MySQL Pricing Explained: Usage + Costs [Full Breakdown]

CEO, Portable

MySQL is a commonly used open-source relational database management system. While the fundamental software is freely available under the GNU General Public License, there are expenses with MySQL in a business setting or on cloud platforms that you might not be aware of. 

We'll break down the different types of MySQL edition costs, cloud infrastructure pricing, and other considerations involved with utilizing MySQL. We'll also provide a short list of recommended tools for working with MySQL databases.

How much does MySQL cost?

MySQL has numerous versions, each with its price strategy and capabilities.

Here's a breakdown of the prices for the various MySQL editions:

MySQL Community Edition 

MySQL Community Edition is the world's most popular open-source database that can be downloaded for free. Individuals and organizations can utilize it for a variety of purposes.

The Community Edition has several restrictions, including a lack of advanced features like backup and recovery, performance monitoring, and security advancements in the Enterprise Edition. You will not, however, receive official assistance from the MySQL development team. 

Hosting services such as shared hosting, virtual hosting, and serverless hosting may all be used to host a MySQL Community edition database.

MySQL Standard Edition

MySQL Standard Edition is a paid version that provides extra analytics capabilities and support services. It contains all of MySQL's fundamental functionality and some extras like sophisticated backup and recovery, performance monitoring, and security upgrades.

This edition's cost is determined by the number of processors used, with discounts possible for more extensive deployments. MySQL Standard Edition costs different amounts based on the number of servers and cores. 

InnoDB is included in MySQL Standard Edition, making it a fully integrated transaction-safe, ACID-compliant database. Furthermore, MySQL Replication enables you to deliver high-performance, scalable web applications.

The cost is based on an annual subscription, with a two-core server starting at $2,140 annually. Additional cores or servers can be added to the license for up to $12,840, with reductions available for multi-processor deployments and bulk licensing. 

MySQL Enterprise Edition

MySQL Enterprise Edition provides additional features and support services such as high availability, security, and speed enhancements. 

MySQL Enterprise Edition costs different amounts based on the number of servers and cores. The cost is based on an annual subscription, with a two-core server starting at $5,350 per year. Additional cores or servers can be added to the license for a fee of up to $32,100.

MySQL Enterprise Edition is appropriate for mission-critical applications requiring enhanced capabilities for high availability, security, and performance optimization. 

MySQL Enterprise Monitor for real-time monitoring and MySQL Enterprise Backup for dependable and scalable backups are included. It also provides access to MySQL software updates and fixes and 24/7 technical support.

Advantages of Commercial MySQL Editions

The following are some of the benefits of utilizing a premium MySQL edition, such as the MySQL Standard or Enterprise Edition:

  • Paid MySQL versions have more advanced features than the free and open-source MySQL Community Edition. Advanced backup and recovery, performance monitoring, and security advancements are among the features available.

  • Paid MySQL versions are meant to grow with the business, allowing additional users and big data sets.

  • MySQL paid versions have been carefully tested and provide stability and dependability. This can aid in preventing downtime and data loss, both of which can be costly in the long term.

  • Paid MySQL versions are built to interface with other enterprise-level applications, allowing for smooth integration with the current infrastructure.

MySQL licensing in a nutshell

Open-source projects 

It is optional to have a commercially licensed MySQL Server. The community-maintained software is licensed under the General Public License (GPL). It is enough for most corporate applications.

Users can use, modify, and distribute MySQL software for free if they follow the GPL rules. However, any changes or derivative works must be distributed under the GPL license.

Scalability and data migrations might be easier with commercial-grade database administration tools.

Proprietary, closed-source projects 

The commercial license allows users to use the MySQL software in proprietary web applications and to alter the source code without having to share the modifications under the GPL.

MySQL proprietary, closed-source projects can encompass various software products, including commercial applications, bespoke software solutions, and web-based services. 

These solutions are frequently used by enterprises and organizations who wish to utilize MySQL as a database backend but want to be unrestricted by the GPL license conditions.

Benefits of MySQL Enterprise 

MySQL Enterprise is a robust and reliable option for enterprise-level organizations that demand comprehensive database administration tools, support, and security like authentication and firewall.

MySQL Enterprise is a trusted solution for mission-critical database workloads due to its scalability, performance, extensive monitoring, management tools, high availability, multiple connections, routers, load balancing, and increased disaster recovery features.

MySQL Pricing Considerations

Database size

The price of using MySQL in a managed database service frequently depends on how much storage is required. Cloud providers may offer various storage tiers with different costs per GB. You should switch to a higher storage tier as the database gets bigger, increasing costs.

Metrics and monitoring can also impact the cost of using a MySQL database. Some cloud service providers may offer further monitoring and performance metrics as part of their managed database services. These measures could be expensive but could help identify issues and enhance database performance.

CPU cores

The cost of utilizing MySQL in a cloud-based database can be influenced by the number of CPU cores required to serve your workload. Cloud providers may provide several instance kinds or service levels with varying amounts of CPU cores and related prices. The cost of utilizing MySQL will rise as more CPU cores are required to serve your workload.

To keep the expense of utilizing MySQL in the cloud under control, closely monitor your CPU utilization and optimize your database and workload for efficiency. Tuning queries, indexing, and caching may be required to minimize resource utilization and increase speed.

Network egress

Most cloud providers will charge for the amount of information transported from the cloud network to other networks or the internet regarding network egress. This can involve data transmitted from a MySQL database to other cloud resources or queries made to the database by customers. The cost of network egress varies according to the quantity of data sent, the cloud location or on-premises, and the kind of data transfer (e.g., standard or high-performance).

When planning and implementing a MySQL database in the cloud, keep network egress in mind because it can significantly influence the overall cost of utilizing the database. To reduce network egress costs, consider employing cloud services in the same area as the MySQL database or a cloud provider that provides cost-effective data transfer alternatives.

Database workloads

MySQL cost concerns for database workloads include downtime, low latency, and workload type. High availability alternatives can help to decrease downtime, low latency solutions can help to increase performance, and tailored instances can help to optimize performance for specific workloads. 

Cloud providers may provide many service tiers with varying availability and downtime. A higher service tier, for example, may give a better uptime and a lesser chance for downtime, but at a more considerable expense.

If your workload necessitates quick response times and minimal latency, you may need to employ higher-performance database instances, which may be more expensive.

Selecting a solution that matches your unique requirements while balancing cost and performance is critical.

Data migrations

Depending on the database's size and the migration's complexity, the cost of data migration in a managed database service may change. Cloud service providers could provide several price levels based on the amount of data being transported or the complexity involved.

Data integration may also have an impact on MySQL's price. The complexity and cost of the transfer may rise if you merge data from many sources or move data between databases or systems.

Data replication and high-performance requirements may impact the cost of using MySQL in a cloud-based database. The cost of using MySQL will increase if you need to replicate data across many regions or use high-performance servers.

Planning and preparing for the migration process in detail is essential to keep data transfer expenses under control. Examining your data and choosing the optimal transfer method, such as a one-time bulk load or continuous replication, may be necessary to do this.

Cloud-Based MySQL Database Service Pricing (2023)

Cloud-based MySQL database services enable access to a MySQL database in the cloud. You may host your MySQL database on a cloud infrastructure offered by a cloud service provider using these services.

Cloud Service ProviderRAM (GB)CPUsDisk Size (GB)Pricing Info
Google Cloud SQL0.6- 624 GBUp to 96Up to 64 TBHourly & monthly flat pricing — Begins at $0.0126/hr
Amazon RDS1- 3904 GB2 - 128 vCPU1GB - 64TBHourly pricing model — Begins at $8.47
DigitalOcean512 MiB- 256 GB2-3225 GB-4690 GBHourly & monthly pricing — Begins at $15.00 per month
Microsoft Azure Database2GB-10GB1-3220 GB - 16 TBHourly pricing — Begins at $0.034/hour

The table above shows the minimum and maximum RAM, CPU, and disk capacity ranges offered for each cloud service provider, as well as the accompanying pricing model.

All providers provide automated backups, point-in-time recovery or restore, and read replicas, but some also include features like automatic failover, high availability, geo-replication, and HIPAA compliance. 

Except for Linode, Google Cloud SQL, Amazon RDS, and Microsoft Azure Database are SOC and ISO certified, and all providers include a price calculator. VMware is also supported by Google Cloud SQL and Amazon RDS.

MySQL Server Alternatives

Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) 

Amazon RDS is a relational database service provided by Amazon Web Services in the cloud. Scalability, dependability, and the ability to manage database operations via a web interface are all advantages. 

One disadvantage is that it is more expensive than open-source alternatives and requires a network connection. A simple database instance on Amazon RDS costs $0.024 per hour.


PostgreSQL is a relational database management system that is open source and noted for its reliability, resilience, and comprehensive feature set. Its benefits include support for complex data types and features such as geographical data and JSON data processing.

One disadvantage is its steeper learning curve than simpler databases like MySQL. PostgreSQL is a free and open-source database.

Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is a commercial relational database management system created by Microsoft. Advantages include good interaction with other Microsoft products and support for sophisticated capabilities such as business intelligence and analytics. 

The disadvantages include its expensive cost and the specialized expertise to use its features properly. Microsoft SQL Server has various price options, with the license beginning at $931 per core.


MongoDB is a free and open-source NoSQL database management system. NoSQL is a database technology that is used as an alternative to traditional relational databases. NoSQL databases are convenient for dealing with massive amounts of scattered data. MongoDB is a tool for managing document-oriented data and storing and retrieving data.

MongoDB's features include flexible databases, sharding, high speed, and high availability. Some downsides include high memory use and limited data size. AWS charges $9 monthly for shared MongoDB instances, whereas dedicated clusters/instances cost $60.


MariaDB liberates businesses from the costs, limitations, and complexity of proprietary databases, allowing them to reinvest in the most important: fast-building, creative, customer-facing apps. To serve workloads that previously needed a range of specialist databases, MariaDB employs pluggable, purpose-built storage engines.

Its open-source nature and interoperability with MySQL are two advantages. One disadvantage is that it has a smaller community than other open-source databases, such as PostgreSQL. MariaDB is a free and open-source database.

Advanced MySQL Database Management Tools

Advanced MySQL database administration tools are programs or services that aid in managing and optimizing MySQL databases. 

Visual database design and modeling, database migration and synchronization, query profiling and optimization, monitoring and alerting, backup and recovery, and user and access management are all characteristics of these tools. 

Here are some handy MySQL tools to check out:

1) Portable

Portable is the best MySQL ETL solution for teams with large amounts of data. It contains built-in interfaces for over 300+ hard-to-find data sources and constantly adds more.

The Portable team creates no-code ETL connectors on demand, with turnaround times as short as a few hours. They also keep such relationships up to date whenever APIs or datasets change.

Portable provides a free manual data sync plan with no limits on volume, connectors, or destinations. Portable charges a monthly fixed price of $200 for automatic data transfers. Contact sales for enterprise needs and SLAs.

2) MySQL Workbench

MySQL Workbench is a visual database design and modeling tool for creating, editing, and managing MySQL databases.

MySQL Workbench supports visual schema design, SQL development and execution, database administration and management, and data transfer and synchronization. It also allows plugins to provide other capabilities, such as reverse engineering and ERD production from an existing database.

MySQL Workbench is freely accessible under the GPL v2 open-source license. It is available for download from the MySQL website or installation using package managers for many operating systems. Additionally, a commercial version called MySQL Workbench Plus is available through a paid subscription through the Oracle Store and contains extra features and support.

3) Blendo

Blendo is a data integration tool with numerous automation to help you create ETL pipelines faster. It contains scripts as well as pre-configured data models. It accelerates the setup process using automation scripts, allowing you to import MySQL data immediately.

The free plan is restricted to three sources. The Pro plan begins at $750 per month and includes makeovers. Custom pricing is available for enterprise plans.

4) Airbyte

Airbyte is a free and open-source data integration solution for transferring data from apps, APIs, and databases to data warehouses, lakes, and other destinations.

It is an ETL platform that accepts MySQL as a data source and a destination. You may utilize Airbyte's open-source version or its premium cloud subscription.

Open-source software is free to use since you host it yourself. Cloud, with pricing beginning at $2.50 per credit. (One million rows equals six credits; one gigabyte equals four credits). Cloud large volume: Custom price (for credits of 5,000 or more)

5) Amazon AWS Glue

Amazon Web Services (AWS) Glue, a fully managed extract, transform, and load (ETL) solution, simplifies data transmission. It offers a simple and customized method for managing ETL operations and the ability to automatically identify and classify data to make it easier to search for and query.

AWS Glue's single metadata repository, the Glue Data Catalog, stores and tracks data location, schema, and runtime metrics.

Users only pay for the resources they utilize since AWS Glue is a pay-as-you-go service. When using AWS Glue, there are no setup fees or minimum charges. Each digital processing hour costs $0.44.

How to Optimize Your MySQL Database Pricing

Here are some recommendations to assist you in optimizing the cost of your MySQL database:

  • Choose the appropriate instance size for your workload. Avoid over- or under-provisioning by assessing your workload's storage, CPU, and memory requirements.

  • Utilize reserved instances to save on long-term costs. By committing to a certain amount of usage over a specified period, you can enjoy significant savings on your MySQL database expenses.

  • Monitor and optimize resource utilization. Track metrics like CPU and memory usage to identify bottlenecks and determine when the query or table-level changes are necessary.

  • Take advantage of free cloud SQL hosting. They are ideal for minor or irregular workloads without high costs. It also lets you experiment with a more robust MySQL infrastructure.

  • Optimize storage costs by using built-in MySQL features. Functions like compression and optimizing tables reduce storage needs and improve responsiveness to SQL queries. A data warehousing platform like Snowflake also provides ways to improve query performance.

  • Consider using a managed database service to save time and money.  Managed database services like Amazon RDS or Google BigQuery offer automated backups, upgrades, and scaling, freeing up your resources to focus on your core business.

With these MySQL best practices, you can optimize database performance and speed affordably. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of a well-performing relational database while managing costs.

Simplify Database Management & Data Ingestion with Portable

As you engineer your organization's modern data stack, you'll need a robust ETL management tool to transform data from multiple data sources. 

Portable is a data integration solution for teams dealing with long-tail data sources. Portable supports over 300+ uncommon data sources.

The Portable team creates and manages ETL data connectors for less popular sources.

Cost-effective data management practices include using a flexible data integration platform like Portable. It's a valuable tool for enterprises of all sizes and sectors.