by • August 29, 2023
Snowflake is a technology company offering a cloud-based data warehouse for data storage and analytics. Snowflake has been making headlines lately, having reported $1.1 billion in revenue for the fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2022—that’s 106% growth year-on-year. But while this data warehousing solution might be a good investment for traders, that doesn’t answer the simple question: “What is Snowflake?”
Table of Contents:
Sign up for our free 14 day hosted trial to learn how.
Founded in 2012 and based in San Mateo, California, Snowflake is a technology company offering a cloud-based data warehouse for data storage and analytics. A data warehouse is a centralized data repository that acts as the endpoint for the Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) process, where you can easily access and mine data for insights.
ETL works like this:
This might sound like an easy process, but it’s not. You need to build complex data pipelines for extracting data, transforming that data, and loading it to Snowflake. If you don’t have data engineering skills, ETL can be a challenge. That’s why many companies use ETL tools that complete the process for them.
There’s another way to connect data from disparate sources into Snowflake. DreamFactory lets you build a REST API for Snowflake integration in less than five minutes. All you need is your Snowflake credentials, and the open-source platform does all the hard work for you. That means you don’t need to build an API from scratch or worry about complicated code, schemas, data silos, query processing, metadata, or other manual tasks associated with data integration and data processing. Learn more.
It is compatible with the three largest public cloud providers: Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.
Snowflake can deliver results so quickly because it’s a hybrid of traditional shared-disk database and shared-nothing database architectures. Just like the shared-disk database, it uses a central repository accessible from all compute nodes for persisted data. On the other hand, similar to shared-nothing architectures, Snowflake processes queries using MPP (massively parallel processing) compute clusters where each node stores a portion of the entire data set locally.
This approach combines the simplicity of a shared-disk architecture, with the performance and scale-out benefits of a shared-nothing architecture.
Migrating data to Snowflake can benefit your business. That’s because it secures and encrypts all the data you need for big data analytics. (Snowflake has data warehousing certifications such as PCI DSS).
The warehouse also makes it easier to generate business intelligence. Companies like yours typically store data in several ‘siloed’ systems that don’t connect with each other, making analytics a challenge. By moving data to the Snowflake architecture via ETL or a REST API with DreamFactory, you can move all your information to a centralized location and run data through real-time BI tools. Then you can use those data insights to grow your business.
Snowflake has emerged as a game-changing solution for organizations seeking a cloud-based data warehouse that effortlessly combines scalability, flexibility, and ease of use. But what sets Snowflake apart from the competition? Let’s dive into some of its standout features and explore how they can transform your data management experience.
Imagine a data warehouse that expands and contracts to accommodate your evolving data needs with unparalleled agility. Snowflake’s groundbreaking elasticity feature ensures that your resources are always perfectly aligned with your requirements. Whether you’re dealing with sudden spikes in demand or long-term growth, Snowflake’s elastic scaling has you covered, delivering top-notch performance without breaking the bank.
Gone are the days of wrestling with complex ETL processes or struggling to keep up with rapidly changing data. Snowflake’s innovative data sharing capabilities empower you to share live, up-to-date data with internal teams or external partners in a secure and efficient manner. By breaking down data silos, Snowflake fosters a truly collaborative environment, driving better insights and informed decision-making across the board.
Why waste time and storage on creating multiple data copies when you can have instant, identical clones at your fingertips? Snowflake’s zero-copy cloning feature makes it a breeze to create, test, and deploy data environments without impacting your storage or performance. Whether you need to run experiments, develop new features, or troubleshoot issues, Snowflake’s zero-copy cloning is your secret weapon for maximum efficiency and agility.
Unlock the full potential of your data stack with Snowflake’s exceptional compatibility and integration capabilities. Seamlessly connect with a wide array of popular BI, ETL, and data visualization tools, and watch as Snowflake becomes the beating heart of your data ecosystem. With its cloud-agnostic architecture, Snowflake empowers you to leverage your preferred cloud provider, be it AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud, and integrate it effortlessly into your existing infrastructure.
Embrace the future of data warehousing and harness the full power of Snowflake’s cutting-edge features. Transform your data management experience and elevate your organization to new heights with this revolutionary platform.
When answering the question “What is Snowflake?” you should weigh up the pros and cons of this data warehouse.
Looking at user reviews can help you make the final decision. On the software review website G2.com, Snowflake has an average user rating of 4.5/5 stars based on nearly 350 reviews. The data warehouse’s highest-rated features include scalability and user access controls.
Here is a selection of some user reviews:
Did you know you can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure REST API for Snowflake in less than five minutes using DreamFactory? Sign up for our free 14-day hosted trial to learn how! DreamFactory’s guided tour will show you how to create an API using an example MySQL database.
You can generate a full-featured, documented, and secure Snowflake REST API in minutes using DreamFactory. Once you have DreamFactory up and running you will be in the Admin panel. From there you will navigate to the Services tab to connect your database to your API. We have a quick tutorial on how to setup that up here.
Want to learn more about how DreamFactory can help you integrate data with Snowflake? Get in touch with the team today for a chat about your Snowflake needs and objectives or to start your free trial of the DreamFactory platform.
Snowflake is a cloud-based data warehousing solution designed to provide seamless data storage, integration, and analytics. It enables organizations to efficiently manage and analyze large volumes of structured and semi-structured data through a scalable and fully managed platform.
Unlike traditional data warehouses, Snowflake operates on a cloud-based architecture, which allows for faster data processing, scalability, and flexibility. It separates storage and compute resources, ensuring that you only pay for what you use and can scale your resources up or down according to your needs.
Some of Snowflake’s most notable features include:
Some advantages of using Snowflake are:
Some potential drawbacks of using Snowflake include:
Snowflake has generally received positive reviews from users, who often praise its scalability, flexibility, and ease of use. However, some users have mentioned the learning curve associated with Snowflake’s unique architecture and the occasional challenges in handling unstructured data.
Snowflake is suitable for organizations of all sizes, from startups to enterprises, that require a scalable and flexible data warehousing solution. To determine if Snowflake is the right fit for your organization, consider factors such as your data storage and processing needs, budget, and integration requirements with your existing tools and platforms.
Snowflake vs. Oracle: Which Data Warehouse is Better?
Terence Bennett, General Manager at DreamFactory, has a strong operational, business, and extensive experience in government IT systems and Google Cloud. He started his career as a U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer, then honed his skills on Google’s Red Team and later became the COO of Integrate.io.
Join the DreamFactory newsletter list.