Author Archives: Nirmal Utwani

About Nirmal Utwani

Nirmal is on Amplitude's software engineering team. He has expertise in building scalable distributed systems and is our go-to Redshift guy.

Optimizing Redshift Performance with Dynamic Schemas

Amazon Redshift has served us very well at Amplitude. Redshift is a cloud-based, managed data warehousing solution that we use to give our customers direct access to their raw data (you can read more about why we chose it over other Redshift alternatives in another post from a couple months ago).  This allows them to write SQL queries to answer ad hoc questions about user behavior in their apps.

But, as we scaled the number of customers and amount of data stored, issues began emerging in our original schema. Namely, sometimes our customer’s queries took a long time to complete, and we started getting some support tickets like this:

slow Redshift queries customer tickets

It was clearly time for an overhaul.

Continue reading