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.
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.
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.
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.
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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We ultimately migrated our Hadoop jobs to Qubole, a rising player in the Hadoop as a Service space. Given that EMR had become unstable at our scale, we had to quickly move to a provider that played well with AWS (specifically, spot instances) and S3. Qubole supported AWS/S3 and was relatively easy to get started on. After vetting Qubole and comparing its performance against alternatives (including managed clusters), we decided to go with Qubole
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.