Amazon has announced that its cloud-based storage service, Amazon Web Services (AWS), is rolling out a “limited preview” of Amazon Redshift in cahoots with a handful of big-name beta participants, including Flipboard, NASA/JPL, Netflix and Schumacher Group.

Redshift is essentially a petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud, letting companies increase the query-speed performance when analyzing almost any size data set.

A data warehouse is a database used for reporting and analyzing data, a centralized silo of information created by reeling in information from multiple sources. Data warehouses are typically used to create trending reports around current or historical data.

Using the AWS Management Console, customers can launch what Amazon’s calling a Redshift cluster, starting with a few hundred gigabytes and scaling to more than a petabyte, costing less than $1,000 per terabyte per year.

Launching in 2006, AWS opened a new business model to many organizations, whereby their IT resources and capacity were housed in the cloud on Amazon’s servers, enabling them to use only what’s needed for their current size…the set-up’s scalable to allow more/less resources to be allocated as and when required. Today, AWS offers around 30 different services, including Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS). It launched its latest data center in Sydney, Australia, earlier this month.

With its Redshift data warehouse, Amazon is hoping to offer a traditionally expensive service to the masses (read: smaller companies), while offering a cheaper alternative to larger companies.

“Over the past two years, one of the most frequent requests we’ve heard from customers is for AWS to build a data warehouse service,” explains Raju Gulabani, Vice President of Database Services, AWS.  “Enterprises are tired of paying such high prices for their data warehouses and smaller companies can’t afford to analyze the vast amount of data they collect (often throwing away 95% of their data).  This frustrates customers as they know the cloud has made it easier and less expensive than ever to collect, store, and analyze data.”

More than twenty customers have signed up for the initial private beta programme.

➤ Amazon Redshift

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