What is Amazon DynamoDB?

Amazon DynamoDB is a fully managed NoSQL database service that provides fast and predictable performance with seamless scalability. DynamoDB lets you offload the administrative burdens of operating and scaling a distributed database so that you don’t have to worry about hardware provisioning, setup and configuration, replication, software patching, or cluster scaling. DynamoDB also offers encryption at rest, which eliminates the operational burden and complexity involved in protecting sensitive data.

With DynamoDB, you can create database tables that can store and retrieve any amount of data and serve any level of request traffic. You can scale up or scale down your tables' throughput capacity without downtime or performance degradation. You can use the AWS Management Console to monitor resource utilization and performance metrics.

DynamoDB provides on-demand backup capability. It allows you to create full backups of your tables for long-term retention and archival for regulatory compliance needs.

You can create on-demand backups and enable point-in-time recovery for your Amazon DynamoDB tables. Point-in-time recovery helps protect your tables from accidental write or delete operations. With point-in-time recovery, you can restore a table to any point in time during the last 35 days.

DynamoDB allows you to delete expired items from tables automatically to help you reduce storage usage and the cost of storing data that is no longer relevant.

High availability and durability

DynamoDB automatically spreads the data and traffic for your tables over a sufficient number of servers to handle your throughput and storage requirements, while maintaining consistent and fast performance. All of your data is stored on solid-state disks (SSDs) and is automatically replicated across multiple Availability Zones in an AWS Region, providing built-in high availability and data durability. You can use global tables to keep DynamoDB tables in sync across AWS Regions.

Getting started with DynamoDB

Amazon DynamoDB is a fast, fully-managed NoSQL database service that makes it simple and cost effective to store and retrieve any amount of data, and serve any level of request traffic. DynamoDB helps offload the administrative burden of operating and scaling a highly-available distributed database cluster. This storage alternative meets the latency and throughput requirements of highly demanding applications by providing single-digit millisecond latency and predictable performance with seamless throughput and storage scalability.

  • DynamoDB stores structured data in tables, indexed by primary key, and allows low-latency read and write access to items ranging from 1 byte up to 400 KB. DynamoDB supports three data types (number, string, and binary), in both scalar and multi-valued sets. It supports document stores such as JSON, XML, or HTML in these data types. Tables do not have a fixed schema, so each data item can have a different number of attributes. The primary key can either be a single-attribute hash key or a composite hash-range key.
  • DynamoDB offers both global and local secondary indexes provide additional flexibility for querying against attributes other than the primary key. DynamoDB provides both eventually-consistent reads (by default), and strongly-consistent reads (optional), as well as implicit item-level transactions for item put, update, delete, conditional operations, and increment/decrement.
  • With DynamoDB, you can create database tables that can store and retrieve any amount of data and serve any level of request traffic. You can scale up or scale down your tables' throughput capacity without downtime or performance degradation.
  • DynamoDB provides on-demand backup capability. It allows you to create full backups of your tables for long-term retention and archival for regulatory compliance needs. You can create on-demand backups and enable point-in-time recovery for your Amazon DynamoDB tables. Point-in-time recovery helps protect your tables from accidental write or delete operations. With point-in-time recovery, you can restore a table to any point in time during the last 35 days.
  • DynamoDB enables you to delete expired items from tables automatically to help you reduce storage usage and the cost of storing data that is no longer relevant.

Ideal usage patterns
DynamoDB is ideal for existing or new applications that need a flexible NoSQL database with low read and write latencies, and the ability to scale storage and throughput up or down as needed without code changes or downtime.

Common use cases include:

Mobile apps

Gaming

Digital ad serving

Live voting

Audience interaction for live events

Sensor networks

Log ingestion

Access control for web-based content

Metadata storage for Amazon S3 objects

Ecommerce shopping carts

Web session management

Many of these use cases require a highly available and scalable database because downtime or performance degradation has an immediate negative impact on an organization’s business.

Cost model

  • With DynamoDB, you pay only for what you use and there is no minimum fee.
  • DynamoDB charges for reading, writing, and storing data in your DynamoDB tables, along with any optional features you choose to enable. DynamoDB has two capacity modes and those come with specific billing options for processing reads and writes on your tables: on-demand and provisioned.
  • With on-demand capacity mode, DynamoDB charges you for the data reads and writes your application performs on your tables. You do not need to specify how much read and write throughput you expect your application to perform, because DynamoDB instantly accommodates your workloads as they ramp up or down.
  • With provisioned capacity mode, you specify the number of reads and writes per second that you expect your application to require. You can use auto scaling to automatically adjust your table’s capacity based on the specified utilization rate to ensure application performance while reducing costs.

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