Sunday, July 28, 2013

Book Review - Getting Started with Amazon Redshift

I got an opportunity to review the newly published book by Packt Publishing - Getting Started with Amazon Redshift. In a single sentence I can say it is a good starting place to Amazon Redshift in the perspective of a DBA, Database Developer, Cloud DevOp, Data Architect. The book is comprehensive about the content, supporting theory, guidelines / restrictions, alternatives to cope up with it on the Cloud Data Warehouse - Redshift. 

Getting Start with Amazon Redshift - Book Cover Page navcode
Getting Start with Amazon Redshift - Book Cover Page

We all know that Amazon Redshift is like Postgres, by extension there is a difference between them; and this books steps in and explains all possible ways how they are different. Immediately after finishing the first chapter, even a complete new beginner will say "Redshift understands Postgres's dialect instead of syntax". The stress or caution on the unsupported functionalities against the Postgres's syntax is really detailed.

Just like we have data life cycle, the author has written the book in the same fashion. The journey begins starting with Architecture, Design, Consideration of Scheme, How to Speak to Database Cluster, How to load the Data to Cluster, Read / Query, Monitoring, Work Load Management and DBA aspects.

The attempt to show the Amazon - AWS's eco-system components like EC2, DynamoDB, S3 along with the Redshift is really good. The best part is when the author tries not just to improve the I/O performance when trying to load data from other AWS component from / to Redshift but also the cost economics relating to it.

The critical info like Cluster re-sizing scenarios and considerations, the metadata info about cluster like System Tables, their naming conventions, details, 3rd party integration tools, ETL tools, Indexing info like Sort Key & Distribution Key etc. are well explained