Snowflake Review

Impressive performance from massively parallel processing, supports ELT for importing data, and has awesome technical support


What is our primary use case?

The primary use case for Snowflake is in our data warehouse project. We have a private DW and whoever has the credentials can access it. I am a data integration developer and we are using ETL tools to extract the data from different source systems and then load it in the data warehouse.

What is most valuable?

Snowflake is the latest technology. It has great flexibility whenever we are loading data and performs ELT (extract, load, transform) techniques instead of ETL.

This solution automatically performs micro-partitioning when the data is loaded. This creates a dynamic partition and based on the cluster, the performance is fast and really impressive.

Snowflake is using MPP, massively parallel processing techniques, which is a great feature. It saves developers time and allows us to focus more on client requirements.

What needs improvement?

It is difficult in some cases to perform ETL and this is something that should be included. As it is now, I use Informatica PowerCenter to load data from on-premises to the Snowflake cloud-based data warehouse. If this could be done by Snowflake directly, without an external integration tool, then it would become a full package. It would be awesome.

They do have a native connector to connect with integration tools for loading data, but it would be much better to have the functionality built-in. We would like to be able to just write an SQL query and do our work.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Snowflake for six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any major issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Snowflake does not require manual scaling because it does it for you. Developers just need to load the data and process the query. That's it. The developer's job is not to spend time improving performance, as it was with an on-premises solution. We had to do the partitioning, collect the stats, and everything else. In the case of this cloud-based solution, it doesn't require as much work. Instead, we can focus on the queries.

We are planning to increase our usage of Snowflake.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have been in contact with technical support many times and it was awesome. I got great support. Whenever I needed anything they were ready to help me out, which was nice.

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

I have experience with Informatica PowerCenter and Oracle. PowerCenter uses ETL techniques instead of ELT. Oracle does not automatically perform micro-partitioning. Instead, you have to partition manually and it is a static partition.

Prior to Snowflake, I was using an on-premises data warehouse. Snowflake is the first experience I have had with a cloud-based data warehouse. It is an awesome tool.

How was the initial setup?

There is no need to install this software, which is the best part. It doesn't require any maintenance, and although DBA support is required, it is much less compared to an on-premises solution. This type of cloud-based solution has no requirement for software, hardware, or maintenance because everything is managed by Snowflake's system.

What about the implementation team?

The only assistance I had during the setup was from the integration tool, Informatica PowerCenter. This was used to export our on-premises data from Oracle and import it to Snowflake on the cloud.

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

You pay based on the data that you are storing in the data warehouse and there are no maintenance costs.

What other advice do I have?

This is an awesome tool, but there is room for improvement in terms of integration. Also, in terms of management, nothing is perfect and everything can be improved.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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