Snowflake is a cloud based data platform provided as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Snowflake enables data storage, processing, and analytic solutions that are faster, easier to use, and far more flexible than traditional offerings.
The Snowflake data platform is not built on any existing database technology or “big data” software platforms such as Hadoop. Instead, Snowflake combines a completely new SQL query engine with an innovative architecture natively designed for the cloud. To the user, Snowflake provides all of the functionality of an enterprise analytic database, along with many additional special features and unique capabilities.
Snowflake is a native Cloud Relational Database that is a Data Warehouse as a Service (DWaaS) solution. As a DWaaS, Snowflake handles all of the resource management, availability, configuration, authentication, data protection and optimization. All that is needed is to load and use the data! Snowflake is currently available on Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure cloud platforms, and, as announced during the Snowflake Summit, will be available on Google Cloud Platform(GCP) in preview in Fall 2019. Snowflake has made connections extremely easy by partnering with many BI, Data Integration, and Advanced Analytical tools. It also provides ODBC, JDBC, Go, .Net. Node.js drivers, connectors for Python, Spark, and Kafka ,SNOWSQL CLI.
There are plenty of things to love about Snowflake, here are a few highlights:
Scalability: Since it is designed and built for the cloud, Snowflake fully leverages the elasticity to offer near infinite scalability. Also, since storage is decoupled from compute, they are independently scalable.
Flexibility: Being able to scale storage, compute, number of users quickly based on requirements and changing the size of a warehouse from a menu is so cool (pun intended)
Pay As You Use: Snowflake billing allows Pay per second and auto-suspend, auto-resume of the virtual warehouses so customers are not paying for “off” times when the warehouses are idle.
Data Cloning: Snowflake lets you clone datasets for say, QA without needing to store (and pay for) the entire dataset multiple times.
Secure Data Sharing: Snowflake lets you securely share read-only access to data with one or more consumers without having to transfer the data out of Snowflake. Note: During Snowflake Summit 2019, Snowflake announced the Data Exchange that provides a data platform for customers to easily and quickly acquire and leverage data from various data providers.
Infrastructure: Traditional data warehousing infrastructure can be time-consuming and expensive at the outset of a project whereas Snowflake customers do not even need AWS or Azure accounts.
SQL: A language most folks who work with databases are already familiar with