Amazon Web Services Launches Redshift Data Warehouse in the Cloud

At its re:Invent user conference, Amazon Web Services launched a new service called Redshift, which is a data warehouse in the cloud.

Amazon Web Services has announced the limited preview of Amazon Redshift, its new data warehouse in the cloud.

Amazon said its new petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud provides a fast and powerful solution that increases the speed of query performance when users are analyzing virtually any size data set, using the same SQL-based business intelligence tools they use today.

With just a few clicks in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Management Console, customers can launch a Redshift cluster, starting with a few hundred gigabytes and scaling to a petabyte or more, for less than $1,000 per terabyte per year--one tenth the price of most data warehousing solutions available to customers today, AWS officials said.

AWS announced Redshift at its re:Invent user conference in Las Vegas Nov. 28. The re:Invent conference is AWS' first-ever user conference. The event, which runs Nov. 27 to 29, is a gathering of customers, partners, developers and others who make up the AWS ecosystem.

"Over the past two years, one of the most frequent requests we've heard from customers is for AWS to build a data warehouse service," Raju Gulabani, vice president of database services at AWS, said in a statement. "Enterprises are tired of paying such high prices for their data warehouses, and smaller companies can't afford to analyze the vast amount of data they collect--often throwing away 95 percent of their data. This frustrates customers as they know the cloud has made it easier and less expensive than ever to collect, store, and analyze data.

"Amazon Redshift not only significantly lowers the cost of a data warehouse, but also makes it easy to analyze large amounts of data very quickly," Gulabani said. "While actual performance will vary based on each customers' specific query requirements, our internal tests have shown over 10 times performance improvement when compared to standard relational data warehouses. Having the ability to quickly analyze petabytes of data at a low cost changes the game for our customers."

AWS officials noted that self-managed, on-premise data warehouses require significant time and resource to administer, especially for large data sets. Loading, monitoring, tuning, taking backups and recovering from faults are complex and time-consuming tasks. And the financial cost associated with building, maintaining, and growing traditional data warehouses is high.

However, larger companies have resigned themselves to paying such a high cost for data warehousing, while smaller companies often find the hardware and software costs prohibitively expensive, leaving most of these organizations without a data warehousing capability. Amazon Redshift is aimed at all these users, the company said. Amazon Redshift manages all the work needed to set up, operate and scale a data warehouse, from provisioning capacity to monitoring and backing up the cluster, to applying patches and upgrades. Scaling a cluster to improve performance or increase capacity on Amazon Redshift is simple and incurs no downtime, while the service continuously monitors the health of the cluster and automatically replaces any component needed.