AWS this week announced the general availability of a new version of its Aurora database, called Amazon Aurora I/O-Optimized. The big news of this release is that all database usage I/O costs are eliminated, a move that should lower overall database costs for customers with large workloads and bring more predictability to their cloud database bills.
“With the new Aurora configuration, customers pay only for their database instances and storage consumption, with no charge for I/O operations. Customers can now confidently predict costs for their most I/O-intensive workloads, regardless of I/O variability, helping them make faster decisions to migrate more of their database workloads to AWS,” the company said in a statement.
And of course, the goal is to get customers to migrate more workloads. But as more and more companies look to work more efficiently in the cloud, a product like this could appeal to more and more cost-conscious CIOs.
But it’s important to note that it’s a more expensive product than the standard Aurora database, according to Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at The Duckbill Group, a consulting firm that helps customers lower their AWS bills. “It’s an alternative pricing model. They charge more for this model as a base rate, so it depends on the specifics of a particular workload whether it’s a good idea to use it,” Quinn told TechCrunch.
In a blog post Announcing the new version, Channy Yun of AWS acknowledged that it depends on the type of workload. “Now you can confidently forecast costs for your most I/O intensive workloads, with up to 40 percent cost savings when your I/O spend exceeds 25 percent of your current Aurora database spend. If you use Reserved Instances, you will see even greater cost savings,” he wrote. As you can see, and as Quinn points out, the devil is definitely in the details of your specific workload requirements.
Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, said it’s a win for customers with large workloads. “Typically every time you read data that isn’t cached and then write data back to your mySQL or Postgres data, you incur I/O charges,” he said. “This is designed to lower your prices because they’ve found a more efficient way of doing this internally, and they’ve passed the cost savings on to customers as we move into an era of AI.”
This should be especially helpful for customers with data-intensive workloads such as AI or seasonal e-commerce use cases. Customers can add new workloads or switch between the standard Aurora database and the I/O optimized version in the management console, based on anticipated workloads, to help control costs.