AWS Redshift and RDS are two different database products that AWS offers. If you're not sure which one is right for you, there are a few essential questions to answer before making your decision. This article will explore the differences between these two products and help determine which one would be best for your needs. We'll also take a look at how much it costs to use each product so that you can compare them side-by-side and see what's most affordable for your business.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is AWS Redshift?
  2. Benefits of AWS Redshift
  3. What Is RDS?
  4. Benefits of RDS
  5. Critical Differences Between AWS Redshift and RDS
  6. When to Use AWS Redshift Over RDS
  7. How Can Help You

What Is AWS Redshift?

AWS Redshift is a fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service hosted on the AWS (Amazon web services) cloud. It provides users with the resources necessary to quickly and easily run queries against large datasets using an SQL-like interface called Amazon Redshift Spectrum. To use this product, you'll need some experience running relational database software, such as PostgreSQL, or amazon rds.

Benefits of AWS Redshift

The most significant benefit of AWS Redshift is that it's fully managed. This means you don't have to worry about setting up, scaling, patching, or maintaining your data warehouse—that work is all done for you by Amazon engineers.

AWS Redshift can compute larger datasets more efficiently than other similar services due to its columnar storage technology. Columnar databases store individual columns of data together rather than row-by-row, which allows them to skip over any irrelevant rows faster during query execution of a dataset. They can then find and retrieve just the requested information much quicker than if they had to look through every single row in the database, through query speed optimization and reducing storage costs.

AWS Redshift is available on both AWS GovCloud (US) and Amazon Virtual Private Cloud. This means that it can be used by government agencies or companies who need to keep data within specific geographical boundaries for compliance reasons. However, it's important to note that this does not mean your databases are automatically compliant with GDPR requirements.

What Is RDS?

RDS is a database service offered by AWS that allows users to quickly set up, manage and scale relational databases in the cloud. It offers six different types of database engines—MySQL, Postgre SQL, SQL Server, MariaDB, Amazon Aurora, and Oracle—so you can pick one that's right for your needs. These options come with many advanced features like automated backups, point-in-time recovery, data encryption at rest, and multi-AZ deployments.

Benefits of RDS

Some of the benefits of using RDS are that it's easy to set up, manage and maintain.

Other benefits include:

  • Scalability: The ability to scale storage capacity up and down quickly with a few clicks in the AWS Management Console or API.
  • Automated backups: RDS takes automated snapshots of your databases so that if something should ever happen, then you'll have an up-to-date copy of your data ready and waiting. You can even restore from these points in time using the AWS Management Console, which makes it easy to get your data back up and running even if you've just had a catastrophic failure.
  • Support for popular programming languages: Most of the engines available on amazon's relational database service supports multiple programming languages, so they'll work with whichever is most familiar to you. This allows developers using different platforms or frameworks to quickly spin up databases without worrying about compatibility issues down the road.
  • Securability: RDS databases are encrypted at rest and can also be configured to require SSL connections—ensuring your data is safe from prying eyes.
  • RDS works seamlessly with other AWS services: If you're already an AWS user, then the chances are good that many of your existing cloud infrastructure and tools will work just fine with RDS. This means it's simple to migrate apps over without having to learn new systems or figure out how everything fits together—configure a few settings in the console and you'll be up and running in no time.

Critical Differences Between AWS Redshift and RDS

Since AWS Redshift and RDS both offer a simple way to run relational databases in the cloud, you might be wondering what makes them different. While they are very similar services, some of their fundamental differences include:

  • Pricing: While both allow you to pay per usage amount, RDS is the cheaper option at $0.17/hour due to its relatively basic feature set. This is why it's best suited to smaller teams or individual developers who are new to the world of databases and don't need anything too complex. If you're just getting started with your first database, then RDS starting at $0.25/hour is a great option, but as your needs grow, so will its price tag until Redshift becomes more cost-effective eventually.
  • Data Warehouse: While RDS is a general-purpose relational database, Redshift was explicitly built to handle large amounts of data and support fast analytical queries. If you're looking for something to manage your transactional workloads, then stick with RDS—but if you need a way to run complex analytics on massive datasets, then Redshift might be the better option for you.
  • Performance: For simple queries, RDS performs much faster than Redshift, but if you are running complex queries on millions of rows, then Redshift is much faster.
  • Scalability: While both services allow you to scale up your databases in a few clicks, Redshift can scale up to hold petabytes of big data, making it an ideal choice for large enterprise customers.

When to Use AWS Redshift Over RDS

AWS Redshift may not be the best choice for some tasks. For example, if you're just getting started with databases, then AWS RDS is almost certainly more than enough to handle your needs—and will save you some money at the same time. If your database isn't that big or complex, sticking with RDS also makes sense since it's cheaper and easier to maintain.

One use case where Redshift shines? When you need a robust data storage solution built on top of an enterprise-grade cloud platform. Since it was built for this purpose, Redshift offers better performance and scalability than RDS, which can make all of the difference in certain situations (especially when dealing with large datasets). Plus, like everything on AWS, it works seamlessly with other cloud services, so migrating existing infrastructure over is simple.

How Can Help You

While Redshift is an excellent option for powering your data warehousing, it can be complicated to set up and manage all of the moving parts involved. Luckily there are ETL pipeline tools like that can help. Our cloud-based data integration platform makes it easy to move data between your databases and other cloud services —including Redshift—so you don't have to worry about compatibility issues down the road. If your business is looking for data pipeline solutions to improve your business intelligence efforts and complement your data infrastructure, consider using the platform. is a leading data integration platform for cloud-based analytics, making it simple to move data between your databases and other cloud services. Click here to schedule a demo of the platform.