When it comes to data warehousing, or more commonly, data warehousing, the name Snowflake often comes up. What makes this “Snowflake” so different? Is this the right solution for your company? Why create a data warehouse with Snowflake?
We take a look at this solution that is changing the way we structure enterprise data.
The difference between a data lake and a data warehouse
These two terms do indeed refer to data storage systems, but they are not interchangeable, as each term designates a totally different structure.
- The Data Lake is a real “lake of data”, in which data is stored in its raw state, with no specific purpose, no specific processing, and more or less free access.
- The Data Warehouse, on the other hand, is a “data warehouse” in which data is selected, organized and stored, with access reserved for authorized users.
Clearly, technological transformation and the digitization of the enterprise require the use of a data warehouse. Oracle and IBM have been present on the market for some time now. They equip large companies with on-premise solutions for which the investment is particularly high.
Snowflake changed all that.
How does Snowflake work?
The first step is to understand how traditional data warehouses work:
- Complete software packages, including storage and analysis algorithms
- Storage is on the company’s own servers (although cloud solutions are becoming increasingly popular).
Snowflake takes a completely different approach:
- Snowflake Data Cloud is built on the infrastructures of Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud, to offer total dematerialization of its services.
- Snowflake is organized with a separation of data storage, calculation and information access services.
If these technical aspects don’t appeal to you, let’s take a look at the functional benefits of this solution.
The benefits of the Snowflake Data Warehouse
Compared with data warehouse solutions based on software installed on company servers, Snowflake offers your organization 7 major advantages:
With Snowflake, you don’t need to invest in or maintain servers and software. The initial investment is therefore much lower, as are operating costs.
Snowflake works on the principle of “you only pay for what you use”, so you can adapt your spending to your real needs thanks to the flexibility inherent in its structure.
Scalability – zero management
Snowflake takes care of everything, allowing you to scale up in terms of connections and connected applications. You don’t have to worry about the technical issues involved in managing a data warehouse
Snowflake’s separation of services optimizes your use. Some companies need a lot of storage space but little computing power, while others have little data but manipulate it all day long.
Speed and performance
Snowflake technology separates data collection and storage, enabling a large number of queries to be launched simultaneously.
With Snowflake, you’re no longer limited by the capabilities of your infrastructure. You benefit from the same possibilities as the technology giants.
Download speed or algorithm computation speed doesn’t depend on the hardware you’re using, since your installations are hosted in the cloud (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud).
A traditional server can quickly reach its limits when too many users try to access the information stored in the data warehouse. Then the infamous and irritating “Server unreachable” message appears.
Without going into the technical details, Snowflake is protected against this type of error, with information stored on independent servers to optimize the flow of information.
Easy data sharing
With data stored on an external server, it’s easy to give access to third parties without risking intrusion into the company’s internal servers.
Employees on the move, as well as customers and suppliers, can easily access your data warehouse, according to parameters you define yourself.
The IT risks associated with a hacker attack or virus are very real, and can have dramatic consequences if all your company’s internal data is deleted, leaked, or taken hostage by “ransomware”.
Naturally, IT departments take steps to protect you, but it’s difficult and costly to keep up.
Snowflake brings you a significant gain in security, as you always benefit from the best antivirus and security systems developed by industry leaders to protect your data warehouse.
Permanent access to data
Unlike a local server, the cloud is immune to power failures, maintenance operations and other technical incidents. Your data warehouse remains accessible at all times.
Want to find out more about Snowflake?
As you can see, Snowfake is revolutionizing the world of data warehousing, making this service accessible to all sizes of company.
Altermès has the IT and business teams to support you in :
- mapping your processes and understanding your business needs
- a solution tailored to your needs
📞 If you’re interested in implementing Snowflake in your company, contact us!
🔍 If you’d like to find out more about our innovative technology solutions for corporate management!