Snowflake vs Firebolt: Evaluate knowledge warehousing platforms

ETL (Extract, Remodel and Load) instruments and software program are highly effective info administration merchandise designed to maneuver and convert knowledge into goal repositories for evaluation and utilization. TechRepublic’s ETL Prime Merchandise web page covers the idea in depth together with business-use circumstances and product examples.

There’s a numerous array of ETL instruments in the marketplace to cowl a broad set of knowledge manipulation wants. Two distinguished ETA software program merchandise which might be thought-about among the many finest ETL instruments are Firebolt and Snowflake.

What’s Snowflake?

Snowflake features listed in little boxes.
Picture credit score: Snowflake

Snowflake is a cloud knowledge platform obtainable in AWS, Azure and Google cloud suppliers. It really works with knowledge integration instruments similar to Informatica, Talend, Fivetran, Matillion and others. The truth is, it may be built-in with over 140 knowledge sources, knowledge evaluation and enterprise intelligence platforms similar to Alooma, Sisense, Datom and DBschema.

Snowflake depends on the idea of warehouses, that are clusters of compute sources involving node varieties that function reminiscence, storage and CPU utilization (be aware you can not really tune node varieties, solely general warehouses. It additionally operates based mostly on knowledge lakes, which is an unprocessed quantity of uncooked knowledge in its native codecs.

In response to the builders, if utilizing Snowflake as a knowledge lake and knowledge warehouse there isn’t a want for the ETL course of “as no pre-transformations or pre-schemas are wanted.”

Scalability is a robust issue with Snowflake and it affords auto-scaling choices to regulate cluster operations as useful resource processing requires. It could additionally auto-suspend idle clusters to optimize efficiency and value, seeing as how useful resource utilization is a driving issue with knowledge administration.

Job processing, the place knowledge is definitely manipulated and labored with, is a normal unit of measurement outlined in hours per day.

SEE: Function comparability: Time monitoring software program and techniques (TechRepublic Premium)

Primary options of Snowflake

Snowflake documentation lists the highest key options as follows:

  • Safety, governance and knowledge safety: This operate controls entry to knowledge by way of sturdy authentication mechanisms, TLS safety, granular entry insurance policies, isolation of knowledge and catastrophe restoration.
  • Commonplace and prolonged SQL help: SQL help in Snowflake is powerful, together with compatibility with SQL requirements relationship again to 1999.
  • Instruments and interfaces: Snowflake affords a web-based GUI and a SnowSQL Python-based CLI. Warehouses might be managed from both of the above interfaces.
  • Connectivity: Connectivity being an integral element of knowledge entry and administration, Snowflake facilitates using connectors, which work with Python, Spark, Node.js, Go Snowflake, .NET, JDBC, ODBC and PHP PDO.
  • Information import and export: A broad array of knowledge import/export mechanisms are made doable by Snowflake; knowledge utilizing supported character encoding, compressed recordsdata, native or cloud storage recordsdata, and CSV, TSV, JSON, Avro, ORC, Parquet and XML codecs.
  • Information sharing: This operate entails sharing info with different Snowflake accounts or vice versa.
  • Database replication and failover: Snowflake protects databases with this feature to copy and sync databases amongst Snowflake accounts in the identical or completely different areas.

Snowflake dashboards allow you to monitor consumer exercise per warehouse, per database and over time:

Snowflake dashboard featuring blue and gray graphs.
Picture credit score: Tableau

Starter templates help you simply monitor parts similar to efficiency out of the field as nicely.

Snowflake performance menu with multicolored bar graph.
Picture credit score: Sigma computing

Worth: Snowflake affords a free trial with $400 value of utilization. Their pricing mannequin is complicated as a result of quite a few features concerned with storing and processing knowledge throughout completely different organizational sizes and necessities. That is normal for ETL software program and ETL instruments for giant knowledge. Nevertheless, to summarize, price is predicated upon the storage and sources used.

The pricing information covers these particulars and consists of two useful pricing examples whereby a small firm with eight customers with comparable wants storing 5TB of compressed knowledge working over a ten hour every day time slot would price $22,878 per yr. A bigger firm with 17 customers with differing wants storing 65TB of compressed knowledge working over an 11 hour every day time slot would price $118,807.20 per yr.

Snowflake additionally supplies a helpful Pc Value interface that can assist you assess price by warehouse and over time.

Multicolored bar graphs on costs of Snowflake.
Picture credit score: Snowflake

What’s Firebolt?

features of Firebolt laid out graphically.
Picture credit score: Firebolt


SQL editor in Firebolt.
Picture credit score: GetApp

Firebolt is an AWS cloud knowledge warehouse product competitor to Snowflake that integrates with Looker, Tableau and the Sisense enterprise intelligence platforms. Its builders promote the pace and efficiency of the product to attain sub-second analytics processing. In response to database architect Robert Meyer, “Firebolt has been as much as 182x sooner than any alternate options. One buyer achieved 3x sooner efficiency and 10x decrease price, or a 30x price-performance benefit in comparison with their Snowflake deployment.”

Meyer additionally aggressively touted Firebolt’s benefits within the realm of superior knowledge manipulation similar to “advert hoc analytics, massive complicated queries in opposition to large knowledge units, semi-structured knowledge queries and streaming analytics or steady ingestion.”

Firebolt permits you to tune particular person node varieties to specify desired storage and useful resource limits.

SEE: Home windows 11: Recommendations on set up, safety and extra (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Primary options of Firebolt

Firebolt documentation lists these product options that are typically self-explanatory and comparable in kind and performance to Snowflake:

  • Entry controls/permissions
  • Advert hoc Question
  • Information seize and switch
  • Information dictionary administration
  • Information extraction
  • Information integration
  • Information migration
  • Information replication
  • Information storage administration
  • Information transformation
  • Database conversion
  • Database help
  • ETL – extract/switch/load
  • Cell entry
  • A number of programming languages supported
  • Efficiency evaluation
  • Relational
  • Reporting/analytics
  • Third get together integrations
  • Workflow administration

Firebolt dashboards allow you to monitor the vitals similar to connectors, companies, computing, exterior knowledge and storage.

Firebolt dashboard with red icons and font.
Picture credit score: Firebolt

Worth: Firebolt has a free trial obtainable and its paid pricing mannequin is much like Snowflake in that it’s complicated and based mostly on useful resource consumption. Firebolt’s pricing web page additionally consists of subjective examples, referencing one buyer paying $3.616 per hour for two.36 use of knowledge throughout 64 digital CPUs and 256GB of RAM. Compute prices begin from lower than $1/hr and the bottom storage price is $3/hr for “as a lot knowledge as you want” with a mean knowledge consumption being ~23TB.

How one can resolve between the 2 knowledge warehousing platforms

Snowflake seems extra of a primary product for a extra frequent array of wants the place efficiency is much less vital than reaching knowledge outcomes. This appears a superb match for smaller outlets with a normal array of necessities. To reiterate, it has a broader base of availability by way of operating on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. It could additionally combine with many extra knowledge sources and BI platforms than Firebolt.

Firebolt’s strengths lie in efficiency and adaptability. Unbiased critiques similar to have confirmed that Firebolt’s pace is superior to different suppliers together with Snowflake. Snowflake doesn’t use indexing, whereas Firebolt does so, together with a better octane mix of question efficiency. Firebolt helps you to tune particular person node varieties, whereas Snowflake limits you to tuning warehouses solely.

Firebolt was developed for AWS, so it’s essential to distinction this with Snowflake which is accessible for AWS, Azure and Google Cloud.

Bigger outlets or companies with a extra numerous set of wants which rely on rigorous, detailed knowledge massaging and speedy analytical outcomes would seemingly fare higher with Firebolt, which additionally appears to have a extra tolerant pricing construction.

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