re interested - Others in the High Noon Series:

About the Author

Matthew Lang
Director of Customer Success

Matthew has over 25 years of experience in database administration, database programming, and system architecture, including the creation of a database replication product that is still in use today. He has designed highly available, scaleable systems that have allowed startups to quickly become enterprise organizations, utilizing a variety of technologies including open source projects, virtualization and cloud.

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