Amazon Takes Redshift, Its Cloud-Based Data Warehouse Killer, Global

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Amazon’s onslaught in disrupting enterprise IT services continues. The company today announced that it would be making Redshift — its cloud-based data warehousing service — widely available, after first launching the product on a limited release at the end of November. The product, part of Amazon Web Services, is aimed both at startups who are looking for cost-effective ways of storing data for their new services, as well as larger or more established enterprises that want to cut operational costs, and possibly capex as well.

Amazon also announced a number of third parties — including SAP, Cognizant, IBM, Informatica, Tableau, Attunity, Actuate, Pentaho, Talend, Birst, Roambi and Pervasive — are also linking up with Redshift to help integrate the product into companies’ wider IT services, by also offering analytics and other services on top of it. MicroStrategy and Jaspersoft were the two early partners Amazon announced for IT integration.

These partners are an essential component in Amazon’s “big data” play — made at a time when businesses are not only amassing and storing more data, but using it regularly as part of their business processes. It will be interesting to see whether Amazon itself eventually begins to move further into this service layer itself, going beyond more basic storage solutions.

Amazon is offering the service at a sliding scale depending on usage. Amazon says that pricing for an on-demand, XL Node, 2 terabyte storage starting at $0.85 per hour per Node, and a reserved instance, one-year contract for the same service at $0.215. The second class of service, the 8XL Node, 16TB storage, is priced between $0.912 for a three-year, reserved instance deal and $6.80 per Node for the on-demand option. That works out, it says to a terabyte of data coming in at less than $1,000.

That represents a massive discount for those who have traditionally used physical data warehouses for this service. When Redshift was first announced in November 2012, Andy Jassy, the SVP and president of AWS, said that the typical cost of an equivalent data warehousing solution was $19,000-$25,000 per terabyte.

“When we set out to build Amazon Redshift, we wanted to leverage the massive scale of AWS to deliver ten times the performance at 1/10 the cost of on-premise data warehouses in use today,” said Raju Gulabani, VP of database services, AWS, in a statement. “With order of magnitude improvements in price/performance, Amazon Redshift makes big data analytics accessible to more people, allowing large organizations to analyze more of their data and smaller ones to afford fast, scalable data warehousing technology.”

Amazon is no stranger to offering is cloud-based enterprise services at competition-beating prices. At the end of January, the company also launched an elastic video transcoding service that helps reformat videos for multiple devices, which also represented a huge discount on existing products like Zencoder.

Amazon today didn’t reveal too much about how well the product is doing in terms of actual sales — which is not an unusual practice for a company that to this day still hasn’t broken out publicly its own sales figures for its Kindle readers and tablets — but it did note that “hundreds” of companies had made the shift to Redshift since November, with early adopters ranging from startups to bigger companies in the areas of “social, gaming, mobile, advertising, manufacturing, healthcare, e-commerce, and financial services.” Some partners named today included Kongregate, Accordant Media and Photobox.