AWS Aqua generally available: speeds up Redshift queries

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Amazon Web Services announced on Wednesday that Aqua, a technology that uses custom chips designed by the cloud service, is now generally available. The tech is used by organizations to run analytic queries faster on Amazon Redshift.

AWS says that Aqua will help customers perform data operations up to 10 times faster than other platforms offering the same service.

Amazon Redshift is a managed data warehouse that companies use for business analytics projects. The information used in analytics is stored on AWS’ S3 storage.

Amazon Redshift

When users want to process that information, they send it to a cluster of compute instances connected to their Redshift environment and use those instances’ CPUs to run queries. This arrangement makes it possible to assign compute and storage resources separately, optimizing cost.

There is a tradeoff though. Moving information between storage infrastructure and compute instances can take time when the datasets are massive, delaying queries.

With Aqua, the bottleneck is addressed, to ensure that answers are spat back faster. Rahul Pathak, AWS’s vice president of analytics, says that Aqua speeds up the process by bringing compute to storage layers.

Analytics sped up

AWS says that the result of this innovation is that it reduces the time taken for analytical queries, by speeding up the process by as much as 10 times what the competition offers.

Opening up the hood to take a look at Aqua reveals that it is powered by special hardware modules in Amazon’s data centers, using analytics processors designed for AWS for data processing. The technology is available at no extra cost, for users of Redshift RA3 instances.

Amazon.com, the parent company of AWS, is one of the early adopters of Aqua on its Redshift deployment.