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Comparing Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless

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In the modern data landscape, businesses need powerful, scalable, and efficient data warehousing solutions to handle vast amounts of information and drive insights. Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless are prominent offerings catering to these needs. While both platforms offer robust features and capabilities, they have distinct differences. This blog delves into a comparative analysis of Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless, highlighting their similarities, differences, and cost structures.

About Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless

Google BigQuery

Google BigQuery is a fully managed, serverless data warehouse allowing petabyte-scale data analysis. It’s part of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and is known for its high-speed querying capabilities, scalability, and integration with other Google services.

Amazon Redshift Serverless

Amazon Redshift Serverless, a recent addition to AWS’s data warehousing solutions, offers a serverless approach to the traditional Redshift service. It enables users to run and scale analytics without managing the underlying infrastructure, providing a flexible and cost-effective way to handle large-scale data queries.

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Similarities Between Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless

  1. Serverless Architecture: Both Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless offer a serverless architecture, eliminating the need for users to manage infrastructure. This allows for seamless scaling and operational efficiency.
  2. Scalability: Both platforms are designed to handle massive datasets and provide automatic scaling to accommodate varying workloads, ensuring that performance remains consistent even as data volumes grow.
  3. SQL-Based Querying: Users can leverage SQL, the standard language for database querying, to interact with both Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless, making it easier for users familiar with SQL to adopt these platforms.
  4. Integration with Ecosystem: Both services integrate well with their respective cloud ecosystems—BigQuery with GCP and Redshift Serverless with AWS. This includes compatibility with various tools and services for data ingestion, processing, and visualization.
  5. Pay-Per-Use Pricing: Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless employ a pay-per-use pricing model, allowing users to pay based on the resources consumed rather than a fixed monthly or annual fee.

Differences Between Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless

  1. User-defined functions: Google BigQuery supports user-defined functions (UDFs) using both SQL and JavaScript, whereas Amazon Redshift Serverless allows the creation of UDFs using the SQL SELECT clause or Python.
  2. Encryption: Google BigQuery has encryption enabled by default, while Amazon Redshift Serverless can enable encryption per user requirements.
  3. Table Partitioning: Google BigQuery supports table partitioning to enhance query performance. Amazon Redshift Serverless does not support table partitioning, but Amazon Redshift Spectrum can be used for this purpose.
  4. Streaming Data: Google BigQuery natively supports direct streaming of data. In contrast, Amazon Redshift Serverless requires separate AWS services, like Amazon Kinesis, for streaming data.
  5. 5. Costing model and Cost Comparison:

Google BigQuery Costing:

Charges are based on the amount of data processed in queries. Storage costs are separate and depend on the amount of data stored. Query costs can vary, but as an example, it charges $5 per TB of data processed.

Querying Cost: $5 per TB of data processed.

Storage Cost: Approximately $0.02 per GB per month for active storage and $0.01 per GB per month for long-term storage.

Streaming Inserts: $0.01 per 200 MB.


Amazon Redshift Serverless Costing

Charges are based on the amount of data processed and the query execution duration, measured in Amazon Redshift Processing Units (RPUs). This model combines compute and storage costs more seamlessly.

RPU (Amazon Redshift Processing Units): Users are charged based on the amount of data processed and the duration of the processing. The exact cost can vary, but a general estimate might be around $0.40 per RPU-hour.

Storage Cost: Integrated with the RPU cost, generally around $0.024 per GB per month for managed storage.


Both Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless offer powerful, scalable, and cost-effective solutions for modern data warehousing needs. The choice between the two largely depends on your requirements, existing ecosystem, and cost considerations. Google BigQuery might be more suitable for those deeply integrated into the Google Cloud ecosystem that need highly flexible storage and compute scaling.

On the other hand, Amazon Redshift Serverless is an excellent choice for users already entrenched in the AWS ecosystem and looking for a seamless, serverless data warehousing experience.

Understanding the nuances of each platform’s pricing and performance characteristics will enable businesses to make an informed decision that best aligns with their data strategies and budgetary constraints.

Drop a query if you have any questions regarding Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless and we will get back to you quickly.

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1. How do Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless ensure data security?

ANS: – Both Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless emphasize data security protocols. Google BigQuery: Employs default encryption for data at rest and in transit. It integrates seamlessly with Google Cloud Identity and Access Management (IAM) for detailed access control. It supports advanced features such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP) and Customer-Managed Encryption Keys (CMEK). Amazon Redshift Serverless: It also provides default encryption for data at rest and in transit. It uses AWS Key Management Service (KMS) for encryption key management and integrates with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for precise access control. Additionally, it offers security features like Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for network isolation and Amazon Redshift Spectrum for querying encrypted data in Amazon S3.

2. How can I reduce costs using Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless?

ANS: – Reducing costs in Google BigQuery and Amazon Redshift Serverless involves strategically using their pricing models and features. Google BigQuery: To reduce costs, consider the following:

  • Use partitioned tables to limit the data scanned by queries.
  • Opt for the flat-rate pricing model if you have consistent, high-volume query needs.
  • Utilize long-term storage options for infrequently accessed data, which are less expensive.
  • Implement query optimization techniques, such as using WHERE clauses to filter data early.
Amazon Redshift Serverless: Cost-saving strategies include:
  • Monitor and adjust the Redshift Processing Units (RPUs) to match your workload, avoiding over-provisioning.
  • Use automatic scaling features to ensure you pay only for the necessary compute capacity.
  • Take advantage of the pause and resume feature to avoid charges during idle times.
  • Optimize data storage and management to reduce storage costs.

WRITTEN BY Rishi Raj Saikia

Rishi Raj Saikia is working as Sr. Research Associate - Data & AI IoT team at CloudThat.  He is a seasoned Electronics & Instrumentation engineer with a history of working in Telecom and the petroleum industry. He also possesses a deep knowledge of electronics, control theory/controller designing, and embedded systems, with PCB designing skills for relevant domains. He is keen on learning new advancements in IoT devices, IIoT technologies, and cloud-based technologies.



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