What do I need to know about the Amazon RDS maintenance window?

5 minute read

I want to know what happens during the Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) maintenance window. I want to know the pending maintenance actions and defer these maintenance actions accordingly.


Amazon RDS performs maintenance on Amazon RDS resources periodically to fix issues related to security and instance reliability. During the maintenance window, Amazon RDS applies updates related to hardware, underlying operating system, or database engine minor version. In addition, DB instance modifications that you've chosen not to apply immediately are also applied during the maintenance window. Some of these maintenance operations, such as operating system updates and database patching, cause downtime on your RDS instance. Enabling the Multi-AZ configuration on your RDS instance might help in minimizing the downtime required during some maintenance operations.

Get notifications for maintenance actions

To configure notifications for upcoming maintenance actions on your RDS instance, do the following:

  1. Create an Amazon Simple Notification Service (Amazon SNS) topic to receive notifications from Personal Health Dashboard.
  2. Create an Amazon CloudWatch Events rule to be notified for AWS Health events related to RDS resources in your account.
  3. Use the Amazon RDS event notification to be notified for instance events in the maintenance category. You can also subscribe to Amazon RDS event notification.

To create the CloudWatch Events rule to get notifications for Amazon RDS maintenance actions, do the following:

  1. Open the Amazon CloudWatch console.
  2. In the navigation pane, under Events, choose Rules.
  3. Choose Back to CloudWatch Events.
  4. Choose Create rule.
  5. Under Event Source, do the following:
    For Service Name, choose Health.
    For Event Type, choose Specific Health events.
    Select Specific service(s).
    For Specific service(s), select RDS.
    Select Specific event type category(s).
    For Specific event type category(s), select scheduledChange.
    Select Any event type code.
    Select Any resource.
  6. Under Targets, do the following:
    Choose Add target*, and then select SNS topic.
    For Topic*, select the Amazon SNS topic that you created for notifying Amazon RDS maintenance actions.
  7. Choose Configure details.
  8. Under Rule definition, do the following:
    For Name*, enter the name for the rule.
    For Description, enter the description for the rule.
  9. Choose Create rule.

Note: To see the Amazon RDS DB instances that are scheduled to receive hardware maintenance during your maintenance window, review the DB instances that are listed in the Open and recent issues tab on your AWS Health Dashboard. For more information, see the maintenance notification email that's sent to your account.

List pending maintenance actions

To view whether a maintenance update is available for your DB instance, do the following:

  1. Open the Amazon RDS console.
  2. In the navigation pane, choose Databases.
  3. Choose the settings icon.
  4. Under Preferences, turn on Maintenance, and then choose Continue.

You can see the maintenance updates for your DB instance with one of the following column values:

  • required: The maintenance action will be applied to the resource and can't be deferred indefinitely.
  • available: The maintenance action is available, but won't be applied to the resource automatically. You can apply it manually.
  • next window: The maintenance action will be applied to the resource during the next maintenance window.
  • In progress: The maintenance action is in the process of being applied to the resource.

To view the maintenance actions for the RDS instance, do the following:

  1. Open the Amazon RDS console.
  2. In the navigation pane, choose Databases.
  3. Select the DB instance that you want to view.
  4. Choose the Maintenance & backups tab.
    You can view the list of pending maintenance actions under the Pending maintenance section.

You can also run the following AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI) command to list pending maintenance actions:

$ aws rds describe-pending-maintenance-actions --region example-region-name

Note: If you receive errors when running AWS CLI commands, make sure that you’re using the most recent version of the AWS CLI.

Change the maintenance window

The maintenance window should fall at the time of lowest usage and thus might need modification from time to time. To change the maintenance window to a preferred time, see Adjusting the preferred DB instance maintenance window.

Changing the maintenance window for an RDS instance doesn’t require any downtime. However, if there are one or more pending actions that cause downtime, and the maintenance window is changed to include the current time, then the pending actions are applied immediately, resulting in downtime.

To postpone a maintenance action that's scheduled for the next maintenance window, consider changing the maintenance window of your DB instance to the next feasible window.

Important: Changing the maintenance window continuously to avoid downtime might lead to the maintenance actions being applied at the time of highest usage. This might cause an outage.

Defer maintenance actions

You can't defer a maintenance action that has already started. However, you can defer a maintenance action that's scheduled for the next maintenance window. If you set the Maintenance value to next window, then the option to defer is available:

  1. Open the Amazon RDS console.
  2. In the navigation pane, choose Databases.
  3. Choose the DB instance for which you want to defer the maintenance action.
  4. Choose Actions, and then choose Defer upgrade.

Related information

Maintaining a DB instance

Modifying an Amazon RDS DB instance

How do I minimize downtime during required Amazon RDS maintenance?

How long is the Amazon RDS maintenance window?

How do I configure notifications for Amazon RDS or Amazon Redshift maintenance windows?

AWS OFFICIALUpdated a year ago