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SM
CEO at a computer software company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
A cloud computing-based data warehousing solution with a valuable feature called Snowpipe

Pros and Cons

  • "Snowflake is an enormously useful platform. The Snowpipe feature is valuable because it allows us to load terabytes and petabytes of data into the data mart at a very low cost."
  • "It would be better if they had a data profile tool that tells me where the gaps are in my time series data."

What is our primary use case?

We have a data mart, and we are using it to share data with big enterprise customers with major security requirements.

What is most valuable?

Snowflake is an enormously useful platform. The Snowpipe feature is valuable because it allows us to load terabytes and petabytes of data into the data mart at a very low cost. Then we just share it out, and all the compute expenses are charged directly to our clients.

What needs improvement?

It would be better if they had a data profile tool that tells me where the gaps are in my time series data. We are anxiously waiting for them to release their data catalog and analytics capabilities, which is going to happen in June or July. If that works the way we think it might, then that would just extend our firm's capabilities into a space that we have never been interested in building ourselves. It could be a really good thing for us.

For how long have I used the solution?

We started using Snowflake this year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There's never any outage, and it's cross-cloud. The stability is not even a good question for that platform. It makes no sense to us.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Snowflake is scalable. It does cost more money, but it's some kind of magic they're doing behind the scenes that you don't have to think about. It's brilliant, and it's going to take over completely.

How are customer service and technical support?

Their tech support is good. Their sales team is very technical, and they're able to speak to our engineers and walk them through what we need to do. 

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

About three years ago, Databricks was sort of the hot thing among our clients, and everyone was using it for low-code analytics. We had to deliver data in a format that was specific to Databricks. Databricks had this massive growth, use, and adoption. They have a very good footprint now, but we see those same clients shifting their data to Snowflake, and pretty much nobody asks for Databricks anymore.

I think there's this big war sort of brewing between Databricks and snowflake. Snowflake is going to come out with the analytics capability that Databricks has. They're working furiously to get it released. I don't know what it's going to look like, but they're going head-to-head with Databricks. I think Snowflake is going to crush them.

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

In the beginning, we didn't know what we were doing, and we racked up huge compute costs, shockingly and quickly. But the sales team was extremely helpful and showed us where we were doing everything wrong, and they explained to us how best to use their platform. We have massively funded data engineering teams, but now our use has plummeted to almost free.

Because of the caliber of our customers at the time, we had to sign on to the enterprise subscription tier. We're a startup, and we didn't know it at the time, but the cost per credit for the enterprise tier was almost double. 

The cost per credit, that's where you get all this unlimited autoscale that you don't even have to think about. We don't really need any of that because they already provide all the redundancy, backup, failover, and all of that stuff. We scaled down and cut all of our costs almost in half by getting rid of that scalability capability because we don't need that.

They give a different price for every single company. I don't know if I negotiated that well, but we got the enterprise tier for $3 a credit, and the other two were a dollar-ninety a credit. I suspect we don't have almost zero compute usage, but I know that our annual contract packages are below all of their minimums.

What other advice do I have?

On a scale from one to ten, I would give Snowflake an eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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AK
Senior Snowflake Data Architect @ COOP Financials NC at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
High performance, useful features, and scales well

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are sharing data, Time Travel, Zero Copy Cloning, performance, and speed."
  • "The UI could improve because sometimes in the security query the UI freezes. We then have to close the window and restart."

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for a data warehouse and we generating reports and dashboards.

How has it helped my organization?

Snowflake has improved my organization because of its high performance compared to the old way we used to operate with Microsoft SQL Server. We are migrating everything from SQL Server to Snowflake. It used to take a lot of time to query the database but now it is done a lot faster, we receive millions and billions of reports. This is a major benefit because it is our major use case.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are sharing data, Time Travel, Zero Copy Cloning, performance, and speed.

The solution is very easy to run the queries. We have a built-in query optimizer in Snowflake that works very well.

What needs improvement?

The UI could improve because sometimes in the security query the UI freezes. We then have to close the window and restart.

There should be an IDE concept similar to the Java IDE or Eclipse feature. I should be able to see all of the functions available on a particular object. Every time we need to go to the Snowflake documentation and look if there are any methods we need. It is hard to remember everything, go and search, and use that that eventually found method. If it was possible to list out all the methods and functions available in an object that would help the developer's a lot.

In an upcoming release, we should be able to send or receive data from external systems but this is not able to be done. There should be built-in logging and monitoring features, we should not need to be dependant on third-party solutions, such as Splunk. There should be more DevOps features to reduce the usage of third-party tools. If these features were part of Snowflake it would be a fully functional complete solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Snowflake for approximately two and a half years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

They claim zero maintenance support and from my experience, I would agree with that statement. When I was on a previous project we had a lot of support for the Netezza platform we were using. We had approximately twelve people, three onsite and seven offshore. When we migrated from Netezza to Snowflake we reduced the number of people required and kept only some of the team as developers. There is very little support required for this solution. Stability is very good in SnowFlake.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is built into this solution as being on the cloud. It is able to scale in all directions. Additionally, they have a multi-cluster warehouse, and based on the business use case it is very good.

There are approximately 4,000 portals. However, we do not know how many users our clients have that are using their portals.

We are building new data warehouses and we are migrating from SQL Server to Snowflake.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is very good. We create tickets and they respond with a solution.

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

We were using SQL Server previously and we switched because of the increased performance, multi-clustered shared environment, scalability, and we wanted to use a cloud-based solution.

How was the initial setup?

Everything with the installation went smoothly. I believe when I joined the company Snowflake was already here. They bought the Business Edition that is encrypted everywhere because they are a financial insurance company and most of them choose the Business Edition because of the security.

What about the implementation team?

The company I work for used SnowFlake integrators for implementation assistance.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I have evaluated Eclipse and IBM Netezza.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is very easy and flexible to integrate with any type of API.

I rate Snowflake a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Learn what your peers think about Snowflake. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
543,424 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Yash Mittal
Lead Data Engineer at a consultancy with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Mbps is great, it's faster than any other data warehouse

Pros and Cons

  • "The Mbps they have established is quite a bit faster than any other data warehouse."
  • "Product activation queries can't be changed while executing."

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
DR
Sr. Software Developer at Tech Mahindra Limited
Real User
Top 20
Impressive performance from massively parallel processing, supports ELT for importing data, and has awesome technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "It has great flexibility whenever we are loading data and performs ELT (extract, load, transform) techniques instead of ETL."
  • "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."

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.
WM
Principal Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Excellent data warehousing, quick to scale, and knowledgable technical support

Pros and Cons

  • "From a data warehouse perspective, it's an excellent all-round solution. It's very complete."
  • "The user interface continues to be an issue, especially when we need to get data out of Snowflake. It's very easy to get data in, but it's not too easy to get it out or extract it."

What is our primary use case?

We use the solution for data. We like that there are so many different formats and many structures for analysis.

What is most valuable?

The architecture we'll be using due to being on the cloud will assure we have less to do. There will be no indexing, for example. Everything's managed by the servers. That way, we can focus on the data warehouse and on the data.

From a data warehouse perspective, it's an excellent all-round solution. It's very complete.

What needs improvement?

The user interface continues to be an issue, especially when we need to get data out of Snowflake. It's very easy to get data in, but it's not too easy to get it out or extract it.

It would be nice to have some built-in solutions that would solve. for example, how to delete data from a customer when they request it.

There needs to be stronger data protection.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for just a bit less than a year at this point.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Our clients have been very impressed with the solution's overall stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is incredible. It's the best I've ever seen. Organizations can scale easily. I can scale up four times faster as well. Something that usually takes 60 minutes can be done in 15 or 20 minutes. It's faster and I save costs because I only pay for the time. Even though I'm paying "more" I end up saving money with this time based costing.

How are customer service and technical support?

I've only contacted technical support a handful of times. I have, however, found them to be very savvy product-wise and very helpful. Their technical support staff are all experts. They know the product extremely well.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. I wouldn't describe it as complex.

How long it takes to deploy depends on your knowledge and your background. It's difficult to judge. I've been working for 20 years now with data warehouses. For me, it was very easy because of my extensive background. However, it depends on what someone knows, and their technical background. It can be difficult for others who maybe don't have as much knowledge or first-hand experience with warehouses.

What about the implementation team?

We're partners with Snowflake. We support our customers and can help them implement it as necessary.

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

The solution has an excellent pricing strategy. The costs are open and transparent. If you don't use it, you don't pay for it. It's that simple.

What other advice do I have?

We're partners with Snowflake.

The difference between Snowflake, and, for example, Azure, is that there is real separation between the computer and storage. Snowflake is the only one that's really separate and it's much simpler to scale or shift data. It makes everything much easier.

One of the best options on the market right now is to have a cloud-only setup. Not everyone is using the cloud, but everyone will catch up.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten. If the user interface was better and they had a few more features and did some useability tweaks it would be perfect. Also, it's hard to get the data out of Snowflake, and that's a real issue design-wise.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
SS
Enterprise BDM and Solutions Speacialist at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Scalable, easy to understand, and has reasonable pricing

Pros and Cons

  • "The pricing is reasonable and matches the rest of the market."
  • "The pricing of the solution should be much easier to calculate or find by yourself."

What is our primary use case?

The solution provides services to our customers.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very easy to understand. It's a simple solution. It's not complicated.

The product does a lot of wonderful stuff that a lot of these companies want to do without too much effort.

The initial setup is straightforward.

The pricing is reasonable and matches the rest of the market.

The solution is quite stable.

Our clients have not had any trouble scaling.

What needs improvement?

The pricing of the solution should be much easier to calculate or find by yourself.

Clients want to get a rough idea as to how much it's going to cost for year one, year two, year three, et cetera. There is a calculator that Snowflake gives you, however, more often than not, you have to go to Snowflake to get those numbers. You can't do it yourself. To simplify things, it could be easier if they made it maybe easier to understand the cost and what the outgoing cost for a customer would be.

In the future, if they added AI capabilities, that would be ideal.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for about a year. It hasn't been that long. The company that I work for, on the other hand, has likely used it for three or four years or so.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability of the solution is very good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's very reliable in terms of performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't heard of clients having issues with scalability. It can expand well. A company that needs to grow it out can do so without any trouble.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not too complex. It is pretty straightforward. A company shouldn't have too much trouble implementing the solution.

What about the implementation team?

We deploy such solutions for our clients if they require it.

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

We are the first global premier partner. We have the highest level of Snowflake partnership

The licensing is a bit tricky as it's hard to calculate pricing ahead of time.

That said, most customers I have dealt with have no issues at all with the pricing. They think it's reasonable. Obviously, everybody, every single customer, wants to receive a price. That goes without saying. However, if you ask me if it's a fair price for the market, the answer is yes.

What other advice do I have?

We don't recommend a cloud typically. We leave it to the customer. If the customer has AWS, and then we sell Snowflake on AWS. If the customer has Google, we sell Snowflake on Google or Azure, or if they have Azure, we sell Azure. They may even have a private cloud. We don't force the customer to buy a particular cloud. We go with the customer's preference from their cloud services because Snowflake works on all three clouds.

In general, I would rate the solution eight out of ten. It does what it says it will, and I have yet to hear of customers complaining about its capabilities.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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CP
Founder & CIO at a computer software company with 11-50 employees
Real User
Top 20
Reasonable pricing with a straightforward setup and a good user experience

Pros and Cons

  • "The technical support on offer is excellent."
  • "There are always a few operation updates here and there that can be made."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution to build some cost-effective solutions for a data warehouse, mostly for all non-transactional data.

What is most valuable?

The solution is very fast. It's not clunky or slow.

The product, overall, is quite inexpensive. It's very cheap to use.

The solution is extremely user-friendly and easy to navigate. The user experience is very good.

The initial setup is pretty straightforward. It's simple.

We found that the initial setup was pretty easy.

The solution has been stable and has provided good overall performance.

A company can easily scale the solution. It's not too difficult to pull off.

The technical support on offer is excellent. They're helpful for the most part.

What needs improvement?

There are always a few operation updates here and there that can be made. However, overall, there aren't any features or glaring shortcomings. It's pretty good. We can't complain.

While the solution is quite inexpensive, there is always a push from clients that want it to be cheaper in the future.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have about six years' worth of experience with the product. I've been using it for a while. I'm comfortable with its aspects. I've used it over the last 12 months as well.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is very good. There are no bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's reliable. The performance is good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product scales quite well. If a company needs to expand it, it can do so without any problem.

We deal mostly with clients that have medium to large-scale organizations. It works well for both.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been excellent. I'd rate them nine out of ten. They are knowledgeable and responsive. We are quite happy with the level of assistance we receive if we need help.

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

We've used a few other solutions including MySQL and a few other notable databases.

Right now, we are looking for some other options as well.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite simple. It's a straightforward process. It's not overly complex. A company shouldn't have any issues with the implementation process.

What about the implementation team?

We are implementors. We can implement the solution for clients if they need us to.

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

The product is very reasonably priced. It's quite cheap to use. It's less expensive than, for example, Oracle.

What other advice do I have?

We are implementors of the solution.

We are using previous versions of the solution. It may not necessarily be the latest version all the time.

I'd advise other organizations to try it out and play with it a bit to see if it would fit their needs.

Overall, I would rate the solution at a nine out of ten. We've been mostly very happy with it.

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?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Veerendra Karnam
General Manager -DATA at a tech services company with 5,001-10,000 employees
MSP
Top 20
Great interface tool which is really useful for our computation and storage needs

Pros and Cons

  • "Can be leveraged with respect to better performance, auto tuning and competition."
  • "Pricing is an issue for many customers."

What is our primary use case?

We work with multiple customers who were asking for this and other similar solutions. We've since had several team members certified in Snowflake and we have a certified team working with that solution and keeping up to date with developments. I'm the general manager of the company and we are implementers. 

What is most valuable?

Snowflake has its own features in comparison to other similar solutions like Exadata. This gives it huge competitive power. It has a very good interface tool with its own benefits and features which are really useful for our needs from a computation and storage perspective. I think this solution provides the best potential of any data warehousing product where they choose to use Snowflake instead of Oracle or DBII. The product can be leveraged with respect to better performance, auto tuning, competition and performance. From an architectural perspective, the solution has all the ingredients it requires. 

What needs improvement?

We've come to realize that for many customers, pricing of this solution is an issue. Maintaining Snowflake clusters is challenging and cost intensive. Reporting could also be improved. Any data that moves out of Snowflake is being cached. If I have 400 to 500 end users, with 100 or 200 reports on a daily basis, all the reports will be cached. It's a matter of ensuring that costs can be optimized. The combination of Red Warescape plus Snowflake is a combination from the design and development perspective. But the combination from the reporting perspective to micro strategy on top of Snowflake could be a better feature, so there's a combination that has to be considered.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using this solution for about 10 months. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Our customers tell us that it is a stable solution. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We're working in 32 countries with enterprise size customers. We're still waiting to see what happens with that level of scalability and how the solution performs. If this product can be further fine-tuned or optimized in such a way that it becomes a very good fit for the Azure platform, that would be great. 

How are customer service and technical support?

They provide very good documentation on implementation design and development perspectives. 

How was the initial setup?

I think the initial setup is straightforward. Anyone who has worked on these types of solutions will pick it up quickly.

What other advice do I have?

It really depends on the nature of the implementation. If it's a small or medium sized company, we focus more on the pricing. If that can be brought down, I think Snowflake has a high potential that it can meet and can create a big name for itself in the big data cloud implementation platform. It has all the features. It already has all the complementary features to deal with the challenges. Those are built in and taken care of. It could be on Google cloud, or it could be on Azure or it could be on Amazon.

I'll rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Implementer