Amazon Web Services Launches Redshift Data Warehouse in the Cloud

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2012-11-28 Print this article Print

Amazon Redshift is also priced cost effectively to enable larger companies to reduce their costs substantially and smaller companies to take advantage of the analytic insights that come from using a powerful data warehouse.

Amazon Redshift uses a number of techniques, including columnar data storage, advanced compression, and high-performance IO and network, to achieve significantly higher performance than traditional databases for data warehousing and analytics workloads. By distributing and parallelizing queries across a cluster of inexpensive nodes, Amazon Redshift makes it easy to obtain high performance without requiring customers to hand-tune queries, maintain indices or pre-compute results.

In addition, Amazon Redshift is certified by popular business intelligence tools, including Jaspersoft and MicroStrategy. More than 20 customers, including Flipboard, NASA/JPL, Netflix and Schumacher Group, are in the Amazon Redshift private beta program.

"At Netflix, we deliver personalized recommendations for our millions of subscribers by analyzing large volumes of data, and are always looking for ways to improve our service," Kurt Brown, director of the Data Science & Engineering Platform at Netflix, said in a statement. "We're very excited about the cost-disruptive and cloud-based model of Amazon Redshift. It's sure to shake up the data warehousing industry."

The technology also helps NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory run its data warehouse in the cloud.

"We are excited about being able to use this new service to take our cloud usage even farther and run a large-scale data warehouse in the cloud for our engineering, science and IT data," Tom Soderstrom, CTO in the Office of the CIO at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, said in a statement. "This new service will also allow us to create new types of big data analytics that will lead to new discoveries."

Meanwhile, Amazon demonstrates that it uses its own technology internally to run its retail operation.

"The Amazon Enterprise Data Warehouse manages petabytes of data for every group at Amazon," said Erik Selberg, manager of the data warehouse team. "We are seeing significant performance improvements leveraging Amazon Redshift over our current multimillion dollar data warehouse.

"Some multi-hour queries finish in under an hour, and some queries that took five to 10 minutes on our current data warehouse are now returning in seconds with Amazon Redshift. Early estimates show the cost of Amazon Redshift will be well under one-tenth the cost of our existing solution. Amazon Redshift is providing us with a cost-effective way to scale with our growing data analysis needs," he said.

Amazon Redshift includes technology components licensed from ParAccel and is available with two underlying node types, including either 2 terabytes or 16 terabytes of compressed customer data per node. One cluster can scale up to 100 nodes and on-demand pricing starts at just $0.85 per hour for a 2-terabyte data warehouse, scaling linearly up to a petabyte and more. Reserved-instance pricing lowers the effective price to $0.228 per hour or under $1,000 per terabyte per year, the company said.


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