Amazon Redshift Review

The product is simple to use but it should be more flexible


What is our primary use case?

I'm the head of Data Warehouse and Business Intelligence, and our company is an Amazon customer. Most of the company's data sources were on Amazon at the time the product was deployed so it was logical to use this database. The data warehouse is quite small, compressed it's maybe 160 GB. It's not like an autonomous data warehouse or Exadata, which was almost 40 terabytes. It's a simple method of achieving extraction and loading. There is no real incremental load on this. Of course in the future, with the company growing, this should be changed and we'll probably need some kind of incremental system instead of this approach.

What is most valuable?

The product is relatively easy to use because there is no indexing and no partitions. There is no referential integrity only declarative, which is okay.

What needs improvement?

From my perspective, the product could be improved by making it more flexible. There are now more flexible products on the market that allow for expandability and dynamic expansion as the market changes with regard to data warehouses. Although the product is simple to use there can be problems. If you declare some unique key in a column and then store it, the database is going to believe this is what you have and results will be distorted. It's fine if the query is simple but if it's complex or you have too many queries per hour, it can create a bottleneck for Redshift and then you can't return and recover. It requires some fine-tuning. 

For additional features, I would like to see support for partitions, it doesn't exist yet as a feature. It's quite an important issue when you're dealing with large databases. Also, I believe the product needs improvement in parallel threading to support more database users without jeopardizing performance.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Redshift for about a year and a half. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We sometimes have issues with stability, especially over the weekends. It performs, of course, but sometimes there are problems. 

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

In terms of pricing, if you plan to use the product for a small company and you compare the cost to a product like Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse, then you need to consider potential company growth and whether you may need to expand the system in the future, require partitions, etc. It could be that in the end, Autonomous Data Warehouse is cheaper than Amazon because if you use that product it can fit your processes and run dynamically. This is not possible on Redshift. If you have two different types of servers on Redshift then at some point you'll reach a limit and will need to move to another type of cluster which is not such an easy operation. On the other hand, with Autonomous Data Warehouse, you can add extra terabytes, but that's it. Nothing else. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it a five out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

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