Snowflake is a cloud-hosted, relational database that enables you to build data warehouses on demand. It is built on top of Amazon Web Services of Microsoft Azure.
Snowflake allows you to leverage the scalability and elasticity of the public cloud while maintaining control over your data. Snowflake stores this data in an industry standard format that can be queried with SQL. Unlike other databases, Snowflake does not require any special software or hardware for installation or administration. There are no servers to manage because Snowflake runs exclusively in the cloud!
Unlike other relational databases, Snowflake is a columnar store. This means that Snowflake stores each column of data separately, which reduces the amount of storage Snowflake needs. It also means that Snowflake can quickly compute any aggregate function (like SUM or AVG) across all columns in an instant because it knows exactly where to look for every piece of data.
Snowflake is dramatically faster than traditional databases and can compress data by up to 100 times! This means that Snowflake uses less storage, which leads to faster queries and speedier analytics.
How do companies use Snowflake?
Snowflake is designed for cloud computing-based solutions used in large datasets like warehousing (ETL), business intelligence (BI), and machine learning (ML). Snowflake is also designed specifically to work with other services in the Snowflake Computing Platform, like Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse (SEDW).
Companies use data warehouses to support their business intelligence and analytics initiatives. They may use Snowflake to execute routine operational activities, such as generating data-driven alerts in real time. Through machine learning (ML), Snowflake may also be used to conduct predictive analysis on past patterns to assist with future growth decisions.
Snowflake is highly popular because it allows businesses to quickly create cost-effective data warehouses on demand. Companies no longer have to maintain costly hardware and software just for their data warehouse. Snowflake makes it easy to create data warehouses that scale up or down as needed. Companies can focus on the essential drivers for their business by delegating all of the infrastructure heavy lifting to Snowflake.
What sets Snowflake apart
Snowflake's architecture and data sharing capabilities set it apart. Other data warehouses bundle together storage (the raw amount of data you have) and compute (the speed at which you can handle queries). Snowflake separates the storage and computing components of a data warehouse so that companies may choose to pay for each separately, and not based on pre-set limits or inflexible configurations.
Additionally, Snowflake's cross-client exchange feature is one of a kind among cloud databases. Snowflake users can write, read, and send data to any data consumer without leaving the user interface thanks to the company's connection with Google Cloud Storage.