For example, if I have a SQL Server instance in RDS, and I have only a connection string to connect to the server, is there a sproc or some pre-configured tables I can access via SQL on the instance that would report the instance size string? (db.r5.xlarge)

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I don't have a SQL Server on AWS to check, but you could see if it's in xp_msver, or figure it out from ProcessorCount, ProcessorType and PhysicalMemory in that sproc.

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