Setting Up a Data Lake on AWS with Lake Formation | Technical Goals (2023)


Modern businesses must organize unprecedented amounts of information. Learn how AWS Lake Formation can help your business manage and analyze large volumes of data.

Setting Up a Data Lake on AWS with Lake Formation | Technical Goals (1)

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(Video) AWS Data Lakes 101 | Lesson 1: Configuring S3 for Lake Formation

  • Stephen J. Bigelow,Senior Technical Editor

published:December 16, 2019

Businesses can generate and access vast amounts of structured and unstructured data—and this poses a serious problem because data can easily become overwhelmed.

Businesses collect data from countless sources, including log files, sales records, social media and IoT networks. Businesses need to understand what data is available, how the various data sources are related, and how the various data sources can be used to discover new opportunities and make better business decisions.

Enterprises can passdata lake, and on AWS, they can use Lake Formation to do that. Data analysts can use this managed service to ingest, catalog, and transform large volumes of data, which can then be used for tasks such as analysis, prediction, and machine learning. Let's take a closer look at how organizations can leverage data lakes on AWS with Lake Formation.

Data Lake Basics

While data lakes can store large amounts of data, AWS Lake Formation provides more than just capacity. Users can implement capacity in the cloudAmazon S3 bucketor any local storage array. The real value of a data lake lies in the quality of information it holds.

(Video) AWS Tutorials - Create Data Lake with Amazon S3, Lake Formation and Glue

A typical DIY data lake relies on a set of tightly integrated services to ensure data quality. These services collect, organize, secure, process and present various data sets to users for further analysis and decision-making.

IT teams often struggle to implement and manage the integration services necessary to support data lakes. These services can cover a wide range of capabilities, including tools to ingest structured and unstructured data from various sources; deduplicate data and supervise the integrity of ingested data; place ingested data into prepared partitions in storage; Combine encryption and key management; invoke and audit authentication and authorization functions; identify relationships or similarities between data, such as matching records; define and schedule data transformation tasks.

AWS Lake Formation and othersCloud-Based Data LakeServices are especially helpful for coordinating these efforts, since all of these services are already integrated with the data lake. Data analysts and administrators can then focus on defining data sources, establishing security policies, and creating algorithms to process and catalog the data. Once the data is ingested and prepared, it can be consumed by data analysis and machine learning services such asAmazon Redshift、Amazon Athena 和 Amazon EMR for Apache Spark。

How AWS Lake Formation works

AWS Lake Formation handles five core tasks critical to creating and managing data lakes - ingestion, cataloging, transformation, protection, and access control.

Setting Up a Data Lake on AWS with Lake Formation | Technical Goals (2)

With Lake Formation, users define the data sources they want, and the service routinely crawls those sources for new or changed content prior to ingestion. Data is cataloged during ingestion, which effectively propagates, organizes, and correlates data around tags, such as query terms. cruciallyTable of contentsResources in a data lake so that metadata can be used to better understand and locate data.

Additionally, Lake Formation periodically transforms data in preparation for further processing. Lake Formation can remove redundant data and find matching records, as well as reformat data for analytical tools such as Apache Parquet and optimized rows and columns. AWS Lake Formation also emphasizes data security and business governance through a series of policy definitions that are implemented and enforced even when services access data for analysis. Lake Formation has granular controls to ensure data is only accessed by approved users.

AWS Lake Formation relies on other related services to form a complete data lake architecture, especiallyAmazon S3, which serves as the main repository for the service. S3 can also be a target for AWS Lake Formation to ingest, classify, and transform data. For example, data scientists who do analytics and machine learning in AWS typically store the results of their work in S3.

(Video) AWS Data Lake Tutorial - Building a Data Lake on AWS

AWS Lake Formation itself does not perform major analysis beyond basic transformations. Instead, Lake Formation is integrated with other AWS analytics and machine learning services—Amazon Redshift, Athena, and EMR for Apache Spark. This enables flexibility in analytics, allowing users to deploy preferred services—even leveraging third-party analytics tools or platforms such as Tableau.

Lake Formation Pricing and Availability

AWS Lake Formation is currently available in all U.S. commercial regions and nearly all international regions. There is no additional charge to use Lake Formation. However, Lake Formation needs to interact with numerous other Amazon services to achieve a complete data lake. Use of Lake Formation related services such as Amazon S3, AWS Glue, Amazon EMR, and Amazon Cloudtrail, withadditional fees.

AWS says most common data lake tasks cost less than $20. But the size of the data lake and the corresponding cost will only increase over time as you store larger datasets in S3, run moregluework and take advantage of more analytical tools. This situation only escalates when multiple businesses or users access resources through the organization. To understand the various charges that come with AWS Lake Formation, business users should regularly review the monthly charges for all services used to support the data lake service implementation.

Lake Formation use cases

Data lakes exist to organize and prepare business data for further processing and decision-making tasks by other applications and services. Let's look at some examples where AWS Lake Formation combined with analytics and machine learning services has become an asset for organizations in various industries.

Research and analysis.Scientific research such as genomics or drug development generates large amounts of test data. But correlating myriad factors and assessing the effectiveness of one option relative to another is impossible for humans. Lake Formation can ingest scientific data and use analytical tasks to help form hypotheses, adjust or refute previous hypotheses or relationships, and determine the actual results of test suites. This results in more efficient product design.

(Video) Back to Basics: Building an Efficient Data Lake

Customer Analysis.Businesses collect a wide variety of customer data, including relationship management platform data, social media content, purchase history data, help desk ticket transactions, email and message histories. By pulling and sorting all this information into a data lake for analysis, businesses can dig deeper into factors like customer demographics and location, the root cause of user dissatisfaction, or the best ways to increase customer loyalty.

Operational Analysis.Complex manufacturing and other industrial facilities may involve many different processes related to physical factors such as pressure and temperature conditions. growth ofinternet of thingsAllowing devices to collect and provide previously unobtainable detailed information about industrial environments. A data lake can hold this data, which can then be used to correlate factory conditions with product or industrial outcomes, such as the best conditions for a strong weld or the most efficient way to place a wind turbine.

financial analysis.Financial institutions use detailed records and activity logs to track countless transactions around the world. People's need for financial security is increasing,fraud detectionin these institutions. With a data lake on AWS, organizations can funnel transactional data into Lake Formation, and analytics teams can then search for possible fraudulent activity, such as purchases made too far away from the account holder.

Lake Formation Alternatives

AWS Lake Formation is just one of many options. IBM,cloud eraand Cazena offer their own data lake services, as do public cloud providers Microsoft and Google.

Azure data lakeDesigned to ingest and analyze petabyte-sized files and trillions of objects using analytics tools such as U-SQL, Apache Hadoop, Azure HDInsight, and Apache Spark. Azure usesHadoop Distributed File SystemAs the primary data lake storage format, it provides compatibility with other open source analytics tools for structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data.

Similarly,big google queryis a highly available, petabyte-scale data warehouse service with an in-memory business intelligence engine and integrated machine learning capabilities. BigQuery works with GCP's Cloud Dataproc and Cloud Dataflow services, which integrate with other big data platforms to handle existing Hadoop, Spark, and Beam workloads.

Deep Dive into AWS Database and Analytics Strategies

  • Data Lake vs. Data Warehouse: Key Differences Explained By BridgetBotelho
  • Starburst adds functionality for further data grid approaches By Eric Avidon
  • Who manages the data lake and what skills are needed? By Sean Kerner
  • Databricks Extends Data Lake House Platform to HealthcareBy SeanKerner


How to setup data lake in AWS? ›

Now, set up your data lake with Lake Formation.
  1. Step 1: Create a data lake administrator. ...
  2. Step 2: Register an Amazon S3 path. ...
  3. Step 3: Create a database. ...
  4. Step 4: Grant permissions. ...
  5. Step 5: Crawl the data with AWS Glue to create the metadata and table. ...
  6. Step 6: Grant access to the table data. ...
  7. Step 7: Query the data with Athena.
Aug 12, 2019

What is the difference between AWS data lake and lake formation? ›

AWS Lake formation simplifies security and governance on the Data Lake whereas AWS Glue simplifies the metadata and data discovery for Data Lake Analytics. While both of these services are used as data lake building blocks, they are complimentary.

How do you set up a lake formation? ›

  1. Intended audience.
  2. Prerequisites.
  3. Step 1: Provision your resources.
  4. Step 2: Register your data location, create an LF-tag ontology, and grant permissions.
  5. Step 3: Create Lake Formation databases.
  6. Step 4: Grant table permissions.
  7. Step 5: Run a query in Amazon Athena to verify the permissions.
  8. Step 6: Clean up AWS resources.

What is AWS data lake formation? ›

AWS Lake Formation is a service that makes it easy to set up a secure data lake in days. A data lake is a centralized, curated, and secured repository that stores all your data, both in its original form and prepared for analysis.

How to build a data lake in S3? ›

How to Build a Data Lake:
  1. Map out your structured and unstructured data sources.
  2. Build ingestion pipelines into object storage.
  3. Incorporate a data catalog to identify schema.
  4. Create ETL and ELT pipelines to make data useful for analytics.
  5. Ensure security and access control are managed correctly.
Jun 9, 2021

How do I create a data lake in AWS S3? ›

  1. Intended audience.
  2. Prerequisites.
  3. Step 1: Create a data analyst user.
  4. Step 2: Add permissions to read AWS CloudTrail logs to the workflow role.
  5. Step 3: Create an Amazon S3 bucket for the data lake.
  6. Step 4: Register an Amazon S3 path.
  7. Step 5: Grant data location permissions.
  8. Step 6: Create a database in the Data Catalog.

What are the benefits of AWS lake formation? ›

Lake Formation makes it easy to build, secure, and manage your AWS data lake. Lake Formation integrates with underlying AWS security, storage, analysis, and ML services and automatically configures them to comply with your centrally defined access policies.

What is the purpose of lake formation? ›

Lake Formation provides a single place to manage access controls for data in your data lake. You can define security policies that restrict access to data at the database, table, column, row, and cell levels.

What is the difference between Delta Lake and AWS Lake formation? ›

One key distinction between Delta Lake and AWS Lake Formation is that Delta Lake forms both cluster and gushing information in that pipeline. Another is that Delta Lake bolsters ACID exchanges on such information, empowering various synchronous composes and peruses by several applications.

What are two ways that lakes can form? ›

Lakes form in a variety of different ways: in depressions carved by glaciers, in calderas (Figure below), and along tectonic faults, to name a few. Subglacial lakes are even found below a frozen ice cap. (a) Crater Lake in Oregon is in a volcanic caldera. Lakes can also form in volcanic craters and impact craters.

How many ways can a lake be formed? ›

Lakes may form within the crater of an active but quiet volcano, in a caldera produced by explosion and collapse of an underground magma chamber (Crater Lake, Oregon), on collapsed lava flows (Yellowstone Lake, Wyoming), and in valleys dammed by volcanic deposits (Sea of Galilee, Israel).

What is a common way for a lake to form? ›

Rainfall and runoff eventually fill the depression with water and a new lake is formed. Lakes that form in the craters of volcanoes, or crater lakes, are more common in areas that are subject to volcanic activity. Lakes formed by the caving in of a roof of a partially empty magmatic chamber are termed calderas.

What is data lake and how can we create it? ›

Data lake defined

Bringing data together into a single place or most of it in a single place makes that simpler. Depending on your platform, the data lake can make that much easier. It can handle many data structures, such as unstructured and multistructured data, and it can help you get value out of your data.

Can AWS S3 be used as a data lake? ›

Amazon S3 is the best place to build data lakes because of its unmatched durability, availability, scalability, security, compliance, and audit capabilities. With AWS Lake Formation, you can build secure data lakes in days instead of months.

Is AWS S3 a data lake or data warehouse? ›

Central storage: Amazon S3 as the data lake storage platform. A data lake built on AWS uses Amazon S3 as its primary storage platform. Amazon S3 provides an optimal foundation for a data lake because of its virtually unlimited scalability and high durability.

How do I build a data lake? ›

He went on to explain that there are five typical steps in building a data lake:
  1. Set up storage.
  2. Move data.
  3. Cleanse, prep, and catalog data.
  4. Configure and enforce security and compliance policies.
  5. Make data available for analytics.
Aug 19, 2020

What is an example of a data lake? ›

It may be used to refer to, for example: any tools or data management practices that are not data warehouses; a particular technology for implementation; a raw data reservoir; a hub for ETL offload; or a central hub for self-service analytics.

How do you deploy data lake? ›

Deployment steps
  1. Set up your environment and grant required permissions.
  2. Set up your GitHub repository.
  3. Create Cloud Storage bucket to store your data lake raw data and mapping files.
  4. Connect Cloud Build to your GitHub repository.
  5. Create a build trigger to respond to changes in your GitHub repository.
Jan 8, 2021

What is data lake implementation? ›

A data lake is a new and increasingly popular way to store and analyze data because it allows companies to manage multiple data types from a wide variety of sources, and store this data, structured and unstructured, in a centralized repository.

What are main reasons to build a data lake architecture? ›

Data Lakes allow you to store relational data like operational databases and data from line of business applications, and non-relational data like mobile apps, IoT devices, and social media. They also give you the ability to understand what data is in the lake through crawling, cataloging, and indexing of data.

Does Lake formation provide APIs or a CLI? ›

Q6: Does Lake Formation provide APIs or a CLI? Ans- Yes. Lake Formation offers APIs and a command line interface (CLI) for integrating Lake Formation functionality into your custom applications.

What are the three stages of lake? ›

Ponds or lakes are divided into 3 categories; they are either Oligotrophic, Mesotrophic, or Eutrophic stages of their life (listed youngest to oldest).

What are the characteristics of a lake? ›

A lake is a very slow flowing body of open water which occupies a land depression. This group of water bodies includes ponds and impoundments.

What is the difference between a data lake and a data warehouse? ›

A data lake contains all an organization's data in a raw, unstructured form, and can store the data indefinitely — for immediate or future use. A data warehouse contains structured data that has been cleaned and processed, ready for strategic analysis based on predefined business needs.

Why Delta Lake instead of data lake? ›

Delta Lake is an open-source storage layer built atop a data lake that confers reliability and ACID (Atomicity, Consistency, Isolation, and Durability) transactions. It enables a continuous and simplified data architecture for organizations.

Why Delta Lake is better? ›

Delta Lake adds intelligent data governance and control set to an open warehouse medium for structured,semi-structured, and unstructured data, supporting streaming and batch operations from a single source. The Lakehouse combines the best of the data lake and data warehouse.

What is the Azure equivalent of AWS Lake formation? ›

Data warehouse
AWS serviceAzure serviceDescription
RedshiftSynapse AnalyticsCloud-based enterprise data warehouse (EDW) that uses massively parallel processing (MPP) to quickly run complex queries across petabytes of data.
Lake FormationData ShareA simple and safe service for sharing big data.
Jan 19, 2023

What makes lakes different? ›

Area, depth or both were an essential part of most definitions, but what area or what depth differed. Some used thermal stratification: a lake is a body of water that is deep enough to thermally stratify into two or three layers during the summer in temperate regions such as New Hampshire.

What is the major difference between a reservoir and most other types of lakes? ›

A reservoir is the same thing as a lake in many peoples' minds. But, in fact, a reservoir is a manmade lake that is created when a dam is built on a river. River water backs up behind the dam creating a reservoir.

What are 2 types of lakes formed by glaciers? ›

The formation and characteristics of glacial lakes vary between location and can be classified into glacial erosion lake, ice-blocked lake, moraine-dammed lake, other glacial lake, supraglacial lake, and subglacial lake.

How many layers are in a lake? ›

Typically stratified lakes show three distinct layers, the epilimnion comprising the top warm layer, the thermocline (or metalimnion): the middle layer, which may change depth throughout the day, and the colder hypolimnion extending to the floor of the lake.

What is the minimum size of a lake? ›

The definition of lakes and why there's no standardization

A pond is a body of water less than 0.5 acres (150 square meters) in an area or less than 20 feet (6 meters) in depth. A lake is defined as a body of water bigger than 1 acre (4,000 m²), although size is not a reliable indicator of its water quality.

Can a lake have multiple outflows? ›

A bifurcation lake is a lake that has outflows into two different drainage basins and thus the drainage divide cannot be defined exactly because it is situated in the middle of the lake.

What are the benefits of a lake? ›

Proper lake function can ease the impact of floods and droughts by storing large amounts of water and releasing it during shortages. Lakes also work to replenish groundwater, positively influence water quality of downstream watercourses, and preserve the biodiversity and habitat of the area.

How does lake effect form? ›

Lake Effect snow occurs when cold air, often originating from Canada, moves across the open waters of the Great Lakes. As the cold air passes over the unfrozen and relatively warm waters of the Great Lakes, warmth and moisture are transferred into the lowest portion of the atmosphere.

What is the strategy of Datalake? ›

Data Lakes are a core pillar in an organization's data strategy. Data lakes make organizational data from different sources accessible to various end-users like business analysts, data engineers, data scientists, product managers, executives, etc.

How is a data lake organized? ›

Since a data lake is a distributed file system, everything will be a file within a folder. In collaboration with all teams, you can try to create a layered structure like this one below. Now all files are in data queryable format: same time zone and currency. Special characters and duplicated were removed.

Does data lake have ETL? ›

There are many different options for data lake ETL – from open-source frameworks such as Apache Spark, to managed solutions offered by companies like Databricks and StreamSets, and purpose-built data lake pipeline tools such as Upsolver.

Does data lake use ETL? ›

ETL is what happens within a Data Warehouse and ELT within a Data Lake. ETL is the most common method used when transferring data from a source system to a Data Warehouse.

What type of data can be stored in data lake? ›

A data lake is a centralized repository designed to store, process, and secure large amounts of structured, semistructured, and unstructured data. It can store data in its native format and process any variety of it, ignoring size limits.

What is the difference between database and data lake? ›

Data lakes accept unstructured data while data warehouses only accept structured data from multiple sources. Databases perform best when there's a single source of structured data and have limitations at scale.

Why and when to avoid S3 as a data platform for data lakes? ›

When using S3 as a data platform for RDBMS-sourced, frequently-refreshed data, this leads to the creation of an unwieldy number of small files for each table. As inserts, updates, and deletes pile up over time, trying to derive the current state of the table becomes exponentially more time- and compute-intensive.

Does AWS offer a data lake? ›

To support our customers as they build data lakes, AWS offers Data Lake on AWS, which deploys a highly available, cost-effective data lake architecture on the AWS Cloud along with a user-friendly console for searching and requesting datasets.

Is an S3 bucket a data lake? ›

Central storage: Amazon S3 as the data lake storage platform. A data lake built on AWS uses Amazon S3 as its primary storage platform. Amazon S3 provides an optimal foundation for a data lake because of its virtually unlimited scalability and high durability.

Which AWS services can be used to create a data lake? ›

Amazon S3 is the best place to build data lakes because of its unmatched durability, availability, scalability, security, compliance, and audit capabilities. With AWS Lake Formation, you can build secure data lakes in days instead of months.

How do I create a data lake storage? ›

Create a Data Lake Storage Gen1 account
  1. Sign on to the new Azure portal.
  2. Click Create a resource > Storage > Data Lake Storage Gen1.
  3. In the New Data Lake Storage Gen1 blade, provide the values as shown in the following screenshot: Name. ...
  4. Click Create.
Sep 23, 2021

Why build a data lake on AWS? ›

A data lake on AWS gives you access to the most complete platform for big data. AWS provides you with secure infrastructure and offers a broad set of scalable, cost-effective services to collect, store, categorize, and analyze your data to get meaningful insights.

What type of data is in a data lake? ›

A data lake is a centralized repository designed to store, process, and secure large amounts of structured, semistructured, and unstructured data. It can store data in its native format and process any variety of it, ignoring size limits. Learn more about modernizing your data lake on Google Cloud.

What is the difference between Blob and data lake? ›

In summary, Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 is ideal for big data analytics workloads, while Blob storage is ideal for storing and accessing unstructured data. Both solutions offer strong security features and are cost-effective compared to traditional data storage solutions.

Is data lake a Blob storage? ›

For example, Data Lake Storage Gen2 provides file system semantics, file-level security, and scale. Because these capabilities are built on Blob storage, you also get low-cost, tiered storage, with high availability/disaster recovery capabilities.

What is the strategy of a data lake? ›

Data Lakes are a core pillar in an organization's data strategy. Data lakes make organizational data from different sources accessible to various end-users like business analysts, data engineers, data scientists, product managers, executives, etc.

What is the difference between big data and data lake? ›

Hosting, Processing and Analyzing structured, semi and unstructured in batch or real-time using HDFS, Object Storage and NoSQL databases is Big Data. Whereas Hosting, Processing and Analyzing structured, semi and unstructured in batch or real-time using HDFS and Object Storage is Data Lake.

What is the best format to store data in data lake? ›


Text Files – Information will often come into the data lake in the form of delimited text, JSON, or other similar formats. As discussed above, text formats are seldom the best choice for analysis, so you should generally convert to a compressed format like ORC or Parquet.

What is required for a data lake? ›

Data lake needs governance.

You can ingest data in its raw form into a data lake without any processing, but once the data is stored in the data lake it needs proper cataloguing, stewardship and control to ensure data can be tracked, identified and accessed by the authorised consumers only.

Does a data lake need a schema? ›

A data lake, in contrast, has no predefined schema, which allows it to store data in its native format. So in a data warehouse most of the data preparation usually happens before processing. In a data lake, it happens later, when the data is actually being used.


1. AWS re:Invent 2022 - Building and operating a data lake on Amazon S3 (STG302)
(AWS Events)
2. Best Practices for Implementing a Data Lake in Amazon S3 - Level 200 (United States)
(AWS Events)
3. Deep Dive Into AWS Lake Formation - Level 300 (United States)
(AWS Events)
4. AWS Data Lakes 101 | Lesson 0: Intro and Lake Formation
(Johnny Chivers)
5. Building a Data Mesh Architecture with AWS Lake Formation - AWS Online Tech Talks
(AWS Online Tech Talks)
6. AWS Summit ATL 2022 - Modern data lakes with Lake Formation, Amazon Redshift & AWS Glue (ANT302)
(AWS Events)
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