AWS Cost Efficiency

Optimizing Amazon Aurora MySQL Costs

Amazon Aurora Series Part 2

Did you know?

Aurora MySQL boasts six times replicated storage across three Availability Zones by default!
This exceptional redundancy ensures your data's resilience, even in the face of hardware failures in one zone.

Amazon Aurora MySQL typically accounts for around 20-30% of the total database costs, providing high performance at a moderate price point compared to other AWS database services. Optimizing AWS Aurora costs is crucial for businesses seeking efficiency in cloud operations.

This guide aims to provide you with actionable insights to minimize costs, Aurora MySQL cost components, factors affecting Aurora cost, and an overview of performance metrics without compromising on the quality and reliability of your Aurora databases.

Amazon Aurora MySQL Performance Metrics

Performance metrics are an important set of metrics that provide vital information about a MySQL database. By observing these metrics, we can determine whether the database is underutilized or facing any trouble. Below is a list of important metrics to track and their description.

Performance Metrics
Performance Metrics Description
Active Connections Represents the current number of connections to the database, reflecting workload intensity and potential bottlenecks.
Read Throughput Indicates the speed of data retrieval, crucial for read-heavy tasks such as reporting or analytics.
Write Throughput Reflects the speed of data insertion and updates, essential for evaluating write-heavy workloads.
CPU Utilization Represents the percentage of CPU power utilized by the database, highlighting resource usage and potential performance issues.


Suppose an AWS Aurora MySQL database cluster shows the following performance metrics:

  • Active Connections: 5000
  • Read Throughput: 10,000 KB/sec
  • Write Throughput: 1000 KB/sec
  • CPU Utilization: 40%


  • The high number of active connections (5000) suggests a significant workload intensity, potentially indicating high demand or heavy concurrent usage.
  • The high read throughput (10,000 KB/sec) indicates efficient data retrieval, essential for read-heavy tasks like reporting or analytics.
  • The relatively lower write throughput (1000 KB/sec) may suggest less intense write-heavy workloads or potential optimization opportunities.
  • The CPU utilization of 40% indicates that a substantial portion of CPU power is being utilized, but there's still room for additional processing capacity, potentially indicating underutilization of the CPU resources.

Overall, interpreting these metrics collectively can help determine whether the AWS Aurora MySQL cluster is efficiently utilized or underutilized, guiding optimization efforts accordingly.

Amazon Aurora MySQL Costs

The table summarizes pricing details, including On-Demand and Reserved Instances costs, database storage fees, backup storage, and data transfer expenses. It outlines pricing for various instance types, deployment options, and additional services such as snapshot exports and extended support.

Region: US East (Ohio)

Factor Pricing Details Pricing in USD
On-Demand DB Instances Single-AZ deployments  
Standard Instances $0.016 - $14.349 Per Hour
Memory Optimized Instances $0.215 - $24.81 Per Hour
Multi-AZ deployments (one standby instance)  
Standard Instances $0.032 - $37.76 Per Hour
Memory Optimized Instances $0.43 - $49.62 Per Hour
Multi-AZ deployments (two readable standby instances)  
Standard Instances $0.522 - $56.64 Per Hour
Memory Optimized Instances $0.722 - $74.431 Per Hour
Compute Optimized Instances $0.2385 - $15.264 Per Hour
T4g and T3 CPU Credits $0.075 per vCPU-Hour
Reserved Instances No Upfront $0.012 - $10.560 Per Hour
Partial Upfront $0.011 - $10.286 Per Hour
All Upfront $0.011 - $10.011 Per Hour
Database storage General Purpose SSD  
Storage $0.115 per GB-month
IOPS $0.02 per IOPS
Throughput $0.080 per MB/s
Provisioned IOPS SSD  
Storage $0.125 per GB-month
Provisioned IOPS $0.10 per IOPS-month
Storage $0.125 per GB-month
Provisioned IOPS $0.10 per IOPS-month
Storage $0.10 per GB-month
I/O $0.10 per 1 million requests
Backup Storage - $0.095 per GiB-month
Snapshot Export - $0.010 per GB
Zero-ETL Integration - $2.0000 per GB
AWS RDS Extended Support Year 1 and Year 2 $0.100 - $0.133 per vCPU-hour
Year 3 $0.200 - $0.266 per vCPU hour
Data Transfer Costs All data transfer in $0.00 per GB
Data Transfer OUT $0.05 - $0.09 per GB
Data Transfer OUT From Amazon Varies region to region

For more information visit Aurora MySQL Pricing

Cost Optimization Strategies for Amazon Aurora MySQL

  • Enable Asynchronous Key Prefetch (AKP): Enabling Asynchronous Key Prefetch (AKP) in Amazon Aurora MySQL optimizes query performance by prefetching necessary data for join queries, reducing query response times and lowering compute costs. By configuring AKP settings, the database engine efficiently utilizes resources such as CPU and memory, minimizing I/O operations and disk usage. This optimization specifically targets join queries, enhancing efficiency and reducing the resource overhead associated with complex join operations. With selective configuration at the session level, AKP can be applied based on specific workload requirements, ensuring efficient resource utilization across various query patterns, and contributing to overall cost reduction in AWS SQL Aurora deployments.
  • Enable AKP and configure optimizer_switch:
SET @@session.aurora_use_key_prefetch = 'on';
SET @@session.optimizer_switch = 'batched_key_access=on,mrr_cost_based=off';
  • Instance Selection: Using T instance classes like db.t2, db.t3, or db.t4g for development, testing, or non-production workloads reduces costs in Amazon Aurora MySQL deployments through efficient resource provisioning and scalability. These instances offer moderate baseline performance with burstable capabilities, allowing you to handle workload spikes without incurring additional costs. By avoiding over-provisioning and paying only for resources used during active periods, you optimize costs. Additionally, the automatic scaling of CPU performance based on workload demands ensures flexibility and cost efficiency. Overall, leveraging T instance classes aligns costs with usage, leading to significant cost savings in Aurora MySQL deployments.
  • Commit Adjustment: Adjusting parameters like 'innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit' in Aurora MySQL can optimize costs by balancing DML latency and durability. Setting it to 0 or 2 reduces latency but may sacrifice durability, while 1 ensures durability but may increase latency. Choose based on application needs to minimize costs without compromising data integrity. Here is a simple example of how you can adjust the 'innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit' parameter in MySQL:
-- Set innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit to 0 for reduced durability
SET GLOBAL innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit = 0;

-- Your SQL queries go here

-- Reset innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit to default (1)
SET GLOBAL innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit = 1;

This code temporarily sets 'innodb_flush_log_at_trx_commit' to 0 to reduce durability, executes your SQL queries, and then resets it back to the default value of 1 for normal durability. Adjust the value according to your specific requirements for latency and durability.

  • Scheduled scaling with lambda: Implementing scheduled scaling with AWS Lambda for Aurora clusters automates capacity adjustments based on workload patterns. During peak hours, it scales up for optimal performance, while scaling down during off-peak times conserves resources and reduces costs. This proactive approach optimizes resource utilization, minimizing AWS Aurora MySQL expenses while ensuring efficient performance tailored to user needs. Organizations could potentially see cost savings ranging from 20% to 50% or more, depending on the efficiency of the scaling strategy and the extent of variability in workload patterns. Below is an example code snippet demonstrating how you can use AWS Lambda to implement scheduled scaling:
const AWS = require('aws-sdk');
const rds = new AWS.RDS();
exports.handler = async () => {
    const clusterId = 'your-cluster-identifier';
    const peakHours = [8, 20]; // 8 AM to 8 PM UTC
    const desiredCapacity = new Date().getUTCHours() >= peakHours[0] && new Date().getUTCHours() < peakHours[1] ? 4 : 1;
    await rds.modifyDBCluster({
        DBClusterIdentifier: clusterId,
        ApplyImmediately: true,
        ScalingConfiguration: { MinCapacity: 1, MaxCapacity: 16, Capacity: desiredCapacity }
    return `Aurora cluster scaled to ${desiredCapacity} instances.`;
  • Leverage Aurora Global Database for Disaster Recovery: Leveraging Aurora Global Database for disaster recovery offers a cost-effective solution by eliminating the need for separate standby instances in multiple regions. This approach reduces infrastructure management overhead and resource consumption while minimizing data transfer costs. Additionally, failover processes are faster and more seamless, potentially saving up to 50% compared to traditional setups. Overall, Aurora Global Database provides efficient disaster recovery with simplified management and improved reliability.
  • Optimize Wait Events: Optimizing wait events in Aurora MySQL can lead to cost reduction by improving overall database performance and resource utilization. By identifying and addressing frequent wait events, such as disk I/O waits or row locks, potential performance bottlenecks can be mitigated. Analyzing wait event data helps understand where sessions are spending time, enabling optimization of queries or configurations to reduce wait times. This optimization enhances database efficiency, allowing for faster query processing and reduced resource contention, ultimately leading to lower costs.
  • Tune thread states and configure performance schema: Optimizing thread states in Aurora MySQL can significantly reduce costs by improving query performance and resource utilization. By monitoring and analyzing thread states using AWS Performance Insights, you can identify inefficiencies in query processing, such as frequent occurrences of the "sending data" state. This indicates that queries may not be utilizing indexes effectively, leading to unnecessary data transmission and increased resource consumption. To enable Performance Insights and access thread state information, you can use the AWS CLI command:
aws rds modify-db-instance \
--db-instance-identifier your-db-instance-id \
  • Utilize Data Lifecycle Policies: Implementing data lifecycle policies for Aurora MySQL involves automating the management of data retention and archival processes based on specific retention requirements. By defining policies to identify and archive infrequently accessed data, organizations can optimize storage utilization and reduce costs associated with maintaining data in Aurora clusters. Leveraging cheaper storage solutions like Amazon S3 Glacier for archiving less frequently accessed data enables significant cost savings compared to storing all data directly in Aurora.
  • Monitoring CPU Credits: Monitoring CPU Credit Balance in Aurora MySQL is vital for balancing performance and cost. CPU credits power burstable performance in T instance classes but can lead to performance issues if depleted. Regularly monitoring CPU Credit Balance ensures your database operates within allocated resources. Consistently depleted credits may indicate sustained high CPU usage, prompting consideration for scaling up to R instance classes. These offer predictable performance without relying on burstable credits, potentially reducing costs.
  • Implement query caching: Implementing query caching and result set caching in Aurora reduces costs by minimizing CPU usage and storage I/O operations. By storing frequently executed queries and their results in memory, Aurora can quickly retrieve cached data, decreasing the workload on the CPU and lowering compute resource requirements. Additionally, cached results reduce the need for frequent data access from storage, resulting in fewer I/O operations and decreased storage costs. This optimization enhances query performance and scalability, enabling efficient handling of increased query loads without significant cost increases.
  • Monitor and Address Deadlocks: Monitoring and addressing deadlocks in Aurora MySQL saves costs by reducing downtime and performance issues. Proactive monitoring using tools like CloudWatch Metrics helps detect and resolve issues early. Minimizing deadlocks through optimization strategies ensures smooth database operation, optimizing resource usage and minimizing expenses.


Implementing cost optimization strategies for Amazon Aurora MySQL, such as enabling AKP, utilizing instance selection, committing adjustments, and scheduled scaling, can significantly reduce operational expenses for businesses.

Additionally, leveraging Aurora Global Database, optimizing wait events, tuning thread states, utilizing data lifecycle policies, monitoring CPU credits, implementing query caching, and addressing deadlocks contribute to cost reduction while ensuring efficient performance.

These strategies align resource usage with workload demands, leading to improved profitability and competitiveness for businesses leveraging Aurora MySQL deployments.

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