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Ingesting RDS snapshot into the Data Platform Landing Zone

This guide explains the process of ingesting data from a RDS instance in the AWS API accounts to the Data Platform landing zone by creating db snapshots.

Add rds instance id to the environment variables

In this section, you will be adding the rds instance id to the environment variables in Terraform, which will provision the necessary resources in AWS to create an event subscription on that database instance. Therefore, each time a database snapshot is created, it will begin the process of ingesting that data into the Data Platform landing zone.

  • Ensure you have access to the Data Platform repository
  • Login to the AWS management console for the account where the rds instance is located (for UPRN this will be ProductionAPIs)
    • Currently, the deployment is set up to only deploy to the Staging and Production API accounts. This will be refactored to allow us to release into multiple accounts
  • Search for RDS and select
  • Select DB Instances in the Resources section
  • Copy the DB identifier of the database you want to ingest
  • Navigate to prod.tfvars in the config/terraform directory and click the pencil icon to edit the file
  • Add the Db Identifier to the rds_instance_ids environment variable by pasting it to the end of the list as shown below. Ensure you do not remove existing instance ids and that each instance id is double-quoted and comma separated.
rds_instance_ids = ["rds-instance-1", "rds-instance-2", "YOUR_DB_INSTANCE_ID"]

The rds_instance_ids environment variable lists all the RDS instances that are configured to ingest into the Data Platform landing zone

  • Once the rds instance id has been added, submit your changes by referring to the Committing changes section of the Using Github guide. The Data Platform team needs to approve any changes to the code that you make, so your change won't happen automatically.

Create a snapshot of the rds instance

Once your pull request has been approved and released to production, you will need to log in to the AWS account where your RDS instance exists to create a snapshot of it. The creation of this snapshot will trigger the ingestion process of the data into the Data Platform landing zone.

  • Search for RDS and select

  • On the sidebar, select Snapshots

  • Select Take snapshot on the Manual tab

  • On Take a Snapshot page, use the DB Instance drop down and select the rds instance id as your DB instance

    In the Snapshot Name input field, enter a unique name for your snapshot according to the following convention: dataplatform-YYYY-MM-DD-rds_instance_id. See example below:


    If you're creating more than one snapshot to be ingested on the same day, you would need to make the snapshot name unique by adding a snapshot_version after the date according to the following convention: dataplatform-YYYY-MM-DD-snapshot_version-rds_instance_id. For example if this is your second snapshot in the same day, you can name as follows:

  • Select Take snapshot

  • The snapshot should immediately appear in the Manual snapshots list under the Manual tab

  • The snapshot is complete when it has a Snapshot creation time (this will take a few minutes to complete)

  • Once the snapshot has been created, it will automatically trigger the ingestion process into the Data Platform landing zone bucket. The ingestion process is made up of two steps which in total will take about an hour to complete:

    • First it will transform the database instance into parquet format and save it to an S3 bucket (Amazon Simple Storage Service) in the same service account. You can view the progress of this first export by navigating to the Exports in Amazon S3 tab (this takes just under an hour to complete). Once complete, you can view the initial snapshot export by clicking on the link in the S3 bucket column which will take you to the relevant directory in the dataplatform-prod-rds-export-storage S3 bucket where all the initial exports are stored.
    • The second step will copy the data from the dataplatform-prod-rds-export-storage S3 bucket to the landing zone S3 bucket in the Data Platform account (see exporting db snapshots to the landing zone for more detail on the ingestion process). Shortly after this, the data will become available in the Data Platform account.
  • Verify that your data is in the Data Platform landing zone:

    • Switch to the DataPlatform-Production account
    • Search for S3 and select
    • Select dataplatform-prod-landing-zone and navigate to the relevant department folder