Course Update: AWS Architecting

New Course: Data Warehousing on AWS

The AWS Data Warehousing course involves concepts, strategies and best practices involved in building a data warehousing solution on the AWS cloud.

QA | 26 September 2016

AWS Certified

A few months ago, I blogged about the Big Data on AWS course, which describes how to build a big data processing pipeline on AWS. That course covers many different technologies, including EMR (Amazon’s managed Hadoop service), Kinesis (streaming big data) and Redshift (data warehousing).

Ever since that course was introduced, customers have been asking for a second course that focuses specifically on data warehousing – and now there is one: Data Warehousing on AWS.

This is a three-day course targeted at database professionals and data analysts. It discusses the concepts, strategies and best practices involved in building a data warehousing solution on the AWS cloud. As a prerequisite, delegates are expected to be familiar with relational databases, and to have attended the one-day AWS Technical Essentials course (see my previous blog in this series) or have equivalent experience.

The course content is primarily a deep-dive on Amazon Redshift, intended to teach delegates how to implement, design, configure, secure, optimise and monitor a data warehouse on the Redshift platform. There is also an introductory section about the core concepts of data warehousing, and some other AWS data and analytics technologies are discussed insofar as they relate to collecting, storing and preparing data.

As usual, I’d like to add more detail to the course outline – and, as usual, please be aware that AWS frequently release new versions of courseware, each delivery is different, and this blog will surely be outdated after a while. Please don’t treat these details as contractual – contact us if you want to know more. That said, the course goes like this:

Day One

  • We discuss the core concepts of data warehousing: how transactional and analytical databases differ, the role of big data and the purpose of a data warehouse. We also overview the tools relating to data workflows in AWS.
  • We introduce Amazon Redshift with an overview of its basic architecture and features, and a number of use cases and customer case studies.

  • Day Two

  • We discuss database schema design for a data warehouse. This section includes detailed discussion of the distribution styles, sort methods and columnar compression types which Redshift supports. Since a Redshift instance is a cluster of nodes, and the amount of data being stored is often very large, correctly distributing and sorting the data within the cluster can have a huge effect on performance.
  • We look at briefly other data storage technologies in AWS: S3, DynamoDB, EMR, Kinesis Firehose and so on. Our goal in this module is to consider these as possible data sources for Redshift.
  • We finish the day with a module about data loading, discussing best practices for preparing the input data and loading it into Redshift. This module also covers table maintenance using the ANALYZE and VACUUM commands.
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    Day Three

  • We start with a module about writing queries and performance tuning. We investigate the EXPLAIN command and diagnostic queries, and look at workload management as a mechanism for prioritising queries.
  • We discuss maintaining Redshift clusters. This includes monitoring, tagging, cluster maintenance, disaster recovery and so on.
  • Finally, we end with a module on data visualisation using Business Intelligence tools.
  • There are eight hands-on labs throughout the course, particularly on days two and three. That ensures that delegates can have substantial hands-on experience with Redshift as well as theoretical knowledge of it, and be ready at the end of the course to implement their own data warehousing solutions.

    If you’re interested in learning more about this or any other AWS course, please give us a call.

    Related blogs

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    Introducing AWS DevOps Engineering course

    A look at the AWS Advanced Architecting training course

    How to pass AWS certification exams

    The benefits of AWS certification

    Big Data on AWS

    Course update: AWS Technical Essentials

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