The main differences between Multi-Availability Zone RDS Database Replication and Failover Versus Read Replicas are that

  • Multi-Availability Zones RDS databases are synchronous and provide failover capabilities
  • Read replicas are asynchronous – and meant for READING – and do NOT provide failover capability.

You can do both Multi-Zone and Read Replicas simultaneously at an increased cost.

Note: restores from automated (or manual) RDS backups are S3 snapshots – restoration is to a new database and does not overwrite the existing database.

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