Snowflake Data Cloud Cost Risks

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Let me first state, I love using Snowflake, the technology itself.  I fell in love with it at the beginning of 2018 when I realized how easily I could execute all of our Big Data Consulting Practice Solutions we had been doing for 17+ years so much easier than we had before. In the past with regular RDBMS solutions, Hadoop complex messes, and expensive MPP systems like Teradata, Netezza, and Exadata we often would run into scale challenges as the data grew.  Snowflake brought both an ease of use and amazing scale to almost all of my big data consulting projects.

After the last three years of working on hundreds of Snowflake accounts though my team and I realized that if Snowflake Anti-patterns occur or if poor compute security practices are used that Snowflake Accounts are exposed to large cost risks especially with compute costs. While Snowflake is an amazingly scaleable cloud database and is the best cloud data warehouse I’ve used in the last 3+ years, the deployment of a Snowflake Account without proper settings and administration exposes a company to these cost risks.  We cover the Snowflake CREATE WAREHOUSE Default Settings in that other article but let’s say you actually used the Classic Console to create a new warehouse and used all the default settings and just created it.  Even if you didn’t run any query the cost for the standard settings would be 10 minutes * XL Warehouse (16 credits/hour) @ $3/credit.  It is only $8 for that 10 minutes but it was an $8 spend for nothing.  Let’s say though you had a rogue (or curious) trainee on a Snowflake Account that didn’t understand what they were doing and does the same exact thing BUT they ONLY change the size to a 6XL.  Your 10 minute run for nothing cost exposure is 10 min * 6XL Warehouse (512 credits/hour) @ $3/credit.  Your account just spent $256 for 10 minutes of nothing.

Let’s take this to the extreme cost risk that many Snowflake Accounts are exposed to if they are not using automated tools like our Snowflake Cost Optimization and Cost Risk Minimization Service – Snoptimizer.

Snowflake Cost Risk Use Case 6XL – 1 cluster:

*Cost per hour @ $3/credit = 3 * 512 = $7680
*Cost per day @ $3/credit = $184,320

Snowflake Cost Risk Use Case 6XL – 5 clusters:

[we know this is a worst case scenario and this one would be rare but without resource monitors and correct permissions it is possible] *Cost per hour @ $3/credit = 3 * 512 = $1536
*Cost per day @ $3/credit = $36,864

Snowflake Cost Risk Use Case 6XL – 10 clusters:

[we know this is a worst case scenario and this one would be rare but without resource monitors and correct permissions it is possible] *Cost per hour @ $3/credit = 3 * 512 = $15,360
*Cost per day @ $3/credit = $368,640

As you can see, this is unreasonable exposure to cost risks.  If you are a Snowflake administrator, make sure you make appropriate changes to control costs and cost risk.  If you want an automated approach to Cost Risk Management that can be setup easily in a few hours than try our Snoptimizer Cost Risk Solution.

Snowflake Cost Risk Mitigation – Administration – ACCOUNTADMIN – MUST DO

Community Conclusion:

Snowflake Data Cloud cost risk is a real issue that needs to be properly administrated.  While the Snowflake Data Cloud brings incredible scale and power to any analytical data processing need, the Data Cloud needs to be properly optimized and continuously monitored by a service like Snoptimizer.  Again, with great data processing power, comes great cost management responsibility.  If an administrator messes up somehow and gives access to a non-trained user to create that 6XL who doesn’t need it and doesn’t have the business budget for it then it can cost you BIG TIME.   Get Snoptimized now to avoid a data driven cost catastrophe.  If a new warehouse appears, we have you covered!

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