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Snowflake vs Azure

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by Anjaneyulu Naini
Last modified: October 1st 2021

Numerous businesses are migrating their information to the server. This is because companies have recognized the benefits of cloud storage, which include lower data storage costs, more data accessibility, and access to advanced analytics tools. However, most companies find themself at a crossroads when it comes to selecting a contemporary Cloud Data Platform. Today, individuals and businesses may be confused between the two most popular Cloud Data Solutions, Snowflake vs. Azure.

Both Snowflake and Azure Analytics provide parallel processing, which enables data analysis to be distributed over several cloud servers. Nevertheless, both have a variety of distinctions that might assist you in determining which one is best suited to your business's needs.

Snowflake vs Azure - Key Comparisons

In this blog, we will explore in detail Snowflake vs. Azure.

👉 What is Snowflake?

👉 Advantages of using Snowflake

👉 What is Microsoft Synapse/Azure Synapse?

👉 Advantages of Azure Synapse Analytics

👉 Difference between Snowflake and Azure Synapse

👉 Snowflake vs. Azure Synapse – Comparison

👉 Comparison

What is Snowflake?

Snowflake is a cloud-based data platform that supports essential data operations. Snowflake customers communicate to hundreds of data service providers, system users, and data producers to exchange real-time data among clients, prospects, and coworkers. It is a cloud-based data warehousing solution for organized and unstructured data.

Snowflake was launched in 2014, making it significantly younger than SQL and Azure. However, it has gained a significant following. Users may store all of their data on a single platform, enabling them to manage various data tasks from a single location. This simplifies sharing and collaborating on data projects by eliminating the need for several storage options.

Advantages of using Snowflake

  • Due to the cloud's flexible structure, you may exponentially grow your virtual storehouse to take full advantage of more computational resources.
  • Snowflake enables the study of semi-structured data warehouses without the requirement to modify or transform them to a predefined relational model beforehand.
  • Snowflake's design is multi-cluster, which addresses concurrency concerns like failures and delays.
  • Snowflake's framework helps businesses who use it to exchange data effortlessly with any remote device.

What is Microsoft Synapse/Azure Synapse?

Azure Synapse is a Microsoft-provided cloud data warehousing service. This is an alternate name for the 'Azure SQL Data Warehouse'.’ Apart from offering all of the capabilities and technologies associated with SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Synapse incorporates data analytics, data science, and machine learning tools for structured and unstructured data.

Azure Synapse provides a unified workload for all tasks involved in data handling, addressing instant data forecasting, and business analytics requirements. This is feasible due to the convergence of Azure Deep Learning and Power BI and the capability of Azure Synapse to incorporate logical Machine Learning algorithms via the ONNX framework.

Advantages of Azure Synapse Analytics

  • It supports typical CSV files and allows for user-controlled source selection.
  • Azure enables you to integrate Cloud Applications, IoT, and Event Nodes into a single platform for broadcasting.
  • In contrast to certain other cloud services, Azure is allegedly 14 times quicker and costs 94% less.

Snowflake vs. Azure: Key Differences

Software as a Service (SaaS) vs. Platform as a Service (PaaS)

  • Snowflake is a cloud-based SaaS solution that operates on Google Cloud Platform, or Amazon Web Services. It utilizes an abstract model to isolate the Snowflake database from the real core cloud and storage and calculate charges.
  • Azure Synapse is a PaaS model that offers a free Azure Synapse Workstation development platform. As a result, you spend on Azure resources.

Compute Resources

  • Snowflake SQL databases are fully isolated from the computing resources used to store or query them. As a result, any computing resource referred to in Snowflake as a "warehouse" may be utilized through any Repository in Snowflake.
  • Azure Synapse needs a significant SQL pool to construct a robust SQL database suitable for Data Warehousing.

Flexibility

  • Snowflake excels at flexibility. This is due to the architecture's multi-cluster, shared data storage. Snowflake enables the isolation of many concurrent processes within a common data layer. Furthermore, you may construct Virtual Warehouses with infinite scalability and parallelism to meet your computing requirements without experiencing downtime.
  • Synapse supports dedicated SQL pools as well as serverless SQL. While the former has a predefined unit of scale, the latter adjusts autonomously to match your scaling requirements.

Administration

  • Snowflake is a software-as-a-service platform with the objective of achieving near-zero administration. Snowflake Cloud Services eliminates the need for full-time Snowflake managers by providing capabilities such as automated grouping, built-in job scheduling, and materialized view management.
  • Azure Synapse requires additional administration in terms of concurrency monitoring, process management, and tweaking.

Snowflake vs. Azure: Comparison Table

Features Snowflake Azure
Pricing You will obtain the cost per credit depending on the number and capacity of the warehouses.  There are no up-front expenses, and there are no cancellation fees. Pay for only what you consume.
Scalability Depending on the workload, both manual and automatic processes can be paused and resumed.  It's simple to scale up or down. Scalability is automated.
Security Always-on-Encryption is used. Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) helps defend against the threat of unwanted activity.
Architecture Separates computing, space, and cloud services to maximize efficiency. Synapse SQL takes advantage of a scale-out design to spread data-processing over many nodes.
Data Integration ELT/ETL is used for data integration. Spark and SQL engines are tightly coupled.
Sharing Multifunctional cloud data warehouses collaborate on reports and tasks. Provides complete insight into the data-sharing partnerships with which you are involved. Transfer and receive information from and to Azure in any format.
Backup and Recovery This is accomplished through the usage of virtual warehousing and queries from a clone. Backups are performed automatically.
Data Governance Experts in data governance, such as Talend, ensure optimal data governance. Provides cloud governance tools to ensure compliance with laws and to assist developers in delivering software more quickly.
Data Compression Compression efficiency of Gzip. Compression of pages and rows is supported for column tables and indices.

Conclusion

Snowflake and Azure SQL Database are important data management tools for organizations of all sizes. Although these technologies serve distinct functions, Azure may provide greater value due to its ease of integration with some other Microsoft products, which have a considerably larger presence.

About Author

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NameAnjaneyulu Naini
Author Bio

Anjaneyulu Naini is working as a Content contributor for Mindmajix. He has a great understanding of today’s technology and statistical analysis environment, which includes key aspects such as analysis of variance and software,. He is well aware of various technologies such as Python, Artificial Intelligence, Oracle, Business Intelligence, Altrex etc, Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.