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What is Amazon Redshift in AWS?

What is Amazon Redshift in AWS?
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Amazon Redshift in AWS is one of the many database solutions offered by Amazon Web Services which is most suited for business analytical workloads. Here this blog on what is Amazon Redshift in AWS & Spectrum, we will learn also how it works. Further, we will also learn how to create a Redshift Database Cluster, then connect to the database using the query editor.

The topics which we will in this tutorial section are given below:

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What is Redshift in AWS?

Amazon Redshift is a data warehouse service which is fully managed by AWS. It is very simple and cost-effective because you can use your standard SQL and Business Intelligence tools to analyze huge amounts of data.
You can run complex queries against terabytes and petabytes of structured data and you will getting the results back is just a matter of seconds. The data is not needed to be converted to a particular file format, redshift accepts all types of data formats mentioned here – Avro, CSV, Grok, Ion, JSON, ORC, Parquet, RCFile, RegexSerDe, SequenceFile, TextFile, and TSV.

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AWS Redshift Architecture

AWS Redshift Architecture is the backbone of Amazon’s powerful cloud data warehouse service. It’s designed for high-performance analytics, handling massive datasets with ease. At its core, Redshift utilizes a cluster-based approach, where multiple nodes work in tandem. Leader nodes manage queries, while compute nodes store and process data. This distributed architecture ensures quick query responses and scalability. With features like columnar storage and parallel processing, Redshift optimizes data retrieval. It’s a user-friendly solution, simplifying complex analytics and empowering businesses to glean valuable insights from their data effortlessly.

Redshift Spectrum

Redshift Spectrum

Redshift spectrum is a feature which lets you run queries against exabytes of unstructured data which is stored in Amazon S3. No loading or ETL (Extract, transform, load) is required for the data. First AWS Redshift identifies the data which is local and which is stored in the S3 bucket. After that, it creates a plan to reduce the content on Amazon S3 that needs to be read. Then AWS Redshift Spectrum workers are called to read and process the data from Amazon S3.

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Queries can be run quickly regardless of data size because you scale out to thousands of instances if needed. You can use the same SQL queries as you used for Amazon S3 in Redshift. You can also separately scale compute and storage instances.

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Advantages of Amazon Redshift

Now that we understand what is Amazon Redshift and what is Amazon Redshift Spectrum, let move on and discuss the benefits that Amazon Redshift provides.The benefits of Amazon Aurora remain the same for both MySQL compatible and PostgreSQL compatible.

Benefits of redshift
  • Faster Performance
    • Provides 10x times faster performance than the other warehouses
    • You can set caching to increase the data retrieval speed.
  • Easy to create, deploy, and manage
    • You can create and deploy a warehouse in minutes.
    • Most of the commons tasks are automated. Tasks that are automated are monitoring and managing your warehouse.
  • Cost-effective
    • There are upfront costs or contract periods. It is 10 times cheaper than a traditional data warehouse which is set up on-premises.
  • Scalability at it’s best
    • This is the same as Redshift Spectrum. You can query any amount of data and AWS redshift will take care of scaling up or down. Also, the compute and storage instances are scaled separately.
  • Query your data lake
    • Redshift in AWS allows you to query your Amazon S3 data bucket or data lake. You can query petabytes of unstructured data using Redshift on Amazon S3.
  • Highly secure
    • Redshift in AWS lets you isolate your warehouse using AWS VPC
    • You can create Customer Management Keys (CMKs) using AWS Key Management Service to encrypt your data in the warehouse

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AWS Redshift Pricing

The prices of any Amazon service will vary according to its geographic region. Let us consider the region as North Virginia to check Reshift pricing.

First, let us look at its free trial.

Redshift pricing

Now let us see Amazon Redshift’s pricing for compute and storage.


Instance TypePrice
dc2.large$0.25 per Hour
dc2.8xlarge$4.80 per Hour
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Instance TypePrice
ds2.large$0.85 per Hour
ds2.8xlarge$6.80 per Hour

For Backup and Recovery, Redshift pricing is the same as Amazon S3.

Now let us move on to the practical part of this tutorial. We are going to first create a Redshift Cluster. Then we will install and Configure Redshift ODBC driver.

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Hands-on Part 1: Creating Amazon Redshift Database & Cluster

Follow the steps given below to create your first Amazon Redshift Database Cluster.

Step 1: Logon to your AWS Management Console

Step 2: Click on Amazon Redshift under the Services dropdown

Redshift demo

Step 3: Now click on the Quick Launch Cluster button

redshift demo

Step 4: In this step, Make sure your Redshift instance is dc2.large so that you can start your free trial. Then provide your database name, master username and an unique password. There is no need to change any other details. Now just provide launch cluster after this step.

Redshift demo

Step 5: Wait for the Cluster to create and then you have successfully created a Redshift database cluster or Redshift data warehouse.

redshift demo

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Hands-on Part 2: Connecting the Redshift database Cluster using Query editor

Moving on with this what is amazon redshift tutorial, let’s now connect the redshift database cluster using query editor.

Step 6: Click on Query Editor and enter your database name, username, and the password. It will now automatically with the database and then the query editor will open a editor for you to write and execute queries.

redshift demo

Step 7: Now let us create a query and run it. First let us create a table called practice and run the query.

redshift demo

Step 8: Now let us check whether the table exists. Create a new query and click run query. After that download the CSV file or you can just see it in the web page and check whether the table attributes exists.

redshift demo

We have successfully created a Redshift cluster, connected it to the database, and have run queries in it.

Hope this tutorial on what is Amazon Redshift helps. Check out the related posts to learn about more Services offered by AWS.

Wondering how Amazon Redshift is different from Snowflake? Have a look at our blog on Snowflake vs. Redshift right away!

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