Buyer's Guide
Data Warehouse
November 2022
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MedhaValvekar - PeerSpot reviewer
Sr Manager at Cognizant
Real User
Top 5
Easy to set up with great cloning and time travel
Pros and Cons
  • "Time travel is one feature that really helps us out."
  • "The solution could use a little bit more UI."

What is our primary use case?

We have day-in and day-out data coming from our various heterogeneous source systems. We read from that and we load data into our target tables, or rather data lake and data warehouse that is built into Snowflake. We can even translate and delete items. Apart from that, we use the tasks and schedule jobs within Snowflake. Once the data is generated into the final data material, we share it with the client for their review.

What is most valuable?

Time travel is one feature that really helps us out. If there is some data discrepancy or something wrong that happens with the table, at any point, we can get that data back and time travel via fail-safe features. They're really good. 

The feasibility to increase horizontal or vertical scaling is great. It really helps a developer at an enterprise level. If you're considering scaling, it won't take much time. 

We can create cloning via Snowflake. There's a lot of time savings.

The initial setup is simple. 

What needs improvement?

The solution could use a little bit more UI. Something was in process, however, it's not yet deployed or in the version that I'm using it is not deployed. If we have to use any table or any schema in other DB features, the prompt comes over after a dot. Whenever we are using it it would really help if it looked better. 

If you're running a procedure, it just gives a standard error instead of the exact error captured. If you have to look at it, you need to go into the history to look into which query failed, and we need to figure it out. Instead, if the error, whatever it is, is instead displayed in the history, showing the point of failure, it would be more visible. It would save some time for all the people who are using it.

There are some reporting analytics that we can use. I'm aware of those. However, if there was more reporting, we'd appreciate that. We'd like for it to become a complete one-stop-shop solution. 

We'd like to have some automation around small tasks, especially around scheduling.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working on the solution for two years. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the past three years, I have faced instability. In just one or two instances, I would say when we were running the queries, it was not fetching any result and the error was not proper. That said, that happened in just one or two instances, in the lower environments. Otherwise, the product is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is quite scalable both horizontally and vertically. It's an easy job. We just need to resize it. 

Within our module, there are around eight to ten people who are working on Snowflake. In a full project, if I'm looking at the holistic picture, there are around 30 to 40 people who are using Snowflake.

How are customer service and support?

We've reached out to technical support in the past. In some cases, we were not even able to fetch the data. Or, a couple of times, in the time traveler, the pay phase time was expired and we had to retrieve that data. When that happened, we had to reach out to Snowflake support. In the first instance, they said there was downtime at that server, which we were not informed about. Since it was in the lower environment, it didn't cause an issue. 

Overall, the technical support was really good. They were on it. They helped as much as they could. For a few things they needed some approvals, and they took that. They got back to us in even less time than was required by the SLA.

How would you rate customer service and support?

Positive

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We are also working with Teradata.

The main difference is that Snowflake is on a cloud server and Teradata is still a legacy system. Teradata was one of our source systems. We were loading it into Snowflake. With Teradata, when you create primary care, something constrains the way you want to do it so that you do not put an additional effort into your ETL. That changes when it comes to Snowflake. If you're clustering something on a case, obviously you end up paying the extra cost. That is one basic and main difference that we saw.

That said, you can process a huge amount of data in Snowflake. This becomes a challenge in Teradata. When we were reading the data, we had to load that data into Snowflake. When we were trying to read that data, we had to obviously divide it into chunks and then load it into Snowflake. Loading into Snowflake was like a cakewalk. Everything is moving into the cloud now. Legacy systems like Teradata just can't handle the amount of data required. 

I've worked on many of the legacy systems like Oracle, DB2, et cetera. Migration from one environment to a higher environment was a huge thing. The DVS used to take two or three days sometimes depending on how many tables or what the objects are and what they had to create. Now, with the cloning feature that we have, the idle time for the developers, or even the people who are looking at the data, the analysts, and everyone, is reduced to none. We just clone it, we load the data and the data is available without any hindrances.

How was the initial setup?

The solution is straightforward. 

My Azure ID was created by the DBA. As soon as I had to log in, my user role was set up. To log in to the interface hardly took me more than two or three minutes. Compared to our Data Bricks, it was pretty simple. It's hassle-free. 

The maintenance of the DBs and the production services are normally taken care of by the team itself who's handling the production support. However, just in case, if there is something, if a huge mishap happens, which we cannot recover, or we would need Snowflake customer support help, that is when the help is taken. Otherwise, the team handles everything in-house. 

The majority of the cases that we have seen are some queries stuck somewhere and out of the blue. In the case of some source data, it decides to send you a huge amount of data on a particular day. While we have seen some mishaps, a regular case requires our developers to deal with it.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the initial setup in-house. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

The pricing is fair for all the features that Snowflake is providing. The way Snowflake has emerged in the past few years is impressive. It was just a beginner in the space, and it has become a leader in the market. For all the features it provides at a basic cost, it is impressive.

There are no extra costs involved unless you need to scale and grow and need more in terms of size. When we started, a medium-size was sufficient. We'd since needed more. 

The solution allows us to suspend our warehouse as well if we would like. 

That said, even if you're paying a little more cost for the data safety that you have, you will ensure that there is no data loss that will happen. It's very impressive.

What other advice do I have?

My past company was a Snowflake customer. This current company is not, however, it may be on the verge of it. 

I'm using the latest version of the solution. We switched clouds at some point. I was using it on AWS, and now it is on Azure. 

I'd recommend the solution to others. I would rate it nine out of ten. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Microsoft Azure
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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Radu Biristeica - PeerSpot reviewer
IT Consultant at Trend Import-Export
Consultant
Top 20
Excellent storage cell capabilities and intelligence with great speed
Pros and Cons
  • "We can use virtualization on Exadata."
  • "The improvement could be made on the hardware level as the habit in the industry is to go better and faster and larger with every iteration."

What is most valuable?

The separation between the database nodes and storage cells is the key feature of Exadata. The capabilities of the storage cells, the intelligence, are excellent. 

The speed is unbeatable. 

Exadata was mostly for data warehouses. However, in time with a model of powerful processors in database nodes, it's also an OLTP machine. It's very good. The latest versions offer even more performance, as they have a persistent memory and a lot of features.

The usage of the internal InfiniBand Switches is a key feature in Exadata. Everything is fast due to this separation at the database level and storage level. It's intelligently designed and has a very fast connection between all of the components of Exadata. 

We can use virtualization on Exadata. We can choose capacity on demand. There are a lot of new features that have turned up in the past two to four years. The solution is growing and becoming broader in its scope.

What needs improvement?

The improvement could be made on the hardware level as the habit in the industry is to go better and faster and larger with every iteration.

From the software point of view, management point of view, it's okay right now. However, I don't understand why Exadata has no database nodes with SPARC processors. Oracle has SPARC servers that are on RISC processors and are more powerful processors than Intel processors. They never do Exadata with such processors on the database nodes level. However, they tested and it wasn't very useful. I would like to see Exadata with RISC processors on the database nodes if it's possible.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been working with the solution since 2012. It's been about nine years - almost a decade. It's been a while.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale the solution. You can configure it how you like and buy more cells or nodes to add to it. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support has been okay. We've been satisfied with the level of service.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup isn't too complex. However, in the present, the initial setup of Exadata isn't made by Oracle partners or the client. There is an advanced ACS department, Oracle Advanced Customer Support, that handles the implementation. In this team, there are very good specialists on Exadata. These specialists from the ACS department are the guys who will install Exadata for the first time for the client. 

It's not something very complex and something which cannot be done by others, however. Our team, for example, was installing Exadata. It's possible to be done by other teams with, of course, the appropriate competencies. The implementation sits somewhere between simple and complex. The machine is complex. We cannot set up a machine like this with more components and different components like a laptop, for example. 

What about the implementation team?

There is a specialized team that handles the implementation for the client.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I don't evaluate the fees involved in using the solution. It's too big. However, it's my understanding that you need to pay for the hardware, the nodes, and the cells. That said, you can configure it however you want. You can easily buy and increase the capacity in only the nodes or only the cells if you prefer. It's worth the money you spend. The value is there.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I've looked at other options. For a data warehouse, it's a better solution. It's better than Teradata, for example, or other complex machines from the competitors. Migrating data warehouses from other infrastructures to Exadata has a good success rate. I wouldn't say that it is the better solution for an OLTP system, however, for an OLAP system, it's a better option.

What other advice do I have?

We've been Oracle partners for around ten years or so. I'm a project manager, and not overly technical. 

We don't have Exadata in our company, however, we have Exadata via a client. The current company where I work is the first company in Romania to sell Exadata in Romania. There are a number of Exadata solutions sold in Romania - which is why my colleague has achieved past competencies and certification in Exadata machines. They are very good, and they are delivering the present services on Exadata. I manage the projects where they deliver services on Exadata only for the customer, not in our company.

I'd advise users to consider the solution. You pay more money on the machine, however, you pay less for the licenses. On top of that, you have enough room to put a lot of data there. You can virtualize some machines and you put items on the application level, however, I don't recommend this. 

If you already have separate machines, and you have licenses for all these machines and you want to put new hardware in place, it's better to put Exadata in place instead of a lot of other machines. That way, you can consolidate the database here and you will pay less on database software licenses.

I'd rate the solution at a ten out of ten. I've been very satisfied with the product overall.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
Buyer's Guide
Data Warehouse
November 2022
Get our free report covering Teradata, Teradata, and other competitors of Teradata IntelliFlex. Updated: November 2022.
654,218 professionals have used our research since 2012.