14.3.2. Using MySQL within an Amazon EC2 Instance

The Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service provides virtual servers that you can build and deploy to run a variety of different applications and services, including MySQL. The EC2 service is based around the Xen framework, supporting x86, Linux based, platforms with individual instances of a virtual machine referred to as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI). You have complete (root) access to the AMI instance that you create, enabling you to configure and install your AMI in any way you choose.

To use EC2, you create an AMI based on the configuration and applications that you want to use and upload the AMI to the Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). From the S3 resource, you can deploy one or more copies of the AMI to run as an instance within the EC2 environment. The EC2 environment provides management and control of the instance and contextual information about the instance while it is running.

Because you can create and control the AMI, the configuration, and the applications, you can deploy and create any environment you choose. This includes a basic MySQL server in addition to more extensive replication, HA and scalability scenarios that enable you to take advantage of the EC2 environment, and the ability to deploy additional instances as the demand for your MySQL services and applications grow.

To aid the deployment and distribution of work, three different Amazon EC2 instances are available, small (identified as m1.small), large (m1.large) and extra large (m1.xlarge). The different types provide different levels of computing power measured in EC2 computer units (ECU). A summary of the different instance configurations is shown here.

 SmallLargeExtra Large
CPU cores124
I/O PerformanceMediumHighHigh

The typical model for deploying and using MySQL within the EC2 environment is to create a basic AMI that you can use to hold your database data and application. Once the basic environment for your database and application has been created you can then choose to deploy the AMI to a suitable instance. Here the flexibility of having an AMI that can be re-deployed from the small to the large or extra large EC2 instance makes it easy to upgrade the hardware environment without rebuilding your application or database stack.

To get started with MySQL on EC2, including information on how to set up and install MySQL within an EC2 installation and how to port and migrate your data to the running instance, see Section, “Setting Up MySQL on an EC2 AMI”.

For tips and advice on how to create a scalable EC2 environment using MySQL, including guides on setting up replication, see Section, “Deploying a MySQL Database Using EC2”.

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