Guide: Redshift Security Guide

Amazon Redshift Vs. Amazon RDS

Many organizations are debating if they should be switching to a fully managed database service instead of using an on-premise database at this moment in the evolution of cloud infrastructures. The apparent cost savings and respite from all the ins and outs associated with operating a highly dependable database service are the arguments in favor of entirely managed services.

This article will discuss:

Brief Overview

When seeking a cloud database in Amazon Web Services or AWS, which service should you use? What is the difference between Amazon Redshift and Amazon Relational Database Service or RDS? You might be surprised by the answers.


Many companies are switching to cloud computing as the cost of Infrastructure as a Service or IaaS providers decreases. Amazon Web Services or AWS is one of the most popular cloud computing service providers. Many businesses use AWS for tools like database storage, content distribution, processing power, and other essential features for scaling and growing their operations.


Redshift and RDS are two AWS database systems that are often confused with one another. Each service serves a distinct purpose. Should you need to, you can easily install them side by side. But do not feel obligated to choose one over the other.

What is Amazon Redshift?

Amazon Redshift is a cloud-based petabyte-scale data warehouse solution. Setting up, operating, and scaling a data warehouse is a breeze using Amazon RedshiftCustomers can choose from various versions tailored for performance or storage in Redshift.


Scaling is only possible for previous generation instances that do not allow elastic resize in a few hours. With the elastic resize capability, scaling newer generation instances may be done in a couple of minutes. However, all administrative procedures are automated here, allowing customers to concentrate solely on their primary business strategy.


Users can choose to pay only for what they use with Redshift’s pricing, including storage and compute resources. Redshift is best suited for big, sophisticated analytical workloads with millions of rows, but it can also handle OLTP workloads if necessary. However, this use is not advised.


Read more about Redshift in our Amazon Redshift overview. For data protection issues, read our dedicated Amazon Redshift security guide.

Aspects of Amazon Redshift

The many aspects of Amazon Redshift are shown below for simple comprehension.

Cluster Management

A cluster of Amazon Redshift nodes is a collection of nodes. It consists of a leader node and one or more computer nodes. The quantity of the data will determine the number and type of computer nodes needed, the number of the searches required to run, and the query response performance the company desires.


With Amazon Redshift’s cluster management, creating and managing clusters, reserving computer nodes, and creating cluster snapshots has never been this easy.


When deploying a cluster, Amazon Redshift creates one database for its user. One can use this database to load data and run queries on the data by default. Moreover, one can add an extra database later if necessary.


Amazon Redshift is an excellent tool for gaining fresh insights into consumers and business. You can use Amazon Redshift for data warehousing, large-scale corporate data processing, managing quantitative databases for enterprises, and statistical and analytical monitoring of client activities.

Cluster Access and Security

Users can control who has access to the cluster with Amazon Redshift. They also have the option of defining communication restrictions and encrypting all connections and data for security.


By default, an Amazon Redshift cluster is only accessible to the AWS account used to establish it, adding another layer of security. To grant access to the collection and secure it, users can employ separate security groups and encrypt all clusters.

Cluster Monitoring

Users can use database audit logging to keep track of any information that interests them by creating activity logs and configuring event notification subscriptions.

What is Amazon RDS?

Amazon RDS is a pioneer in elastic, managed database systems in the cloud. Amazon RDS, or Relational Database Service, is a web service that allows users to create, manage, and scale a database system.


RDS is a quick and straightforward approach to creating a database without worrying about the architecture. RDS can scale quickly with a workload since the AWS cloud backs it. The only restriction is a maximum database size of 64 terabytes.


RDS is a service that provides a fully managed database system. It gives customers the option of selecting from six different database engines. The standard database administration duties, from hardware provisioning, database configuration, patching updates to data backup, and many more, are automated, allowing users to concentrate solely on their goal and core functionality.


RDS includes a full array of security and compliance features and encryption. RDS also provides a multi-AZ deployment option for high availability. This method implies that a replica of one’s database gets kept in a different region, and AWS will handle a seamless switch if something goes wrong with the database.

Advantages of Amazon RDS

The advantages of using Amazon RDS are detailed below.

Highly Scalable

One may utilize Amazon RDS to scale the compute database and storage resources with only a few steps.

Easy Administration

With Amazon RDS, users can quickly move from project idea to deployment, eliminating any need for infrastructure setup or database software installation.


With Amazon RDS, users can quickly handle the demands of database applications. They have two SSD-backed storage options to choose from to fit their needs.


With Amazon RDS, users can easily limit network access to their database, and they even have the option of separating database servers.


Users can use Amazon RDS’ services for a meager cost. Rest assured that they will only get charged for the resources they use. That is all there is to it.

Redshift Vs. RDS

Let us examine these managed services based on essential characteristics that a data architect will consider when selecting one.


Customers can scale Redshift and RDS according to their budget and performance requirements. Scaling takes only a few minutes and can be completed with a few taps. RDS scales by altering the virtual instance capabilities because it gets built on virtualized instances.


Because Redshift is built on a more complicated architecture, scaling is not easy with RDS. Redshift instances with elastic resize support can do it in a matter of minutes. However, the database unavailable time frame is far longer than RDS.

Data Replication

Because the architecture of these services is so dissimilar, the technique for loading them is also distinguishable. With RDS, this gets inextricably linked to the underlying database engine. You will use the engine-specific commands to import the data. Similarly, the tools for exporting will be determined by the engine types of the source and target.


Importing data into Redshift will include copying it to S3 and loading it with the COPY command. If the Redshift tables already have data, users may need temporary tables.

Storage Capacity

The most significant differences between Redshift and RDS are storage capacity and scalability limits. The storage may get increased up to petabytes of data with Redshift. With its large type instance, AWS Redshift has a limit of 2 PB.


Because RDS works with individual virtualized instances, the storage limit is in the TBs and varies depending on the database engine selected. The storage capacity of the SQL server gets restricted to 16 TB. However, the Aurora engine can extend up to 64 TB. All of the other engine types can handle data up to 32 TB.


Queries that do not cover millions of rows perform better in RDS. The chief factor for this is that Redshift uses a powerful query optimizer and execution planner before executing the query. This performance is overkill for basic or low-data-scan searches, as query optimization typically takes longer than execution.


The story changes when it comes to queries that need scanning and aggregating millions of records. Redshift is built for situations and excels in them, providing equivalent or superior performance.


Because of its simpler architecture, RDS requires less maintenance than Redshift. All administrative activities are automated, and end-users do not have to do much to keep it up to date.


Both RDS and Redshift provide pricing that includes both storage and computing. Both programs allow you to pay only for what you use.


Because of its simplicity and limited scaling capabilities, RDS is less expensive. RDS is available for as little as $.017 per hour.

Pricing for Redshift is a little higher, with the lowest latest generation dense compute starting at $0.21 per hour. The cost is more expensive than dense compute, with the lowest hourly rate being $0.85. Redshift also offers a dense storage instance with greater storage capacity and uses HDDs rather than SSDs.


Both Redshift and RDS have intriguing services. Whether they select RDS or RedShift, both services will perform admirably independently or in tandem. The key to choosing which path to take is considering the scale and how the company uses the data.

Learn more about how Satori can help you streamline access to sensitive data on Redshift or RDS within minutes.

Last updated on

January 3, 2022

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