Azure Synapes vs Snowflake

Azure Synapes vs Snowflake



Snowflake is an analytical data warehouse that is provided as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS). Built on new SQL database engine, it provides a unique architecture designed for the cloud. It stands out among the other enterprise data warehouses by providing lot of features. Like I mentioned, it is a SaaS offering, and hence it makes it a lot more flexible than traditional data warehouse offerings.

The distinctive features of Snowflake as a cloud service are as below:

  1. Snowflake is built especially for cloud and hence it is not physical. There is no hardware to select, install, configure or manage and that makes it ideal for organizations that do not want to dedicate resources for support and maintenance.
  2. Ongoing maintenance, management and tuning is handled by Snowflake.
  3. Snowflake architecture provides flexibility with big data.
  4. It allows decoupling of the storage and compute functions, which allows the organizations to conveniently scale up or down as needed and pay only for the resources that are used.
  5. Snowflake enables seamless sharing of data among the data consumers whether they are customers of Snowflake or not. Snowflake provides reader accounts that can be directly created from the user interface. This functionality allows the provider to create and manage a Snowflake account for a consumer.
  6. Snowflake resolves concurrency issues by using multicluster architecture in which queries from one warehouse never affect the queries from another. Also, each of the virtual warehouses can scale up and down as per their requirement.
  7. A combination of structured and semi structured data can be used for analysis and loaded into the cloud database without the need of transforming into a fixed relational scheme first.


Azure Synapse

Let us dive into what Azure Synapse offers.

Azure Synapse is an analytics service that combines data warehousing and Big Data analytics. It provides a single platform to ingest, prepare, manage, and provide data for BI and machine learning purposes.

Few of the distinctive features of Azure Synapse are as follows:

  1. The initial set up is very convenient and less time consuming.
  2. The Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) architecture that this platform provides increases the processing speed greatly.
  3. The solution can be scaled very easily without any hassle.
  4. Once scaled, the capability of the platform increases to handle data range up to petabytes.
  5. Another valuable feature is the incremental load because of which the entire data need not be refreshed daily.
  6. The tool helps in generating dynamic reports and this makes the data more representable and readable.
  7. The tool’s ability to process data is also a key feature.

Though both Snowflake and Azure Synapse have their own set of features which are mostly identical, there are a few differences between the two. Based on the needs of the organization, a particular tool is chosen.

  1. Snowflake provides a higher performance as compared to Azure Synapse which provides the fastest execution of 2996 seconds for a workload of 103 field test queries.
  2. Snowflake uses the feature of always-on-encryption whereas Synapse Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) to protect data from cyberattacks.
  3. Snowflake is server less; Synapse uses database administrators to automate query optimization.
  4. While scaling up Snowflake, it is paused and then resumed both manually and automatically based on the workload, whereas, Synapse’s scaling is always automated.

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