Amazon Announces Wider Release of Redshift

Amazon aims to reduce the prohibitive cost of data storage through its Redshift service as it makes the service widely available following a limited release in November. Redshift is a cloud-based storage service potentially capable of reducing the cost of data warehousing to one tenth of current available services.

This makes Redshift effective both for start-ups and large, established companies. The product is one of Amazon’s many services available on the web, and can help all kinds of companies that routinely store and use data by reducing operating costs and possibly capital expenses.

Image Credit: Guillermo Esteves

Data Storage Plus Some Limited Services

Along with the storage capabilities, Redshift adds analytics and other services to warehouse management systems through integration into a company’s wider IT operations. Amazon began this service by working with Jaspersoft and MicroStrategy, but recently announced that other third-party pairings include Tableau, Attunity, Pentaho, Actuate, Cognizant, SAP, IBM, Actuate, Informatica, Birst, Talend, Pervasive and Roambi. Amazon has dipped a toe into the water of servicing data along with its data storage, banking on the fact that many companies have integrated data use as part of their daily business model.

Cost of Data Storage Via Redshift

Redshift’s pricing is designed on a sliding scale according to usage. For instance, XL Node 2 terabyte on-demand storage begins at $0.85 an hour per Node. Redshift also has a one-year reserved instance contract offering the same service at $0.215. The next tier of storage is priced at $0.912 for a three-year reserved instance contract and includes 8XL Node 16 terabyte storage, or $6.80 for the option of using on-demand per node. Amazon maintains that this pricing represents about $1,000 per terabyte of data storage.

The traditional cost of a traditional data warehousing arrangement typically costs from $19,000 to $25,000 for each terabyte, so Redshift’s advent represents a massive price decline. This price decline is what brings it into the purview of small companies and startups, which may help young companies grow faster through data analytics and affordable storage. Amazon is testing the waters of reducing cost of other web services as well, having recently launched a service for cloud-based elastic video trans-coding. Users can reformat video for a variety of devices at a fraction of current market pricing. In fact, the Redshift team’s mission was to leverage AWS to provide cheap, reliable storage and service at one tenth the cost.

True to its usual form, Amazon didn’t release data on Redshift sales information. This is hardly surprising because Amazon tends not to release information on sales of any of its products such as e-readers and tablets. However, the company was happy to announce that “hundreds” of companies had already made the switch to Redshift as early adopters. The list of types of companies using this service include companies involved in health care, gaming, advertising, mobile phones, social applications, manufacturing, finance, and e-commerce. It remains to be seen whether Amazon will expand Redshift’s data analytics capabilities, or continue to focus on data warehousing.

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