Amazon EMR vs Amazon Redshift

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Amazon EMR vs Amazon Redshift: What are the differences?

Developers describe Amazon EMR as "Distribute your data and processing across a Amazon EC2 instances using Hadoop". Amazon EMR is used in a variety of applications, including log analysis, web indexing, data warehousing, machine learning, financial analysis, scientific simulation, and bioinformatics. Customers launch millions of Amazon EMR clusters every year. On the other hand, Amazon Redshift is detailed as "Fast, fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service". Redshift makes it simple and cost-effective to efficiently analyze all your data using your existing business intelligence tools. It is optimized for datasets ranging from a few hundred gigabytes to a petabyte or more and costs less than $1,000 per terabyte per year, a tenth the cost of most traditional data warehousing solutions.

Amazon EMR and Amazon Redshift belong to "Big Data as a Service" category of the tech stack.

Some of the features offered by Amazon EMR are:

  • Elastic- Amazon EMR enables you to quickly and easily provision as much capacity as you need and add or remove capacity at any time. Deploy multiple clusters or resize a running cluster
  • Low Cost- Amazon EMR is designed to reduce the cost of processing large amounts of data. Some of the features that make it low cost include low hourly pricing, Amazon EC2 Spot integration, Amazon EC2 Reserved Instance integration, elasticity, and Amazon S3 integration.
  • Flexible Data Stores- With Amazon EMR, you can leverage multiple data stores, including Amazon S3, the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), and Amazon DynamoDB.

On the other hand, Amazon Redshift provides the following key features:

  • Optimized for Data Warehousing- It uses columnar storage, data compression, and zone maps to reduce the amount of IO needed to perform queries. Redshift has a massively parallel processing (MPP) architecture, parallelizing and distributing SQL operations to take advantage of all available resources.
  • Scalable- With a few clicks of the AWS Management Console or a simple API call, you can easily scale the number of nodes in your data warehouse up or down as your performance or capacity needs change.
  • No Up-Front Costs- You pay only for the resources you provision. You can choose On-Demand pricing with no up-front costs or long-term commitments, or obtain significantly discounted rates with Reserved Instance pricing.

"On demand processing power" is the top reason why over 13 developers like Amazon EMR, while over 27 developers mention "Data Warehousing" as the leading cause for choosing Amazon Redshift.

Lyft, PedidosYa, and Zapier are some of the popular companies that use Amazon Redshift, whereas Amazon EMR is used by SendGrid, Vine Labs, and Etsy. Amazon Redshift has a broader approval, being mentioned in 267 company stacks & 63 developers stacks; compared to Amazon EMR, which is listed in 93 company stacks and 18 developer stacks.

Advice on Amazon EMR and Amazon Redshift

We need to perform ETL from several databases into a data warehouse or data lake. We want to

  • keep raw and transformed data available to users to draft their own queries efficiently
  • give users the ability to give custom permissions and SSO
  • move between open-source on-premises development and cloud-based production environments

We want to use inexpensive Amazon EC2 instances only on medium-sized data set 16GB to 32GB feeding into Tableau Server or PowerBI for reporting and data analysis purposes.

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Replies (3)

You could also use AWS Lambda and use Cloudwatch event schedule if you know when the function should be triggered. The benefit is that you could use any language and use the respective database client.

But if you orchestrate ETLs then it makes sense to use Apache Airflow. This requires Python knowledge.

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Recommends
Airflow

Though we have always built something custom, Apache airflow (https://airflow.apache.org/) stood out as a key contender/alternative when it comes to open sources. On the commercial offering, Amazon Redshift combined with Amazon Kinesis (for complex manipulations) is great for BI, though Redshift as such is expensive.

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Recommends

You may want to look into a Data Virtualization product called Conduit. It connects to disparate data sources in AWS, on prem, Azure, GCP, and exposes them as a single unified Spark SQL view to PowerBI (direct query) or Tableau. Allows auto query and caching policies to enhance query speeds and experience. Has a GPU query engine and optimized Spark for fallback. Can be deployed on your AWS VM or on prem, scales up and out. Sounds like the ideal solution to your needs.

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Decisions about Amazon EMR and Amazon Redshift
Julien Lafont

Cloud Data-warehouse is the centerpiece of modern Data platform. The choice of the most suitable solution is therefore fundamental.

Our benchmark was conducted over BigQuery and Snowflake. These solutions seem to match our goals but they have very different approaches.

BigQuery is notably the only 100% serverless cloud data-warehouse, which requires absolutely NO maintenance: no re-clustering, no compression, no index optimization, no storage management, no performance management. Snowflake requires to set up (paid) reclustering processes, to manage the performance allocated to each profile, etc. We can also mention Redshift, which we have eliminated because this technology requires even more ops operation.

BigQuery can therefore be set up with almost zero cost of human resources. Its on-demand pricing is particularly adapted to small workloads. 0 cost when the solution is not used, only pay for the query you're running. But quickly the use of slots (with monthly or per-minute commitment) will drastically reduce the cost of use. We've reduced by 10 the cost of our nightly batches by using flex slots.

Finally, a major advantage of BigQuery is its almost perfect integration with Google Cloud Platform services: Cloud functions, Dataflow, Data Studio, etc.

BigQuery is still evolving very quickly. The next milestone, BigQuery Omni, will allow to run queries over data stored in an external Cloud platform (Amazon S3 for example). It will be a major breakthrough in the history of cloud data-warehouses. Omni will compensate a weakness of BigQuery: transferring data in near real time from S3 to BQ is not easy today. It was even simpler to implement via Snowflake's Snowpipe solution.

We also plan to use the Machine Learning features built into BigQuery to accelerate our deployment of Data-Science-based projects. An opportunity only offered by the BigQuery solution

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Pros of Amazon EMR
Pros of Amazon Redshift
  • 15
    On demand processing power
  • 12
    Don't need to maintain Hadoop Cluster yourself
  • 7
    Hadoop Tools
  • 6
    Elastic
  • 4
    Backed by Amazon
  • 3
    Flexible
  • 3
    Economic - pay as you go, easy to use CLI and SDKs
  • 2
    Don't need a dedicated Ops group
  • 1
    Great support
  • 1
    Massive data handling
  • 37
    Data Warehousing
  • 27
    Scalable
  • 16
    SQL
  • 14
    Backed by Amazon
  • 5
    Encryption
  • 1
    Cheap and reliable
  • 1
    Isolation
  • 1
    Best Cloud DW Performance
  • 1
    Fast columnar storage

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What is Amazon EMR?

It is used in a variety of applications, including log analysis, data warehousing, machine learning, financial analysis, scientific simulation, and bioinformatics.

What is Amazon Redshift?

It is optimized for data sets ranging from a few hundred gigabytes to a petabyte or more and costs less than $1,000 per terabyte per year, a tenth the cost of most traditional data warehousing solutions.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

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What are some alternatives to Amazon EMR and Amazon Redshift?
Amazon EC2
It is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.
Hadoop
The Apache Hadoop software library is a framework that allows for the distributed processing of large data sets across clusters of computers using simple programming models. It is designed to scale up from single servers to thousands of machines, each offering local computation and storage.
Amazon DynamoDB
With it , you can offload the administrative burden of operating and scaling a highly available distributed database cluster, while paying a low price for only what you use.
Azure HDInsight
It is a cloud-based service from Microsoft for big data analytics that helps organizations process large amounts of streaming or historical data.
Databricks
Databricks Unified Analytics Platform, from the original creators of Apache Spark™, unifies data science and engineering across the Machine Learning lifecycle from data preparation to experimentation and deployment of ML applications.
See all alternatives
How developers use Amazon EMR and Amazon Redshift
Olo uses
Amazon Redshift

Aggressive archiving of historical data to keep the production database as small as possible. Using our in-house soon-to-be-open-sourced ETL library, SharpShifter.

Andrew La Grange uses
Amazon EMR

We use Amazon EMR for all our Hadoop workloads.

Christian Moeller uses
Amazon Redshift

Connected to BI (Pentaho)

Kovid Rathee uses
Amazon Redshift

OLAP and BI