BigQuery vs. Redshift: Data Warehouse Comparison for 2023

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BigQuery vs. Redshift: Comparison of Cloud Data Warehouses

The serverless architecture of BigQuery eliminates the need for infrastructure management. Redshift, in comparison, offers alternatives for on-demand or reserved pricing models. It also gives users more control over infrastructure through customizable cluster configurations.

Data WarehousingFully managed, serverless architectureCloud-based data warehouse, customizable cluster configurations
Query PerformanceHighly scalable with distributed query processingMassively parallel processing (MPP) architecture
Integration EcosystemNative integration with Google Cloud Platform (GCP)Native integration within the AWS ecosystem
Data IngestionSupports batch and streaming data ingestionSupports batch data ingestion
Data FormatsSupports a wide range of data formatsSupports common data formats like CSV, JSON, Parquet, etc.
FlexibilityAuto-scales resources based on workload demandsCustomizable cluster configurations for resource allocation
Machine Learning CapabilitiesOffers BigQuery ML for building and deploying ML modelsIntegrates with AWS ML services like SageMaker
Security and ComplianceProvides robust security features and compliance certificationsOffers comprehensive security controls and compliance measures
Support and DocumentationExtensive documentation and support optionsExtensive documentation and support within the AWS ecosystem
Community and User BaseGrowing community and user baseLarge and established user base within the AWS ecosystem
Pricing ModelPay-as-you-go based on usageOn-demand or reserved instances pricing models

BigQuery Overview

Google BigQuery is a fully managed data warehouse that gives companies the ability to analyze all of their data. It is an ANSI SQL-compatible Platform as a Service (PaaS) that allows querying. Additionally, it has innate machine-learning capabilities.

BigQuery Features

  • Serverless Architecture. BigQuery is a serverless data warehouse, hence infrastructure management is not necessary. Without the need for a human setting, it automatically scales to handle your workload.

  • Massive Scalability. BigQuery is designed to manage enormous datasets. This allows you to effectively analyze petabytes of data.

  • Columnar Storage. By reading only the columns required for a given query, BigQuery's columnar storage format reduces I/O and speeds up query execution.

  • Standard SQL Support. BigQuery supports common SQL queries. This makes using the platform simple for people who are familiar with SQL or PostgreSQL. Additionally, it enables user-defined functions and sophisticated analytical functions.

  • Real-Time Data Streaming. Real-time streaming data can be ingested and analyzed with BigQuery. To handle and examine data as it comes in, it interfaces with services like Cloud Pub/Sub and Apache Kafka.

  • Federated Query. It enables you to query data held in external data sources like Cloud Storage or other BigQuery datasets. You can do analysis across many data sources without difficulty thanks to this functionality.

  • Data Transfer Service. BigQuery offers a Data Transfer Service to make it easier to move data into BigQuery from diverse sources. For well-known data sources like Google Analytics, Google Ads, and others, it provides pre-built ETL connectors.

BigQuery Pros

  • Cost Optimization. BigQuery provides cost-saving features. This includes automated query caching, which lowers query costs for data that is often requested. Additionally, it offers price models for queries and data storage to assist you in cost optimization.

  • Data security and encryption. To protect your data's security and privacy, BigQuery encrypts it both in transit and at rest. For fine-grained access control, it connects with Google Cloud IAM and lets you manage user rights at various levels.

  • Data Partitioning & Clustering. BigQuery provides data clustering and partitioning. This enables you to arrange and prepare your data for improved query speed.

  • Advanced analytics. BigQuery offers analytics features like geographic analysis, window functions, and machine learning integration. Without the use of extra tools, complicated analytical activities can be carried out from within BigQuery.

  • Seamless Google Cloud Integration. With the seamless integration of BigQuery with other Google Cloud services like Dataflow, a complete ecosystem for data processing, storing, and analysis is made available.

  • Community and support. BigQuery has a thriving and active user base, and Google Cloud offers committed support. Users have access to a wealth of resources, documentation, and forums where they may seek help and share information.

BigQuery Cons

  • Data transfer costs. BigQuery levies fees for incoming and outgoing data transfers. For companies that move a lot of data, this can be a considerable expense.

  • Query costs. BigQuery levies fees for each executed query. For company providers that do several searches, this might be a substantial expense.

  • Regional availability. Not every region has access to BigQuery. For companies that need to store data in a certain area, this may be a problem.

  • Lack of user-defined functions. Because BigQuery does not enable user-defined functions, your queries may not be as flexible.

  • No ACID transaction support. Since BigQuery does not support ACID transactions, preserving data integrity may be challenging.

  • No geospatial data support. BigQuery does not natively accept geospatial data. Therefore, it can be challenging to analyze location-based data.

Redshift Overview

Amazon Redshift is a fully managed, petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud. Redshift is completely controlled. Complex analytical queries executed with ordinary SQL have quick response times. Businesses that need to readily and quickly evaluate vast amounts of data are advised to use it.

Redshift Features

  • Automatic Performance Optimization. Redshift uses statistics and metadata to select the most effective query plans for better performance. They do this by automatically analyzing and optimizing query execution plans.

  • Query Concurrency. Redshift offers the simultaneous execution of many queries from various users. This enables effective resource usage and a high degree of parallelism.

  • Spectrum. Without moving or loading the data into Redshift, Spectrum enables you to seamlessly query Amazon S3 data. It expands the capability of searching to incorporate both Redshift and S3 data.

  • Data Compression. Redshift supports a number of compression techniques. This includes Zstandard, LZO, and gzip which help keep query performance high while lowering storage costs.

  • Data Encryption. Redshift provides several encrypting levels for data. It offers options for SSL encryption for data in transit and uses Amazon Web Services (AWS) Key Management Service (KMS) to secure data at rest.

  • Data Distribution Styles. Redshift offers choices for distributing data across compute nodes for query performance. For example, even distribution, key distribution, and all distribution.

  • Fine-Grained Access Control.  They work with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). This offers granular access control to regulate user permissions across a range of layers.

  • Automated snapshots and backups. Redshift performs point-in-time recovery and creates snapshots automatically. You can also make manual snapshots for data archiving and backup purposes.

  • Data Replication and Availability. For high availability and fault tolerance, Redshift duplicates data across different Availability Zones. To ensure data longevity, it automatically handles data replication and node recovery.

Redshift Pros

  • Cost-Effective: Redshift offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, allowing you to only pay for the resources you use. The cost of running Amazon Redshift is typically much lower than the cost of running a traditional data warehouse. Additionally, its compression and data optimization features help reduce storage costs. This makes it a cost-effective data warehousing solution.

  • Integration with AWS Ecosystem. They offer a complete data analytics ecosystem by easily integrating with other AWS services. This can include AWS Glue, Amazon QuickSight, AWS Data Pipeline, and AWS CloudFormation.

  • Data auditing and monitoring. Redshift has audit logging features that let you keep track of and keep an eye on user activity, access logs, and query history. For centralized logging, you may also integrate with AWS CloudTrail.

  • Easy Data Integration. Redshift interacts with a number of data ingestion technologies. For example, Amazon S3, Amazon DynamoDB, Amazon EMR, and others.

  • Columnar Storage. Redshift uses columnar storage. This allows for effective compression and fast query execution by just reading the necessary columns.

  • Massively Parallel Processing (MPP). They use a distributed architecture that distributes queries over several compute nodes. This enables quick query performance even for huge datasets.

  • Community and Support: It has a large and active user community. They provide ample resources, documentation, and support. Additionally, being an AWS service, it benefits from AWS's extensive support network and robust customer service.

Redshift Cons

  • Limited parallel upload support. Redshift can only load data using MPP from Amazon S3, relational DynamoDBs, and Amazon EMR. It doesn't permit concurrent loading from other sources.

  • Uniqueness is not enforced. Redshift does not provide a means to make entered data unique. If your distributed system sends data to Redshift, you'll need to take care of the uniqueness yourself. This can be either at the application layer or by employing some kind of data deduplication technique.

  • Not a 100% managed service. Although Redshift is a managed service, it is not entirely managed. To prevent resource waste and maintain peak performance at all times, you still need to configure it with Workload Management settings and add Query Queues.

  • Lack of advanced features. They don't support advanced capabilities with other data warehouses like geospatial data support.

  • Can be expensive. When compared to alternative data warehouses, Redshift can be more expensive, especially if you need to store a lot of data.

ETL Tools for BigQuery and Redshift

ETL tools play a critical part in data integration. They take data from diverse sources, translate it into a usable format, and load it into a target data warehouse. We'll go through the ETL tools comparison to help you understand the differences of each solution.


Portable is a cloud-based ETL tool that helps you move data between different data warehouses and platforms. It is a powerful ETL solution that you may use to enhance your data analysis and automate your data pipelines.

Portable's key features include:

  • Support 500+ connectors along with hard-to-find long-tail connectors.

  • The user-friendly interface of Portable makes it simple to get started.

  • Portable is well-known for being incredibly reliable and has been tested with a broad variety of data sources and platforms.

  • It can connect to a wide range of data sources, including BigQuery, Redshift, Snowflake, and Amazon S3.

  • To protect your data, Portable employs industry-standard security procedures.

  • You can use Portable to visualize your data and improve business decisions. This can be done by integrating it with well-known BI products like Tableau and Power BI.


AirByte is an open-source ETL tool designed to simplify data integration processes. It provides connectors for many different types of data sources, such as databases, APIs, and SaaS platforms. Key features of AirByte include:

  • A variety of pre-built ETL connectors are available from AirByte. This allows for easy interaction with data sources and destinations.

  • Users can use it to transform and map data from many sources to a target schema and structure that is compatible with Redshift or BigQuery ETL tools.

  • Incremental data replication is supported by AirByte. They enable quick updates and data synchronization between source and target systems.

  • AirByte offers flexibility in infrastructure options. They are simple to deploy and operate both on-premises and in the cloud.


Fivetran is a cloud-based ETL tool that focuses on simplicity and automation. It provides a comprehensive set of functionality for data replication and integration. Fivetran's key characteristics include:

  • More than 150 pre-built connectors are available. This makes it simple to integrate with a variety of data sources, databases, and apps.

  • It eliminates the need for human configuration and coding. This is done by automating the establishment and management of the data pipeline.

  • They make sure that data synchronization is automated between source systems and target platforms.

  • It allows for minimal data transformation features such as column mapping and data type conversions.

If you are looking for Hevo alternatives or Fivetran alternatives, Portable is worth considering.


Talend is a thorough platform for data integration that provides strong ETL capabilities. It offers a wide range of functionality for both open-source and paid editions. Some Talend features worth mentioning are:

  • Talend offers a wide variety of ETL connectors for various databases, cloud platforms, and data sources. This allows for easy BigQuery ELT and Redshift ETL tools integration.

  • It has tools for data profiling, data purging, and data quality checks. This guarantees that the target platform has high-quality data.

  • The ETL process may undertake intricate data manipulation and enrichment.

  • Even with big datasets, Talend's high-performance data processing features guarantee effective ETL processes.

Informatica PowerCenter

Informatica PowerCenter is a widely used enterprise-grade ETL tool. Informatica PowerCenter's key features include:

  • It offers a large library of transformation features and operations. This enables sophisticated data modification, augmentation, and cleaning.

  • They provide thorough capabilities for managing metadata. This improves data governance and lineage tracing.

  • Complex data integration workflows can be designed and automated. This can be done using its scheduling, monitoring, and error-handling features.

BigQuery vs. Redshift: Capabilities Comparison

  1. Performance

  2. Flexibility

  3. Ease of use

  4. Features

  5. Support

  6. Pricing


  • BigQuery excels at handling enormous datasets and challenging analytical queries. It makes use of Google's infrastructure to scale resources automatically.

  • Its performance is aided by the distributed query engine and columnar storage format. The platform integrates BigQuery with machine learning technologies, enabling advanced analytics and predictive modeling.

  • On the other hand, the design of Redshift is tailored to OLAP workloads for online analytical processing. It uses a massively parallel processing (MPP) strategy, dividing up the data and queries among numerous compute nodes.

  • Redshift's columnar storage and cutting-edge compression methods help queries execute quickly. More specifically, aggregation and reporting queries. It's ideal for when quick data exploration and real-time interactive queries are essential needs.

  • Both platforms have remarkable speed. But, BigQuery has an advantage in handling unpredictable and highly variable workloads.

  • This is due to its serverless architecture and adaptive scalability. It can change resources as necessary and manage spikes in concurrent queries with ease. With its MPP design, Redshift consistently outperforms steady-state workloads.


  • BigQuery makes data ingestion and processing pipelines easier. This is because of the interaction with Google Cloud services like Dataflow and Pub/Sub.

  • BigQuery also offers flexibility in coding and analytics workflows. This is because of its support for SQL and its interoperability with programming languages like Python and R.

  • Redshift provides versatility with its scalable cluster setups. To meet the needs of your unique workload, you can select the kind and quantity of computing nodes.

  • This enables you to assign resources in accordance with the size of your data and the demands of your queries. Redshift's Spectrum eliminates the requirement to load all data into Redshift.

  • Let's use the following illustration as an example. Consider a dynamic analytics workload where the data volumes and query patterns are always changing. Large data and high query concurrency can be handled without the need for manual intervention. This is because of BigQuery's serverless architecture and auto-scaling features.

  • Redshift's flexible cluster configurations optimize resources based on your workload requirements. This guarantees the proper balance between performance and cost.

Ease of use


  • BigQuery's distributed query processing engine makes it possible to run queries quickly. BigQuery ML makes it simple to integrate analytics and predictive capabilities.

  • Here, the customers design and deploy machine learning models right within the platform. A complete solution is available through BigQuery's integration with the Google Cloud ecosystem.

  • Redshift's MPP architecture and columnar storage provide high-performance analysis. Redshift Spectrum enables seamless analysis of structured, unstructured, and semi-structured data.

  • They do this by extending querying capabilities to data stored in Amazon S3. Workload management enables users to assign resources for various workloads while maintaining performance.


  • As part of the Google Cloud ecosystem, BigQuery offers a wide range of support choices. On the Google Cloud website, users can access tutorials, sample code, and documentation.

  • Through forums and user groups, the platform provides community support. They allow users to interact with one another, exchange expertise, and ask for help for big data consulting. Google Cloud offers expert support plans with different levels of response times and 24/7 coverage. Therefore, ensuring prompt problem-solving.

  • Redshift offers assistance using AWS resources since it is an AWS product. On the AWS website, users may find a wealth of documentation, frequently asked questions and practical guides.

  • Through forums, AWS offers community assistance, enabling users to communicate and share ideas. Users can also sign up for AWS help plans.

  • This provides different levels of help such as access to Redshift consulting and expedited response times.


  • The BigQuery pricing strategy is based on consumption. You are charged based on the volume of data retrieved from managed storage and processed during queries.

  • With this methodology, you may start with tiny datasets and increase the size as your needs change. By enhancing the effectiveness of your queries and data storage, you can also reduce expenditures.

  • BigQuery also provides a free tier with restrictions on consumption. This makes it practical for test projects and smaller-scale endeavors.

  • Redshift pricing is more conventional based on the kind and dimension of the Redshift cluster you select.

  • Each compute node in your cluster has an hourly cost as well as extra fees for data storage. Their flat-rate pricing structure may be helpful because it is predictable for consistent workloads. You can also pay upfront.

BigQuery vs. Redshift: Which is best for you?

BigQuery and Redshift are two of the leading cloud data warehouses on the market. Both have many features and capabilities to offer, but they also differ significantly in some important ways.

BigQuery relieves you of the responsibility of maintaining any infrastructure. It is also incredibly quick and scalable, which makes it perfect for processing big amounts of data. BigQuery can, however, be more expensive than Redshift, particularly for light workloads.

Redshift is a more conventional data warehousing technology that necessitates infrastructure management. Although it is slower than BigQuery, it may be more economical for light workloads. Additionally more adaptable in terms of data types and schema design in Redshift.

BigQuery is a good choice if you require a quick and expandable platform for processing massive amounts of data. Redshift can be a better option if you're on a tight budget.