Setting up Redshift Clusters: 5 Easy Steps

Muhammad Faraz • Last Modified: December 29th, 2022

Redshift Clusters - Featured Image

Amazon Redshift is a petabyte-scale Cloud-based Data Warehouse service. It is optimized for datasets ranging from a hundred gigabytes to a petabyte can effectively analyze all your data by allowing you to leverage its seamless integration support for Business Intelligence tools.

Upon a complete walkthrough of the content, you will be to set up Redshift clusters for your instance with ease. Through this article, you will get a deep understanding of the tools and techniques being mentioned & thus, it will help you hone your skills further on the Redshift Clusters.

Table of Contents

Redshift Cluster Basics

Redshift Clusters: Redshift Logo
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Amazon Redshift Clusters are defined as a pivotal component in the Amazon Redshift Data Warehouse. Every Redshift Cluster contains the following two integral components:

  • Leader Node: The Leader Node is tasked with managing the communication between the compute nodes and the client applications. The leader node can compile code and relay it to the compute nodes. The Leader Node can also offer a portion of the data to each compute node. 
  • Compute Node: Compute Nodes have their dedicated memory, CPU, and disk storage. Compute Nodes are tasked with storing data and executing user queries. You can have multiple compute nodes in a single Redshift Cluster to speed up your business operations.

This organization adopted by Redshift Clusters is a prime example of a Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) architecture. MPP architecture is christened that way because it lets various processors perform multiple operations simultaneously. Some primary benefits of leveraging MPP architecture for databases are as follows:

  • With MPP, you can linearly scale your data to keep up with data growth.
  • MPP allows you to query voluminous data at a large speed.
  • MPP is deemed good for analytical workloads since they require sophisticated queries to function effectively.
  • MPP is flexible enough to incorporate semi-structured and structured data. 

Cluster Management Options

When it comes to Cluster Management Options in Redshift, you can choose from the following four alternatives:

  • Redshift CLI: The Amazon Redshift Command Line Interface allows you to organize your Redshift Clusters with command-line operations by leveraging the Python programming language. It also gives you the freedom to run cluster programs from your preferred terminal program. 
  • Console: The Console is the primary dashboard of Amazon Redshift that allows you to manage your data. You can easily modify, create, or delete clusters by simply clicking a few buttons.
  • Java AWS SDK: You can leverage Amazon’s software development kit in tandem with the Java programming language to perform Cluster Management Operations. You can also correspond to the Redshift platform by using an SDK for any one of various platforms like PHP, Python, Java, .NET, and Ruby.
  • Redshift API: You can also utilize the Redshift QUERY API for cluster management operations. If you wish to use this method, you can make a call to the API by submitting an HTTPS or HTTP request. 

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Creating a Cluster


Amazon Redshift gives you the freedom to select a parameter group for all the Redshift Clusters you choose to make. The parameter group will contain the settings that will be used to configure the database. If you don’t choose a parameter group, Amazon Redshift will allocate a parameter group by default to your Redshift cluster.

In the Amazon Redshift Console, you can modify or create parameter groups on the Parameter Groups Page as mentioned below:

Redshift Clusters: Parameters
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Main Steps

The primary steps for creating a Redshift Cluster in the Redshift Console are mentioned below:

  • Step 1: Log in to Amazon Web Services, hover to Redshift, and click the Launch Cluster button.
  • Step 2: Once you’ve reached the Cluster Details Page, provide the cluster’s basic information such as the Database Name, Database Port, Cluster Identifier, Master Password, and Master User Name as mentioned in the figure given below:
Redshift Clusters: Creating Redshift Clusters in Console Step 2
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  • Step 3: Click on the Continue button, and then provide the information on the Node Configuration page.

Node Type

  • Step 4: In the Node Configuration page, choose one of the two Node types: Dense Storage or Dense Compute. Dense Storage is recommended for Redshift Clusters harboring a lot of data and Dense Compute should be your go-to node for high performance.
Redshift Clusters: Creating Redshift Clusters in Console Step 4
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Number of Nodes

  • Step 5: Next, you need to decide the suitable number of nodes to store your data. You can either opt for a multi-node cluster, which has a leader node and user-specified quantity of compute nodes, or you can choose a single-node cluster, which just contains one node that offers both Leader and Compute functionalities. AWS provides you with the leader node for free if you decide to go forward with a multi-node cluster.
  • Step 6: Click Continue, and fill in the relevant information on the Additional Configuration page to move forward with the Redshift Clusters Setup process. This includes the Encrypt Database, Cluster Parameter Group, and Configure Network Options.
  • Step 7: Click Continue to move on to the Amazon Redshift Cluster Review Page. Choose Launch Cluster to start the Redshift Cluster Creation process.

Common Cluster Operations

The pivotal Redshift Cluster Operations are as follows:


To delete a Redshift cluster from the stack, you can follow along with these steps:

  • Step 1: Open up the Amazon Redshift Console, select Clusters, and choose the Cluster you wish to delete.
  • Step 2: Next, on the Configuration tab of your Cluster Details page, choose Cluster, then select Delete from the menu as prompted.
  • Step 3: You can choose to take a final snapshot of the cluster in the Delete Cluster dialog box. 
Redshift Clusters: Delete Cluster
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Here are the steps you can follow to reboot a Redshift Cluster seamlessly:

  • Step 1: Select Clusters as shown in the Amazon Redshift Console, and select the cluster you want to reboot.
  • Step 2: Once you’re on the Cluster Details page, select Cluster and Reboot as prompted from the dropdown menu.
  • Step 3: Make a confirmation that you want to reboot by clicking the reboot button in the Reboot Cluster window. You will have to wait for a couple of minutes for the reboot process to finish.
Redshift Clusters: Reboot Cluster
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If you want to modify Redshift Clusters, you can follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Step 1: Open the Amazon Redshift Console, and select Clusters. Choose the Cluster you want to modify.
  • Step 2: On the cluster details page, you can select the Modify option as shown in the Dropdown Menu as follows:
Redshift Clusters: Modify Cluster
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  • Step 3: Now that you’ve reached the Modify Cluster window, you can make your desired changes. A few common changes that you can make include setting a new master password, amending the cluster parameter group, and the cluster identifier.
Redshift Clusters: Modify Cluster Window
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Here are the steps you can follow to resize a Redshift Cluster:

  • Step 1: Choose Clusters in the Amazon Redshift Console, and choose the cluster you wish to resize.
  • Step 2: Once you’ve reached the Cluster Details page, you can select the Cluster and Resize options from the dropdown menu as prompted. Next, you need to configure your resize parameters in the Resize Clusters window.
  • Step 3: All you need to do now is wait for the resize to finish.
Redshift Clusters: Resize Cluster
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Snapshots are defined as point-in-time backups for Redshift Clusters. You can either take a snapshot manually, or you can have Amazon Redshift create the snapshots automatically. You can even copy the snapshots to another AWS region for resilience.

With historic snapshots, you can restore an entire table or cluster seamlessly in just a few steps. You need to select Clusters from the Amazon Redshift Console, open the Table Restore tab, and select a date range to locate the snapshot. Once you’ve chosen a snapshot, click on the Restore Table button and fill in the details in the Table Restore dialog box. Having filled in all the requisite details, you can click on the Restore button to restore the desired table.

Creating a Cluster in VPC

An Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) is a Cloud offering that allows you to launch Amazon Redshift along with other AWS resources in a virtual network. The two integral benefits of leveraging an Amazon VPC are as follows:

  • Amazon VPC provides you Enhanced Routing, which allows you to tightly manage the flow of data between your Amazon Redshift cluster and all of your data sources.
  • Amazon VPC also offers robust security measures, with no access allowed to nodes from EC2 or any other VPC.

Setting Up Redshift Clusters in a VPC

To create Redshift Clusters in Amazon VPC, you can simply follow the steps given below: 

  • Step 1: First, you need to set up a VPC to move forward. You can opt for the default VPC present in your account or you can create one from scratch tailored to your requirements.
  • Step 2: Next, create an Amazon Redshift Cluster subnet group mentioning which VPC subnets can be leveraged by the Amazon Redshift Clusters.
  • Step 3: You need to give access to inbound connections for an Amazon VPC security group that will leverage the Redshift cluster. Having carried out these steps, you can set up Redshift Clusters using the Redshift console as previously specified. When prompted with the Additional Configuration page, you can input the details of your Amazon VPC In the Configure Networking Options section as mentioned in the figure given below:
Redshift Clusters: Setting Up Clusters in VPC
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This article teaches you how to set up Redshift clusters with ease. It provides in-depth knowledge about the concepts behind every step to help you understand and implement them efficiently. These methods, however, can be challenging especially for a beginner & this is where Hevo saves the day. 

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