Amazon Redshift

Amazon Redshift – The Amazing Data Warehouse

We are seeing staggering levels of information generation by organizations globally. This data needs to be stored, so it can be properly managed. Data warehousing is the solution for handling large quantum of data. Although there are numerous data warehouse providers, Amazon Redshift has proved to be a game changer!

What is Amazon Redshift?

Amazon Redshift is a service that provides internet hosting and data warehousing in the Cloud computing platform for Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Amazon Redshift is a completely scalable cloud data warehouse. It allows you to start with a few hundred gigabytes of data and scale to petabytes or more.

In order to create a data warehouse, a set of nodes called the Amazon Redshift cluster is launched. The next step is to upload the data set. This is followed by performing data analysis queries. Amazon Redshift offers a fast query performance irrespective of the data size. It uses the same SQL based tools and business intelligence applications that are in use. It supports large datasets and supports high-performance analysis and reporting. The maximum size for a single Amazon Redshift SQL statement is 16MB.


Architecture of Amazon Redshift:


Amazon Redshift data warehouse comprises a Cluster architecture. The cluster consists of a leader node and compute nodes.

Leader Node:

A leader node interacts with the client programs. It communicates the queries to compute nodes for execution.

Functions of the leader node:

  • It develops the execution plans for the database operations. The series of steps required for computing complex queries are developed by it.
  • On the basis of the execution plan developed, the leader node compiles the code and distributes the compiled code and data to the compute nodes.
  • When a query references tables stored on compute nodes, the leader node distributes SQL statements to them.
  • However, certain SQL functions run only on the leader node.

Compute Node:

The codes compiled by leader node for the individual elements of the execution plan are sent to the compute nodes. The compute nodes perform the actual computation required for the queries. After execution of the compiled code, the intermediate results are sent to the leader node for final aggregation.

Each compute node comprises a dedicated CPU, memory, attached disk storage, depending on the type of node. Based on the number of queries to be handled, the computation capacity can be enhanced by increasing the number of nodes or upgrading it.

Amazon Redshift offers its users two types of compute nodes. You have the option of dense storage nodes and dense compute nodes. You can begin with a single 160GB node and scale to multiple 16 TB nodes to support a petabyte of data or more.

Each compute node is divided into slices. A portion of the memory and disk space of the node is allocated to individual slices. The task assigned to each node is processed here. The leader node distributes data to the slices. Slices process the data in parallel and complete the task. The number of slices in a node is dependent on the node size.


Amazon Redshift offers a wide array of benefits to its users:

1. High speed:

It processes data very quickly because of its massively parallel processing ability. The workload can be easily distributed across the compute nodes. Due to parallel processing, it is possible to handle Petabytes of data.

It also has a high speed of operation due to the fact that it uses high-bandwidth connections. Also, the close proximity and custom communication protocols, enable a high-speed communication between the leader node and compute nodes.

2. Scalability:

This is a great feature to have in any data warehouse. In Amazon Redshift, you can scale the number and types of node easily. This feature is beneficial not only for large organizations but also for small start-ups. This is because it enables the business to manage large quantum of data as it business expands.

3. Inexpensive:

Due to the scalability, Amazon Redshift is a highly cost-effective solution compared to traditional data warehousing. It also offers its users the benefit of no upfront costs or long term commitments.

4. It is a fully managed service:

Amazon web services manage all the tasks relevant for data warehousing. This includes aspects such as managing, monitoring, and scaling data warehouses. This gives the businessman enough time to focus on the growth of his enterprise.

5. Automated Backups:

Amazon Redshift has a feature called “automated Snapshot feature”. By virtue of this feature, it regularly backs up the data on the cluster to Amazon S3. This backup is done for a user defined period.

6. Security:

One of the greatest doubts a user has while using any Cloud Data Warehouse is the security of data. Amazon Redshift has taken care of this by encrypting that data. It secures the data in transit using SSL and for the rest of the data, a hardware accelerated AES-256 is used.



The exponential rise in data volumes and the need to leverage the data for the benefit of the organizations have made them rethink their data warehouse requirements. Now, organizations are looking for data warehousing platforms that are agile, scalable and flexible. Amazon Redshift is a data warehousing solution that not only encompasses these features but is also cost-effective.

If you want to adapt to the ever evolving demands of your business or customers, invest in Amazon Redshift data warehousing offered by Global IT Services.

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