Since we launched Amazon Redshift as a cloud data warehouse service more than seven years ago, tens of thousands of customers built their workloads using it. We are always listening to your feedback and, in December last year, we announced our 3rd generation RA3 node type providing you the ability to scale compute and storage separately. Previous generation DS2 and DC2 nodes had a fixed amount of storage and required adding more nodes to your cluster to increase storage capacity. The new RA3 nodes let you determine how much compute capacity you need to support your workload and then scale the amount of storage based on your needs. The first member of the RA3 family was the ra3.16xlarge which we heard from many customers was fantastic, but more than they needed for their workload needs.

Today we are adding a new smaller member to the RA3 family: the ra3.4xlarge.

The RA3 node type is based on AWS Nitro and includes support for Redshift managed storage. Redshift managed storage automatically manages data placement across tiers of storage and caches the hottest data in high-performance SSD storage while automatically offloading colder data to Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). Redshift managed storage uses advanced techniques such as block temperature, data block age, and workload patterns to optimize performance.

RA3 nodes with managed storage are a great fit for analytics workloads that require massive storage capacity and can be a great fit for workloads such as operational analytics, where the subset of data that is most important evolves constantly over time. In the past, there was pressure to offload or archive old data to other storage because of fixed storage limits. This made maintaining the operational analytics data set and the larger historical dataset difficult to query when needed.

The new ra3.4xlarge node provides 12 vCPUs, 96 GiB of RAM, and addresses up to 64 Tb of managed storage. A cluster can contain up to 32 of these instances, for a total storage of 2048 TB (that’s 2 petabytes!).

The differences between ra3.16xlarge and ra3.4xlarge nodes are summarized in the table below.

vCPUMemoryAddressable Storage I/OPrice
(US East (N. Virginia))
ra3.4xlarge1296 GiB64TB RMS2 GB/sec$3.26 per Hour
ra3.16xlarge28384 GiB64TB RMS8 GB/sec$13.04 per Hour

To create a new cluster, I am using the Redshift AWS Management Console or AWS Command Line Interface (CLI). In the console. I click Create Cluster and choose ra3.4xlarge instances.

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If you have a DS2 or DC2 instance-based cluster you create a new RA3 cluster to evaluate the new instance with managed storage. You use a recent snapshot of your Redshift DS2 or DC2 cluster to create a new cluster based on ra3.4xlarge instances. You keep the two clusters running in parallel to evaluate the compute needs of your application.

You can resize your RA3 cluster at anytime by using elastic resize to add or remove compute capacity. If elastic resize is not available for your chosen configuration then you can do a classic resize.

RA3 instances are now available in 14 AWS Regions : US East (Ohio), US East (N. Virginia), US West (N. California), US West (Oregon), Asia Pacific (Seoul), Asia Pacific (Singapore), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Europe (Frankfurt), Europe (Ireland), Europe (London), Europe (Paris), Canada (Central), and South America (São Paulo).

The price vary from one region to the other, starting at $3.26/hr/node in US East (N. Virginia). Check the Amazon Redshift pricing page for details.

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from AWS News Blog: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/amazon-redshift-update-ra3-4xlarge-instances/