What is the difference between internal and external stages?

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What is the difference between internal and external stages?

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 19, 2023
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The main difference between internal and external stages in Snowflake is where the data is stored. Internal stages store data within Snowflake's storage system, while external stages store data in an external location, such as Amazon S3 or Azure Blob Storage.

Here is a table summarizing the key differences between internal and external stages in Snowflake:

| Feature | Internal stages | External stages |
| --- | --- | --- |
| Location | Stored within Snowflake's storage system | Stored in an external location |
| Management | Created and managed by Snowflake | Created and managed by users |
| Access | Can be accessed by all users | Can only be accessed by the users who created them |
| Performance | Typically offer better performance | Typically offer worse performance |
| Cost | Typically more expensive | Typically less expensive |
| Security | Typically more secure | Typically less secure |

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The type of stage that you choose will depend on your specific needs. If you need to store files within Snowflake's storage system, then you should use an internal stage. If you need to store files in an external location, then you should use an external stage.

Here are some additional considerations when choosing between internal and external stages:

- **Performance:** Internal stages typically offer better performance than external stages, because the data does not need to be transferred between Snowflake and the external location. This is important if you are loading or unloading large amounts of data.
- **Cost:** Internal stages are typically more expensive than external stages, because Snowflake charges for the storage space that they use. However, the cost of internal stages can be offset by the performance benefits.
- **Security:** Internal stages are typically more secure than external stages, because the data is stored within Snowflake's secure environment. However, external stages can be more secure if the external location is also secure.

Ultimately, the best way to choose between internal and external stages is to weigh the pros and cons of each option and choose the one that best meets your needs.

Daniel Steinhold Answered question August 19, 2023
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