It's not quite ready for public availability yet, but Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) Web Services unveiled a preview of a new cloud-based data warehouse service the cloud giant has dubbed Amazon Redshift.

Talkin' Cloud previously reported on the announcement during a live blog of Amazon's re:Invent conference, and the petabyte-scale data warehouse service, which currently is being tested by a limited number of beta participants, promises to increase dramatically the speed of query performance during analysis of almost any size of data set using the same SQL-based business intelligence tools customers are using today.

Designed to be easy to launch with a few clicks from the AWS Management Console, Redshift is priced at under $1,000 per terabyte per year, but customers will have the ability to scale up to a petabyte or more of storage space. According to AWS, that comes in at a tenth of the price of competing data warehouse solutions currently on the market.

Even if Amazon is exaggerating a bit, the cloud company has thrown down the gauntlet to existing data warehouse solutions providers and vendors. Competing on price will certainly attract a section of the data warehouse customer base.

"Over the past two years, one of the most frequent requests we've heard from customers is for AWS to build a data warehouse service," said Raju Gulabani, vice president of database services at Amazon Web Services, in a prepared statement.

Gulabani went on to reinforce the price differential between what AWS will be offering and current data warehouse solutions providers. According to the AWS VP, enterprises are sick of paying higher costs for data warehousing, and the current pricing schemes are well above what most small businesses can afford to pay.

AWS already has a few big customers ready to sign on for Redshift, including Netflix and NASA/JPL, both of which have rather large use cases for cloud-based data warehousing at the petabyte scale.

Other customers will have to wait (presumably until sometime in the new year) before they can judge Amazon Redshift for themselves and choose whether to sign up for the service.