DynamoDB vs Aerospike - The Ultimate Comparison

Nishani Dissanayake

Written by Nishani Dissanayake

Published on November 20th, 2022

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    Amazon DyanmoDB and Aerospike are two popular database services used by organizations worldwide.

    This article compares Amazon DynamoDB and Aerospike while discussing their common traits.

    DynamoDB and Aerospike: An Overview

    DynamoDB is a fast and reliable database service offered and fully managed by Amazon Web Services. It is a powerful NoSQL cloud database platform supporting document and key-value data-storage models.

    Aerospike is an excellent flash-optimized in-memory database platform providing speed at scale. It is open source, reliable, and supports flexible data schemas and ACID transactions.

    Shared Attributes of DynamoDB and Aerospike

    Amazon DynamoDB and Aerospike are both NoSQL database services. Both databases support key-value data models and have high reliability and performance rates.

    Even though there are many differences between Aerospike and DyanamoDB, they provide users with data replication, data security, and monitoring capabilities with many more similar database features. However, the two have several significant differences, such as Aerospike being licensed as an open-source database service, whereas DynamoDB is commercial.



    Amazon DynamoDB is well known for its single-digit millisecond performance at any scale. In addition, it can handle above 10 trillion requests with peaks greater than 20 million requests per second in a single day.

    The latency of DynamoDB databases is maintained within milliseconds. In addition, DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX), an in-memory cache, can increase the performance by ten times, thereby reducing the response time from milliseconds to microseconds.

    You can read more in-depth information about DynamoDB performance and latency here.


    Aerospike is a database service with predictable low latency at high throughput. It can complete 99% of reads or writes under one millisecond, and these features enable companies to build large-scale applications but at a lesser cost.

    Availability and Durability


    DynamoDB ensures its data's high availability by automatically replicating it across three availability zones. This data replication over multiple physical nodes helps ensure data availability even during emergencies like natural catastrophes and power outages. By using this mechanism, DynamoDB provides uninterrupted data flow even if one node fails.


    Aerospike is also resilient to everyday failures and replicates the data at the server level to maintain high availability and uptime. They utilize services such as Geographic replication, dynamic cluster management, and the Aerospike Smart Client to ensure maximum uptime and availability.



    DynamoDB ensures the safety of its data by supporting encryption-at-rest using the AWS KMS (Key Management Service). The users can select from the three below options by which method they want to encrypt the data.

    1. AWS Owned Key - DynamoDB owns and manages the key; this option is free.
    2. AWS Managed Key - The key is stored in the user's AWS account and is managed by AWS KMS.
    3. Customer Managed Key - The user has complete control over the key.


    Aerospike Database Enterprise Edition offers TLS, quotas, encryption-at-rest, and access control to ensure high security.

    Comparison of Other Features

    Backup and Restore


    DynamoDB offers PTTR (point-in-time recovery) and on-demand backup options for data backup. PTTR allows rollback operations within the last 35 days and involves a continuous table backup. In contrast, on-demand backup enables the creation of full table backups for long-term storage.


    Aerospike uses asbackup and asrestore as tools for handling backup and restoration processes. You can find these two tools in the Aerospike Enterprise Edition.



    DynamoDB can support virtually any table size and is highly scalable. It provides seamless scalability with uninterrupted performance, and the user can select either the on-demand mode or the provisioned capacity mode depending on the nature of expected application traffic. Additionally, its internal request router uses a hash function that creates O(1) time complexity, ensuring that DynamoDB performs the same under low and heavy workloads.


    Aerospike is a scalable NoSQL database service. Even under production load, it enables linear scalability by allowing easy addition or removal of nodes to adjust the throughput.



    The pricing for Amazon DynamoDB is calculated based on the data's reads, writes, and storage consumption, where any additional feature is charged separately. You can read more about the pricing calculation in detail here. A free tier is also available if you want to try out DyanmoDB for the first time. Slight variations in the pricing can occur based on the AWS Regions.

    Amazon DynamoDB provides the user with two pricing modes:

    1. On-Demand Capacity Mode - On-demand capacity mode is the pricing option better suited for applications with less predictable database traffic, as you are charged based on the application traffic. This pricing mode follows the pay-as-you-go model, allowing the application workload to scale up and down automatically as necessary.

    2. Provisional Capacity Mode - On the other hand, the provisioned capacity mode is ideal if the application traffic is consistent and predictable. Here, the user has to specify the number of data reads and writes per second required by the application.


    There are two pricing options in Aerospike, depending on your application's requirements. The Community Edition is free of charge and has many exciting features. You can purchase the Enterprise Edition by contacting Aerospike for pricing to receive added features and support.

    You can read more about Aerospike features and editions here.

    When and Where to Choose Which Database Service

    Every application has its own specific set of requirements and business objectives. So, it is essential to consider these requirements when selecting a database service. Below are several use cases for Amazon DynamoDB and Aerospike that will aid you in figuring out the best solution for your application.

    Use Cases for DynamoDB

    With its high performance and auto-scaling capabilities, DynamoDB has proven to be one of the ideal databases for extremely demanding mission-critical workloads.

    • Real-time bidding.
    • Applications that receive millions of requests per day.
    • Content management.
    • Applications that require uninterrupted performance even during scaling.

    DynamoDB is the best NoSQL candidate, especially when you are already working with AWS services.

    Use Cases for Aerospike

    Aerospike has high throughput and low latency, making it an excellent cache replacement. In addition, it is also a good solution for storing user profiles (applications that involve marketing and advertising), recommendation engines, and fraud detection projects.


    Amazon DynamoDB and Aerospike are scalable and reliable database services with high-performance rates. This article discussed how these two databases differ from each other, along with several use cases.

    I hope this article was able to help you determine the best database service suitable for your next project.

    Thank you for reading!

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