On the subject of information warehouse implementation, there are a number of choices so that you can select from. Nevertheless, in the previous few years, two options have come to the forefront. These are Amazon Redshift (part of Amazon Net Providers) and Snowflake, a standalone resolution designed by an organization below the identical identify. On this article, we’re going to take a more in-depth take a look at each these information warehouse options. What do it’s worthwhile to learn about every considered one of them? And which one do you have to choose? In just a few moments, you’ll uncover solutions to those questions.

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At Addepto, we work with numerous information warehouses regularly. These are a few of our main instruments which can be helpful in the case of tasks based mostly on:
• Machine studying
• Knowledge analytics
• Enterprise intelligence

You may even say information warehouses are on the very heart of what we do day-after-day. And troublesome to not point out Amazon Redshift and Snowflake when discussing information warehouse options. Many organizations marvel which one is best. As we speak, you’ll uncover solutions to those questions, as we’re going to do a small Snowflake vs. Redshift comparability. Let’s get right down to enterprise!

What do it’s worthwhile to learn about Amazon Redshift?

The very very first thing it’s worthwhile to know is that Redshift is part of the bigger AWS setting. It’s a totally managed information warehouse resolution that’s accessible solely within the cloud computing mannequin. You must use Redshift to retailer massive information and conduct database migrations, even intensive ones.
One of many greatest benefits of Redshift is that it really works brilliantly with various information sources and information analytics instruments. With a purpose to take advantage of Amazon Redshift, you ought to begin with the ETL course of, which is indispensable in the case of information warehousing. A while in the past, we talked loads in regards to the ETL course of on our weblog.

amazon redshift Picture supply: aws.amazon.com

And since Redshift is part of the Amazon AWS platform, you may have fast and easy accessibility to different Amazon cloud companies, together with Amazon S3.


Redshift has a singular structure that makes this resolution stand out from its competitors. Let’s look at a few of the most vital options of this information warehouse resolution:

• Columnar storage[1]: As Amazon informs us on their web site, it’s a really environment friendly resolution as a result of it permits optimizing analytical question efficiency. This columnar design reduces the general disk necessities and reduces the quantity of information it’s worthwhile to load from the disk, making your work far simpler.

• Intuitive dashboard: Redshift comes with a ready-made console for directors to create, configure, and handle Amazon Redshift clusters. Throughout the Redshift dashboard, you may have easy accessibility to the present variety of clusters and nodes, cluster well being standing, crucial efficiency metrics, and efficiency workloads. Check out how this seems to be like:

redshiftPicture supply: aws.amazon.com

• Clusters: Since we’ve already tackled this topic, it is important to emphasise that Redshift’s infrastructure is predicated on clusters, that are based mostly on a number of nodes (it’s the place you retailer information tables). These nodes, in flip, are composed of smaller slices. The variety of slices per node will depend on the node occasion varieties. Subsequently, we are able to point out three kinds of situations in Redshift: Dense Compute (dc2), Dense Storage (ds), and Managed Storage (ra3)[2]. Such a means of storing information permits processing even massive volumes of huge information–shortly and effectively.

• Knowledge safety: The excellent news is, Amazon pays loads of consideration in the case of the cybersecurity of their companies. That stated, Redshift comes with a security characteristic enabling you to make the most of database encryption in your clusters so as to defend information at relaxation. Thoughts you, though extra information safety measures are non-obligatory, it’s best to ensure that your belongings are correctly secured, particularly if you take care of delicate private or monetary information. If you wish to discover out extra, learn our Large Knowledge Safety Points and Challenges weblog publish.

With Amazon Redshift carried out, we are able to change to Snowflake. What do it’s worthwhile to learn about Redshift’s most important competitor in the case of information warehouse options?

Snowflake: Redshift’s main competitor

Usually talking, there are many similarities! Each options are cloud-based, each are supplied within the SaaS mannequin, and each can be utilized to retailer, course of, and analyze massive volumes of information. Furthermore, Snowflake is even constructed on prime of the Amazon Net Providers or Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructures![3]

Nevertheless, in the case of Snowflake, you ought to be conscious of a few variations earlier than making a choice. For starters, Snowflake is predicated on an SQL database engine that’s designed with cloud computing functions in thoughts. Secondly, Snowflake emphasizes the sharing performance, permitting customers to share information freely in actual time. And lastly, Snowflake can retailer completely different types of information, together with structured and semi-structured information.

Now, let’s speak a bit extra about Snowflake’s structure.


One of the important Snowflake’s differentiators is that this platform routinely manages all facets of information storage, from group, via compression, as much as metadata and statistics. Curiously, this superior storage layer runs independently of computing assets. Because of this customers get extra flexibility and don’t must pay for the assets or companies they don’t want.

snowflake architecturePicture supply: snowflake.com

In keeping with Stitchdata.com, Snowflake consists of three separate layers. Every of those layers is absolutely impartial and scalable. What do it’s worthwhile to learn about them?

• Database storage: We’ve already talked about this layer. That is the place your information is saved and processed.
• Compute layer: Right here, you may have digital information warehouses (which may be considered as clusters, similar to in Amazon Redshift) that execute various information processing duties.
• Cloud companies: This layer is predicated on ANSI SQL, and you’ll say it supervises and manages your complete Snowflake system. That is the place infrastructure administration, metadata administration, and entry management occur.

Snowflake vs. Redshift comparability: Which one do you have to choose?

Snowflake and redshift are superior in their very own distinct methods. And due to this fact, the selection between the 2 information warehouses is relative to your information technique. That will help you decide which resolution is finest in your group, we’re going to evaluate them towards one another based mostly on their pricing, security measures, upkeep, and efficiency. Learn on for extra insights.


Which resolution is extra economical than the opposite? There isn’t any easy reply to this query since your invoice is tied right down to your use case. Because of this you pay in accordance with your demand and quantity. The one level of distinction right here is that the 2 information warehouses have diverse pricing fashions for various plans.

Snowflake makes use of a pay-as-you-use pricing technique. This can be an acceptable possibility for minimal question utilization unfold throughout a large time interval. The clusters will routinely shut down when no queries are operating and resume after you load the queries. This will considerably cut back your expenditure when your question load decreases.

Nevertheless, it’s onerous to foretell Snowflake’s value since its computational processes are remoted from the warehousing course of. This additionally signifies that the computational pricing is discrete. The platform gives seven grades of information warehousing choices, with every grade having completely different costs. And because the computation pricing is discreet, it may be onerous and complicated to calculate the general value. Consequently, this makes Snowflakes dearer in most use instances.

Redshift, then again, gives a extra versatile fee mannequin. Its pricing is predicated on the entire variety of clusters and the entire variety of hours. To calculate your month-to-month value, you multiply the scale of the cluster by the fee per hour and the variety of hours in a month. The hourly value is commonplace for all customers, whereas the scale of clusters varies from one enterprise to a different.


Large information safety is a vital side that it’s best to keenly scrutinize when selecting a knowledge warehouse. Even with safety programs that supply loads of scrutiny, information breaches nonetheless happen. This primarily occurs resulting from an absence of two-factor authentication or when staff share login credentials via social media.

On the subject of information safety, it’s not about Redshift vs. Snowflake, as the 2 platforms supply stringent information safety measures. Nevertheless, they’ve barely completely different approaches. So, that can assist you perceive how the 2 platforms differ security-wise, we’ve compiled a listing of their respective options under.

Safety features of Redshift

Cloud safety is a prime precedence for Redshift. It gives a knowledge heart and an structure constructed to fulfill the wants of security-sensitive companies. Entry to the platform is managed at 4 ranges:

• Cluster Connectivity: Redshift’s cluster is locked by default, so no person can entry it until they’re approved to take action. To grant entry to different customers, it’s best to affiliate the cluster with a safety group. A cluster safety group has a algorithm that determine IP addresses or an EC2 safety group[4] that’s approved to entry your cluster. Once you first launch your cluster, Redshift routinely creates a default safety group that’s empty. You’ll be able to add your personal guidelines to the group, then affiliate it together with your Redshift cluster.

• Cluster Administration: The Identification Entry Administration (AIM) consumer grants permission to create, configure, and delete clusters. AIM customers can use AWS Command Line Interface (CLI), AWS Administration Console, or Utility Programming Interface (API) to handle their clusters.

• Database Entry: Entry to database objects resembling views and tables is granted by consumer accounts. You’ll be able to solely use the assets that your consumer account has been approved to entry. You’ll be able to create your consumer account and handle its permissions by utilizing GRANT, CREATE GROUP, CREATE USER, and REVOKE SQL.

•Momentary Credentials and Single Signal-on: You’ll be able to configure your SQL consumer with ODBC or JDBC drivers to handle the method of making short-term passwords as a part of your account’s login course of.

Safety features of Snowflake

• Community Coverage: It grants or denies entry to the platform’s URL from sure IP addresses/ ranges.

• Account authentication: It helps OAuth, single sign-on, multi issue authentication (MFA), and key pair authentication for safe connection to the platform

• Person and Administration Group (SCIM Integration): Snowflake makes use of SCIM to handle customers and teams in cloud purposes.

security feautures

• Function-Primarily based Entry Management (RBAC): RBAC[5] is an entry management framework that offers management over how customers can entry objects. It additionally permits actions to be carried out on objects.

• Default Knowledge Encryption: Snowflake gives encryption to information in In-Transit and at REST utilizing AES 256 encryption. The encryption has a number of ranges of keys and key rotation to maintain the information secured.

Each Snowflake and Redshift supply two-factor authentication, however the important thing level of differentiation is that Snowflake’s scope of compliance choices and safety will depend on the version that you just’ve opted for.


Beforehand, Snowflake had an added benefit over Redshift resulting from its automated upkeep. Nevertheless, the playground was leveled after Redshift launched its auto vacuuming, improved queues leveraging machine studying, auto workload administration (WLM), and extra. These instruments have drastically decreased Redshift’s upkeep.

Snowflake, nevertheless, nonetheless has the higher hand in the case of scaling up and down. With this platform, you possibly can resize in a matter of seconds, one thing which takes loads of time in Redshift. It’s because Snowflake has separate compute and cupboard space, so it doesn’t have to repeat any information to scale up and down.

So which platform do you have to select?

Snowflake or Redshift? The selection between the 2 information warehouses is topic to your enterprise wants. For instance, if your enterprise manages huge workloads, then your best option could be Redshift as a result of it’s cost-effective and its pricing construction is versatile.

You must take time and consider whether or not a specific information warehouse resolution matches your wants. Arrange a free trial to style the waters earlier than settling for an answer. And in case you’re searching for assist together with your selection –do not forget that the Addepto crew is at your service!

[1] AWS.Amazon.com. Columnar Storage. URL: https://docs.aws.amazon.com/redshift/newest/dg/c_columnar_storage_disk_mem_mgmnt.html. Accessed Oct 18, 2021.
[2] TowardsDataScience.com. Amazon Redshift Structure. URL: https://towardsdatascience.com/amazon-redshift-architecture-b674513eb996. Accessed Oct 18, 2021.
[3] Stitchdata.com. What’s a Snowflake Knowledge Warehouse? 5 Advantages to Your Enterprise. URL: https://www.stitchdata.com/assets/snowflake/. Accessed Oct 18, 2021.
[4] Techtarget.com. The right way to Create Amazon EC2 Safety Teams. URL: https://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/tip/How-to-create-Amazon-EC2-security-groups. Accessed Oct 18, 2021.
[5] Upguard.com. What’s Function-Primarily based Entry Management (RBAC)? URL: https://www.upguard.com/weblog/rbac. Accessed Oct 18, 2021.


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