Amazon Redshift is a fully managed petabyte-scale cloud data warehouse service offered by Amazon Web Services. It removes the overhead of months of efforts required in setting up the data warehouse and managing the hardware and software associated with it.
In this series of posts, we will be setting up a Redshift cluster, ingest some volume of data and play around with it. We will also take a look at some of the advanced options available such as understanding query plan to improve performance, workload management, cluster re-sizing, integration with other AWS Services.
Image courtesy: Amazon Web Services
Redshift based Cloud Data Warehouse Architecture
Let’s begin with a brief introduction of the Redshift architecture.
- Leader Node – the leader node parses the query, develops the query execution plan and distributes it to the compute nodes. The Leader Node is provisioned automatically by the service and is not billed
- Compute Node – this is the node that stores data and executes the query. Each Compute Node has its down compute, memory and storage
- Client Applications – client applications can be the standard ETL, BI and analytics tools
- Internal Networking – All the nodes are internally connected through a 10g network enabling faster data transfer between the nodes. The compute nodes are also not exposed to client applications. Client applications always talk to the Leader Node.
Here are some key features of Amazon Redshift:
In row-wise database storage (typically used in OLTP databases), data blocks store values sequentially for consecutive columns that make up a single row. This works for OLTP applications where most transactions read/write most of the columns in a row. Amazon Redshift employs columnar storage where data blocks store values of a single column of multiple rows. This means that reading the same number of column field values for the same number of records requires less I/O operations when compared to row-wise storage. This provides increased I/O performance and savings in storage space.
Redshift employs a Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) architecture that can distribute SQL operations across all available resources (nodes) resulting in very high query performance. A Redshift cluster comprises of a Leader Node automatically provisioned whenever there is more than one compute node. The leader node parses and develops execution plans to carry out database operations, in particular, the series of steps necessary to obtain results for complex queries. The leader node compiles code for individual elements of the execution plan and assigns the code to individual compute nodes. The compute nodes execute the compiled code and send intermediate results back to the leader node for final aggregation.
The number of nodes in a Redshift cluster can be dynamically changed through the AWS Management Console or the API. We can add more nodes to the cluster for increased performance or if we need more storage. We can start with a single 160GB DW2. Large node and scale all the way up to a petabyte. During the scaling activity, the cluster is placed in a read-only mode and all the data is copied to a new cluster. Once the new cluster is fully operational, the old cluster is terminated and this process is entirely transparent to the clients. During this activity, the query performance can be slower.
Data stored in Redshift is automatically (by default) compressed. Compressed data reduce disk usage and data is uncompressed after loading it into memory during query execution. Since Redshift employs columnar storage, Redshift can apply appropriate compression encodings that are tied to the column type.
Redshift comes with loads of security features including:
- Virtual Private Cloud: You can launch Redshift within VPC and control access to the cluster through the virtual networking environment
- Encryption: Data stored in Redshift can be encrypted. This can be configured when creating the tables in Redshift
- SSL: To encrypt connections between clients and Redshift, SSL encryption can be used
- Data in transit encryption: Redshift uses hardware accelerated SSL while connecting to Amazon S3 or DynamoDB (during import, export, backup)
From backups to monitoring to applying patches to upgrades, Redshift is fully managed by AWS. Data stored in Redshift is replicated in all the cluster nodes and automatically backed up as Snapshots and stored (for a user-defined time period) in S3. Redshift continuously monitors the health of the cluster and automatically re-replicates data from failed drives and replaces nodes as necessary.
What Exactly Is a Cloud Architect and How Do You Become One?
One of the buzzwords surrounding the cloud that I'm sure you've heard is "Cloud Architect." In this article, I will outline my understanding of what a cloud architect does and I'll analyze the skills and certifications necessary to become one. I will also list some of the types of jobs ...
Boto: Using Python to Automate AWS Services
Boto allows you to write scripts to automate things like starting AWS EC2 instances Boto is a Python package that provides programmatic connectivity to Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS offers a range of services for dynamically scaling servers including the core compute service, Elastic...
Content Roadmap: AZ-500, ITIL 4, MS-100, Google Cloud Associate Engineer, and More
Last month, Cloud Academy joined forces with QA, the UK’s largest B2B skills provider, and it put us in an excellent position to solve a massive skills gap problem. As a result of this collaboration, you will see our training library grow with additions from QA’s massive catalog of 500+...
DevSecOps: How to Secure DevOps Environments
Security has been a friction point when discussing DevOps. This stems from the assumption that DevOps teams move too fast to handle security concerns. This makes sense if Information Security (InfoSec) is separate from the DevOps value stream, or if development velocity exceeds the band...
Test Your Cloud Knowledge on AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud Platform
Cloud skills are in demand | In today's digital era, employers are constantly seeking skilled professionals with working knowledge of AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. According to the 2019 Trends in Cloud Transformation report by 451 Research: Business and IT transformations re...
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
If you want to deliver digital services of any kind, you’ll need to estimate all types of resources, not the least of which are CPU, memory, storage, and network connectivity. Which resources you choose for your delivery — cloud-based or local — is up to you. But you’ll definitely want...
Google Cloud vs AWS: A Comparison (or can they be compared?)
The "Google Cloud vs AWS" argument used to be a common discussion among our members, but is this still really a thing? You may already know that there are three major players in the public cloud platforms arena: Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (GCP)...
Deployment Orchestration with AWS Elastic Beanstalk
If you're responsible for the development and deployment of web applications within your AWS environment for your organization, then it's likely you've heard of AWS Elastic Beanstalk. If you are new to this service, or simply need to know a bit more about the service and the benefits th...
How to Use & Install the AWS CLI
What is the AWS CLI? | The AWS Command Line Interface (CLI) is for managing your AWS services from a terminal session on your own client, allowing you to control and configure multiple AWS services and implement a level of automation. If you’ve been using AWS for some time and feel...
Cloud Academy’s Blog Digest: July 2019
July has been a very exciting month for us at Cloud Academy. On July 10, we officially joined forces with QA, the UK’s largest B2B skills provider (read the announcement). Over the coming weeks, you will see additions from QA’s massive catalog of 500+ certification courses and 1500+ ins...
AWS Fundamentals: Understanding Compute, Storage, Database, Networking & Security
If you are just starting out on your journey toward mastering AWS cloud computing, then your first stop should be to understand the AWS fundamentals. This will enable you to get a solid foundation to then expand your knowledge across the entire AWS service catalog. It can be both d...
How to Become a DevOps Engineer
The DevOps Handbook introduces DevOps as a framework for improving the process for converting a business hypothesis into a technology-enabled service that delivers value to the customer. This process is called the value stream. Accelerate finds that applying DevOps principles of flow, f...