Snowflake Review

Mbps is great, it's faster than any other data warehouse


What is our primary use case?

We have different data models established on Snowflake so our primary use case is to store data from different sources, such as Azure Data Factory, or Databricks. We use it to create the data coming from different sources, and then we store the data. In addition, we also have a reporting structure that we use. We are partners with Snowflake and I'm a lead data engineer. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of Snowflake is the Mbps they have established because it's quite a bit faster than any other data warehouse. The solution has different warehouse sizes in place, and we're able to switch through and choose what we want. It can be done in one or two seconds. In other data warehouses, it may take around one minute to set up a different configuration. In Snowflake, it can be done in, two or three seconds. And apart from that, the most important thing given that I have to analyze all this, is that it's very good with the time travel, it's a great feature. 

What needs improvement?

One thing which I believe Snowflake needs to improve is related to product activation queries. It's not possible to change the warehouse size while executing. It means, for example, that the query is sometimes activated on a larger surface even if I've switched to extra small, the grading in the background is running on extra large. The result is that I have to pay for extra large until the execution is complete. The cost implications can be quite large. There should be a system where they provide a prompt so you can know the current warehouse size.

It would also be helpful if they would simplify the process of using Snowpipe. The way it works now is quite complicated. There are certain steps that you have to follow which is fine but if they could simplify that process, it would be helpful. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for a year. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've only had one issue related to stability in the past year. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's a scalable solution, we have unlimited storage in Snowflake.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is quite good. We've used them when we've had to implement something and we need some guidance.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

The amount of data which we are currently handling, cannot be handled yet in any other data warehouse, but we do have experience with Azure Data Warehouse. We don't have to manage anything with Snowflake, but with Azure we do. Snowflake is much faster, and I believe it is cheaper as well. They have developed it on top of their own system and integrated the concept.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. It doesn't require any hardware. It's just about getting the account access and having a browser. Everything is done by Snowflake. There is a set process that you need to follow. It is a really fast process, and it helps that the entire migration can be done within minutes. The solution is used on a daily basis by hundreds of people. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

It's pay-as-you-go with Snowflake. The cost is around $US 50 per DB. Terabyte is around $US 50 per month. There are no additional costs. They are divided into two steps to assist the computer power as well as the storage power. Computation cost is relative to the warehouse size. However long our warehouse is up and running, we are charged.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this solution. 

I would rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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