Are you looking for quick and simple methods to move data from Google Cloud Storage to Redshift? This is the article for you.

Businesses must now use their data to keep ahead of the expanding market competition and make data-driven choices. Data from multiple sources that automate processes must be stored quickly and securely. Furthermore, developing and managing a fast, versatile, and secure physical storage system is prohibitively expensive. As a result, Google Cloud storage solutions are becoming increasingly popular.

GCS provides a secure and low-cost virtual storage solution. However, consolidating numerous data silos to acquire business information is difficult. Furthermore, manual data integration is time-consuming, inconvenient, and sometimes erroneous. As a result, businesses seeking to reduce the time and effort spent reporting and analyzing many data silos combine a large number of data from numerous sheets, CSV files, and Gooogle Cloud Storage to Redshift or other such warehouses.

What is Google Cloud Storage?

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Google Cloud Storage is indeed an enterprise public cloud storage platform, which can hold enormous unstructured datasets. Companies might buy storage for their core or seldom-accessed data.

Customers can use a web browser or a command-line interface to access their data in Google Cloud Storage. Customers also can select the geographic region of their data.

Google Cloud Storage is a Google Cloud Platform service. It offers unified object storage for both current and archival data. Google Cloud Storage objects are classified into buckets. Buckets are cloud containers that may be allocated to different storage classes.

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What are the Key Features of Google Cloud Storage?

Some key features of GCP include

  • Capacity: Enough resources to allow for simple scalability as needed. Additionally, excellent resource management is required for peak performance.
  • Security: Multi-level security choices for safeguarding resources such as assets, networks, and operating system components.
  • Network Infrastructure: The collection of physical, logistical, and human-resource-related components that comprise a network, such as wire, routers, switches, firewalls, load balancers, and so on.
  • Support: Skilled specialists for installation, maintenance, and support.
  • Bandwidth: An appropriate quantity of bandwidth for peak load.
  • Facilities: Other infrastructure components, such as physical equipment and power sources, are referred to as facilities.

What is Amazon Redshift?

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The AWS Data Warehousing solution Amazon Redshift enables business analytics in the AWS cloud. Customers may use typical SQL queries to query petabytes of structured and semi-structured data in Redshift.

AWS users may start developing a Redshift Data Warehouse for as cheap as $0.25 per hour and scale it up to meet their business needs. Redshift may be deployed as a single 160GB node or as a multi-node clustered system with a ‘Leader’ node that controls client connections and receives queries in front of up to 128 Compute Nodes that store data and run queries.

Redshift employs powerful compression technology, compressing individual database columns to achieve considerable compression as compared to typical relational database storage. As a result, data saved in Redshift requires less storage space than data stored in competing systems.

Redshift makes use of ‘Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) technology, which dynamically distributes data and queries workloads overall compute nodes, allowing Redshift to perform complicated queries across massive datasets rapidly and effectively. 

What are the Key Features of Amazon Redshift?

  • Faster Performance: Amazon Redshift generates high throughputs and sub-second reaction times by leveraging machine learning, parallel architecture, and compute-optimized hardware. With Amazon Redshift, there is less time spent waiting and more time spent generating insights from the examined data.
  • Easy Set-Up: Basic Setup, Deployment, and Management: Amazon Redshift is by far the most simple and user-friendly data warehouse, allowing users to install a new data warehouse in a matter of minutes. Some of the most frequent administrative duties for managing, monitoring, and scaling the data warehouse may be readily automated using Amazon Redshift. This liberates users from the complexities of on-premise data warehouse management.
  • Scalable: Amazon Redshift has the ability to scale queries from gigabytes to exabytes of data across the user’s database and Amazon S3 data lake, allowing users to swiftly analyze any quantity of data in S3 without any loading or Extract-Transform-Load (ETL) technique. It allows you to simply resize the Redshift cluster with a few terminal clicks or a single API request. The user may adjust the Redshift up and down based on their needs.
  • Short-Query Acceleration: One of Amazon Redshift’s advantages is that users may expand their data warehouse to a data lake. This allows users to receive detailed insight into data that would otherwise be impossible to obtain by querying independent data silos. Users of Redshift Spectrum may query open data types stored in Amazon S3 directly. This one-of-a-kind functionality allows Redshift to query data without requiring additional data migration. This allows users to study data from both the data warehouse and the data lake using a single service.
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Connect Google Cloud Storage to Redshift:

Connect Google Cloud Storage to Redshift: Using Amazon EMR

1. Google Cloud Storage to Redshift: Prerequisites  

The following conditions must be met before establishing the EMR cluster:

  • On your PC or server, install the AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI). See Installing, updating, and uninstalling the AWS CLI for more.
  • For SSH access to your EMR nodes, create an Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) key pair. See Create a key pair with Amazon EC2 for details.
  • Set up an S3 bucket to hold the configuration files, bootstrap shell script, and GCS connector JAR file. Create a bucket in the same Region as where you intend to deploy your EMR cluster.
  • During the bootstrapping process, create a shell script (sh) to copy the GCS connector JAR file and the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) credentials to the EMR cluster’s local storage. Copy the shell script to your bucket at s3:/S3 BUCKET>/ An example shell script is as follows:
sudo aws s3 cp s3://<S3 BUCKET>/gcs-connector-hadoop3-latest.jar /tmp/gcs-connector-hadoop3-latest.jar
sudo aws s3 cp s3://<S3 BUCKET>/gcs.json /tmp/gcs.json
  • To read files from GCS, download the GCS connector JAR file for Hadoop 3.x (if using a different version, you must obtain the JAR file for your version).
  • s3:/S3 BUCKET>/gcs-connector-hadoop3-latest.jar is the location where the file should be uploaded.
  • Create GCP credentials for a service account with access to the original GCS bucket. The credentials should be called json and should be in JSON format.
  • Import the key here to  s3:/S3 BUCKET>/gcs.json. Here is an example key:
   "private_key":"-----BEGIN PRIVATE KEY-----nprivate-keyn-----END PRIVATE KEY-----n",
  • To activate the GCS connection in Amazon EMR, create a JSON file called gcsconfiguration.json. Ensure the file is in that directory as the AWS CLI commands you want to run. A sample configuration file is provided below:

2. Google Cloud Storage to Redshift: Start Amazon EMR and set it up.

We begin with a simple cluster of one primary node and four-core nodes for a total of five c5n.xlarge instances for our test dataset. To find the optimal cluster scale for your dataset, iterate on your copy workload by adding more core nodes and monitoring your copy job durations.

  • To start and setup our EMR cluster, we utilize the AWS CLI (see the basic create-cluster command below):
aws emr create-cluster 
--name "My First EMR Cluster" 
--release-label emr-6.3.0 
--applications Name=Hadoop 
--ec2-attributes KeyName=myEMRKeyPairName 
--instance-type c5n.xlarge 
--instance-count 5 
  • Create a custom bootstrap activity to copy the GCS connection JAR file and GCP credentials to the EMR cluster’s local storage upon cluster formation. To set your own bootstrap action, add the following option to the create-cluster command:

For more information on this phase, see Create bootstrap activities to install extra software.

  • You must give a configuration object to alter the default configurations for your cluster. To specify the configuration item, add the following option to the create-cluster command:

For additional information on how to offer this object when constructing a cluster, see Configure apps when creating a cluster.

Putting it all together, the following code is an example of a command to create and set up an EMR cluster capable of doing GCS to Amazon S3 migrations

aws emr create-cluster 
--name "My First EMR Cluster" 
--release-label emr-6.3.0 
--applications Name=Hadoop 
--ec2-attributes KeyName=myEMRKeyPairName 
--instance-type c5n.xlarge 
--instance-count 5 
--bootstrap-actions Path="s3:///" 
--configurations file://gcsconfiguration.json

3. Google Cloud Storage to Redshift: As a step in an EMR cluster, submit S3DistCp or DistCp.

  • There are various methods to execute the S3DistCp or DistCp utility.

    When the cluster is up and running, SSH to the primary node and perform the command indicated in this post in a terminal window.

    The work can also be started as part of the cluster launch. After the job is completed, the cluster can either continue to operate or be halted. This may be accomplished by submitting a step directly through the AWS Management Console when forming a cluster. Please provide the following information:
    • Step type – Custom JAR
    • Name – S3DistCp Step
    • JAR location – command-runner.jar
    • Arguments – s3-dist-cp –src=gs://<GCS BUCKET>/ –dest=s3://<S3 BUCKET>/
    • Action of failure – Continue

We can always add a new step to the current cluster. The syntax in this example differs somewhat from that in earlier instances. We use commas to separate arguments. In the event of a complicated pattern, we use single quote marks to protect the entire step option:

aws emr add-steps 
--cluster-id j-ABC123456789Z 
--steps 'Name=LoadData,Jar=command-runner.jar,ActionOnFailure=CONTINUE,Type=CUSTOM_JAR,Args=s3-dist-cp,--src=gs://<GCS BUCKET>/, --dest=s3://<S3 BUCKET>/'

4. Google Cloud Storage to Redshift: DistCp configuration and parameters

We improve the cluster copy throughput in this section by modifying the number of maps or reducers and other associated variables.

  • Memory configurations
    We employ the following memory configurations:

    The size of the map containers used to parallelize the transfer is determined by both parameters. Setting this value in accordance with the cluster resources and the amount of declared maps is critical for guaranteeing effective memory consumption. The following formula can be used to compute the number of launched containers:

    Total number of launched containers = Total memory of cluster / Map container memory
  • Dynamic strategy configurations

    We employ the following dynamic strategy parameters:

    -Ddistcp.dynamic.split.ratio=3 -strategy dynamic

    DistCp splits the copy task into dynamic chunk files based on the dynamic strategy options. Each of these pieces represents a subset of the original file listing. The map containers then draw pieces from this pool. If a container completes its task early, it may be assigned to another unit of work. This ensures that containers complete the copy operation faster and complete more work than slower containers. Split ratio and max chunks tolerated are the two configurable options. The split ratio controls how many chunks are generated from the number of maps. The max chunks acceptable parameter specifies the maximum number of chunks that can be allowed. The ratio and number of defined maps decide the setting:

    Number of chunks = Split ratio * Number of maps
    Max chunks tolerable must be > Number of chunks
  • Map options

    The following map setup is used:

    -m 640

    This specifies how many map containers will be launched.
  • List status options

    The following list status setting is used:

    -numListstatusThreads 15

    The number of threads used to do the file listing of the source GCS bucket.
  • An example command

    When operating with 96 core or task nodes in the EMR cluster, use the following command:

    ​​hadoop distcp
    -strategy dynamic
    -m 640
    -numListstatusThreads 15
    gs://<GCS BUCKET>/ s3://<S3 BUCKET>/

5. Google Cloud Storage to Redshift: S3DistCp options and settings

When performing massive GCS copies using S3DistCP, ensure that the option (also mentioned previously in the sample Amazon EMR application configuration object) is set in core-site.xml. This aids in parallelizing the getFileStatus and listStatus functions in order to decrease the latency associated with file listing. You may also change the number of reducers to get the most out of your cluster. When operating with 24 core or task nodes in the EMR cluster, use the following command:

s3-dist-cp -Dmapreduce.job.reduces=48 --src=gs://<GCS BUCKET>/--dest=s3://<S3 BUCKET>/

  • Performance and testing

    We utilized a 9.4 TB (157,000 files) test dataset stored in a multi-Region GCS bucket to evaluate DistCp’s performance with S3DistCp. The EMR cluster and the S3 bucket were both situated in us-west-2. The number of core nodes employed in our tests ranged from 24 to 120.

    The DistCp test yielded the following results:
    • Workload – 9.4 TB and 157,098 files
    • Instance types – 1x c5n.4xlarge (primary), c5n.xlarge (core)
NodesThroughputTransfer TimeMaps
241.5GB/s100 mins168
482.9GB/s53 mins336
964.4GB/s35 mins640
1205.4GB/s29 mins840
  • The following are the results of the S3DistCp test:
    • Workload – 9.4 TB and 157,098 files
    • Instance types – 1x c5n.4xlarge (primary), c5n.xlarge (core)
NodesThroughputTransfer TimeReducers
241.9GB/s82 mins48
483.4GB/s45 mins120
965.0GB/s31 mins240
1205.8GB/s27 mins240

For our test dataset, the findings reveal that S3DistCP performed somewhat better than DistCP. In terms of node count, we stopped at 120 nodes since we were pleased with the copy’s performance. If your dataset requires it, increasing the number of nodes may result in greater performance. It is necessary to loop over your node counts in order to obtain the correct number for your dataset.

  • Spot Instances are used for task nodes.

    Amazon EMR supports the capacity-optimized allocation approach for EC2 Spot Instances by monitoring capacity measurements in real-time and launching Spot Instances from the most available Spot Instance capacity pools. In your EMR task instance fleet settings, you may now define up to 15 instance types. See Optimizing Amazon EMR for Resilience and Cost with Capacity-Optimized Spot Instances for further details.
  • Clean it up

    Make careful to destroy the cluster when the copy operation is finished, unless the copy job was a stage in the cluster launch and the cluster was configured to cease automatically after the copy job was completed.

Google Cloud Storage to Redshift: Conclusion

In this article, you get an overview of Google Cloud Storage and Amazon Redshift and their key features. You’ll also get a detailed tutorial on how to migrate data from Google Cloud Storage to Redshift. 

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Share your experience of connecting Google Cloud Storage to Redshift in the comments section below.

Akshaan Sehgal
Former Marketing Content Analyst, Hevo Data

Akshaan is a data science enthusiast who loves to embrace challenges associated with maintaining and exploiting growing data stores. He has a flair for writing in-depth articles on data science where he incorporates his experience in hands-on training and guided participation in effective data management tasks.

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