Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) Web Services today made public Amazon Redshift, a cloud-based data warehouse service that costs one-tenth of traditional solutions. Amazon has already partnered with business intelligence companies and consultancies to help customers make the transition.

For data needs ranging from a few hundred gigabytes to a petabyte or more, customers can open an Amazon Redshift cluster without all the associated costs of on-site data warehouses. Amazon manages and automates common administrative tasks like provisioning, configuring, monitoring, backing up, and securing a data warehouse. Altogether, the service costs customers about $1,000 per terabyte per year, or $0.85 an hour. 

Since Amazon announced the service at the AWS re: Invent conference in Nov. 2012, limited-preview customers have raved about the benefits -- mainly about Redshift's significant speed and freedom from managing their own warehouses. Amazon attributes its high performance to advanced techniques, like columnar data storage, advanced compression, and a high performance IO and network.

"We started using Amazon Redshift immediately after it was announced and we obtained crazy performance, especially in loading data," said Maxime Mézin, Data Scientist at Photobox, one of Europe's leading on-line photo service providers. "It took just five minutes to load a dataset that previously took days to extract on our side."

AWS has partnered with SAP (NYSE:SAP), IBM (NYSE:IBM), MicroStrategy (NASDAQ:MSTR), Informatica (UNKNOWN:INFA.DL), Actuate (UNKNOWN:BIRT.DL), and others, to help customers support Redshift, along with the tools they use today. Technology consulting companies including Capgemini, Cognizant (NASDAQ:CTSH), and Full360 have consultants ready to help large and small customers with Amazon Redshift implementations.

For now, Amazon Redshift is only available in the U.S. East (N. Virginia) Region, but will be rolled out to other AWS Regions in the coming months.