Creating a Cluster

In this lab you will launch a new Redshift Cluster, setup connectivity and configure a JDBC Client tool.


Before You Begin

  • Determine and capture the following information and login to the AWS Console. If you are new to AWS, you can create an account.
    • [Your-AWS_Account_Id]
    • [Your_AWS_User_Name]
    • [Your_AWS_Password]
  • Determine the [AWS Region Name] and [AWS Region Id] which is closest to you and switch your console to that Region.

Cloud Formation

To launch this cluster and configure security automatically using cloud formation, use the following link and skip ahead to Configure Client Tool.

When choosing a Region for your cluster, consider US-WEST-2 (Oregon). While most of these labs can be done in any Region, some labs query data in S3 which is located in US-WEST-2.

The template will use the default CIDR block of which provides access from any IP Address. It is a best practice to replace this a range of IP addresses which should have access. For the purpose of these labs, replace it with your IP Address x.x.x.x/32.

Configure Security


Create or identify a VPC where you will launch your Redshift cluster. For many customers, the default VPC, Subnets, and Security Group are sufficient. If you are using the defaults, you can skip ahead to Subnet Group. For our purposes we will create a new VPC to isolate the traffic and create a new public subnet where the Redshift cluster will be deployed.

By default the VPC does not support DNS Hostnames. Enable it now by clicking Actions –> Edit DNS hostnames.

Click the enable check box.


To allow machines in your subnet to access the internet, we will create an Internet Gateway. Once created, select the Internet Gateway and attach it to the VPC created earlier.


Now, create two subnets with a default route to the previously created VPC in two different Availability Zones to improve fault tolerance.

Route Table

To ensure the subnet has a way to connect to the internet, create a Route Table with the default route pointed to the internet gateway and with the new subnets added.

Security Group

Create a Security Group associated to the VPC you created earlier. Edit the Security Group to create a rule which allows incoming connections to Redshift from your IP Address as well as a self-referencing rule for All Traffic.


Subnet Group

Now, create a Redshift Cluster Subnet Group containing the two subnets you created earlier by clicking the add all subnets for this VPC button.

S3 Access

In order for Redshift to have access to S3 to load data, create an IAM Role with the type “Redshift” and the use-case of “Redshift - Customizable” and attach the AmazonS3ReadOnlyAccess and AWSGlueConsoleFullAccess policies to the role.$new?step=type

Launch Redshift Cluster

Finally, navigate to the Amazon Redshift Dashboard and click on the “Create Cluster” button.
  • Cluster Configuration - Choose the node type and set the number of nodes. For these labs a dc2.large node type with 4 nodes will be suitable.

  • Cluster Details - Enter values as appropriate for your organization. Note the Master user password as you will not be able to retrieve this value later.

  • Cluster Permissions - Select the Role which you identified or created earlier to associate to the cluster, and click Add IAM role

  • Additional Configuration - Disable Use defaults and choose the VPC, Subnet Group, and VPC Security group you identified or created earlier.

Leave the remaining settings with their default values. Click Create Cluster to launch the Redshift cluster.

Configure Client Tool

  • While Amazon Redshift does provide a web-based Query editor for executing simple queries, for these labs, it is recommended you install a third-party tool. We will use SQL Workbench/J.
  • Navigate to the SQL Workbench/J Downloads Page and click on the Generic package for all systems link to download the latest version of the SQL Workbench/J product. Note: SQL Workbench/J requires Java 8 or later to be installed on your system.
  • Extract the downloaded zip file into a directory of your choice.
  • If using a Windows machine. Execute the SQLWorkbench.exe program.
  • If using a Mac or Unix system. Open the Terminal app, cd to the extract directory, type bash and press enter.
  • If this fails to run and you do not have java running on your system, you may need to download and install it. See the following site for options:
  • Once running, navigate to the following location to download the latest JDBC driver: Configure JDBC Connection.
  • Launch SQL Workbench/J and navigate to [File | Manage Drivers].
  • Select Amazon Redshift and set the driver Library location to where you downloaded the Redshift JDBC Driver. Click Ok.
  • Navigate to [File | Connect Window] to create a new connection profile and modify the following settings and once complete click on the “Test Connection” button.
    • Name - “LabConnection”
    • Driver - Amazon Redshift (
    • URL - Find this by navigating to the Cluster List, selecting your cluster, clicking on Properties and copying the Endpoint located in the Connection details.
    • Username - [Master user name]
    • Password - [Master user password]
    • Autocommit - Enabled

Run Sample Query

  • Run the following query to list the users within the redshift cluster.
select * from pg_user
  • If you receive the following results, you have established connectivity and this lab is complete.

Before You Leave

If you are done using your cluster, please think about decommissioning it to avoid having to pay for unused resources.