AWS Data Pipeline vs Glue: Choosing the Right ETL Solution for Your Needs


In the era of data-driven decision-making, businesses rely heavily on efficient ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes to wrangle and transform raw data into meaningful insights. AWS, the cloud computing giant, offers two prominent ETL solutions: AWS Data Pipeline and AWS Glue. These tools streamline the ETL workflow, but they differ in their approach and capabilities. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of AWS Data Pipeline vs Glue, highlighting their similarities, differences, and the scenarios in which each shines.

What is ETL?

ETL stands for Extract, Transform, Load – a crucial process that involves extracting data from various sources, applying transformations to make it usable, and loading it into a target destination. ETL pipelines are the backbone of data integration and analysis, enabling organizations to harness the power of their data for informed decision-making.

Aws Data Pipeline Vs Glue

What are AWS Data Pipeline and AWS Glue?

AWS Data Pipeline and AWS Glue are both cloud-based ETL solutions provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). These tools simplify the process of building, managing, and orchestrating ETL pipelines, enabling businesses to focus on deriving insights from their data rather than getting caught up in the nitty-gritty of ETL implementation.

AWS Data Pipeline vs AWS Glue?

Given the importance of ETL in data management, it’s essential to choose the right tool that aligns with your organization’s goals and requirements. Comparing AWS Data Pipeline and AWS Glue will help you make an informed decision and select the solution that best suits your needs.

Comparison of AWS Data Pipeline vs Glue


  • Both are ETL tools on the AWS cloud. AWS Data Pipeline and AWS Glue are dedicated tools for building ETL workflows within the AWS ecosystem. They offer robust capabilities for extracting, transforming, and loading data, catering to a wide range of use cases.
  • Both can be used to extract data from a variety of sources, transform it, and load it into a variety of destinations. Whether you’re dealing with structured data in databases, semi-structured data in files, or unstructured data in logs, both tools support diverse data sources. You can then apply transformations and load the transformed data into destinations like data warehouses, databases, or cloud storage.
  • Both can be used to schedule ETL jobs. Automation is a key aspect of ETL pipelines, and both AWS Data Pipeline and AWS Glue allow you to schedule the execution of your ETL jobs. This ensures that your data processing tasks occur at the right time intervals without manual intervention.
  • Both can be used to create reusable components for your ETL pipelines. Both tools support the creation of reusable components, making it easier to design complex ETL workflows. This modularity enhances efficiency, as you can avoid duplicating efforts and maintain a consistent structure across your pipelines.


  • AWS Data Pipeline is a managed service, while AWS Glue is a serverless service. Managed services like AWS Data Pipeline handle the underlying infrastructure for you, including server provisioning and scaling. AWS Glue, on the other hand, is serverless, abstracting away infrastructure management so you can solely focus on the ETL logic.
  • AWS Data Pipeline requires you to define the ETL pipeline, while AWS Glue can automatically generate ETL jobs. With AWS Data Pipeline, you have more control over pipeline creation, defining each step explicitly. AWS Glue, however, offers an automatic option where it generates ETL jobs based on the data sources and destinations you provide.
  • AWS Data Pipeline is more flexible than AWS Glue, but AWS Glue is easier to use. If you have complex ETL requirements that demand fine-grained control, AWS Data Pipeline’s flexibility is a boon. On the other hand, AWS Glue’s simplicity is perfect for those seeking a quick start with ETL, even if their requirements are less intricate.
  • AWS Data Pipeline supports a wider range of data sources and destinations than AWS Glue. AWS Data Pipeline’s compatibility extends to various sources such as Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, and Hadoop Hive. AWS Glue is limited to extracting data from Amazon S3 and Amazon EMR, which might affect your choice based on your data ecosystem.
  • AWS Data Pipeline is more expensive than AWS Glue. Pricing can play a crucial role in your decision-making. AWS Data Pipeline’s pricing model is task-, data-, and duration-based, potentially adding up for more complex pipelines. AWS Glue, however, charges for the amount of data processed, which can be more budget-friendly for many scenarios.

Which is Right for You?

The choice between AWS Data Pipeline and AWS Glue depends on your specific needs and priorities:

  • AWS Data Pipeline is your go-to if you require flexibility and control over infrastructure, are dealing with a diverse range of data sources, and your ETL workflows are complex.
  • AWS Glue is the better choice if you’re looking for simplicity, serverless infrastructure management, want to quickly get started with ETL, and your data primarily resides in Amazon S3 or Amazon EMR.

Overview of the key features and differences between AWS Data Pipeline and Glue:


AWS Data Pipeline

AWS Glue

Managed service






Data sources supported

Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, Hadoop Hive, etc.

Amazon S3 and Amazon EMR

Destinations supported

Data warehouses, databases, cloud storage, etc.

Data warehouses, databases, cloud storage, etc.

ETL complexity supported


Low to medium


Task-, data-, and duration-based


Comparison of Numerical features of AWS Data Pipeline vs Glue:


AWS Data Pipeline

AWS Glue

Number of active users



Number of data sources supported



Number of destinations supported



Average cost of using

Task-, data-, and duration-based


Average time to create an ETL pipeline

2-4 weeks

1-2 weeks

Average time to process a data load

1-2 hours

30 minutes – 1 hour

Number of organizations benefited




In the realm of ETL, AWS Data Pipeline and AWS Glue stand as powerful contenders, each catering to distinct requirements. Your choice hinges on factors such as the complexity of your ETL workflows, data source diversity, and budget considerations. Whether you opt for the managed infrastructure of AWS Data Pipeline or the serverless simplicity of AWS Glue, both tools empower you to transform raw data into valuable insights that drive your business forward.

About Parkar Digital

Parkar Digital, a Gold Certified Microsoft Azure partner, provides technology solutions for Digital Healthcare, Digital Retail & CPG. Our solutions are powered by the Parkar platforms built using Cloud, Opensource, and Customer experience technologies. Our goal is to empower a customer-first approach with digital technologies to deliver human-centric solutions for the clients.

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