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.
Top 13 Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Best Practices
Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) brings a host of advantages to the table, including static private IP addresses, Elastic Network Interfaces, secure bastion host setup, DHCP options, Advanced Network Access Control, predictable internal IP ranges, VPN connectivity, movement of interna...
Big Changes to the AWS Certification Exams
With AWS re:Invent 2019 just around the corner, we can expect some early announcements to trickle through with upcoming features and services. However, AWS has just announced some big changes to their certification exams. So what’s changing and what’s new? There is a brand NEW ...
New on Cloud Academy: ITIL® 4, Microsoft 365 Tenant, Jenkins, TOGAF® 9.1, and more
At Cloud Academy, we're always striving to make improvements to our training platform. Based on your feedback, we released some new features to help make it easier for you to continue studying. These new features allow you to: Remove content from “Continue Studying” section Disc...
AWS Security Groups: Instance Level Security
Instance security requires that you fully understand AWS security groups, along with patching responsibility, key pairs, and various tenancy options. As a precursor to this post, you should have a thorough understanding of the AWS Shared Responsibility Model before moving onto discussi...
Cloud Migration Risks & Benefits
If you’re like most businesses, you already have at least one workload running in the cloud. However, that doesn’t mean that cloud migration is right for everyone. While cloud environments are generally scalable, reliable, and highly available, those won’t be the only considerations dri...
Real-Time Application Monitoring with Amazon Kinesis
Amazon Kinesis is a real-time data streaming service that makes it easy to collect, process, and analyze data so you can get quick insights and react as fast as possible to new information. With Amazon Kinesis you can ingest real-time data such as application logs, website clickstre...
Google Cloud Functions vs. AWS Lambda: The Fight for Serverless Cloud Domination
Serverless computing: What is it and why is it important? A quick background The general concept of serverless computing was introduced to the market by Amazon Web Services (AWS) around 2014 with the release of AWS Lambda. As we know, cloud computing has made it possible for users to ...
Google Vision vs. Amazon Rekognition: A Vendor-Neutral Comparison
Google Cloud Vision and Amazon Rekognition offer a broad spectrum of solutions, some of which are comparable in terms of functional details, quality, performance, and costs. This post is a fact-based comparative analysis on Google Vision vs. Amazon Rekognition and will focus on the tech...
New on Cloud Academy: CISSP, AWS, Azure, & DevOps Labs, Python for Beginners, and more…
As Hurricane Dorian intensifies, it looks like Floridians across the entire state might have to hunker down for another big one. If you've gone through a hurricane, you know that preparing for one is no joke. You'll need a survival kit with plenty of water, flashlights, batteries, and n...
Amazon Route 53: Why You Should Consider DNS Migration
What Amazon Route 53 brings to the DNS table Amazon Route 53 is a highly available and scalable Domain Name System (DNS) service offered by AWS. It is named by the TCP or UDP port 53, which is where DNS server requests are addressed. Like any DNS service, Route 53 handles domain regist...
How to Unlock Complimentary Access to Cloud Academy
Are you looking to get trained or certified on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform, DevOps, Cloud Security, Python, Java, or another technical skill? Then you'll want to mark your calendars for August 23, 2019. Starting Friday at 12:00 a.m. PDT (3:00 a.m. EDT), Cloud Academy is offering c...
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 ...