Setting up a server with Amazon RDS

I have been using my computer to store my data when working with PostgreSQL up until now. To get experience with using a cloud-based server setup I am going to create and connect to a server provided through Amazon Web Services (AWS). Creating my account

The first step is to set up the AWS account. I started by signing in to my amazon account here. I was then prompted to fill in credit card details. My intention is to stick to the free services provided, and I highly doubt I will exceed them. The first 12 months includes the following for free:

  • 750 hours of Amazon RDS running PostgreSQL (or 5 other DBMS) enough hours to run a DB Instance continuously each month
  • 20 GB of DB Storage: any combination of General Purpose (SSD) or Magnetic storage
  • 20 GB of backup storage for your automated database backups and any user-initiated DB Snapshots

Following the credit card input, is a phone number verification. They call your number and you input the PIN provided.

Then there is the choice of support plan, as shown below. I obviously chose the basic plan. I’m impressed by the jump from ‘Business’ to ‘Enterprise’ from $100/month to $15,000/month. My account creation was then complete.

support.PNG
Support plan options.

Creating my first database instance

I was then sent to a beginner’s landing page that provided lots of 10 minute tutorials. AWS provides several different services. The tutorials came under these headings: Compute, Web Sites & Web Apps, Storage & Content Delivery, Database, Developer Tools, and Application Settings. The database services are run through Amazon Relational Database Service. This service provides support for six database engines: PostgreSQL, MySQL, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, MariaDB, and Amazon Aurora.

I opened up the most relevant tutorial to me, How to Create and Connect to a PostgreSQL Database.

I followed the steps to create my first database instance. I kept pretty much all the values at their default and just added in . Once the settings have been determined it is necessary to wait a couple minutes for the database to be created. This is what the console looks like at this stage:

console
RDS dashboard.

Connecting to my database instance

I was directed to download SQL Workbench and a driver from the PostgreSQL website. I also needed to update Java, dodging their attempt to yahoo-ify my browser.

I followed the instructions to set up Amazon RDS with the SQL workbench. When it was finished I went and connected to pgAdmin 4, which is what I have been making use of and am more familiar with. I followed this guide for pgAdmin, which was useful as the host address input had a different format between the two management applications.

Overall, this was a very easy experience. I am now capable of using pgAdmin as I was before, just connecting to a different server. It’s not that I expected it to be difficult, but the whole process was seamless. I tip my hat to Amazon for making something so easy to set up, even for a beginner like myself.

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