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A High-Level Overview of Amazon Redshift

amazon redshift

A High-Level Overview of Amazon Redshift

Wanting a data warehouse solution that meets all the business needs and can handle any amount of data is what every enterprise wants today. The good news is that there is no shortage of them, and the sad news is that the options are so many, with mind-boggling features, that one lands up completely confused and unsure. To make matters easy, we decided to enlighten you with a high-level overview of one of the most popular data warehouse solutions available today – Amazon Redshift.

What Is Amazon Redshift?

Amazon Redshift or AWS Redshift is an enterprise-level, cloud-based, exabyte (1018) scale, fully managed data warehouse solution hosted by Amazon Web Services. It is a Relational Database Management System (RDBMS) capable of processing structured, unstructured, and even semi-structured data. The best part is that one can also use this service for migrating large amounts of data.

What Does Amazon Redshift Do?

Amazon Redshift can perform a wide range of things, but we are only going to hit you with what it does the best.

1. Data Analysis – The top priority of every business is data analysis to back every decision. The data is usually spread across data warehouses and data lakes in addition to operational databases. Redshift gives easy access by integrating them all so you can use a standard SQL to run queries and implement machine learning.
2. Real-Time Data Sharing – To build collaborations, it is necessary to have all your data handy, well-organized, and up-to-date. Using Redshift, you can isolate critical workloads, share real-time data with third parties, stakeholders, and employees, and enable real-time operational analytics to gain insights.
3. Improved Performance – Redshift has a unique Advanced Query Accelerator (AQUA) that makes for at least 10x better and swifter operations. You can launch a completely new data warehouse with just a few clicks and maximize performance using concurrency scaling, workload management (driven by ML), and table optimizations.

Key Features Of Amazon Redshift Services

1. Columnar Databases – Redshift provides an Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) environment, where the standard practice is to run fewer queries but on large datasets. The columnar database structure of Redshift allows it to work swiftly and complete the data processing tasks faster. This swift action involving vast amounts of data cannot be achieved if the data is organized in rows. That setup only works when the queries are numerous, and the data to process is smaller.
2. Massively Parallel Processing Design – In MPP, a large job is broken into smaller tasks and distributed among the compute nodes. These nodes complete the assigned task simultaneously instead of sequentially. Therefore, the time it takes to process a query is significantly less, making for improved performance.
3. Tolerance For Faults – Systems tend to fail for one reason or the other. Nevertheless, it is the ability to continue working despite the fault that makes for a truly superior system. Amazon Redshift continuously monitors its data. Whenever it notices the failure of any or several nodes, clusters, or drives, it automatically replicates them and moves the data to them. This ensures the accessibility of data at all times and maintains the continuity of work.
4. End-To-End Encryption – Redshift has flexible, highly customizable, and robust data encryption options. These make it easy to comply with GDPR, Sarbanes-Oxley Act, HIPAA, and other similar laws. Some of its encryption features include the option to enable single or double encryption, migrate data amongst unencrypted and encrypted clusters, a choice between using a customer-managed key or an AWS-managed key, etc.
5. Network isolation – If the user desires to take things a step further and ensure maximum security for their data, they can choose to isolate their network within Redshift. Once the network is isolated, the data warehouse continues to be connected to the current IT infrastructure via IPsec VPN. The access to the said businesses clusters is limited by enabling the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud.

Advantages Of Amazon Redshift Services

Some of the most notable advantages of Amazon Redshift are:

1. Automatic workload management makes it possible to segregate the workloads like reporting and ETL and allocate cluster resources to each as per need and requirement.
2. Concurrency scaling gives the users a chance to have numerous connections on a cluster. Its limits are configured as per region, and one limit does not apply to all. If the situation demands, one can request an increase as well.
3. Redshift has a fantastic UI. Overall, it is a quick and efficient system that is easy to administer.
4. It is one of the most reliable data warehousing tools available today with a highly user-friendly AWS console. 

Disadvantages Of Amazon Redshift Services

Let’s now talk about the downside of Amazon Redshift. Some things that work against it are:

1. Amazon Redshift is not recommended for OLTP workloads because of its Single Commit Queue, where heavy write operations are slow.
2. Amazon Redshift is available only on Amazon Web Services. It means you have to be on AWS to use Redshift. Hence users of Azure, Snowflake, Oracle Cloud, etc., would be better off evaluating the services offered by their respective Cloud service providers before making the switch.
3. Price-wise many users gave the verdict of Redshift being too expensive. Nevertheless, discounts for committed capacity can lower the price a bit.

The Final Verdict

The choice of data warehouse differs from business to business. It depends on your business requirements, the budget, the present state of your business, and your plans on how to use the data warehouse. To say that Amazon Redshift services is precisely what you need might be a little far-fetched. What we can tell you, without doubt, is that it is a powerful tool that is bound to amaze you with its capabilities. It is for you to judge whether your business and AWS Redshift are a perfect fit or not.

Oamii Technologies believes that data can help any business and enterprise rise in leaps and bounds when utilized correctly. Moving to the Cloud and adopting the right data warehousing technology is your first step in the right direction. With our help, you can successfully harness the power of the Cloud to realize the true potential of your business. To talk to us, call 561-228-4111.