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docs add public docs Feb 16, 2020

NOTE: This repo contains only the documentation for the private BoltsOps Pro repo code. Original file: The docs are publish so they are available for interested customers. For access to the source code, you must be a paying BoltOps Pro subscriber. If are interested, you can contact us at or

RDS Blueprint


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This blueprint provisions a RDS database.

  • You can configure databases like PostgreSQL, Oracle, etc. For Aurora, refer to the Aurora Blueprint.
  • The default database is MySQL. All AWS::RDS::Instance properties are configurable with Parameters. Additional, properties that require further customization are configurable with Variables. The blueprint is extremely flexible and configurable for your needs.
  • Storage is encrypted by default.
  • Managed DB Subnet Groups can be created by configuring DBSubnets. Or you can use an existing DBSubnetGroupName.
  • Can create an optional managed Route53 record that points to the database endpoint.


  1. Add blueprint to Gemfile
  2. Configure: configs/rds values
  3. Deploy blueprint


Add the blueprint to your lono project's Gemfile.

gem "rds", git: ""


Use the lono seed command to generate a starter config params files.

LONO_ENV=development lono seed rds
LONO_ENV=production  lono seed rds

The files in config/rds folder will look something like this:

├── params
│   ├── development.txt
│   └── production.txt
└── variables
    ├── development.rb
    └── production.rb

Configure the configs/rds/params and configs/rds/variables files. The parameters required: DbUser, DbPassword, and VpcId. Example:


# Required parameters:
# Optional parameters:
# AllocatedStorage=100
# CopyTagsToSnapshot=true
# DBName=mydb # Must begin with a letter and contain only alphanumeric characters
# DBInstanceClass=db.t3.micro
# DBSnapshotIdentifier=...
# DBSubnetGroupName=...
# DBSubnets=subnet-111,subnet-222
# DeletionProtection=false
# Engine=mysql
# Iops=1000
# MonitoringInterval=1
# MultiAZ=false
# EnablePerformanceInsights=false
# PubliclyAccessible=false
# StorageEncrypted=true
# StorageType=gp2 # More: standard, gp2, io1
# ParameterGroupFamily=mysql5.7
# VPCSecurityGroups=sg-111,sg-222
# HostedZoneId=/hostedzone/Z01963071SQH02EXAMPLE
# DnsType=CNAME
# DnsTtl=60


@parameter_group_parameters = {} # parameter property for AWS::RDS::DBParameterGroup resource
@option_group_properties = {} # properties for AWS::RDS::OptionGroup resource
@database_properties = {} # properties AWS::RDS::DBInstance resource


Use the lono cfn deploy command to deploy.

LONO_ENV=development lono cfn deploy rds --sure --no-wait
LONO_ENV=production  lono cfn deploy rds --sure --no-wait

It takes about 15m to deploy the RDS DB instance. Times may vary.

If you are using One AWS Account, use these commands instead: One Account.

Configure: More Details

Different Database Engine Examples

To use PostgreSQL instead, configure at least Engine and ParameterGroupFamily



Using a Custom VPC

To provision the database to a custom vpc, provide the VpcId parameter. You must also provide either DBSubnetGroupName or DBSubnets. Only provide only one, not both.

By Providing the DBSubnets parameter only the blueprint will create a managed AWS::RDS::DBSubnetGroup resource in the same custom VPC. Example:


Private Data Subnet

It is recommended to run the database in a private data subnet. The reference-architecture vpc blueprint is has a PrivateDBSubnetGroup db subnet group contains the private subnets. A quick way to get the VPC and subnet values is from the VPC CloudFormation Outputs. Here's an example of the development VPC.

If you are not using the reference architecture and you do not have a Db Subnet Group, specifying DBSubnets will create a AWS::RDS::DBSubnetGroup for you.

Security Groups

To assign existing security groups to the RDS database use VPCSecurityGroups. Example:


If not set, then the blueprint will create and managed Security Group and assign to it to the RDS database.

Route53 DNS Pretty Host Name

It is recommended to use a Private HostedZone to create a pretty endpoint. Example:

Advanced Properties Customizations

Several AWS::RDS::Instance properties are configurable with Parameters. Properties that are not configurable with Parameters are configured with Variables. The @database_properties variable allows you to override any property. Example:

@database_properties = {
  port: 3306,
  character_set_name: "utf8_unicode_ci",

The blueprint is written so that Variables take higher precedence than Parameters.

Creating Replicas

You can use this same blueprint to create a replica with another RDS database. Make sure to not configure the DBSubnetGroupName or DBSubnets parameters. When creating a replica, RDS does not allow setting the DB Subnet group as it inherits the setting from the master. You will get an error that looks like this:

DBSubnetGroupName rds should not be specified for read replicas that are created in the same region as the master

DB Parameter Group and DB Option Group

Both DB Parameter Group and DB Option Group can be configured with variables:

@db_parameters: {
  sql_mode: "IGNORE_SPACE"
@db_options = {
  engine_name: "mysql",
  major_engine_version: "5.7",
  option_configurations: [
      option_name: "MEMCACHED",
      option_settings: [
          name: "CHUNK_SIZE",
          value: "32"
          name: "BINDING_PROTOCOL",
          value: "ascii"
      port: "1234",
      vpc_security_group_memberships: [
  option_group_description: "A test option group"

Note: When configuring @db_options and later deleting the RDS stack, CloudFormation fails to delete the DB Option Group because the final DB snapshot references the DB Option Group. To delete the stack successfully, delete all the snapshots associated with the DB, and then you'll be able to delete the stack cleanly. You can also skip the deletion of the DB Option Group resource and manually clean up later if you choose to do so.


Using CloudFormation to provision RDS databases has some pros and cons.

  • The main pro is that the infrastructure is codified and reproducible.
  • The main con is that CloudFormation can possibly replace your database entirely, and you'll lose your data!

Depending on the AWS::RDS::Instance property that is changed, CloudFormation will replace the entire database. You have to look for "Update requires: Replacement". This is obviously dangerous.

One technique you can use to prevent an accidental replacement is only to use CloudFormation for the initial provisioning of the database. Afterward, you'll modify the RDS DB with the API or Console only.

A good way to provide a guard rail against accidental replacement is to set the DBInstanceIdentifier parameter. If you change any property that requires replacement, then the CloudFormation stack update will immediately fail, because RDS won't be able to create another database with the same DBInstanceIdentifier.

Another way to provide a guard rail is to enable DeletionProtection=true. This will prevents the current database from being deleted.

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