Amazon RDS vs DynamoDB



Type of database

Managed relational (SQL) database

Fully managed key-value and document (NoSQL) database


Has several database instance types for different kinds of workloads and supports six database engines – Amazon Aurora, PostgreSQL, MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle Database, and SQL Server.

Delivers single-digit millisecond performance at any scale.

Storage Size

-128 TB for Aurora engine.

-64 TB for MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle and PostgreSQL engines.

-16 TB for SQL Server engine.

Supports tables of virtually any size.

Number of tables per unit

Depends on the database engine



General Purpose Storage is an SSD-backed storage option that delivers at consistent baseline of 3 IOPS per provisioned GB with the ability to burst up to 3,000 IOPS.

Provisioned IOPS Storage is an SSD-backed storage option designed to deliver a consistent IOPS rate that you specify when creating a database instance, up to 40,000 IOPS per database Instance. Amazon RDS provisions that IOPS rate for the lifetime of the database instance. Optimized for OLTP database workloads.

Magnetic – Amazon RDS also supports magnetic storage for backward compatibility.

Single-digit millisecond read and write performance. Can handle more than 10 trillion requests per day with peaks greater than 20 million request per second, over petabytes ofstorage.

DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX) is an in-memory cache that can improve the read performance of your DynamoDB tables by up to 10 times – taking the time required for reads from milliseconds to microseconds, even at millions of requests per second.

You specify the read and write throughput for each of your tables.

Availability and durability

Amazon RDS Multi-AZ deployments synchronously replicates your data to a standby instance in a different Availability Zone

Amazon RDS will automatically replace the compute instance powering your deployment in the event of a hardware failure.

DynamoDB global tables replicate your data automatically across 3 Availability Zones of your choice of AWS Regions and automatically scale capacity to accommodate your workloads.


The automated backup feature enables point-in-time recovery for your database instance. Database snapshots are user-initiated backups of your instance stored in Amazon S3 that are kept until you explicitly delete them.

Point-in-time recovery (PITR) provides continuous backups of your DynamoDB table data, and you can restore that table to any point in time up to the second during the preceding 35 days. On-demand backups and restore allows you to create full backups of your DynamoDB tables’ data for data archiving.


The Amazon Aurora engine will automatically grow the size of your database volume. The MySQL, MariaDB, SQL Server, Oracle, and PostgreSQL engines allow you to scale on-the-fly with zero downtime.

RDS also supports storage auto scaling Reads replicas are available in Amazon RDS for MySQL, MariaDB, and PostgreSQL as well as Amazon Aurora.

Support tables of virtually any size with horizontal scaling.

For tables using on-demand capacity mode, DynamoDB instantly accommodates your workloads a they ramp up or down to any previously reached traffic level. For tables using provisioned capacity, DynamoDB delivers automatic scaling of throughput and storage based on your previously set capacity.


Isolate your database in your own virtual network.

Connect to your on-premises IT infrastructure using industry-standard encrypted IPsec VPNs.

You can configure firewall settings and control network access to your database instances.

Integrates with IAM.

Integrates with IAM.


Encrypt your databases using keys you manage through AWS KMS. With encryption enabled, data stored at rest is encrypted, as are its automated backups, read replicas, and snapshots.

Supports Transparent Data Encryption in SQL Server and Oracle.

Supports the use of SSL to secure data in transit.

DynamoDB encrypts data at rest by default using encryption keys stored in AWS KMS.


Amazon RDS will update databases with the latest patches. You can exert optional control over when and if your database instance is patched.

No maintenance since DynamoDB is serverless.


A monthly charge for each database instance that you launch.

Option to reserve a DB instance for a One or three year term and receive discounts in pricing, compared to On-Demand instance pricing.

Charges for reading, writing, and storing data in your DynamoDb tables, along with any optional features you choose to enable. There are specific billing options for each of DynamoDB’s capacity modes.

Use cases 

Traditional applications, ERP, CRM, and e-commerce.

Internet-scale applications, real-time bidding, shopping carts, and customer Preferences, content management, Personalization, and mobile applications.

Additional notes:

  • DynamoDB has built-in support for ACID transactions.
  • DynamoDB uses filter expressions because it does not support complex queries.
  • Multi-AZ deployments for the MySQL, MariaDB, Oracle, and PostgreSQL engines utilize synchronous physical replication. Multi-AZ deployments for the SQL Server engine use synchronous logical replication.
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