Amazon Athena is an interactive query service that makes it easy to analyze data directly in Amazon S3 using standard SQL. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, customers can point Athena at their data stored in S3 and begin using standard SQL to run ad-hoc queries and get results in seconds. Athena is serverless, so there is no infrastructure to setup or manage, and customers pay only for the queries they run. You can use Athena to process logs, perform ad-hoc analysis, and run interactive queries. Athena scales automatically – executing queries in parallel – so results are fast, even with large datasets and complex queries. 

Amazon Athena is now generally available

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Getting started is easy. Just upload a dataset to Amazon S3, launch Amazon Athena, and start querying.

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Amazon Athena is serverless, so there is no infrastructure to manage. You don’t need to worry about configuration, software updates, failures or scaling your infrastructure as your datasets and number of users grow. Athena automatically takes care of all of this for you, so you can focus on the data, not the infrastructure.  

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To get started, log into the Athena console, define your schema using the console wizard or by entering DDL statements, and immediately start querying using the built-in query editor. Results are displayed in the console within seconds, and automatically written to a location of your choice in S3. You can also download them to your desktop. With Athena, there’s no need for complex ETL jobs to prepare your data for analysis. This makes it easy for anyone with SQL skills to quickly analyze large-scale datasets.  

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Amazon Athena uses Presto, an open source, distributed SQL query engine optimized for low latency, ad hoc analysis of data. This means you can run queries against large datasets in Amazon S3 using ANSI SQL, with full support for large joins, window functions, and arrays. Athena supports a wide variety of data formats such as CSV, JSON, ORC, Avro, or Parquet. You can also connect to Athena from a wide variety of BI tools using Athena's JDBC driver.

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With Amazon Athena, you pay only for the queries that you run. You are charged based on the amount of data scanned by each query. You can get significant cost savings and performance gains by compressing, partitioning, or converting your data to a columnar format, because each of those operations reduces the amount of data that Athena needs to scan to execute a query.

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With Amazon Athena, you don’t have to worry about managing or tuning clusters to get fast performance. Athena is optimized for fast performance with Amazon S3. Athena automatically executes queries in parallel, so that you get query results in seconds, even on large datasets.

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Amazon Athena is highly available and executes queries using compute resources across multiple facilities, automatically routing queries appropriately if a particular facility is unreachable. Athena uses Amazon S3 as its underlying data store, making your data highly available and durable. Amazon S3 provides durable infrastructure to store important data and is designed for durability of 99.999999999% of objects. Your data is redundantly stored across multiple facilities and multiple devices in each facility.

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Amazon Athena allows you to control access to your data by using AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) policies, access control lists (ACLs), and Amazon S3 bucket policies. With IAM policies, you can grant IAM users fine-grained control to your S3 buckets. By controlling access to data in S3, you can restrict users from querying it using Athena.