Amazon ElastiCache vs Amazon RDS

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Amazon ElastiCache vs Amazon RDS: What are the differences?


In this article, we will discuss the key differences between Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon RDS. Both services are part of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and are used for managing and storing data in the cloud.

  1. Scalability: One of the key differences between Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon RDS is scalability. ElastiCache is designed to provide high-performance, scalable in-memory data caching, which improves the overall performance of applications. On the other hand, Amazon RDS is a managed relational database service that offers scalability by automatically scaling up or down based on the workload.

  2. Database Engine Support: Another difference lies in the database engines supported by each service. ElastiCache supports popular in-memory data stores like Redis and Memcached, which are used for caching purposes. In contrast, Amazon RDS supports various traditional relational database engines, such as MySQL, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and Microsoft SQL Server.

  3. Data Persistence: ElastiCache is primarily used for caching data in memory, which means it doesn't provide native data persistence. If the cache is lost or invalidated, the data needs to be retrieved again from the primary data source. On the other hand, Amazon RDS provides durable storage with automated backups and point-in-time restoration capability. It ensures data persistence and eliminates the risk of data loss.

  4. Querying Support: When it comes to querying capabilities, there is a difference between ElastiCache and Amazon RDS. ElastiCache is optimized for simple operations like key-value lookups and data retrieval. It doesn't provide advanced query language support. In contrast, Amazon RDS supports SQL-based query languages, allowing users to execute complex queries and perform advanced data manipulations.

  5. Data Structure: ElastiCache is designed for in-memory data caching and supports key-value-based data structures. It provides fast access to cached data by using simple key-based lookups. On the other hand, Amazon RDS stores data in a traditional relational database structure, with tables, columns, and rows. It supports complex data relationships and enables data integrity enforcement using SQL constraints.

  6. Use Cases: The final difference lies in the typical use cases for each service. ElastiCache is commonly used for accelerating read-heavy workloads, reducing database load, and improving overall application performance. It can be utilized in scenarios like session management, real-time analytics, and leaderboard caching. On the other hand, Amazon RDS is suitable for a wide range of applications that require structured data storage and transactions, such as web applications, content management systems, and data warehouses.

In summary, the key differences between Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon RDS include scalability (ElastiCache for performance improvement vs. RDS for automatic scaling), supported database engines (ElastiCache for in-memory data stores vs. RDS for traditional relational databases), data persistence (ElastiCache doesn't provide native persistence vs. RDS ensures data persistence), querying support (ElastiCache optimized for simple operations vs. RDS supports SQL-based query languages), data structure (ElastiCache for key-value data vs. RDS for relational data), and use cases (ElastiCache for read-heavy workloads vs. RDS for various applications).

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Pros of Amazon ElastiCache
Pros of Amazon RDS
  • 58
  • 32
  • 26
    Backed by amazon
  • 21
  • 14
  • 165
    Reliable failovers
  • 156
    Automated backups
  • 130
    Backed by amazon
  • 92
    Db snapshots
  • 87
  • 30
    Control iops, fast restore to point of time
  • 28
  • 24
  • 20
    Push-button scaling
  • 20
    Automatic software patching
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2

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What is Amazon ElastiCache?

ElastiCache improves the performance of web applications by allowing you to retrieve information from fast, managed, in-memory caches, instead of relying entirely on slower disk-based databases. ElastiCache supports Memcached and Redis.

What is Amazon RDS?

Amazon RDS gives you access to the capabilities of a familiar MySQL, Oracle or Microsoft SQL Server database engine. This means that the code, applications, and tools you already use today with your existing databases can be used with Amazon RDS. Amazon RDS automatically patches the database software and backs up your database, storing the backups for a user-defined retention period and enabling point-in-time recovery. You benefit from the flexibility of being able to scale the compute resources or storage capacity associated with your Database Instance (DB Instance) via a single API call.

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What companies use Amazon ElastiCache?
What companies use Amazon RDS?
See which teams inside your own company are using Amazon ElastiCache or Amazon RDS.
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What are some alternatives to Amazon ElastiCache and Amazon RDS?
Redis is an open source (BSD licensed), in-memory data structure store, used as a database, cache, and message broker. Redis provides data structures such as strings, hashes, lists, sets, sorted sets with range queries, bitmaps, hyperloglogs, geospatial indexes, and streams.
Elasticsearch is a distributed, RESTful search and analytics engine capable of storing data and searching it in near real time. Elasticsearch, Kibana, Beats and Logstash are the Elastic Stack (sometimes called the ELK Stack).
Memcached is an in-memory key-value store for small chunks of arbitrary data (strings, objects) from results of database calls, API calls, or page rendering.
Azure Redis Cache
It perfectly complements Azure database services such as Cosmos DB. It provides a cost-effective solution to scale read and write throughput of your data tier. Store and share database query results, session states, static contents, and more using a common cache-aside pattern.
Amazon DynamoDB
With it , you can offload the administrative burden of operating and scaling a highly available distributed database cluster, while paying a low price for only what you use.
See all alternatives