Alibaba RDS
Course Overview

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This course covers the fundamentals of the relational database offerings in Alibaba Cloud and will help prepare you for the ACA exam.

First, we'll cover Alibaba Cloud Relational Database Services including an overview of some of the services that are provided with it. We'll then look at the main components of RDS in Alibaba, including different database engines, storage types, high availability, fault tolerance, and disaster recovery, before moving on to examine the features of RDS such as security, database and account management, read-only instances, monitoring, and backups.

We'll consolidate all this information by taking you through a guided demonstration of creating an RDS instance using the Alibaba Console.

If you have any feedback relating to this course, feel free to contact us at

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the different relational database solutions available within Alibaba Cloud
  • Determine which database service would be best suited for your expected workloads

Intended Audience

This course is intended for:

  • Database administrators or cloud architects
  • Anyone looking learn how to use Alibaba RDS


There are no prerequisites to this course as it is a fundamental introduction to the relational database service that Alibaba provides. Any knowledge of the Alibaba cloud platform and relational databases would, however, be advantageous. 


Hello, and welcome to the last session in this course on Alibaba's RDS service. In this session, I'll do a demonstration of how to create and manage your first RDS instance.

Here you can see I'm logged into the homepage of the Alibaba management console. And from here, I'm gonna navigate to the RDS management console so that I can create the new instance.

Now, the easiest way to do this is to put the mouse over the top left-hand button and get access to products and services where I can then scroll down, find the database settings and select the RDS setting, or if you've already got it allocated onto the favorites bar, or as you can see, I've got the orange star here selected. It's added that to my favorites list so I could select it directly from here.

So if I go back to the homepage and then put my mouse over the button, and in the dropdown list you can see I've got the link there. So if I select it, that will take me into the RDS management console.

Now, you can see I have no instances running at the moment. So I can either select create an instance from here for the first one, or create an instance on the button on the top right-hand side. I'm just gonna select create an instance. That brings us into the new instance template.

Now, the first thing we need to choose is which billing method we want. As a demonstration, I'm just gonna select the pay as you go. And then the next thing we need to choose is where we want to build it. So in the dropdown list, we'll have a list of all the different regions. I've got UK, London selected, and then I get to choose the database engine that I want.

Now you'll see that the default is MySQL and in the editions we have various editions available. There's enterprise edition, high availability, high performance, or basic. If I select Microsoft SQL server, for example, you'll see it now defaults the edition to always on, but that's based on this version.

If I select a different version, for example, you'll see that the editions change. So depending on what you choose depends on what edition you might get. If I go back to MySQL and leave it at the default of version eight, you can see I've got the options of it being enterprise, high availability, high performance, or basic, I'll leave it selected to high availability. I then get to choose the storage type.

Now, for this particular one, I'm just gonna choose the cheapest, which is local SSD. And I then get to choose which zone I want to build my instance in. Now, it can either be a single zone deployment which means that the primary and secondary instances will be in the same zone, or I could do a multi zone deployment where the primary would be in one zone and the secondary would be in another zone.

I'll just leave it if it's default settings. I then get to choose the instance type, so this is the hardware I want to run it on. I'm just gonna select the very low one. So I'm gonna select this single processor with 300 maximum connections. I then select the next button to go to the instance configuration page. On the instance configuration page, you see that I have to choose my network type.

Now I'm using a virtual private cloud here, I already have a network set up in UK, London, so I'm leaving that on VPC. It's got my network selected. Depending on which engine you're using, depends on what kind of storage engine you can have. For this one, I'm just gonna leave it at the default.

Choose a resource group if required, I'll leave it in the default resource group. Check the specifications are okay, click next to confirm the order. And from here, I can then choose how many instances I wish to create, and all I need to do. I'll leave it set on one, I just need to then agree to the terms of service, hit the pay now button, and my instance will be created.

So you can see now the order is complete. If I just close that tab down, and we'll go back into the RDS console where I'm gonna hit the refresh button. And you'll see that my instance is being created. Now this can take a few minutes.

So here we are, I fast-forward it to the running instance. What we need to do next is to open up the instance. And the first thing we need to do is to configure the white list so that we can access this database.

So I'm gonna click on configure white list. I'm going to create a white list. And in here, I need to enter the white list name, so I'll just call this the allow, and the IP address range is gonna be from my virtual private cloud network where my ECS client instances would reside. So that's gonna be

Now, once that's been put in, and I can then go back to my instance. And if I open it back up again, you'll see I've now got the internal end point that I can use to then access this database. That's on the internal private network. If I needed a public access, I could then apply for a public endpoint but that would then incur potentially charges.

So, from here, a couple of things we need to do, we need to create a database, and that requires an account. So I'm gonna go and select accounts from the menu list. I'll create an account.

So I'll just call this the demo_account, and I get to choose the account type. I'll leave it as a standard account. Now from here, you'll see we get to authorize a database but I don't have one at the moment, so I'll create the account first, and click okay at the bottom.

So I now have this account that's been created and activated. I'm now going to select databases. And I now need to create a database. So I'll just give this a name, and you choose the character so I'll leave it at the default one. And you can see that it's automatically picked up the demo account to authorize it. So I can now click on create, and it'll create a database.

So I now have the account set up, a database is up and running on my instance. So the next thing we wanna do, if I go back to instances and select the instance again. You'll see then we now have our internal end point. We create the database and an account that can authenticate against it. On the top right-hand side here, we can now create read only instances.

Now, if I select the link to create a read only instance, that will now take me into the read only instance template. And again, as per our original setup we need to choose the billing method. We do have the option of subscription or pay as you go in here, I'll leave it as pay as you go. And I can then choose the zone that I wanna put it in.

So you'll notice that zone B has a little link in there that says that's where my RDS instance is running. So I could put my read only instance in a separate zone or I could select it and put it in the same zone. I then have to choose again my instance type, recommended best practice is that read only instances have at least the same hardware as the primary instance that's running. So I'll make sure I've got it set at one with the 300 connections.

I then choose the capacity, so the original was set up at five gigabytes, I'll leave this one at five gigabytes 'cause it's only a demo. I then click next for the instance configuration. And as long as I'm happy with the network it's going into which has picked up my defaults, I will then confirm the order.

I just, again, select the terms of service. If I'm happy with just selecting one or if I wanted to create more read only instances, I can then just bump up as many or as little as I require. So I'll select the terms of service and click pay now.

Okay, that order's complete, I'll close that tab down, go back into my instances, and we'll see that I've got my primary instances up and running and a read only instance is being created. And while we're waiting for the read only instance to be in a running state, we're just gonna go back and manage the primary instance and the monitoring and backups.

Now I can click on the link on the left-hand side to manage. I've also got a link here to manage which takes me to the same place, so I'll just click on that link. So we're back into our instance. You'll see, once I'm in the instance, on the left-hand side, we now have the option for doing monitoring and alerts.

If I click on monitoring and alerts, we have the option of then monitoring the CPU utilization, the disc space, the different metrics, basically input, output, the total connections and network traffic. So if required, I can select alerts and then create alert rules for certain metrics.

I've also got the option then of doing backup and restoration. If I click on backup and restoration, you'll see that we have visibility of any backups that have been done already. If I go to the backup settings, you'll see that there's a default policy that's been put in place.

So the retention is seven days. We can see the backup cycle, the backup time. If I want to edit that, I click on the edit button. I can then go and change the backup cycle. How long logs are kept for how long or what the backup retention policies after the instance has been released, for example.

If I want to do a manual backup, you'll see at the top right-hand side, we have backup instance. So if I go back to the instance itself and select on it, you'll see I then have the option to do backup instance.

Now, this is a manual backup and I then get the option of either doing a physical backup which will back up the entire instance or a logical backup where I can choose an instance backup or I can just back up a database. If I just select a physical backup, I'll click okay.

Now, while we're waiting for the backup to take place, if I go back to instances, you'll also see that next to manage, I also have the option of clicking on performance to see performance data. I can switch to subscription billing and under the more button I can either upgrade this instance, release or if I've done a backup, restore the database to a previous backup.

Now, if I go back into the instance and go back into the backup and restoration and inter data back up, you'll see that I now have an instance backup. And if I needed to restore to a point in time, I have the option to then restore. And I also have the option to download if I want to store the data or the backup data somewhere else.

So if we go back out to our standard instance, and that concludes this demonstration on creating and managing our first RDS instance.

About the Author

David’s IT career started in 1990, when he took on the role of Database Administrator as a favor for his boss. He redirected his career into the Client Server side of Microsoft with NT4, and then progressed to Active Directory and each subsequent version of Microsoft Client/Server Operating Systems. In 2007 he joined QA as a Technical Trainer, and has delivered training in Server systems from 2003 to 2016 and Client systems from XP onwards. Currently, David is a Principal Technical Learning Specialist (Cloud), and delivers training in Azure Cloud Computing, specializing in Infrastructure Compute and Storage. David also delivers training in Microsoft PowerShell, and is qualified in the Alibaba Cloud Space.