Redshift: Amazon’s Next Step in Conquering the Cloud

In its continuing quest to conquer the business cloud, Genghis Khan-style, Amazon has announced a new data warehouse it calls Amazon Redshift.

Amazon claims the petabyte-scale data warehouse service will give engineers and developers fast query performance for “virtually any size data set,” and cost “under $1,000 per terabyte per year.” The platform also automates laborious tasks such as setting up, provisioning, operating and monitoring a data warehouse cluster.

Redshift users can start off with a single 2TB XL node and scale it up to a hundred 16TB 8XL nodes for 1.6 petabytes of compressed user data, if necessary. On-demand pricing for the 2TB warehouse starts at $0.85 an hour, scaling up from there; Amazon claims that reserved-instance pricing lowers “the effective price to $0.228 per hour,” which apparently translates to the aforementioned $1,000 per terabyte per year.

“Amazon Redshift nodes come in two sizes, the hs1.xlarge and hs1.8xlarge, which hold 2 TB and 16 TB of compressed data, respectively,” read a lengthy breakdown of Redshift’s capabilities on the Amazon Web Services Blog. “An Amazon Redshift cluster can have up to 32 hs1.xlarge nodes for up to 64 TB of storage or 100 hs1.8xlarge nodes for up to 1.6 PB of storage. We currently set a maximum cluster size of 40 nodes (640 TB of storage) by default.”

As with many other Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) options on the market, Redshift offers automated monitoring of system resources, alerting any IT administrators to ongoing issues and replacing any downed components as necessary. Both Jaspersoft and MicroStrategy have certified the platform for use with their respective business-intelligence tools, with more presumably coming soon; Redshift offers the ability to connect SQL clients or B.I. tools to the warehouse cluster via PostgreSQL JBDBC or ODBC drivers.

Security-wise, Redshift supports SSL for data in transit; Amazon plans to support encryption for data at rest and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (Amazon VPC) once the platform hits general release.

While Amazon commands the loyalty of a healthy number of organizations, other IT vendors are doing their very best to muscle into the business-cloud space. Microsoft’s Azure is just one such threat to Amazon Web Services’ dominion: SlashCloud’s Jeff Cogswell recently compared the two platforms and found them roughly equal in programmability, although both expose a developer to vendor lock-in.

 

Image: Amazon

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