Amazon Aurora vs Aurora Serverless

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has truly come to be the biggest provider of cloud-based computing and storage services in the world. According to data by Synergy Research Group, the skyrocketing demand for digital services resulted in AWS, Google and Microsoft becoming extremely dominant in the hyper-scale data center market.

Together, the three largest cloud-based service providers control over 50% of data centers worldwide. In the third quarter of 2020, AWS, Microsoft and Google together spent a staggering US$ 37 billion on data centers to increase their data centers by as much as 600 by the end of 2020.

These figures are there just to give you an idea of the immensity of cloud-based services today. Tens of thousands of small, medium and multinational enterprises are shifting from conventional databases to more advanced, efficient and affordable virtual server networks.

Amazon, with the largest market share, is the prime choice of entrepreneurs and corporations for cloud-based services. The Amazon Aurora and Amazon Aurora Serverless are two such services that have become immensely popular recently.

To help you decide the best one for you, this article will detail the main aspects of both services, with their individual benefits.

What is Amazon Aurora?

Amazon Aurora is a relational database designed for the cloud. It offers an incredible combination of the high performance of conventional databases with the affordability and simplicity offered by open-source databases. Aurora is compatible with PostgreSQL and MySQL but is thrice as fast as PostgreSQL and five times faster than MySQL databases.

Amazon Aurora provides top-notch security, and prompt availability and is extremely reliable as a commercial database but only at a fraction of the cost of conventional database services. You can choose to get Aurora fully managed by Amazon Relational Database Services (RDS), which is designed to automate the time-consuming administrative tasks, such as database setup, hardware allocation, backups and patching.

What is Amazon Aurora Serverless?

The Aurora Serverless is an auto-scaling, on-demand configuration designed for Amazon Aurora RDS. It can start, shut and scale capacity automatically, according to individual application’s requirements. This service allows you to run cloud-powered databases without the need to manage database capacity.

Managing database capacity manually is a time-consuming task and often leads to insufficient use of database resources. However, Aurora Serverless takes care of these administrative tasks. You can simply create an endpoint for your database, choose to set database capacity limits and connect applications using Aurora Serverless.

Amazon Aurora Serverless is charged on a per-second basis for the amount of storage space used by your active database. Moreover, the Amazon RDS Management Console allows users to migrate between standard and serverless configurations with a few simple clicks. Amazon charges users for the storage capacity used by their database in active mode, which makes it incredibly affordable too.

Difference between Amazon Aurora and Amazon Aurora Serverless

Amazon Aurora Highlights Amazon Aurora Serverless Highlights
MySQL Compatibility API Integration
Better performance Compatible with cloud functions for Google, Azure and IBM
Easy read scalability Lower charges
High speed Auto-scaling
Low latency read replica Openwhisk
Higher IOPS cost
Better cost-to-performance ratio

Amazon Aurora designed the offer as a “SQL Database as a Service” while Aurora Serverless of made as a “Serverless / Task Processing” tool.

MySQL compatibility is the main reason why enterprises and developers choose Amazon Aurora, while the Serverless’ “API Integration” function is the key attraction point for buyers of Amazon Aurora Serverless.

In simple words, the major difference between the two is that Amazon Aurora is designed as a simple and effective relational database while Aurora Serverless is a useful configuration for Aurora RDS.


Amazon Aurora and Aurora Serverless are two distinct products from AWS. While Amazon’s Aurora lets you use cloud-based computing resources to test and run your applications, the Aurora Serverless is a configuration that enables automated capacity scaling and connecting applications.

So, if you were wondering about the best-suited cloud-centric storage service, then Amazon Aurora is the better choice for you but if you want to avoid wasting time in allocating cloud database resources, then you should go for Amazon Aurora Serverless.

See Also

Amazon Aurora vs Amazon RDS

AWS EC2 Pricing Model


Steve is a product-marketer and Engineer at Cloudysave who works with Cloud Management and Adoption team. Over the past years, he has collaborated with multiple teams to provide a robust and cost-effective architecture patterns to influence business and engineering decisions. His key areas of interests include Cloud Costs Management, Security and DevOps Best-Practices.