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    What is Snowflake? Benefits, Architecture, and Rest Explained

    what is snowflake

    Every day some new platforms with data and analytics are launched into the market. Because there is a massive demand for data management tools, they indeed get a lot of buzz. It becomes hard to differentiate between hype and reality. Small, medium, and enterprises who look for robust data storage and management platform often look for this kind of platform. Snowflake is one of the self-managed data warehouses. It promises to provide a self-managed data warehouse for insights with speed. But does Snowflake has the capability that it is being marked for? Does it hold the value enterprises are looking for?

    In the below article, we will be covering details about what is Snowflake, Snowflake data warehouse, Snowflake database, and Snowflake architecture comprehensively to provide a better understanding of Snowflake and it’s utility.  

    Let’s start with the question- what is Snowflake? In simple terms, Snowflake can be defined as the data warehouse where businesses can store data for future use. A Snowflake data warehouse is built on cloud premises that provide storage management capability on a subscription basis. Unlike Data Lake, with Snowflake data warehouse, you can store structured or semi-structured data in highly usable SQL format — later. Snowflake is based on Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and amazon web services. Due to the feature of being cloud-agnostic, Snowflake provides an option to its customers to become multi-cloud.

    Benefits of Snowflake

    Snowflake provides numerous business benefits that don’t just offer detailed insight but also data-driven decision-making.

    Cloud Storage: This is the core benefit of Snowflake. Storing the data at cloud servers is much more economical and time saver than other methods. 

    Reporting: With enough data available at Snowflake warehouse, it’s easier for management to say due to detailed analytics. The reporting process becomes more manageable and accessible for businesses. 

    Detailed analytics: Detailed analysis of Snowflake database, when integrated with another platform such as your CRM system, provide robust and insightful data. 

    Modern Security:  With decentralized data systems and real-time data streams, Snowflake governs data with ultra-security.  

    Easy management: With Snowflake architecture, you can easily manage the entire work. You don’t need a big team to handle the data.

    Snowflake Architecture

    Before running on the Snowflake architecture, it’s better to understand clustering and its technique. The reason being is, clustering plays an integral part in defining and storing the data.

    Shared Nothing and Shared Disk

    The ongoing and increasing demand for online data storage has put burden on the IT industry. Although it generates new opportunities, lack of resources and inefficient systems have posed challenges to the database management providers. Several new technology concepts and stacks have been coming into the market to counter the downtimes and underperforming resources. 

    Clustering is the same concept used to counter the underperforming asset, especially hardware. Clustering is the deployment of multiple processors or independent systems to make the entire data-related process faster. It provides enhanced scalability and availability for the application.

    Shared Disk architecture:

    In Shard disk architecture, all computing nodes share the same disk or storage device to proceed with the data.

    Shared-nothing architecture

    In a shared-nothing architecture setup, each computing node possesses its own private memory that is not shared and its storage or disk capacity. 

    Snowflake architecture relies on computing infrastructure, Storage capability, services layer, and multi-storage data architecture.

    Snowflake Uses

    Snowflakes can be used in multiple things. Due to this, it has gain momentum as one of the top cloud-based database architecture. 

    1. It can be used to serve wider technology areas, including data integration, advanced analytics, business intelligence, and security, etc. 
    2. Its cloud-based storage capability with robust features of storing data is helpful for organizations. 
    3. Snowflake database works perfectly with popular programming languages such as it provides support for programming languages like Go, Java, .NET, Python, C, Node.js, etc.
    4. Snowflake offers a complete solution for ANSI SQL language support for managing the day-to-day operations of the business. 
    5. Apart from providing the cloud infrastructure, it also offers many choices for designing modern architectures.
    6. Snowflake database is particularly suitable for agile methodology and dynamic usage trends of businesses. 
    7. Snowflake data warehouse is helpful with any data and workforce management. Apart from structured and semi-structured data, it works efficiently with Data Lake’s raw data, ODS with staged data, and data warehouse with presentable and modelled data types.
    8. Snowflake data warehouse has made the entire Data processing simplified. It provides the ability to users to do any data blending, analysis, and comparison of various kinds of data. It helps in the better decision-making process of the enterprises. 
    Snowflake uses

    How Snowflake Works

    Using Snowflake database is as easy as registering on an online portal. All you need is to register to the official website by choosing the edition, e.g., standard, enterprise, and business-critical

    1. Register on the Snowflake website and select edition.
    2. Choose the cloud provider from AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
    3. Select the region, e.g., Asia, Europe, Africa, etc. 
    4. Explore the sample data or import your own. You can import multiple data formats for upload, including CSV, TSV, JSON, Avro, ORC, Parquet, and XML.
    5. The next thing is to run the query. You can quickly run your needed query from the dashboard. Different connectors available in other languages and platforms can use many SQL constructs to read and consume data.

    Conclusion

    We hope you have gained enough information about your question- ‘what is Snowflake’. Summing up, Snowflake is one of the most admired database management tools used by various industries to manage their data efficiently. The utility and use of the Snowflake data warehouse have made it a unique cloud database management platform. The snowflake business model is labelled as “warehouse as a service” due to its consumption-based structure. However, it’s a highly efficient and fulfilling demand platform with ease and accessibility.

    FAQs

    What is Snowflake used for?

    Snowflake is used to save structured and semi-structured data in a cloud platform. It is a database management system. 

    Why is Snowflake so popular?

    Snowflake is an easy, robust, accessible, and scalable data management platform that runs on the cloud. It has made it a top cloud data warehousing solution.

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