A Snowflake database is a data warehouse in the cloud that is powered by Snowflake's innovative Software as a Service (SaaS). As Snowflake is specifically focused on developing cloud-based data warehousing solutions, it has been able to harness the many benefits that the cloud offers for organizations that have to store and process large amounts of data.
There are three main elements that comprise Snowflake's cloud data offering:
Cloud services. This allows users to optimize their data and manage their infrastructure. IT also handles the security and encryption of stored data. The level of security is attested to by their data warehousing certifications such as PCI DSS for payment cards and HIPAA for protecting patient data.
Query Processing. The virtual warehouses created by Snowflake allow the analysis of the data they hold through requests. As Snowflake's virtual warehouses are independent clusters, they do not affect the performance of each other.
Database Storage. A Snowflake database is where an organization's uploaded data is held for processing and analysis.
Traditional data warehouse software is built on existing databases or software platforms. The founders of Snowflake believed that this meant they weren't making the most of the opportunities presented by mass cloud data storage. They also felt that the complexities and costs of existing platforms were considerable barriers to entry which weren't justified. For example, Snowflake is based on Amazon S3, but instead of being an additional charge it’s factored into Snowflake pricing.
The solution Snowflake pursued was one that would avoid the limitations of existing architecture. It would also be focused away from on-premises solutions and instead on harnessing the possibilities of cloud data storage. The current offering from Snowflake makes it easier for users to get exactly what they want, which is insights from their data, rather than spending time dealing with the complexities of a data warehouse. Even better, SnapLogic works with Snowflake, ensuring your data is safe and accessible in the cloud.