The Rythmos Blog

Cloud-based Data Warehouse Can Increase Performance and Reduce Cost

Posted by Andy Floresca on Mar 1, 2018 11:25:23 AM

A few years ago, many IT leaders shied away from being early adopters of cloud technologies. For some, the reasoning was due to a perceived immaturity of the technology; or a lack of needed skill sets within an organization; or companies could not reconcile the cost-benefit of such migrations. With recent advancements in cloud-based technologies such as unlimited scalability, improved performance, and lower overall costs, IT leaders have taken notice and are jumping at the chance to offer their users improved tools to make better business decisions. The Rythmos FactumCloud an Amazon Web Services Redshift service that allows you to Lift and Shift your data warehouse, so that you can provide those empowering tools to your users.

Five years ago one of our customers invested in what was, at the time, state-of-the-art technology to facilitate database marketing. Five years is a long time in the world of technology. Since then, data volumes have exploded, consumers have become increasingly impatient, and so the search was on for a more scalable, faster, and better solution for their database needs.

In order to prove that FactumCloud Data Warehouse was a viable alternative to the existing client-server model, four factors were decided as “must have” in order to deem it a success, those factors include the following:

  • Increase Extract Transform and Load (ETL) performance.
  • Reduce customizations.
  • Lower maintenance.
  • Reduce the monthly cost of running the data warehouse.

FactumCloud hit all of the goals outlined for the proof-of-concept (POC), but for the two most important factors, performance and cost, the results far exceeded the targets.

The first goal was achieved as the ETL process within FactumCloud saw a huge improvement over the old solution where the current time it took to process 2- to 4-million records was six hours. The new time to process the same number of records reduced to under one hour.

A reduction in customization was realized as custom code was done away with and moved to using AWS Glue and Python, to take advantage of using configurations and parameters.

Lower maintenance is a key to keeping costs down and the new infrastructure is “server-less” in that there is no environment to provision, no need to schedule a team of systems administrators to patch and monitor physical servers. Business processes are managed rather than physical servers.

A snapshot of the high-level architecture of FactumCloud is shown below.

Rythmos FactumCloud Data Warehouse Service

Another key to lower overall maintenance and driving down cost is the underlying AWS Redshift data warehouse. AWS Redshift is fast due to Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) and allows for analyzing all of your data using standard SQL and any existing BI tool. For the POC, the users wanted to bring their own Business Intelligence (BI) reporting tools, this was easily accommodated as users tried a variety such as Tableau, Microstrategy, and Alteryx.

The two most important factors for success of the POC were performance and cost. As noted previously the ETL performance proved to be five-times faster, which lead us to begin analyzing the overall costs of running the new solution. In a side-by-side comparison, FactumCloud demonstrated an overall cost reduction of more than 50%. The success of the POC has lead to a change in the conversation of what is possible for our clients.

As part of the Rythmos Data Solutions practice, FactumCloud provides a proven platform to build your new data warehouse, or migrate your existing data warehouse to. An implementation roadmap has also been developed as part of the POC to ensure that we capture and understand each requirement.

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