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Table of contents
What is VMware?
What is Amazon RDS for VMware?
What are VMware Database Management Essentials?
How does it work?
Features of RDS on VMware
Automated Database Management
Simple Interface
Scalable Resources
Performance Monitoring
Availability Protection
Simple Backup and Restore
Compliance Readiness
High-Level Architecture
System Requirements
Software System Requirements
Datastore Requirements
Network Requirements
Internet Network
Cluster Control Network
Operating Systems
Database Virtual Machines
Management Virtual Machine
Validations by the Amazon RDS on VMware Installer
Frequently Asked Questions
What if "DiskQueue is full" appears during delta backups, and will it cause the backups to stop working?
Can database creation fail on vSphere 6.5.x + vSAN environment?
Can database creation get stuck when running on vSphere 6.7 Update 3 on vSAN or NAS?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Amazon RDS on VMware

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Database handling has become one of the essential features of a programmer's job, from dealing with the data present on the system server to the cloud server, how we set it, update it, use it and manage it according to our needs. Amazon RDS (Amazon Relational Database Service) is a collection of managed services that make it easy to set up, maintain, and scale databases in the cloud. 

The Amazon RDS provides the facility to connect seven popular engines — Amazon Aurora with MySQL compatibility, Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL compatibility, MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Oracle, and SQL Server.

This article will discuss Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) on VMware, which allows us to use Amazon RDS to deploy managed databases in on-premises VMware environments.


What is VMware?

VMware is a Dell Technologies company specializing in virtualization and cloud computing technologies. A hypervisor is installed on the physical server using VMware server virtualization to allow several virtual machines (VMs) to run on the same physical server. Each virtual machine (VM) can run its operating system (OS), allowing numerous OSes to run on a single physical server. All VMs share resources like networking and RAM on the same physical server.

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What is Amazon RDS for VMware?

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) on VMware allows us to use Amazon RDS technology to deploy managed databases in on-premises VMware environments. Amazon RDS on VMware offers scalable and cost-effective capacity while automating time-consuming administration activities such as infrastructure provisioning, database setup, patching, and backups, allowing us to focus on our applications. These same advantages are available with Amazon RDS on VMware, making it simple to set up, administer, and scale databases in VMware vSphere private data centers.

We may use the same straightforward interface for managing databases in on-premises VMware setups as we would in AWS with Amazon RDS on VMware. Amazon RDS supports Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and MySQL databases on VMware.

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What are VMware Database Management Essentials?

Amazon RDS on VMware collaborates between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VMware. Amazon RDS on VMware is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) offering developed in partnership between Amazon and VMware.

Customers of VMware utilize vSphere to manage their application environments more efficiently. Amazon RDS on VMware enables customers to manage and monitor their database instances running on vSphere with automation of backups, point-in-time restore and recovery operations, simplified database management, and full-stack application monitoring, extending the benefits of vSphere and Amazon RDS to VMware customers.

All of the VMware Management Database Essentials components are automatically installed and downloaded when a customer onboards a vSphere Cluster as a Custom Availability Zone on Amazon RDS on VMware.

We can set up, operate, and scale databases in VMware environments using Amazon RDS on VMware. Provisioning, patching, backups, and failover are just a few time-consuming database administration chores that RDS on VMware simplifies. This automation allows us to concentrate on designing and fine-tuning our apps. With Amazon RDS on VMware, we can take advantage of Amazon RDS's high availability, scalability, and durability for our on-premises VMware deployments.

How does it work?

To use Amazon RDS on VMware, you'll need a vSphere 6.5 or later cluster with outbound Internet connectivity, administrator privileges, and a valid Amazon AWS account. You may turn the vSphere cluster into a Custom Availability Zone by installing the Amazon RDS Connector during the onboarding process. You can allocate and instantiate an Amazon RDS-managed database on top of a native vSphere cluster once the onboarding is complete. You can have numerous vSphere Clusters onboarded, regardless of where the vSphere Cluster is.

Each Amazon AWS Region is a geographical location in its own right. Availability Zones are separate locations within each Amazon AWS Region (AZs).

Customers can establish Custom AZs corresponding to vSphere data centers used by AWS customers running Amazon RDS on VMware.

The VMware Installer virtual appliance is downloaded and deployed in the vSphere cluster of choice to begin onboarding a vSphere cluster for VMware. The Amazon RDS on VMware Installer is a simple graphic wizard that walks you through the process of enrolling your VMware vSphere cluster as a Custom Availability Zone in the nearest AWS Region.

Only specific AWS regions can be connected to a vSphere Cluster. Amazon RDS on VMware Installer is region-specific. As a result, we'll need to download the AWS RDS on the VMware Installer OVA file from the area to which we want to connect. The setup phase establishes an outbound VPN connection, installs Amazon RDS on VMware components, and performs automated tests to ensure that Amazon RDS on VMware is up and running. The database instances can be provided into the VMware environment after the tests are completed, and the vSphere Cluster is onboarded and properly registered as an Amazon Custom AZ.

Features of RDS on VMware

The features of Amazon RDS on VMware include:

Automated Database Management

Amazon RDS for VMware simplifies database administration activities in VMware vSphere systems, including

  • Provisioning of databases
  • Patching the operating system and databases
  • Backup
  • Restore from a specific point in time
  • Calculate the scaling
  • Monitoring the health of an instance

RDS on VMware supports the database engines Microsoft SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and MySQL.

Simple Interface

  • Using the Amazon RDS Console, APIs, and Command Line Interface, we can build, change, and administer our databases (CLI). 
  • RDS databases running on VMware and RDS databases running on AWS may both be managed using the same easy interface.

Scalable Resources

  • Similar to an Amazon RDS instance in AWS, Amazon RDS on VMware allows us to easily scale the CPU and memory resources in your on-premises database instance.

Performance Monitoring

  • At no additional cost, Amazon RDS on VMware provides Amazon CloudWatch metrics for your on-premises databases. Resource usage, I/O activity, and instance connections are all included. RDS on VMware also includes Performance Insights, an easy-to-use tool that uses in-console graphics to help you quickly assess the load on your database.

Availability Protection

  • Health monitoring is used by Amazon RDS on VMware to detect sick database instances and automatically recover them using the same storage volume.

Simple Backup and Restore

  • Amazon RDS on VMware allows you to back up your on-premises databases manually or automatically. Point-in-time restore is supported by Amazon RDS on VMware, and you can choose an automated backup retention period per database.

Compliance Readiness

  • Amazon RDS keeps your databases on-premises by default, allowing you to operate workloads that must adhere to security, privacy, regulatory, and data sovereignty regulations. Hybrid cloud functionalities can be turned on and off at any moment.

High-Level Architecture

Each vSphere Cluster is assigned to a single Amazon RDS on VMware Customer Availability Zone. On VMware Customer Availability Zone, a single vSphere Cluster can be mapped to a single Amazon RDS.

To become a Customer Availability Zone, a vSphere Cluster must be onboarded. A few control plane proxy virtual machines are deployed in the relevant vSphere Cluster once you've been onboarded. Once onboarding is complete, the managed Amazon RDS on VMware database instances will be deployed to the onboarded vSphere Cluster.

Networks Description
Internet Network It could be a network that already has outbound Internet connectivity. The primary aim of this network is to develop and maintain the site-to-site VPN that RDS on VMware automatically generates and maintains.
Cluster Control Network

On VMware, a guest network with a unique VLAN ID is devoted to RDS. This network will be used just to bind local control plane components and will not be shared with any other application or solution.

On VMware, a DHCP server provided by Amazon RDS will be used in this network (once the Edge Router appliance is deployed). RDS on VMware assigns IP addresses in the established range of non-internet-routable public IP addresses.


Application Network The database instances will be put on an existing network. In the Cluster Control network, each database will have its interface. Database instances on this network will provide SQL access to client applications.
ESXi Management Network This is the management network that most vSphere installations use, in which the ESXi hosts and vCenter Server are connected to a somewhat isolated network that solely handles ESXi traffic.
VPN Once the solution has been correctly onboarded, it immediately enables a VPN connection.

System Requirements

Software System Requirements

  • With an active VMware support contract, vCenter Server and ESXi versions 6.5 and later or 6.7 are supported.
  • With an active VMware Support contract, you can use vSphere Enterprise Plus (VMware Cloud Foundation is supported as well)
  • Cluster in vSphere (the solution uses a cluster that has been onboarded as Amazon RDS on VMware Custom Availability Zone).
  • During installation and onboarding, the vCenter Server user with administrative privileges on the vSphere cluster. Such an admin user is no longer required when the installation and onboarding are completed.

Datastore Requirements

  • The datastore must be shared by all ESXi hosts in the vSphere cluster.
  • Local datastores aren't available.
  • Although vSphere DRS is supported, vSphere Storage DRS is not.
Storage Type DataStore Block-Level HA/vSphere-DRS
Fibre Channel VMFS Yes Yes
Fibre Channel Ethernet VMFS Yes Yes
NAS over NFS NFS Yes Yes
vSAN vSAN No Yes

Network Requirements

Internet Network

  • A fixed public-facing IP address is required for
    • Outbound connectivity to the Internet (Originator IP).
    • DNS resolution is required for both public and internal URLs (vCenter Server FQDN).
    • Have HTTPS access to public AWS service endpoints.
  • DHCP must be used to assign an IP address to this network (verify that UDP broadcast does not cross over up-link).
  • Outbound and linked incoming response traffic must be allowed:
    • IKE/IPSec for site-to-site VPN tunnel (ports 50, 500, 4500).
    • 443 (TCP port) (HTTPS to access public AWS service endpoints).

Cluster Control Network

  • AWS manages the network.
  • Management components use a DHCP Server provided by AWS RDS on VMware (on RDS Edge Router).
  • RDS on VMware assigns IP addresses in the established range of non-internet-routable public IP addresses.
  • Broadcast packets must not cross the up-link, according to the network administrator.
  • All ESXi hosts in the specified vSphere cluster must be able to access the newly formed distributed port group.
  • An elastic "Port Allocation" option is required for distributed port groups.
  • Each ESXi host in the cluster must have a VMkernel adapter configured into this network by the vSphere administrator.
  • Application Network
    • Database instances will be deployed, and SQL access will be available via an existing network.
    • In the Cluster Control network, each database will have its interface.
    • We must provide DHCP services (broadcast must not cross over up-link).
    • All ESXi hosts underlying the RDS on the VMware cluster must be able to access the distributed port group that has been built.
    • A distributed port group must use the elastic "Port Allocation" flag.

Operating Systems

Database Virtual Machines

Here, you will find certain versions of the Operating System and its components.

Database System Operating System
MS SQL Server Microsoft Windows Server
PostgreSQL Amazon Linux
MySQL Amazon Linux

Management Virtual Machine

Here you will find certain versions of the Operating System and its components.

Component Company Operating System
AWS Minio Amazon Amazon Linux
AWS Datastore Amazon Amazon Linux
AWS Connector Amazon Amazon Linux
AWS Edge router Amazon Amazon Linux
AWS Event Stream Aggregator Amazon Amazon Linux
AWS Event Processor Amazon Amazon Linux
VMware Database Management Essential VMware Photon OS 2

VMware Database Management Essentials

Snapshot Manager

VMware Photon OS 2

Validations by the Amazon RDS on VMware Installer

The validations conducted by the installer are listed in the table below. When you deploy the installer, you can see these validations on-screen.

Validation Description
Minimum number of ESXi hosts on the cluster In production, the minimum number of ESXi hosts per cluster is three. For vSphere High Availability, this is the recommended number of hosts.
Check the vCenter Major Version compatibility. The installer verifies that the vCenter Server version to which it is connected is one of the currently supported versions (vSphere 6.5, 6.7, and 7.0). The VMware Product Interoperability Matrix must be used to validate support for the respective minor versions.
Check DRS on Cluster Checks whether the DRS is enabled on the vSphere cluster or not. 
Free space on Datastore Verifies that the selected datastore has at least 700 GB of free space.
vSphere Replication and NFC enabled VMK created on Cluster Control Network port group Verify that each ESXi Host in the vSphere Cluster has the appropriate vSphere Kernel Adapter (VMK) and that the VMK configuration is proper (vSphere Replication and vSphere Replication NFC enabled). The installer verifies that the VMK hasn't been assigned an IP address.
ESXi hosts NTP Servers The NTP Server for each ESXi Host connected to the vSphere Cluster is the same as for the vCenter Server.
Application and Cluster Control Network on the distributed switch Checks that the vSphere Distributed Switch has been allocated to the Application and Cluster Control Networks that were assigned during the RDS installer's deployment.
DHCP on Application Network The DHCP service must be running on the Application Network (the customer is responsible for the DHCP service on the Application Network).
DHCP on Internet Network The DHCP service must be running on the Internet Network (the customer is responsible for the DHCP service on the Internet Network).
Unique VLAN ID for Cluster Control Network Here, ensure that Cluster Control Network has a unique VLAN that is not shared with any other port group.
Cluster Control Network has no DHCP Verify that no DHCP broadcasts are received by the Cluster Control Network (DHCP Service on this network is AWS’s responsibility)

Frequently Asked Questions

What if "DiskQueue is full" appears during delta backups, and will it cause the backups to stop working?

It may occur in vSphere 6.7 and 6.7 Update 1 + vSAN 6.7 later; it was fixed in vSphere 6.7 Update 2. Although if this appears, the workaround is by the following values in the advanced settings of the ESXi host.

  • HBR.ChecksumUseChecksumInfo to 0 
  • HBR.DemandlogTransferMaxNetwork to 63


Can database creation fail on vSphere 6.5.x + vSAN environment?

The database VM is cloned from a master template during the database deployment procedure. If the initial database does not appear when the VM is cloned, you must change the VMwareRDS-Snapshot-Root role's datastore rights.

What to do afterward:

  1. As an administrator, log in to the vCenter Server.
  2. Select Roles in the left pane of Administration.
  3. Click Edit Role and select VMwareRDS-Snapshot-Root.
  4. Select Configure Datastore from the All Privileges -> Datastore menu.
  5. Click Next to proceed to the next screen, where you can confirm and apply the privilege.


Can database creation get stuck when running on vSphere 6.7 Update 3 on vSAN or NAS?

vSphere 6.7 Update 3 is currently unsupported. You can get an NFC exception if you try to build a database on vSphere 6.7 Update 3.


In this article, we have extensively discussed Amazon RDS on VMware. We hope that this blog has helped you enhance your knowledge and aspects that you should keep in mind while dealing with the Amazon RDS on VMware; you will also like this article on the comparison between AWS vs Azure and Google clouds and AWS console mobile application. If you would like to learn more, check out our articles here. Do upvote our blog to help other ninjas grow. 

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