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Amazon Redshift Pricing: An Ultimate Guide

AWS Redshift is a completely managed cloud data warehouse service with the ability to scale on-demand and is compatible with multitudes of AWS tools and technologies. AWS Redshift is considered the preferred cloud data warehouse of choice for most customers but the pricing is not simple, since it tries to accommodate different use cases and customers. Let us try to understand the pricing details of Amazon Redshift.

Understanding node types pricing

The Redshift cluster consists of multiple nodes allowing it to process data faster. This means Redshift performance depends on the node types and number of nodes. The node types can be dense compute nodes or Redshift managed storage nodes.

Dense Compute nodes: These nodes offer physical memory up to 244GB and storage capacity on SSD up to 2.5TB.

RA3 with managed Storage nodes: These nodes have physical memory up to 384GB and storage capacity on SSD up to 128TB. Additionally, when storage runs out on the nodes, Redshift will offload the data into S3. Below pricing for RA3 does not include the cost of managed storage.

Understanding node types pricing

Redshift spectrum pricing

Redshift spectrum is a serverless offering that allows running SQL queries directly against an AWS S3 data lake and it’s priced based on data scanned per TB.

redshift spectrum pricing example

Concurrency scaling

Amazon Redshift allows you to grab additional resources as needed and release them when they are not needed. Every day of typical usage up to one hour is free but every second beyond that is charged for additional resource usage.

A pricing example as stated by Amazon Redshift, A 10 DC2.8XL node Redshift cluster in the US-East will cost $48 per hour. Consider a scenario where two transient clusters are utilized for 5 mins beyond the free concurrency scaling credits. The per-second on-demand rate will be $48 X 1/3600 = $0.13 per second. The additional cost for concurrency scaling, in this case, is 0.013 per second X 300 seconds x 2 transient clusters = $8

Amazon Redshift managed storage pricing(RMS)

Managed storage comes with RA3 node types. Usage of managed storage is calculated hourly based on the total GB stored. Managed storage does not include backup storage charges due to automated and manual snapshots.

Amazon Redshift managed storage pricing(RMS)

Pricing example for managed storage pricing

100 GB stored for 15 days: 100 GB X 15days x (24hours/day) =36000 GB/hours

100 TB stored for 15days: 100TB X 1024GB/TB X 15 days x (24 hours/day) = 36,864000 GB-hours

Total usage in GB-hours: 36,000 GB-Hours + 36,864000 GB-hours = 36,900,000 GB-hours

Total usage in GB-Month = 36,900,000/720 hours per month = 51,250 GB-months

Total charges for the month will be 51,250 GB-month X $0.024 = $1230

Limitation of Redshift Pricing

As you can see, Redshift has few selected instance types with limited storage.

Customers could easily hit the ceiling in terms of the node storage, and Redshift managed storage is expensive for data growth.

Redshift spectrum (a serverless option) $5 scan per TB will be an expensive option and removes the ability for the customer to scale up/down the nodes to meet their performance requirements.

Due to these limitations, Redshift is often a less than ideal solution for use cases that require diverse access to very large volumes of data, such as exploratory data science and machine learning. In these cases, many organizations would gravitate towards storing the data on Amazon S3 in a data lakehouse architecture.

If your organization is struggling to accommodate advanced use cases in Redshift, or managing increasing cloud storage costs, check out Ahana – a powerful managed service for Presto which provides SQL on S3. Unlike Redshift spectrum, Ahana allows customers to choose the right instance type and scale up/down as needed and comes with a simple pricing model on the number of compute instances.

Want to learn from a real-life example? See how Blinkit cut their data delivery time from 24 hours to 10 minutes by moving from Redshift to Ahana – watch the case study here.