Enable any data workload on any cloud with a simple, powerful, and flexible platform.

Snowflake started with a clear vision: make modern data warehousing effective, affordable and accessible to all data users. As a company, Snowflake is relatively new, founded in 2012 by three data warehousing experts (and snow sports enthusiasts – hence the name), with the Snowflake Cloud Data Warehouse becoming generally available in 2015. Now called Snowflake Cloud Data Platform it is making a big impact in data and analytics, and has around 3,500 active customers, including many well-known enterprises across a range of sectors.

Snowflake describe six dimensions of capability by which they characterise the Snowflake Cloud Data Platform:

Single Unified Platform - Snowflake’s multi-cluster shared data architecture consolidates data warehouses, data marts, and data lakes into a single source of truth that powers multiple types of analytics.

Cross Region, Cross-Cloud - With Snowflake's cloud-agnostic platform, you can distribute your data across regions or even across cloud providers. Snowflake allows you to mix and match clouds as you see fit.

All Your Data - Data sets are stored in the cloud, at scale, and in their native formats, without complex transformations, supporting a broad range of use cases.

Fully Managed Service Layer - Authenticate user sessions, manage resources, enforce comprehensive security measures, compile queries, enable data governance, and ensure atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability (ACID)-compliant transaction integrity.

Instant, Efficient, and Near-Infinite Scale - Elastically scale compute resources dedicated to each workload, automatically or on the fly, to preserve peak performance and take advantage of per-second pricing to avoid paying for idle capacity.

Global Data Sharing - Instantly and securely share governed data across your organization, and beyond, with external partners but without having to copy or move data.

In our experience so far, we have found the following four features of the Snowflake Cloud Data Platform to be very valuable:
  • It can be provisioned in Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Google clouds, with seamless integration between all of them. So Snowflake’s cloud data platform supports a multi-cloud strategy, including a cross-cloud approach to mix and match clouds as you see fit. With a common and interchangeable code base, Snowflake delivers advantages such as global data replication, which means you can move your data to any cloud in any region, without having to re-code your applications or learn new skills.
  • It has the ability to automatically flex and scale dynamically according to demand, for example to meet fluctuating or seasonal workloads.
  • It has impressive data sharing capabilities. With Snowflake Secure Data Sharing, organisations of all sizes can easily and securely share data in real time across business units, with their networks of partners and customers, and with other external data consumers. With Secure Data Sharing, data doesn’t move, eliminating the cost, headache, and delays associated with legacy data sharing methods that deliver only slices of stale data, and limited insights associated with that data. This is very important in use cases that demand better collaboration between internal and external parties yet maintaining good practice in data governance and control.
  • It supports historical "point in time" analysis. Time travel enables any select statement or zero-copy clone to view the database in a retained, consistent, “as of” state up to 90 days in the past. It is a common requirement to be able to query data as if at a particular point in time, such as at the end of an accounting period, for example.

Snowflake Platform

Today, data is generated by diverse and rapidly changing sources, and comes in many different forms. Snowflake’s patented technology natively loads and optimizes both structured and semi-structured data such as JSON, Avro, or XML and makes it available via SQL without sacrificing performance or flexibility.

Furthermore, multiple stakeholders need to simultaneously use data in a multitude of different ways, in real time, creating many different types of workload which need to be simultaneously satisfied at the rapid pace expected by today’s business users.

To meet these demands of the modern enterprise, Snowflake has built an entirely new way to load, integrate and analyse data that combines the power of data warehousing, the flexibility of big data platforms and the elasticity of the cloud, at a fraction of the cost of many traditional solutions. The Snowflake multi-cluster, shared data architecture is perfectly suited for any workload that can be thrown at at it. It means that users can work with data in their data lake and build robust data pipelines to streamline data engineering. They can simplify and accelerate data science workloads with native integrations to leading languages such as Python, R and Apache Spark™. Snowflake also provides builders and developers of data-driven applications and services a ready-made infrastructure and engine to build and run their solutions.

Snowflake has addressed all of the key limitations of traditional cloud and on-premises data warehouses and more recent NoSQL solutions. It means that an organisation can easily store all of its data, enable all their users with zero management, pay the way they want to, and use the ANSI SQL they already rely on – all on a secure platform that enables the organisation to become a data-driven enterprise.

If your company is looking for a modern, cloud-based data warehousing solution, talk to Smart Associates about the Snowflake Cloud Data Platform, and the additional products and services we can provide as a complete service. With our Smart Data Frameworks to take the risk, cost and time out of data warehouse migration, as well as our services in selection, design, implementation and support, we can provide a one-stop shop to meet your needs.

Snowflake Resources

To discuss your requirements, and learn how Snowflake Cloud Data Platform and Smart Associates can help you, please contact us here with your contact details and we’ll get in touch.