Course Summary


Understanding RDS Scaling & Elasticity
Scaling with RDS
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This course explores how to scale your RDS databases.  It covers scaling based on reads or writes, and what it means to scale horizontally or vertically. 

Additionally, it covers sharding databases as a way to increase write performance and when it needs to be considered as an option.

Learning Objectives

  • Explain the difference between horizontal and vertical scaling of RDS databases.
  • You will understand the differences between scaling for reads and scaling for writes.
  • You will learn to address these scaling issues inside Amazon RDS
  • You will learn when it is appropriate to shard an RDS database and understand its complexities

Intended Audience

This course is recommended for anyone who wants to understand the basics of scaling RDS. It includes information about database sharding as a way to scale write performance.


To get the most out of this course, you should have a basic understanding of cloud computing using Amazon Web Services.  You also need to know how relational databases work at a high level.


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



When thinking about scaling your database a few things should come to mind. Ask yourself questions like what type of problem am I having? Is this an issue with having too many read requests, too many write requests, or is it a combination of the two? 

It might even be important to look at the exact instance type you are using and determine if your bottleneck is being caused by the underlying instance you are using. Maybe there is a better CPU to Memory ratio you could be using that would help performance.

Another important aspect to be aware of is that scaling outwards and upwards can be done fairly quickly, however, if you ever need to scale back your infrastructure you might find it's a little more difficult, especially if you chose to shard your database. 

Well, that brings us to the end of this course. My name is Will Meadows and I'd like to thank you for spending your time here learning about the basics of scaling your database.  If you have any feedback, positive or negative, please contact us at, your feedback is greatly appreciated, thank you!


Course Introduction - Database Scalability - Scaling with RDS

About the Author

William Meadows is a passionately curious human currently living in the Bay Area in California. His career has included working with lasers, teaching teenagers how to code, and creating classes about cloud technology that are taught all over the world. His dedication to completing goals and helping others is what brings meaning to his life. In his free time, he enjoys reading Reddit, playing video games, and writing books.