Recent Changes to RDS – How Do They Impact Your Clients

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AWS recently changed its pricing model for its Relational Database Service, or RDS, making reservations much more compelling, than on-demand pricing. Be careful though; these changes come with new challenges. We’ve outlined our recommendations to proactively address the implications and help you utilize your clients’ RDS Reserved Instances to their full potential.

What are the Changes – Units Matter, Not Size

With the recent changes, Amazon offers RDS RI flexibility in all regions for MySQL, Aurora, PostgreSQL, MariaDB and Oracle BYOL (Bring Your Own License edition) instances.

Additionally, a Multi-AZ RI represents the equivalent of two single AZ RIs, and vice versa. It means that you should stop thinking in terms of instance sizes and multi-AZ, and think instead in terms of units. For example, an m3.xlarge multi-AZ instance is the same as 8 x m3.medium single AZ.  So, it translates to eight units.

What are the Implications?

The changes to RDS RIs offer flexibility, but may prompt your clients to modify their RI structure that you need to proactively address:

  • Your clients may be looking to migrate to r4 instances.
  • They may want to convert m3 instances to m4, looking for more power.


  • Purchase only what you need. Even with this new pricing, the potential to overbuy and end up with orphan RIs is a very real possibility.  Our data shows that the overall modification of RDS usage by clients is very high. Keep in mind that RDS RIs cannot be resold in the Marketplace.
  • Use RIs with partial upfront fees.  The pricing difference between RIs with upfront fees and RIs with no upfront fees is substantial.

Our automated solution can manage your RDS RI portfolio to forecast and monitor usage, analyze, purchase, and apply the right RIs for optimum utilization. Sign up for a free trial to maximize your profits.


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