Snowflake Vs BigQuery

Choosing the best data warehouse for your company's needs and goals is a critical component of your big data strategy. Unfortunately, far too many organizations are perplexed about how to select the best data warehouse. Most data warehouse projects fail, according to most estimates, for a variety of reasons, including poor cost and time estimates, a lack of institutional buy-in, and selecting the wrong technology from the start. However, if enterprise data warehouse projects have been done correctly, they can provide a high return on investment, converting your business by providing sharper data-driven insights. Snowflake, Google BigQuery, and Amazon Redshift are mature, dependable cloud-based data warehouse behemoths with thousands of satisfied customers. In this article we are going to learn about the snowflake, bigquery, their advantages and the key differences between them.

Snowflake data warehouse:

Snowflake is a multi-cloud data platform in the truest sense. They can provide their customers with high availability and secure data across three clouds and multiple regions. Snowflake is available on Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. With Snowflake, you have a technology solution to build a scalable, highly resilient cloud environment with the agility your business requires while delivering valuable results.

Because of Snowflake's unique architecture and the cloud's flexibility, customers can use Snowflake across a wide range of use cases and workloads.

Snowflake began as a Data Warehouse, but as the company's ability to manage more and more data types grew, customers began to use Snowflake as a SQL Data Lake.

Customers could also use the Snowflake Data Exchange to firmly access content within their organizations as well as with various data partners. This significantly improves their own datasets, allowing them to run more sophisticated and powerful Data Analytics besides Data science use cases.

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What makes snowflakes unique?

Snowflake seems to have a multi-cluster, shared information architecture, which means that, like BigQuery, their storage and compute layers are separated. This allows them to instantly scale up or scale down in response to pressure without affecting performance.Micro-partitioning is used in their architecture. This implies they can work with semi-structured and structured data. So that they can handle JSON, Parquet, and other formats natively within Snowflake, and at an infinite scale.

Delivered as a service: This makes it highly simple to use and requires almost no management. Once your information is in Snowflake, they handle the rest; no need to identify, replant, or otherwise manage it, enabling people to focus on the worth in one's data.

Snowflake Advantages:

  1. Snowflake is an ANSI SQL database and data warehouse in one. As a result, they are an excellent starting point for Legacy Data Warehouses and Data Platforms looking to migrate to the cloud. They are extremely compatible with multi-statement transactions and complex joins.
  2. Consumers can detach workloads from across organizations and allow different departments and applications to use Snowflake. As a result, the platform can support data scientists, executive reporting, data analysts, and program managers all within the same platform while maintaining a single source of truth.
  3. Query concurrency is practically infinite. While using Snowflake, you could indeed scale up as needed, and when that requirement is no longer needed, Snowflake will instantly scale down. All of your customers will have direct exposure to all of the data they require at the same time.
  4. Queries on semi-structured data with high performance. Snowflake provides quick access to JSON, AVRO, ORC, and Parquet data, allowing for a more comprehensive view of your business and customers, allowing for deeper, more revealing insights.
  5. Scale up, down, and out elastic material without interfering with running queries. When the scheme is idle, there are no compute charges.
  6. Pricing for per-second compute and cost-effective compressed data storage.

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What is Bigquery?

BigQuery is the enterprise data warehouse for analytics on Google Cloud Platform. For more than a decade, Google has used this technology internally for various analytic tasks. It is an excellent tool for quickly analyzing large amounts of data in order to meet your Big Data processing needs. BigQuery provides exabyte-scale storage and SQL queries on a petabyte scale. BigQuery data is encrypted, long-lasting, and high-quality.

Why use bigquery?

As the company grows, it becomes difficult to manage the data spread across the zillion applications used by teams. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to analyze the data within these systems in order to gain meaningful insights. Often, valuable engineering resources are being utilized to establish a highly centralised data store which hosts all this data and enables BI.

Designers could now focus on important tasks, such as creating queries to analyze business-critical data, thanks to BigQuery. BigQuery's REST API also makes it simple for businesses to create App Engine-based dashboards and mobile front-ends. Companies can then truly unleash the power of this data and embolden all organizational stakeholders to derive insights from it.

Bigquery advantages:

  1. Managed storage: One of BigQuery's main advantages is its managed storage. BigQuery provides long-term and persistent storage for your Data Warehouse, allowing you to drastically reduce data operations. Tables are saved in a columnar format that is optimized for storage. Every table has been compressed and encrypted.Streaming ingestion will be supported for all BigQuery tables. Because each table is replicated across multiple data centers, BigQuery storage is long-lasting and consistent.
  2. BigQuery does away with resource constraints: Their cloud-powered parallel processing query service can read from 100,000 disks simultaneously using thousands of CPUs. There is also an isolation of storage and compute to avoid scaling bottlenecks.
  3. BigQuery accepts a wide range of data ingestion formats:ORC, CSV, JSON, Avro Parquet.When maximizing load speed in BigQuery, use the Avro format in your ETL processes. Avro is a binary row-based format that can be split and read by multiple worker nodes in BigQuery.
  4. BigQuery can use nested and reiterated fields for: Tightly-coupled or immutable relationships, simplifying queries.
  5. Predictive Analytics with ML and GIS:BigQuery has strong AI/ML capabilities and supports a wide range of analytical use cases by utilizing:AutoML Tables – For issues involving best-in-class precision. This characteristic is completely automated and will discover the perfect model for the problem. It has a code-free graphical user interface.BigQuery ML: For problems requiring rapid experiments and development time, such as Logistic Regression, K-means, Naive Bayes, and so on. It has a SQL interface and AutoML tables as a model type.

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Key Comparison between snowflake vs bigquery:

Choosing the best data warehouse for your company's needs and goals is a critical component of your big data strategy. We can see that these two data warehouses are closely stacked because they both have extensive feature sets.In terms of functionality, the leading industry standard TPC Benchmark shows little difference between Snowflake and BigQuery. They both provide limitless concurrency and total elasticity. As a result, we chose to score this primarily on cost.

Related Article: Snowflake Vs Redshift

Architecture and Pricing:

Snowflake and BigQuery charge for consumption in various ways, though both take into account computation and storage.

Snowflake's architecture separates compute, storage, and cloud services to optimize their individual performance. For compute resources, Snowflake employs a time-based pricing model in which users are charged on a per-second basis for processing time but not for the amount of data scanned during computation. Snowflake provides a variety of options for reserved or on-demand storage at various prices.

Snowflake gives multiple editions, with additional features tied to each ascending level of price, allowing you to choose the features that are most relevant to your business. The volume and type of data, geographical region, and cloud platform all influence editions.

You don't have to think about architecture with BigQuery, a serverless data warehouse; the platform manages all resources and automates scalability and availability, so administrators don't have to make any decisions about required CPU or storage levels.

BigQuery offers two pricing options. For compute resources, its on-demand model employs a query-based pricing model. Users are charged $5 per terabyte of data processed for the amount of data their queries scan. Instead of paying for individual queries, customers can opt for a flat-rate option that allows them to purchase dedicated resources for query processing.The annual plan starts at $8,500 per month and includes 500 "flex slots," which are 60-second commitments of dedicated query processing capacity. Google also charges less for data storage than Snowflake: $20 per terabyte per month. It should be noted that cloud providers' pricing changes frequently  these rates were in effect at the time this article was written.


Snowflake and BigQuery both perform well under varying load levels due to their ability to autoscale. You should run benchmarks with your own data, but you'll probably find that both platforms can handle most companies' workloads very well. 

Administration, management and maintenance:

In comparison to Amazon Redshift, neither Snowflake nor BigQuery have a high administrative overhead. Administrators can manage user roles, permissions, and data security in each, but performance tuning is done automatically in each. As the volume of data increases or queries become more complex, each automatically scales in the background to meet current demands.Snowflake enables administrators to independently scale compute and storage resources up and down. BigQuery is “serverless,” which means that compute and storage resources can scale independently, and scaling issues are handled automatically.

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Data protection:

Snowflake does have two data-protection features: Time Travel and Fail-safe.

When data is modified using Time Travel, Snowflake preserves the state of the data prior to the update. The standard retention period for Time Travel is one day, but Enterprise Edition customers can specify a period of up to 90 days. Time Travel can be applied to databases, schemas, and tables.

Fail-safe allows Snowflake to regain historical data for seven days after the Time Travel retention period expires. You must request that Snowflake perform the recovery; the feature is intended to allow Snowflake to recover data that has been lost or damaged as a result of severe operational failures.

Snowflake charges storage fees for both Time Travel and Fail-safe historical data. BigQuery keeps a full seven-day history of changes to its tables. Administrators can undo changes without having to request a backup recovery.


Both Snowflake and BigQuery encrypt data at rest with AES and support customer-managed keys. Both rely on roles to provide resource access.

Snowflake supports federated user access via Okta, Microsoft Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS), and most SAML 2.0-compliant vendors for authentication. BigQuery supports federated user authentication via Microsoft Active Directory. Both support MFA and provide OAuth 2 for authorized account access without sharing or storing user login credentials.

Granular permissions are available in Snowflake for schemas, tables, views, procedures, and other objects, but not for individual columns. BigQuery only grants access to datasets, not individual tables, views, or columns.

Although Snowflake does not include built-in virtual private networking, if one's Snowflake data warehouse is hosted on AWS, you can configure AWS PrivateLink to connect your Snowflake account to one or more AWS VPCs. With Google Cloud Platform's Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) Service Controls, you can configure a network security perimeter for BigQuery.

Compliance and Governance:

Snowflake and BigQuery both meet HIPAA, ISO 27001, PCI DSS, SOC 1 Type II, and SOC 2 Type II compliance requirements, among others.

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Snowflake and BigQuery both seem to have a lot of things going for them. Both have a relatively inexpensive burden, and expenses are determined according to how much computing power and processing you require. To evaluate what cloud data warehouse is best for your organization, conduct testing in your own data consuming data and operating reports. Choosing one over the other entails determining which solution produces the most.Snowflake and BigQuery, as with most modern cloud data warehouse platforms, offer a free and proof-of-concept assistance to help companies make direct experience with how their methods deliver value.  

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Research Analyst
As a senior Technical Content Writer for HKR Trainings, Gayathri has a good comprehension of the present technical innovations, which incorporates perspectives like Business Intelligence and Analytics. She conveys advanced technical ideas precisely and vividly, as conceivable to the target group, guaranteeing that the content is available to clients. She writes qualitative content in the field of Data Warehousing & ETL, Big Data Analytics, and ERP Tools. Connect me on LinkedIn.