What are the key cost considerations when estimating the expenses of storing data in Snowflake?


What are the key cost considerations when estimating the expenses of storing data in Snowflake, particularly for large datasets?

Daniel Steinhold Changed status to publish August 2, 2023

When estimating the expenses of storing data in Snowflake, particularly for large datasets, several key cost considerations should be taken into account. Here are the primary factors to consider:

1. Storage Volume: The volume of data stored in Snowflake is a significant cost driver. Large datasets will incur higher storage costs due to the increased storage capacity required. Estimate the expected volume of data to be stored in Snowflake and consider how it will grow over time.
2. Data Compression: Snowflake supports various data compression techniques, such as automatic compression and user-defined compression options. Effective data compression reduces the storage footprint and can result in cost savings. Evaluate the data compression capabilities of Snowflake and choose the compression options that provide the optimal balance between storage efficiency and query performance.
3. Storage Tiering: Snowflake offers different storage tiers, including standard storage and lower-cost long-term storage. Evaluate the access patterns and frequency of data retrieval for your large datasets. If certain data is infrequently accessed, consider moving it to a lower-cost storage tier while ensuring it remains accessible for queries when needed. Storage tiering can help optimize costs for large datasets with varying access requirements.
4. Time Travel Retention: Snowflake’s Time Travel feature enables the recovery of historical versions of data within a specified retention period. Longer retention periods will result in higher storage costs. Determine the appropriate retention period based on your business and compliance needs. Consider the trade-off between historical data retention and associated costs to optimize storage expenses.
5. Fail-safe Retention: Snowflake’s Fail-safe feature provides data durability by preserving the state of your database up to a certain point in time. Similar to Time Travel, the retention period for Fail-safe impacts storage costs. Evaluate your recovery objectives and set the Fail-safe retention period accordingly to balance cost and data durability requirements.
6. Data Partitioning: Partitioning large tables based on logical divisions, such as date ranges or specific attributes, can improve query performance and reduce storage costs. Partitioning allows for more efficient data organization and targeted pruning of data during queries. Analyze your data access patterns and consider partitioning strategies to optimize storage usage and minimize costs.
7. Data Archiving and Purging: Regularly review and implement data archiving and purging strategies for large datasets. Identify data that is no longer needed for analysis or reporting purposes and archive or purge it accordingly. Archiving infrequently accessed or historical data to lower-cost storage solutions, such as cloud-based object storage, can help reduce storage costs.
8. Data Governance and Cleanup: Establish data governance practices to enforce data quality, consistency, and cleanup routines. Remove duplicate, redundant, or irrelevant data to optimize storage usage. Regularly review and clean up unused or obsolete tables, views, or other objects to reclaim storage space.

By considering these cost considerations and optimizing data storage practices, organizations can effectively manage and estimate expenses associated with storing large datasets in Snowflake. Striking the right balance between storage efficiency, data access patterns, and cost optimization is key to maximizing the value and minimizing the costs of storing data in Snowflake.

Daniel Steinhold Answered question July 31, 2023