Bob Fairchild, Wavicle’s Director of Data Engineering, discusses the speed, savings, and performance that explain why Snowflake is so popular for data warehouse management.
Tech leaders across the country are about to bet big on Snowflake. In fact, according to a recent survey of 142 CIOs who control more than $100 billion of IT spending, the platform ranked No. 1 in installed base spending intentions, beating out Microsoft, Google, and CrowdStrike.
For those wondering why companies would spend so much on Snowflake, the answer is simple: the fully managed SaaS is peerless in providing a single platform for data warehousing, data lakes, data engineering, data science, data application development, and secure sharing and consumption of real-time shared data.
In my discussions with CIOs from myriad industries, their preference for Snowflake seems to boil down to three primary factors. Let’s dive into these reasons—each accompanied by a practical example—to learn why Snowflake is so popular.
Almost instant time-to-value
Snowflake delivers almost instant time-to-value and/or time-to-market. It’s simply a matter of constructing a new data environment within AWS or Azure, a process not unlike piecing together the components of a prefab house. What was once a months-long process is now exponentially faster.
The Department of Veterans Affairs requested a proof of concept for its financial service center in Austin, Texas. After a quick deployment, the staff realized within three days that hospitals across the health system were overordering toilet paper. While this may sound like a minor issue, catching the mistake led to instant savings for the entire network.
As with any technological advancement, you need to be mindful of the adage: “Garbage in, garbage out.” Snowflake is not a magic wand. The platform can manage all aspects of data storage—organization, file size, structure, compression, metadata, statistics, and more—but irrelevant information will lead to useless results.
Saving on operational expenses
Snowflake makes it easy to minimize operational expenses. It is essentially a turnkey solution that can be ramped up and down as needed. When a high volume of data must be processed, servers can be adjusted to instantly meet demand. Conversely, when activity drops, adjustments can be made to save on usage (we’ll delve further into this feature in a moment).
Organizations of all sizes can rest assured knowing all information sent into Snowflake’s cloud is handled more securely than with previous data management platforms, no matter the volume. The federal government, for example, has long used Snowflake to manage sensitive telemetry data from law enforcement actions as well as financial information, two data streams known to fluctuate over time.
Part of what makes Snowflake such a secure platform is the fact that no data gets copied or transferred between users. Additionally, when data is made viewable within a shared database, that information is read-only, creating another layer of protection. In all instances, the setup process is quick and easy for providers and leads to instant access for consumers on the other end.
Exponentially improved performance
Put simply, Snowflake rarely crashes. Its general efficiency while scaling is a popular feature among CIOs, who are often able to run data engineering with a small architect team. In other words, there is less time spent sitting around waiting for an environment to be created.
Consider the process of onboarding a new customer, which entails a new data set containing terabytes of information. With Snowflake, you can ramp up system resources without impacting anyone else on the network. All it takes is some mindful configuration using Snowflake’s auto-scale mode, which starts and stops data clusters as needed to dynamically manage loads on any data warehouse.
Once auto-scaling is enabled, no data-related task is too big or small. Excessive network activity—like user sessions or warehouse queries—will automatically trigger Snowflake to start adding data clusters to deal with backlogs that result from insufficient resources. Likewise, when resources are no longer needed, Snowflake can shut clusters down, which in turn reduces the number of credits needed by a data warehouse. The result is a seamless ebb and flow of information that CIOs continue to rave about.
A flurry of activity
All three of these reasons should resonate with almost any CIO, and they all stem from one central premise: Snowflake has delivered on its original promise of enabling automatic scaling of storage, analytics, and workgroup resources for any job, all in an easy-to-use package. Because of these standout features, which seem too good to be true but somehow are, we anticipate even more CIOs and other tech leaders will be betting big on this platform in the coming years.
Don’t miss out on the industry’s hottest method of making secure and automated data-driven decisions! Reach out to Wavicle today to learn more about Snowflake.