Snowflake, Silicon Valley’s hottest new public company, opened up trading last week (9/16) and quickly became the biggest tech IPO of the year. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway and Salesforce both invested $250 million in Snowflake, which shows us how impressive the technology must be. But from a tech perspective, what does Snowflake actually do?
What does Snowflake do?
We live in a world currently being overrun with data. It’s the new gold mine for many companies, but considering how much data is available, how do you make sense of it all?
That’s where Snowflake comes into play.
Snowflake stores both structured and semi-structured data, converting it into a usable format that is SQL-compatible. Available as a service on leading cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google Cloud, Snowflake eliminates architectural complexity that, historically speaking, would’ve required a team of in-house data engineers running open-source software and racking up large costs because data engineers are limited in supply and high in demand.
How much does Snowflake cost?
The process of understanding Snowflake pricing is not straightforward, and we aren’t ashamed to admit it. To put it simply, Snowflake pricing depends on how the following three services are being utilized by the user: Virtual warehouses, data storage and cloud services. Snowflake services are provided on-demand, allowing users to select the amount of compute and storage they need before paying for it (based on usage or on a monthly fixed-rate model).
Where is Snowflake’s data stored?
The Snowflake data warehouse is built entirely on the cloud and employs a subscription-based model with storage and compute operating independently. It’s a fully managed, cloud data warehouse available in the form of Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) or Database-as-a-Service (DaaS).
What makes Snowflake unique?
In one word: Architecture.
Providing companies with the tools to navigate their data and multi-cluster computer, even when it is housed on servers run by different vendors is the true advantage of Snowflake. Not having to be concerned about any back-end work like installations and maintenance is another true advantage of Snowflake.
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