what is amazon redshift

Top 4 Amazon Redshift Alternatives & Competitors


In the last article we discussed the fundamental problems with Amazon Redshift. To add to that article, we’ll provide some information about where to look, if you’re starting to explore new options. We’ll unearth some of the available Redshift Alternatives, and why they are worth looking into. Disclaimer – this is not an ordinal layout.

1. Ahana

Ahana offers the only managed service for Presto as a feature-rich, next-gen SQL query engine in Ahana Cloud. It plays a critical role for data platform users searching for something with ease-of-use, full integration, and a cloud native option for their SQL engine on their AWS S3 data lakes; as well as other data sources. Ahana Cloud has everything the user will  need to get started with SQL on the Open Data Lakehouse. It’s a great choice for a Redshift alternative, or even to augment the warehouse.

 Currently, Ahana is offering a free trial for their enterprise solution, as well as a free community edition.

2. BigQuery

BigQuery is another great AWS Redshift alternative. It’s a cloud data warehouse to ingest and process queries at scale onGoogle Cloud Platform. If you’re on Google Cloud, it doesn’t require much effort to integrate it with other Google products.

You can run queries or analyze terabytes of data in seconds. BigQuery allows the user to leverage the power of Google’s infrastructure to load data. They user can also use Google Cloud Storage to bulk load your data, or stream it in bursts of up to a thousand rows per second.

It’s supported by the BigQuery REST API that comes with client libraries like Java, PHP, and Python. While BigQuery is the most proven tool on this list, it’s not the easiest to use. If your team lacks an experienced data engineer, you’re going to have challenges as the learning curve is significant.

BigQuery pricing: query based on the amount of data processed at $5 per TB (and includes one free TB per month).

3. Azure SQL Data Warehouse

as a Redshift alternative Azure is a good choice. Azure SQL Data Warehouse is perfect for large businesses dealing with consumer goods, finance, utilities, and more. As one of the most used services on Microsoft Azure, it’s a SQL server in the cloud but is fully managed and more intelligent.

Now absorbed into Azure Synapse Analytics, it’s a powerful cloud-based analytics platform you can use to design the data structure immediately (without worrying about potential implementation challenges). Its provisioned resources also allow users to query data quickly and at scale.

If you’re not familiar with the Azure environment, you’ll have to invest some time in understanding it. As it’s fully featured and well documented, there’s enough support to get you over the learning curve.

Like Redshift and Snowflake, Azure Synapse also follows a consumption-based pricing model. So, it’s best to have an experienced data engineer on-board to make “reasonably accurate guesstimates” before committing.
Azure pricing: follows an hourly data consumption model (and offers a 12-month free trial).

4. Snowflake

Like Redshift, Snowflake is a robust cloud-based data warehouse built to store data for effortless analysis. Snowflake is a good Redshift alternative as it was developed for experienced data architects and data engineers, Snowflake leverages a SQL workbench and user permissions to allow multiple users to query and manage different types of data.

Snowflake also boasts robust data governance tools, security protocols, and the rapid allocation of resources. While the platform is powerful and efficient at managing different data types, it still proves to be a significant challenge for users who don’t hail from a strong data background.

Snowflake also lacks data integrations, so your data teams will have to use an external ETL to push the data into the warehouse. Whenever you use third-party tools, you’ll also have to consider the extra costs and overheads (such as setup and maintenance costs) that come with them.

Snowflake follows a consumption-based pricing model similar to that of Redshift. This is great for experienced users who can make an educated guess about this data consumption. Others may have to deal with an unpleasant surprise at the end of the billing cycle.For a more in-depth look into Snowflake as a competitor, check the Snowflake breakdown.

Snowflake pricing: based on a per-second data consumption model (with an option of a 30-day free trial).

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Using a Managed Service for Presto to as a Redshift Alternative

Redshift, while a fantastic tool, does have some significant issues the user is going to have to overcome. Below are the most frequently stated causes of concern expressed by Amazon Redshift users and the catalyst to search out Redshift alternatives:


Redshift gets expensive quickly. As data volumes increase, the cost of storage and compute in the warehouse becomes problematic. Redshift comes with a premium cost, especially if you use Spectrum outside of AWS Redshift.A solution to this is to reach for a tool focused on reducing overhead cost. As a biased example, Ahana Cloud is easy to run and allows the users to only pay for what they use without upfront costs. Simply, the performance you’re used to and pay less for it!

Closed & Inflexible

 Working with a data warehouse, while having some perks, comes with some drawbacks. In this environment the user loses their flexibility. Data architects, data engineers, and analysts are required to use the data format supported by the data warehouse. Redshift does not provide or utilize flexible or open data formats available.

Other modern solutions allow the user to define and manage data sources. Ahana permits data teams to  attach or detach from any cluster with the click of a button; also taking care of configuring and restarting the clusters.

Vendor Lock-in

One of the biggest pain points, and desire to find Redshift alternatives is due to vendor lock-in. Data warehouse vendors, like AWS Redshift, make it difficult to use your data outside of their services. To do so data would need to be pulled out of the warehouse and duplicated, further driving up compute costs. Use the tools & integrations you need to get value from your data without the proprietary data formats. Head over to this additional comparison for a discernible solution dealing with vendor lock-in, price-performance, and flexibility.

Redshift Alternatives

Summary: Redshift Alternatives

A warehouse provides an environment that fosters the ability to do drill-down analysis on your data looking for If you are using Amazon Redshift now, and are looking to solve some of the problems with it, check out this  on-demand webinar providing instructions to augment your Redshift warehouse with an Open Data Lakehouse. This webinar also explains why so many of today’s companies are moving away from warehouses like Snowflake and Amazon Redshift towards other Redshift alternatives – specifically, a SQL Data Lakehouse with Presto.

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A Comprehensive Guide to Data Warehouse Types

A data warehouse is a relational database that is designed for query and analysis rather than for transaction processing.

Presto vs Snowflake: Data Warehousing Comparisons

Presto is an open-source SQL query engine for data lakehouse analytics. Snowflake is a cloud data warehouse that offers a cloud-based information storage and analytics service. Learn more about the differences in this article