Snowflake Compute T-Shirt Sizes

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Snowflake T-Shirt Sizes Fun.   When I first started using Snowflake back at the beginning of 2018 I thought the T-Shirt Sizing was kind of weird.  It was just so different than anything I had used before and I’m not sure I’ll ever love it but you get used to it.  I will say being able to change the level of compute of a warehouse with a simple ALTER statement that can be executed after each query if you wanted is simply amazing.  Coming from the on-premise world of fixed resources this was just ground breaking back in 2017/2018.

Even more mind blowing was that we could get started for free with 400 credits for 30 days.  For this type of scale that was a great trial customer benefit as well.

Snowflake Compute Pricing Details
T-Shirt Sized Consumption Prices

For those of you who are new to Snowflake, the way that the Snowflake Data Cloud charges for its elastic compute processing for data is by Snowflake Warehouses that can be set to the following T-Shirt Sizes currently.   [This recently was updated when they added 5XL and 6XL sizes.  Previously, customers could only set their warehouses to a maximum size of 4XL.]

Warehouse Size Virtual Servers Credits / Hour
X-Small 1 1
Small 2 2
Medium 4 4
Large 8 8
X-Large 16 16
2X-Large 32 32
3X-Large 64 64
4X-Large 128 128
5X-Large 256 256
6X-Large 512 512

One of the most fantastic features of the Snowflake Data Cloud is you ONLY pay for what you use.  Compared to how previous on-premise databases worked this was amazing and much much more flexible for small and medium sized analytical data customers.

Just remember, with this amazing ease of changing a warehouse size in milliseconds also comes great responsbility.  If you run a larger warehouse like a 2XL, 4XL,5XL,6XL then the costs can add up quickly.  Assuming $3 per credit as a standard (If you are a Capacity Enterprise Customer you can negotiate better snowflake pricing depending on your length and amount of spend.  At the same time, as soon as your Snowflake Account is provisioned, you the administrator or person with their credit card associated with the account have extreme cost risk by default.  Our best practice is to ALWAYS enable Snowflake Cost Optimization with Snoptimizer immediately after provisioning a Snowflake Account.  If you decide against that then at the very least you should limit access or setup standard Snowflake Cost Minimization Guardrails and Snowflake Cost Optimization and Cost Minimization Best Practices.

Snowflake Compute Pricing based on Warehouse Sizes.

In reality, Snowflake Compute or the Snowflake Warehouses (which are virtual compute engines) typically is where most Snowflake customer costs are spent.  Make sure you do not fall into any Snowflake Cost Anti-patterns.

See cost optimization best practices and automation code at Snowflake Solutions.

Warehouse Configuration Best Practice Checklist:

Conclusion:

Snowflake’s T-Shirt Size Compute Warehouse Sizes help you to size the Compute Warehouse appropriately.  As we state in our best practices above, always start smaller when starting off evaluating a workload.  Its much easier to increase the warehouse based on the use case.

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