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Amazon Redshift

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Amazon Redshift vs PostGIS: What are the differences?

Developers describe Amazon Redshift 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. On the other hand, PostGIS is detailed as "Open source spatial database". PostGIS is a spatial database extender for PostgreSQL object-relational database. It adds support for geographic objects allowing location queries to be run in SQL.

Amazon Redshift and PostGIS are primarily classified as "Big Data as a Service" and "Database" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Amazon Redshift are:

  • 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 the other hand, PostGIS provides the following key features:

  • Processing and analytic functions for both vector and raster data for splicing, dicing, morphing, reclassifying, and collecting/unioning with the power of SQL
  • raster map algebra for fine-grained raster processing
  • Spatial reprojection SQL callable functions for both vector and raster data

"Data Warehousing" is the primary reason why developers consider Amazon Redshift over the competitors, whereas "De facto GIS in SQL" was stated as the key factor in picking PostGIS.

PostGIS is an open source tool with 645 GitHub stars and 246 GitHub forks. Here's a link to PostGIS's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Amazon Redshift has a broader approval, being mentioned in 269 company stacks & 67 developers stacks; compared to PostGIS, which is listed in 53 company stacks and 15 developer stacks.

Advice on Amazon Redshift and PostGIS

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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Pros of Amazon Redshift
Pros of PostGIS
  • 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
  • 24
    De facto GIS in SQL
  • 5
    Good Documentation

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- No public GitHub repository available -

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.

What is PostGIS?

PostGIS is a spatial database extender for PostgreSQL object-relational database. It adds support for geographic objects allowing location queries to be run in SQL.

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Jul 9 2019 at 7:22PM

Blue Medora

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What are some alternatives to Amazon Redshift and PostGIS?
Google BigQuery
Run super-fast, SQL-like queries against terabytes of data in seconds, using the processing power of Google's infrastructure. Load data with ease. Bulk load your data using Google Cloud Storage or stream it in. Easy access. Access BigQuery by using a browser tool, a command-line tool, or by making calls to the BigQuery REST API with client libraries such as Java, PHP or Python.
Amazon Athena
Amazon Athena is an interactive query service that makes it easy to analyze data in Amazon S3 using standard SQL. Athena is serverless, so there is no infrastructure to manage, and you pay only for the queries that you run.
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.
Amazon Redshift Spectrum
With Redshift Spectrum, you can extend the analytic power of Amazon Redshift beyond data stored on local disks in your data warehouse to query vast amounts of unstructured data in your Amazon S3 “data lake” -- without having to load or transform any data.
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.
See all alternatives