One of the biggest advantages of Redshift, AWS says, is the cost. AWS says, based on Amazon.com's own use of Redshift, that it can manage data at around $1,000 per terabyte of data per year, compared to $19,000 to $25,000 per terabyte of data per year for an on-premise data warehouse.
That's a potential cost savings for big companies, and removing a cost barrier that have held data warehousing back from small and mid-sized businesses, says AWS Chief Data Scientist Matt Wood. Equally important, he says, is that Redshift and other AWS services allow companies to focus on their own businesses, instead of managing infrastructure. Redshift is "designed to take away the undifferentiated heavy lifting of running infrastructure at heavy scale," Wood says. "This allows you to focus on your core competencies."
So if AWS believes data warehousing is such a great fit for cloud computing, why haven't any other vendors done it? Kognitio, a European data management and BI platform, has made some rumblings about cloud-based data warehousing and is attempting to push into the U.S. enterprise market, but has not gained a large amount of traction since making the push more than two years ago. The likes of Oracle, Microsoft, IBM and other data warehousing stalwarts can enable cloud-based data warehousing, but have not been overtly advertising the capability.
Then there are the new players in this space. EMC and VMware made somewhat of a splash recently when the companies announced their Pivotal Initiative, a combination of big data and cloud-based technologies from each of the companies. Google, with its BigQuery service, is another player to watch in this space, Kelly says.
Redshift seemed like a natural move for AWS, though. The company has been looking to beef up its products, services and general appeal to the enterprise market recently, which is evident by the announcement of new services like Redshift and Glacier. AWS executives spoke quite a bit about the enterprise market at the user conference as well, clearly making a pitch to big businesses. Redshift is still in the early stages, though; AWS only announced a limited beta of the product and has been mum thus far on when a full-featured Redshift will be available.