Snowflake vs Databricks

Software in the world transformed it into data, and is now backed up and suffering from indigestion. 55 percent of data is wasted. MapReduce is all but extinct. Furthermore, the on-premise EDW is on life support. Hello and welcome to today's state of data infrastructure. MapReduce, an open source software engine for processing big data stored in "data lakes," simply died. Better open source alternatives emerged, and because it was free, it was simple to replace. Because of all of its locked-in customers, the outdated proprietary on-premise enterprise data warehouse (EDW) designed to store and process transactional data continues to die a slow and painful death. They can't afford to throw away large investments in tightly coupled hardware and software systems that are sitting in their basements. Thankfully, much enhanced options to the legacy EDW 1.0 and Data Lake 1.0 have emerged from Snowflake and Databricks. They make use of new cloud services to assist us in converting more of those data calories into something useful. They provide faster performance at a lower cost due to the cloud's price elasticity. With a fresh relaunch for the cloud, Snowflake and Databricks best represent the two main ideological data digestion camps we've seen before. Snowflake provides a proprietary cloud-only EDW 2.0. In the meantime, Databricks provides an on-premise-cloud hybrid open-source-based Data Lake 2.0 approach.

What is a snowflake?

Snowflake eradicates the administrative and management burdens associated with traditional data warehouses and big data platforms. Snowflake is a true data warehouse as a service (DWaaS) that runs on Amazon Web Services (AWS) with no infrastructure to manage and no knobs to turn.

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What is databricks?

Databricks Unified Analytics Platform, from founders of Apache SparkTM, integrates data engineering and science all across the Machine Learning lifecycle, from data preparation to experimenting and ML configuration management.

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Why snowflake?

Snowflakes are acquired by the customers for mainly 3 reasons. They are

  • A better option to EDW 1.0: Who needs to spend money on large metal boxes, property investment to house them, and hiring people to manage them? No-one. Not even the CIA or the NSA.
  • Snowflake, like EDW 1.0, can be a great option for business intelligence workloads, where it shines the brightest.
  • Snowflake's interface is extremely simple to use. For such a purpose, it will proceed to cater to the strategist community, as it did with EDW 1.0. In the cloud, clients no longer worry regarding managing hardware. They wouldn't even have to worry about handling the software with Snowflake.

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Why databricks?

Databricks will help to grow customers for three primary reasons:

  • Superior technology: Till we see leadership varies like Google, Netflix, Uber, and Facebook transformation from open source to hardware products, you can be confident that open-source systems like Databricks are superior in terms of technology. They are far more adaptable.
  • Data science and machine learning: As with Data Lake 1.0 vs EDW 1.0, the Databricks framework is unquestionably ideally suited to data science and machine learning workforces than Snowflake.
  • Minimal Vendor Lock-In: As with Data Lake 1.0, vendor lock-in is minimal, if at all, with Databricks. In fact, Databricks allows you to leave your data wherever you want. Connect to it with Databricks and procedure it for practically any use case.

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Key difference between snowflake vs databricks:

Data structure:

Snowflake:Unlike EDW 1.0 and similar to a data lake, Snowflake allows you to upload and save both structured and semi-structured files without first organizing the data with an ETL tool before loading it into the EDW. Snowflake will automatically transform the data into its internal structured format once it has been uploaded. Snowflake, unlike a data lake, does require you to add structure to your unstructured data.

Databricks:Databricks, like Data Lake 1.0, can work with all data types in their original format. In fact, Databricks can be used as an ETL tool to structure unstructured data so that other tools, such as Snowflake, can work with it.

Data Ownership:

Snowflake:Snowflake would then tell users that, in comparison to EDW 1.0, the storage and processing layers have been decoupled. That is, you can scale each independently in the cloud based on your needs. This will save you money because, as we've seen, we only process about half of the data we store. Snowflake, like the legacy EDW, does not decouple data ownership. It still controls both the processing layers and data computation.

Databricks:Databricks, on the other hand, completely decouples the data storage and processing layers. Databricks is more concerned with the data processing and application layers. You can end up leaving your information anywhere it is (including on-premises) and in any layout, and Databricks will process it.


Snowflake:Snowflake, like EDW 1.0, is particularly fit for SQL-based, Business Intelligence use cases, where it excels. Working on data science and machine learning use cases with Snowflake data will almost certainly necessitate reliance on their partner ecosystem. Snowflake, like Databricks, provides ODBC and JDBC drivers for integrating with third-party systems.These partners would most likely take Snowflake data and process it using a processing engine other than Snowflake, such as Apache Spark, before returning the results to Snowflake.

Databricks:High-performance SQL queries are also supported by Databricks for Business Intelligence use cases. Databricks developed open-source Delta Lake as an additional layer of dependability on top of Data Lake 1.0. Users now can accept SQL queries to high-performance levels normally reserved for SQL queries to an EDW using Databricks Delta Engine on top of Delta Lake.


Snowflake:Snowflake comes with database, security features, provides good support, security validations and integrations, etc.

Databricks:The features offered are collaboration, interactive exploration, databricks runtime, job scheduled, dashboards, integrated identity management, auditing, notebook workflows, etc.


Snowflake:Snowflake offers four enterprise based pans for the users. They are standard edition, premier edition, enterprise edition and enterprise edition for sensitive data.

Databricks:Databricks comes with three enterprise pricing options for the users. They are databricks for data engineering workloads, databricks for data analytics workloads, and databricks enterprise plans.


Snowflake:Snowflake can be easily integrated with the following business systems and applications such as looker, AWS, tableau, talend and fivetran, etc.

Databricks:Databricks can be integrated with the following business systems and applications such as looker, Amazon redshift, tableau, talend, pentaho, alteryx, redis, cassandra, MongoDB, etc.

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With the exception of Snowflake, you could indeed collaborate with your information in a range of languages in relation to SQL. This is particularly critical for data science and machine learning applications. To work with big data, data analysts mainly use the R and Python programming languages.Databricks offers a cooperative data science and machine learning platform in addition to secure connections for these languages.

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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.