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Table of contents
Features of AWS Redshift
Setting up Amazon Redshift
Using a Sample Dataset
Frequently Asked Questions
Can we get assistance learning about and implementing Amazon Redshift?
What is Amazon Redshift Advanced Query Accelerator (AQUA)?
How do I enable and deactivate AQUA in my Redshift data warehouse?
What is Amazon Redshift managed storage?
How do we use managed storage from Amazon Redshift?
Last Updated: Mar 27, 2024

Amazon Redshift

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Prerita Agarwal
Data Specialist @
23 Jul, 2024 @ 01:30 PM


AWS Redshift is an Amazon Web Services data warehousing solution. Redshift excels at handling massive amounts of data, with the ability to process structured and unstructured data in the exabyte range (1018 bytes). The service, however, can also be used for large-scale data migrations.

Like many other AWS services, it can be deployed with a few clicks and offers many data import options. Furthermore, Redshift data is always encrypted for added security.

Redshift aids in the extraction of valuable insights from large amounts of data. You can start a new cluster in a few minutes using AWS's simple interface, and you don't have to worry about managing infrastructure.

Features of AWS Redshift

Amazon Redshift has the following features:

  • Supports VPC: Users can launch Redshift within VPC(Virtual Private Cloud) and control cluster access via the virtual networking environment.
  • Encryption: Redshift data can be encrypted and configured while tables are created.
  • SSL: SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) encryption is used to encrypt client-to-Redshift connections.
  • Scalable: The number of nodes in your AWS Redshift data warehouse can be easily scaled as needed with a few simple clicks. It also enables you to increase storage capacity without sacrificing performance.
  • Cost-Effective: Amazon Redshift is a low-cost alternative to traditional data warehouse practices. There are no upfront costs, no long-term commitments, and the pricing structure is based on demand.
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Redshift pricing is highly flexible on AWS. The price for a terabyte of data starts at $0.25 per hour and can be scaled up. First, decide on the type of node you want. AWS Redshift provides three different types of nodes.

  • RA3 nodes with managed storage: You must select the level of performance you require, and the controlled storage will be billed on a pay-as-you-go basis. The number of RA3 clusters you must choose will be determined by the amount of data processed each day.
  • DC2 Nodes: When high performance is required, these should be selected. The nodes include local SSD (Solid State Drive) storage. When the data size grows, you will need to add more nodes. DC2 nodes are best suited when the data is relatively small and requires exceptional performance.
  • DS2 Nodes: It should be used when a large amount of data needs to be stored. DS2 offers only HDD (Hard Disk Drives) and performs slower than other nodes. However, it is also significantly less expensive.

Setting up Amazon Redshift

The steps for setting up Amazon Redshift are as follows:

Step 1: Sign in and follow the steps below to launch a Redshift Cluster.

  • Sign in to the AWS Management Console and navigate to the Amazon Redshift console at
  • Using the Region menu in the top right corner of the screen, select the region where the cluster will be created.
  • Select the Launch Cluster option.



  • The Cluster Details page is displayed. Fill in the required information and continue to the review page by clicking the Continue button.




  • A confirmation page is displayed. To finish, click the Close button to make the cluster visible in the Clusters list.



  • Examine the Cluster Status information after selecting the cluster from the list. The Cluster status will be displayed on the page.




Step 2: Set up a security group to allow client connections to the cluster. Whether or not the client authorizes an EC2 instance determines whether or not access to Redshift is granted.

To create a security group on the EC2-VPC platform, follow these steps.

  • Open Amazon Redshift Console and navigate to the Clusters section.
  • Choose the desired Cluster. The Configuration tab appears.




  • Select the Security tab.
  • When the Security group page loads, select the Inbound tab.




  • Select the Edit option. Fill in the fields as shown below, then click the Save button.
    1. Enter Custom TCP Rule.
    2. TCP protocol.
    3. Port Range Enter the same port number used to launch the cluster. Amazon Redshift's default port is 5439.
    4. Select Custom IP as the source, then enter

Step 3: Connect to Redshift Cluster.

You can connect to Redshift Cluster in two ways: directly or via SSL.

The steps to connect directly are as follows:

  • Use a SQL client tool to connect to the cluster. It is compatible with SQL client tools that use PostgreSQL JDBC or ODBC drivers.
  • To obtain the Connection String, follow the steps below:
    1. Select Cluster in the Navigation pane of Amazon Redshift Console.
    2. Select the desired cluster and then click the Configuration tab.
    3. A page with the JDBC URL under Cluster Database Properties appears, as shown in the screenshot below. Copy the URL.




To connect the Cluster to SQL Workbench/J, follow the steps below.

  • Launch SQL Workbench/J.
  • Choose the File and then click the Connect button.
  • Choose Create a new connection profile and fill in the necessary information such as name, etc.
  • When you click Manage Drivers, the Manage Drivers dialogue box appears.
  • Click the Create a new entry button and enter the necessary information.




  • Navigate to the driver location by clicking the folder icon. Finally, select the Open option.




  • Leave the Classname and Sample URL boxes empty. Select OK.
  • Select the Driver from the drop-down menu.
  • Copy the JDBC URL and paste it into the URL field.
  • Enter the username and password into the appropriate fields.
  • Check the Autocommit checkbox and then click Save profile list.



Using a Sample Dataset

In this part of the blog, you will walk through creating an Amazon Redshift cluster in this tutorial. The sample dataset is automatically loaded when you create a new cluster in Amazon Redshift. After the cluster is created, you can immediately query the data.


Following are the steps for using the sample dataset:

Step 1: Create a sample Amazon Redshift cluster

To create an Amazon Redshift cluster based on a sample dataset, follow the steps below:

  1. Sign in to the AWS Management Console and go to to access the Amazon Redshift console.
  2. To make a cluster, perform one of the following actions:
    • Choose Create cluster from the Amazon Redshift service page. The page Create cluster appears.
    • Choose DASHBOARD from the, then Create cluster.
    • Choose CLUSTERS on the, then Create cluster.
  3. Enter a Cluster identifier in the Cluster configuration section. This identifier must be one-of-a-kind. The identifier must be between 1 and 63 characters long, with a–z (lowercase only) and - as valid characters (hyphen).
    • For this tutorial, enter examplecluster.
  4. If your organisation qualifies, you may be able to create a cluster through the Amazon Redshift free trial programme. To do so, select Free trial and create a configuration with the dc2.large node type.




 If you later change your mind, your organization will no longer be eligible for the free trial.

 After that you've decided on your node type, you can do one of the following:

  • Select Load sample data from the Sample data menu to load the sample dataset into your Amazon Redshift cluster. Tickit is loaded into Amazon Redshift's default dev database and public schema. You can begin querying data with the query editor v2.
  • Select Production to bring your data to your Amazon Redshift cluster. Then, under Sample data, select Load sample data.

Amazon Redshift loads the sample dataset into your test Amazon Redshift cluster automatically.

 5. Configure the Admin user name and password in the Database configuration section. Alternatively, select Generate password to use a password generated by Amazon Redshift.

Use the following values for this tutorial:

  • Enter awsuser as the admin user name.
  • Enter a password for the admin user.

  6. Choose Create cluster. 


Step 2: Try example queries using the query editors

Experiment with some sample queries in one of the query editors, as shown below.

-- Find total sales on a given calendar date.
SELECT sum(qtysold) 
FROM   sales, date 
WHERE  sales.dateid = date.dateid 
AND    caldate = '2008-01-05';

-- Find top 10 buyers by quantity.
SELECT firstname, lastname, total_quantity 
FROM   (SELECT buyerid, sum(qtysold) total_quantity
        FROM  sales
        GROUP BY buyerid
        ORDER BY total_quantity desc limit 10) Q, users
WHERE Q.buyerid = userid
ORDER BY Q.total_quantity desc;

-- Find events in the 99.9 percentile in terms of all time gross sales.
SELECT eventname, total_price 
FROM  (SELECT eventid, total_price, ntile(1000) over(order by total_price desc) as percentile 
       FROM (SELECT eventid, sum(pricepaid) total_price
             FROM   sales
             GROUP BY eventid)) Q, event E
       WHERE Q.eventid = E.eventid
       AND percentile = 1
ORDER BY total_price desc;

Frequently Asked Questions

Can we get assistance learning about and implementing Amazon Redshift?

Yes, Amazon Redshift experts are on hand to answer questions and provide assistance. Contact Us, and we will respond within one business day to discuss how AWS can benefit your organisation.

What is Amazon Redshift Advanced Query Accelerator (AQUA)?

The Advanced Query Accelerator (AQUA) is a new distributed and hardware-accelerated cache that allows Amazon Redshift to run up to 10x faster than any other enterprise cloud data warehouses by automatically boosting specific queries. AQUA is free to use with the RA3.16xlarge, RA3.4xlarge, or RA3.xlplus nodes and requires no code changes.

How do I enable and deactivate AQUA in my Redshift data warehouse?

AQUA can be enabled/disabled at the cluster level for Redshift clusters running on RA3 nodes via the Redshift console, AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), or API. Redshift clusters running on DC, DS, or older-generation nodes must first be upgraded to RA3 nodes, and AQUA enabled/disabled.

What is Amazon Redshift managed storage?

Amazon Redshift managed storage is available with serverless and RA3 node types. It allows you to scale and pay for computing and storage separately and size your cluster based solely on computing requirements. It uses high-performance SSD-based local storage as tier-1 cache automatically. It takes advantage of optimisations such as data block temperature, data blockage, and workload patterns to deliver high performance while automatically scaling storage to Amazon S3 when needed without requiring any action.

How do we use managed storage from Amazon Redshift?

If you already have Amazon Redshift Dense Storage or Dense Compute nodes, you can upgrade your existing clusters to the new compute instance RA3 using Elastic Resize. Amazon Redshift Serverless and clusters using the RA3 instance automatically store data in Redshift-managed storage. This capability requires no other action than using Amazon Redshift Serverless or RA3 instances.


In this article, we have extensively discussed AWS Redshift. We start with a brief introduction of the AWS Redshift, then discuss the steps to use it.

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