Amazon Web Services has launched a faster, lower-cost
warehouse within its Redshift warehouse service, using solid-state drive-based nodes. These Dense Compute nodes are designed to easily scale up to hundreds of terabytes of memory and storage if needed.
Raju Gulabani, vice president of Database Services at AWS, said in a statement that Redshift has become the fastest-growing service at the company because it provides "a fully managed petabyte-scale data warehousing service for a tenth the price of traditional solutions." This new service, he added, makes Redshift "even more accessible to customers" by lowering the cost "of a single node by as much as 56 percent while increasing the ratio of CPU, RAM, and I/O to storage to offer even higher performance."
Two options are now offered in the Redshift data warehouses, Dense Compute nodes and Dense Storage nodes. Compute nodes can provision higher performance data warehouses, while Storage nodes, using hard disk drives, enable low-cost data warehouses.
Pinterest, Fender Musical Instruments
Dense Compute is designed for customers whose data warehouse is under 500 GB, or those focused on performance, even if they have more than 500 GB. They can be scaled up to hundreds of terabytes with the highest levels of performance. If the primary objective is to save costs on storage, Dense Storage nodes can be scaled up to a petabyte, using compressed data, although they do not have the same performance characteristics as Dense Compute nodes.
Scaling up or down can be accomplished via an API or the AWS Management Console. Pricing for new Dense Compute node starts at 10 cents hourly for 160 GB datasets.
In its announcement of the new services, AWS noted some of the customers who are successfully using Redshift. Pinterest said that it was using Redshift to "analyze tens of billions of objects, including pins, boards, and places, across our web and mobile properties to understand and optimize" the experiences of its millions of users. Fender Musical Instruments, the guitar maker, is using Redshift for analytics in support of its business, manufacturing and distribution.
Redshift was announced as a preview service in November 2012, when AWS billed it as a "fast and powerful, fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud." The service was intended to quickly launch a cluster for analyzing large amounts of data that started at several hundred gigabytes but could quickly scale to a petabyte or more, for less than $1,000 per terabyte annually, thus making big data analytics more accessible to more companies.
At the time of the launch, the company said that its internal tests showed a 10-fold performance improvement compared with standard relational data warehouses.
In February of last year, AWS opened up Redshift to any customer, and made the service available from the AWS management console.