AWS announced the general availability of a new version of its Aurora database this week called Amazon Aurora I/O-Optimized. The big news from this version is that it gets rid of all I/O charges for database use, a move that should reduce overall database costs for customers with large workloads, and bring more predictability to their cloud database bills.
“With the new Aurora configuration, customers only pay for their database instances and storage consumption with no charges for I/O operations. Customers can now confidently predict costs for their most I/O-intensive workloads, regardless of I/O variability, helping to accelerate their decision to migrate more of their database workloads to AWS,” the company said in a statement.
And getting customers to migrate more workloads is the goal of course. But with more companies looking to operate more efficiently in the cloud, a product like this could appeal to increasingly cost-conscious CIOs.
But it’s important to note that it is a higher-priced product than the standard Aurora database, according to Corey Quinn, chief cloud economist at The Duckbill Group, a consulting company that helps customers lower their AWS bills. “It’s an alternate pricing model. They charge more for this model as a baseline rate so it’s going to come down to the specifics of a given workload as to whether it’s a good idea to use it,” Quinn told TechCrunch.
In a blog post announcing the new version, AWS’s Channy Yun acknowledged that it depends on the type of workload. “You can now confidently predict 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 are using Reserved Instances, you will see even greater cost savings,” he wrote. As you can tell, and as Quinn points out, the devil will definitely be in the details of your particular workload requirements.
Ray Wang, founder and principal analyst at Constellation Research, said it’s a win for customers with big workloads. “Normally every time you read data that’s not cached and then write data back to your mySQL or Postgres data, you incur an I/O charge,” he said. “This is designed to drop your pricing because they have found a more efficient way internally to handle this, and they’ve passed on the cost savings to customers as we enter an age of AI.”
This should be particularly helpful for customers with data-intensive workloads like AI or seasonal e-commerce use cases. Customers can bring new workloads or move between the standard Aurora database and the I/O optimized version in the management console, based on expected workloads, to help manage costs.