Snowflake Data Warehouse: A Tutorial

Snowflake Data Warehouse: A Tutorial

Snowflake is an emergent analysis and data integration platform that many data professionals love. It makes big promises as an independent data warehouse providing fast insights.

Snowflake Data Warehouse: What is it?

Snowflake is a cloud-native SaaS data cloud platform that eliminates the need to set up data stores, data lakes, and data warehouses while enabling secure data sharing capabilities. It is a cloud warehouse that can support multi-cloud environments and is built on Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services.

Does it deliver, or is it all hype? What’s behind all the marketing talk and how does Snowflake work in practice? Is there any real value behind his rapid growth in the number of users? We will answer these questions in this Tutorial.

Learn more about cloud computingWhat is cloud computing? How the Cloud Works

What is the snowflake?

Snowflake is a cloud-native SaaS data cloud platform that eliminates the need to set up data stores, data lakes, and data warehouses while enabling secure data sharing capabilities.

Snowflake is a cloud warehouse and can support multi-cloud environments. The totality data storage is built on Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.

With this platform, companies do not need to install any software or hardware, configure it or maintain it. Everything is usable right out of the box.

How does the snowflake work?

Three essential components make Snowflake work.

Data storage

Snowflake offers databases where organizations can easily store semi-structured and structured datasets as well as storing and processing unstructured data. It automatically manages the data storage process, including statics, compression, file sizes, metadata, data structure and organization.

Request processing

Snowflake requests to analyze data using data warehouses, Which one is Snowflake term for computational units. This is possible because the compute layer consists of virtual cloud warehouses operating independently as separate clusters. This prevents warehouses from competing for computing resources, ensures stable performance, and also provides workload concurrency.

Extended cloud services

Snowflake cloud services run on ANSI SQL, allowing users to manage data infrastructure and optimize data. Snowflake’s stored data is encrypted and secure in transit and at rest. Platform warehousing certifications include HIPAA and PCI DSS.

What are the benefits of Snowflake?

Here’s how Snowflake’s architecture translates into practical benefits for storing and managing data.

Quick profitability

Snowflake is a full SaaS platform, which means it requires no installation, tuning or configuration. You can start using the platform with all its features as soon as you subscribe to the service.

SaaS solutions do not require ongoing maintenance because your provider takes care of everything. There’s no need to hire a dedicated IT team to maintain your solution or train your employees to do it independently.

Multi-cloud support

A multi-cloud environment can prevent vendor lock-in while getting the most out of each service. Multi-cloud support lets you rely on Google (GCP), Microsoft Azure, and Amazon AWS. For example, one of the platforms may give you better scanning features, while another may be better at tightening security.

expense storage and control

Because most platforms are interconnected, users have to pay for more storage when they need more compute. Snowflake’s storage and compute are completely separate, and there are no additional scalability costs.

Scalability, performance and speed

Snowflake’s multi-cluster architecture eliminates all concurrency issues. The performance of one virtual warehouse cannot affect queries from other virtual warehouses. At the same time, each warehouse can quickly evolve according to current needs.

Snowflake supports an unlimited number of concurrent workloads and users. The engine powers analytics processes, feature engineering, interactive applications, and complex data pipelines.

Snowflake’s scalability, performance, and speed reduce some of the most apparent data management costs.

Full Automation

Snowflake enables companies to automate resiliency, availability, governance, security and data management.

Automation allows businesses to handle higher workloads and data volumes, improving scalability while keeping costs down. It also reduces downtime because companies are always available and can complete processes on time.

Easy data sharing

Snowflake provides seamless data sharing, cross-region communication, and cross-cloud capabilities without the need use data silos or ETL processes, which are more complex and require more computational resources.

Anyone can access data through the cloud with transparent compliance and governance policies. When a single source of data is shared across the enterprise, everyone can be sure they have the most up-to-date data, making decision-making and collaboration more efficient.

Lots of integrations

The snowflake has a vast data market third-party applications and data. This allows teams to connect with their customers with new applications and complete workflows. Whatever your data pipelines are, you can set them up with these integrations and automate workflows across the organization.

What are snowflakes Disadvantages?

The snowflake is not perfect. Like any other platform, it has its set of drawbacks that are worth considering.

Pay-as-you-go model

Snowflake has no data limits on storage and computing. While this is a good thing overall, Snowflake has a pay-as-you-go model, which means users need to control their data usage to avoid costly monthly bills.

Higher costs

Depending on the applications and usage, Snowflake can be expensive compared to its competitors, for example Redshift. Snowflake charges for one minute each time you start or resume a warehouse and charges for every second thereafter.

Cannot be used on site

Snowflake is a proprietary cloud platform, and all of its service components, including data storage and compute, run in the cloud. Companies that want to use their on-premises solutions cannot deploy Snowflake.

How do you start Snowflake?

Here’s how to log in and load data into the platform.


Signing up for Snowflake is simple. Go to the registration page and enter all the required information, including your name, email address, and company name. Non-company users can enter any random name in this field.

After choosing your location, select the Snowflake edition and one of the three cloud platforms you can use.

Click the link in the verification email you receive to activate the account. Once you’ve done that, enter your username and password, and you’ll be able to log in to your account. All Snowflake Editions have a 30-day free trial.

What is the snowflake? Here is a YouTube tutorial. Credit: Snowflake/YouTube

Snowflake interface

Logging in to your Snowflake account will direct you to the main interface. The user menu is located in the upper left corner of the main window, where you can make changes to your profile, log out, get documentation or change rules.

The navigation menu is below. This is where you can access other pages such as data, dashboards, activity, administration, market, and worksheets. The large area on the right side of the screen is the content pane, where any menu items you choose are visible.

Loading Data into Snowflake

Using the web interface and its load wizard is the easiest way to load data into Snowflake. Click the Load Data button and choose where you want to load your data from.

The wizard combines the data loading and staging phases into one quick operation while automatically deleting the staged fields once the process is complete. Jhis approach is only suitable for loading data sets up to 50 MB.

Further Reading on Cloud ComputingWhat is edge computing?

Should you try Snowflake?

Migrating your data to Snowflake allows you to thoroughly encrypt and secure it, with various specifications, and the interface is quite intuitive and easy to learn.

Another advantage is that Snowflake’s warehouse handles requests efficiently thanks to its multi-cluster architecture, which helps you avoid concurrency issues. It offers plenty of integrations and a multi-cloud environment that lets you use multiple platforms. Finally, the service is scalable.

Although it’s only available as a cloud-based service and pay-per-use pricing can make it more expensive in the long run than some other options, users still get plenty of features for their money.

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