How to fix the “Out of space” error while inserting data?

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If a user experiences a “Out of space” error while inserting data, what actions can be taken to mitigate the issue and free up storage?

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 16, 2023

Experiencing an “Out of space” error in Snowflake while inserting data indicates that the storage space allocated to the relevant warehouse or the associated database has been exhausted. To mitigate the issue and free up storage, consider the following actions:

1. **Review Storage Consumption**:
– Use the Snowflake web interface or query system views (e.g., **`SNOWFLAKE.ACCOUNT_USAGE.WAREHOUSE_METERING_HISTORY`**) to analyze storage consumption patterns and identify which tables or stages are consuming the most space.
2. **Data Retention and Cleanup**:
– Review data retention policies and decide whether historical or unnecessary data can be deleted or archived. Removing old or unused data can free up significant storage space.
3. **Unload Data**:
– If the data can be offloaded for later use, consider using the UNLOAD command to move data from a table to external storage (e.g., Amazon S3) before deleting it from Snowflake.
4. **Resize Tables and Clusters**:
– If you’re using a clustered table, resizing the table’s clustering key can improve storage efficiency and potentially reduce the space required.
– Resizing warehouses or changing warehouse concurrency settings can also impact storage usage.
5. **Optimize Compression**:
– Snowflake supports automatic data compression. If enabled, it can help reduce storage consumption. Analyze and optimize compression settings for your tables.
6. **Data Archiving and Tiering**:
– Consider archiving less frequently accessed data to a lower-cost storage tier if you’re using Snowflake’s Data Cloud Storage Integration feature.
7. **Use External Tables**:
– Load data as external tables from cloud storage sources (e.g., S3) instead of copying data into Snowflake’s internal storage. This can reduce storage costs.
8. **Partition Pruning**:
– If you’re using partitioned tables, ensure that partition pruning is effective to minimize the amount of data being stored.
9. **Review Load and Insert Patterns**:
– Optimize your data loading process to minimize unnecessary data duplication or inefficient inserts that can lead to increased storage usage.
10. **Purge Deleted Data**:
– Use the VACUUM command to physically remove data that has been marked for deletion, freeing up storage space.
11. **Upgrade Storage Capacity**:
– If your Snowflake account is running low on storage space, consider upgrading your account’s storage capacity through your Snowflake account team.
12. **Monitor and Plan**:
– Continuously monitor storage consumption and plan for future growth. Allocate sufficient resources and storage to accommodate data expansion.

Remember that managing storage in Snowflake is an ongoing process, and it’s important to regularly review and optimize your data storage strategies to prevent “Out of space” errors and ensure efficient usage of resources.

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 16, 2023
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