Modern data platforms – Overview of Snowflake

Modern data platforms – Overview of Snowflake

Snowflake is a born-in-the-cloud data management platform that simplifies the process of data collection, data storage, data analysis and data science for modern businesses.  It is designed to integrate seamlessly with the three major cloud platforms Azure, AWS and GCP.

Snowflake can power an unlimited number of workloads, making it efficient and scalable for organisations of any size and complexity. 

Whether you’re a data expert, or new to the world of data, Snowflake’s ease of use welcomes users of all skill levels. With Snowflake, businesses can fast track their efficiency and unlock the true potential of their data.

Ready to learn more? Dive into our evaluation of Snowflake.

What is Snowflake?

Snowflake is a single data platform that combines the capabilities of data warehousing, data lakes, data engineering, data science, data application development, and secure data sharing.  

It’s designed to enable the separation of compute and storage, coupled with a powerful cloud services operations layer and the ability to easily share data across the data cloud. 

What is Snowflake made up of?

Snowflake is made up of three layers: cloud services, compute (information processing) and data storage. 

Cloud Services

Snowflake’s core services allow end users to use SQL based cloud services.  This minimises the ramp up time to productivity given the wide acceptance and use of SQL. Because it’s a SAAS based cloud offering, Snowflake is easy to configure and deploy, with very low maintenance, and therefore readily accessible by any relevant IT and business stakeholders. 

Its cloud-based services have built-in authentication and access controls, and with encryption at rest and in motion, data is extremely secure. 

Compute

Snowflake is made up of virtual data warehouses that help users analyse data. All user queries are processed in Snowflake’s computing layer. These individual data warehouses are able to operate at full capacity at all times, independently of each other, therefore they don’t compete for resources.  

Scaling up and down can be done ‘on the fly’ without the need to pause or restart services, minimising business disruption.

This means that an unlimited amount of users can work with the same data set at the same time without compromising Snowflake’s speed and performance. 

Storage

This layer is where all of a business’s data is stored.  Snowflake has been designed to integrate seamlessly with the major cloud storage services from Azure, AWS and GCP.  It has the ability to support structured and semi structured data sources, and has optimised features for fast retrieval of data. 

What really differentiates Snowflake is that users can pay for the storage and compute layers separately. This is cost effective, as businesses only need to pay for what they use, rather than paying for a storage and computing bundle.

Benefits of Snowflake 

High performance, unlimited scalability and fast speed

Because of its elastic performance engine, Snowflake is able to support an unlimited number of concurrent users and workloads. This increases the efficiency of businesses, as many users are able to work on data projects at the same time without being restricted by the platform’s capabilities. 

Snowflake’s elasticity also contributes to its scalability, as it can handle any project of any size. No matter how many workloads you have, Snowflake will always operate at optimal speed, helping businesses accelerate their processes. 

Automation 

Snowflake uses automation, streamlining data management, security and operational control.  This helps to reduce the risk of human error, making it extremely user-friendly. 

Its automation and ease of use means that more people within an organisation can learn to use a data platform, increasing efficiency and saving the cost of hiring data experts and engineers. 

Like most modern data platforms, Snowflake keeps all your data in one place

Snowflake’s data cloud and marketplace allows you to share a single copy of your data with other businesses and external parties across the globe.  

The Data Cloud makes it easier to generate new insights by leveraging 3rd party data to collaborate and make decisions.  With access to the same set of data, this helps in reducing the inconsistencies that could arise from using multiple versions of data.

Highly secure

Snowflake has cross cloud governance features, reducing the risk of data security breaches. Businesses can securely upload any sensitive data to Snowflake without fear of it being compromised.

For today’s businesses, storing, managing and utilising data has become easier than ever. Cloud-based data platforms like Snowflake are revolutionising the world of data, helping businesses make better data driven decisions.

Do you want to see the benefits of a modern data platform for your business? Chat with us today.