If you are into custom software development or the IT industry, you have seen that more and more organizations are now migrating to serverless databases. Most companies following modern event-driven architectures are adapting to serverless databases leading to their increasing popularity. Before we dive deep into serverless database migration, let us understand why these databases are gaining momentum.

Unlike popular belief, most developers do not enjoy managing services and apps due to the increased complexities. However, it is undoubtedly important to manage apps and websites after their launch. So, what is the solution? Well, serverless databases are a great way to solve these problems as they allow developers to easily maintain the database. Another advantage is that a serverless databases is completely cloud-based, making them an economical option.

Interested in migrating your existing database into a cloud-based and serverless database? Before you jump into serverless DB migration, we recommend learning what migration means, the basics of serverless databases, and their capabilities, features, and benefits. To help you better understand these concepts, we have curated the article below and answered some FAQs. So, what are you waiting for? Jump right into it and learn all there is to know about database migration services.

What Is A Database Migration?

Before we jump right into answering ‘what is a database migration‘, let us look at what database schemes mean. The term refers to the structure and interactions between data stored and managed by relational databases. Although developers must decide the schema of a database before implementing it to avoid the need for future changes, it might be unavoidable at times.

Database migrations, also known as schema migrations, refer to a set of process and structure changes that help modify object structures and data stored in databases. But, why are they necessary? Well, db migrations are done to change the current state of the database and take it to its desired state. This can be done by a range of steps such as adding or dropping columns, changing constraints, or removing elements.

Generally, database migration tools help make database migration changes repeatable and shareable. Moreover, they also help ensure that developers can use functional testing tools on these databases. These tools are generally preferred over manual labor because they are more adept at ensuring there is no data loss.

What Are Serverless Databases?

Before we start talking about serverless databases, let us look at a common business problem that will help you better understand the need for serverless databases:

Testing environments, especially testing databases, are necessary to ensure that applications and websites are running properly and can be maintained. However, the load on these databases varies and the testing time is quite an insignificant part of the overall development, production, and maintenance timeline. Maintaining these databases throughout the process and paying a huge chunk of money doesn’t make sense and can incur a huge cost. So, what is the solution? Well, the answer is right in front of you – serverless database migration.

Serverless databases act as a prerequisite for the serverless computing paradigm and embodies its core principles to help optimize business processes and costs. Here, the exact architecture and features of your application or software do not matter. However, some principles these must follow include:

  • Almost zero manual server management
  • Easy to scale
  • Inherently fault-tolerant due to its built-in resilience
  • Available to users 24/7 with instant access to data
  • Companies need to pay only for database resources based on the consumption

When all of these principles are brought together, we get serverless databases. We hope we could provide you a clear answer to – “what is a serverless database“. This next-generation database is delivered as a database migration service with its main focus on cutting down business processes and reducing the overall cost.

How Do Serverless Databases Work?

To better understand how serverless databases work, let us take the example of the most popular database migration service – AWS Database Migration Services (works on Amazon Aurora Serverless).

An on-demand serverless database migration version of the Amazon Aurora edition that is compatible with MySQL, AWS Serverless databases have an auto-scaling configuration. The difference is that here, the database automatically switches on, turns off, and scales itself based on the needs of your application/software. This is why the serverless database runs on the cloud without the need to manage multiple instances of the database or other clusters.

But, how is this functionality realized? Well, in serverless databases, the storage and processing are separated. All you need to do is create an endpoint, set the minimum and maximum capacity of the database’s capability (optional), and issue queries to the endpoint of the database. Another benefit of separation of the storage and processing is that developers can easily scale down to zero processing without having to pay for the resources not in use.

Interested in implementing the serverless architecture for your organization’s databases via AWS Aurora? Get in touch with companies specializing in AWS serverless app development services to get started!

What Are The Key Capabilities Of Serverless Databases?

It is now clear why more and more businesses are looking for serverless database migration services. But, what are its key capabilities and core principles and how are these realized in serverless databases?

1. Automated Server Management

In contrast to what the name suggests, serverless databases are nothing but a bunch of servers that have been abstracted and automated. The main purpose is to reduce the pressure of database testing and maintenance on developers. Manual tasks like planning the database capacity, maintaining it, updating it, and provisioning are automated and happen behind the scenes. Moreover, using these database migration facilities is automated and requires little to no manual interaction.

2. Automatically Scalable

A great advantage of serverless database migration is that it easily allows you to scale the resources needed based on the app’s demands. So, whatever the workload, your system is capable of handling it and ensures resources are not wasted when the system needs to be scaled down.

3. In-built Fault Tolerance

A prime feature of serverless databases is that they survive the failure of any backend computer process or issues with network and physical resources. This is why the popular web frameworks are available even if you upgrade the services.

4. Can Be Accessed Instantly

The prime advantage of a serverless database is that it is easily scalable, meaning it can instantly scale down if needed. However, the major challenge is realizing the instant availability of a service that has been dormant for quite some time. Although this automatic scaling down helps businesses save money, this uncertainty of instant access is a big drawback.

5. Billed Based On Consumption

As discussed, serverless database migration is popular due to its built-in mechanism that tracks activity and bills users based only on consumption. This ensures that businesses do not pay for the resources and storage not utilized, which helps cut down on business costs.

build a app using serverless technology

6. Domain Failure Survival

Generally, a serverless platform is available across multiple regions and must be easily accessible. This can cause problems in the case of constraints like data availability and accuracy. To survive the failure and collapse of any domain data, a serverless database must have multiple copies of the stored data. Moreover, the system must be able to intelligently decide the storage of these copies to facilitate optimum storage and data availability.

7. Geographically Scalable

When discussing serverless database migration within the database context, we know that it is scalable. However, based on the business needs and operations, the database scale can be extended to geography. To ensure your serverless database is geographically scalable, it must offer automatic geo-partitioning to ensure the data moves securely across the globe.

8. Relational Database Characteristics

Out of all the database needs your serverless database must fulfill, the most complicated is ensuring the delivery of a relational database that supports joins and other characteristics. Although delivering the elegance of a SQL database might not be a requirement, it can be considered to ensure the better handling of operational workloads.

What Are The Features Of Serverless Databases?

Features of Serverless Databases

Now that we know about the key capabilities of serverless databases, let us look at some of its key features that have led to the increased popularity of serverless database migration.

1. Multi-tenant Architecture

A major bonus of serverless databases is their ability to function as a single resource pool which can be used in multiple projects within your business. This is a great capability as it allows developers to utilize it without building application-specific data sources. So, the development team can easily build, set up, and deploy multiple applications with the help of the same database cluster.

2. Dynamic Service Quality

Due to the multi-tenancy feature, developers can easily assign priorities to each tenant. This helps ensure that the system resources are consumed accordingly and the most important tenants are prioritized. The benefit is that businesses can use the available resources to the best of their abilities across multiple projects without the need to put any project on hold. This is one of the most popular DB migration best practices as it allows businesses to utilize 60-80% of the resources available to ensure low-priority tasks are not strangulated.

3. Geo Distribution

Since most businesses work on a global scale, it is necessary for your serverless database to fulfill your data needs across geographical boundaries. To learn more about this feature in detail, you can refer to the section on geographic scalability.

4. Consistent With ACID Properties

Although serverless databases are easily scalable and cost-effective, data accuracy must be the priority of every organization. When you classify sequencing and scheduling functionalities in a single layer that is placed above the stored data system layer, you can ensure that the serverless database supports ACID properties.

5. Single Transactional Query Language

Although serverless databases allow the use of a single pool of resources, the constraint of imposing a single data structure or schema might limit your developer team from deploying multiple applications using it. Well, serverless databases support both structured and unstructured data that allow organizations to ensure that data is stored in the way it was meant to be.

What Are The Benefits Of A Serverless Database?

Benefits of a Serverless Database

Some common benefits of serverless databases that have helped boost the popularity of serverless database migration are:-

1. Real-time Data Access

With a serverless architecture database, developers have access to the stored data at the granular level which allows default data indexing and offers the team immediate access to these indexes. So, the development team can easily query the database, while ensuring they can read, write, update, and add new elements to it. Moreover, the development team will be able to easily perform database migration steps with the help of functions.

2. Ease Of Scalability

Since serverless databases are automatically scaled as per business needs, they ensure that all necessary functions work in parallel and the data remains consistent.

3. High Security

Serverless databases have access control protocols in place to ensure all applications based on them operate on the same dataset. This helps ensure that the applications are safe from surface-level attacks which is essential for the proper functioning of today’s businesses.

4. Availability

Since serverless databases scale automatically, they offer reduced latency and performance issues. So, the data from event-driven functions can be easily read from the point that is closest to the user.

5. Schemaless

With schemaless databases, developers can handle any data output received from the functions. This ensures that the serverless database can be easily integrated with existing systems which is another reason contributing to the popularity of database migration.

You may like this: How to Build a Serverless Web App in Azure?


It is clear that serverless databases are highly popular currently and serverless migration services will continue to gain traction in the upcoming years. Moreover, with access to features like real-time data access, while reducing business costs, serverless databases can offer great benefits to businesses.

Interested in serverless database migration services and want to get started with it as soon as possible? Hire AWS Lambda developers to get started with migrating your business databases to serverless. We recommend you outsource software development services from the top development company and start experimenting with serverless databases to reduce operational costs and add to business security!

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