Amazon Redshift Review

Valuable features are performance, data compression, and scalability. Query compilation time needs a lot of improvement.


What is most valuable?

The valuable features are performance, data compression, and scalability.

What needs improvement?

Query compilation time needs a lot of improvement for cases where you are generating queries dynamically. Also, it would help tremendously to have some more user-friendly, query optimization helper tools.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for 24 months now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not faced any stability related issues so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The time it takes to scale the cluster up or down is not trivial and it can take a while. In case you need to do this fast, you will need to think about other solutions.

How is customer service and technical support?

Apart from the official documentation, we haven't had the need to reach out to technical support yet. The quality of the documentation is very good. There are a lot of very useful articles from the community.

Which solutions did we use previously?

Previously, we were using AWS RDS for our use case. We found that we had outgrown it. Our data grew in size and we wanted to still have performance queries.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of the cluster was pretty straightforward. The following step, setting the right table configuration, was not so straightforward, though. It required an understanding of how the product works. Sort and distribution keys are required concepts to know about.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Redshift is very cost effective for a cloud based solution if you need to scale it a lot. For smaller data sizes, I would think about using other products.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We were thinking about using a self-managed PostgreSQL. We chose Redshift because we didn't need to manage it ourselves and because it integrates with the rest of the AWS services more fluently.

We are currently evaluating Druid.

What other advice do I have?

It is very important to understand how Redshift is designed to work. The database schema design is not trivial and requires an in-depth knowledge about it, especially if your use-case requires it to perform well.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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