Snowflake Snowday – Data to Value Superhero Summary

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Snowflake Snowday — Data to Value and Superhero Summary

Snowflake Snowday is Snowflake’s semi-annual product announcement. This year it was held on 2022–11–07 which was the same day as the end of the Snowflake Data Cloud World Tour (DCWT) which was a live event in San Francisco.

I was able to attend 5 of the DCWT events this year around the world. It was very interesting to see how much Snowflake has grown this world tour compared to the one back in 2019.  There is a ton of improvements and new features within the Snowflake Data Cloud happening.  It is hard to keep up!  Many of these announcements really do add improvements to the Data to Value business.  

Let’s get to the Snowday Summary and the plethora of Snowflake feature announcements.  Key improvements related to improvements in Data to Value that I’m most excited about are:

  • Snowpark for Python in GA
  • Private Data Listings – Massive improvement in the speed of data collaboration.
  • Snowflake Kafka Connector and Dynamic Tables.  Snowpipe Streaming.
  • Streamlit integration.

*All of these features add significant Data to Value improvements for organizations.

Snowflake Snowday Summary

*TOP announcement – whoop whoop – SNOWPARK FOR PYTHON ! (General Availability – GA)
I think this was the announcement all the python data people were looking forward to (including me). Now Snowpark for Python enables each and every Snowflake customer to build and deploy Python-based applications, pipelines, and machine learning models directly in Snowflake.  In addition to Snowpark for Python being Generally Available to all snowflake editions, these other python related announcements were made:
  • Snowpark Python UDFs for unstructured data (PRIVATE PREVIEW)
  • Python Worksheets – Now the improved Snowsight worksheet has support for python and you do not need an additonal development environment. This does make it easier to get started with Snowpark for Python development. (PRIVATE PREVIEW)

ONE PRODUCT.  ONE PLATFORM.

This is Snowflake’s major push to make it easier and easier for customers to use Snowflake’s platform for all or most of their Data Cloud needs.  This is why they now have taken on Hybrid Tables – Unistore (OLTP Workloads) as well as Snowpark.  They are growing the core Snowflake platform to handle AI/ML workloads as well os Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) workloads.  This massively increases Snowflake’s Total Addressable Market (TAM).

***This is also the main reason they purchased Streamlit earlier this year.  They are moving to integrate Streamlit Data Application Frontend and Backend and also take on the Data Applications use cases.  So Snowflake if investing a ton to go from primarily a Data Store to a Data Platform where you can create Frontend and Backend Data applications.  (as well as web/data applications that need OLTP millisecond inserts or AI/ML workloads)

Also, Snowflake just keeps improving the core Snowgrid Platform as follows:

Cross Cloud Snowgrid
Cross Cloud Snowgrid

Replication Improvements and Snowgrid Updates:

These are overall amazing Cross-Cloud Snowgrid improvements and features around the platform, performance, and replication.  If you are new to Snowflake, we answer What is Snowgrid here.

  • Cross-Cloud Business Continuity – Streams & Tasks Replication (PUBLIC PREVIEW) – This is very cool as well.  I need to test it but in theory this will provide … Seamless pipeline failover which is really aweome.  This takes replication beyond just accounts, databases, policies, and metadata.
  • Cross-Cloud Business Continuity – Replication GUI.  (PRIVATE PREVIEW).  Now you will be able to more easily manage replication and failover from a single user interface for global replication.  It looks very cool.  You can easily setup, manage, and failover an account.
  • Cross-Cloud Collaboration – Listing Discovery Controls (PUBLIC PREVIEW).
  • Cross-Cloud Collaboration – Cross-Cloud Auto-Fulfillment (PUBLIC PREVIEW).
  • Cross-Cloud Collaboration – Provider Analytics (PUBLIC PREVIEW)
  • Cross-Cloud Governance – Tag-Based Masking (GA)
  • Cross-Cloud Governance – Masking and Row-Access Policies in Search Optimization (PRIVATE PREVIEW).
  • Replication Groups – Looking forward to the latest on this as well.  These can be used for sharing and simple database replication in all editions

***All the above is available on all editions EXCEPT: 

  • YOU NEED ENTERPRISE OR HIGHER for Failover/Failback (including Failover Groups)
  • YOU NEED BUSINESS CRITICAL OR HIGHER for Client Redirect functionality

Performance Improvements on Snowflake Updates:

New performance improvements and performance transparency were announced were related to:

  • Query Acceleration (public preview).
  • Search Optimization Enhancements (public preview).
  • Join eliminations (GA).
  • Top results queries (GA).
  • Cost Optimizations: Account usage details (private preview).
  • History views (in development).
  • Programmatic query metrics (public preview).

***Available on all editions EXCEPT:  YOU NEED ENTERPRISE OR HIGHER for both Search Optimization and Query Acceleration

Data Listings and Cross-Cloud Updates

I’m super excited about this announcement around Private Listings.  Many of you know that one of my favorite features of Snowflake is the Data Sharing which I have been writing about for over 4 years.  [My latest take is the Future of Data Collaboration] This is such a huge game-changer for Data Professionals.  This announcement is that now customers can more easily use listing for PRIVATE DATA SHARING scenarios.  It makes the fulfillment much easier as well for different regions.  (even 1-2 years ago we had to write replication commands) – I’ll write up more details about how this makes Data Sharing and Collaboration even easier.   I was delighted to see the presenters using the Data to Value concepts when presenting this.

I loved the way Snowflake used some of my Data to Value concepts around this Announcement including..  the benefit of:  “Time to value is significantly reduced for the consuming party”.  Even better, this functionality is available now for ALL SNOWFLAKE EDITIONS.

Private Listings
Private Listings

More and More Announcements on Snowday.

Snowflake has tons AND tons of improvements happening.  Other significant announcements on Snowday were:

Snowflake Data Governance IMPROVEMENTS

All of these features allow you to better protect and govern your data natively within Snowflake.
  • Tag-based Masking (GA) – This allows you to automatically assign a designated policy to sensitive columns using tags. Pretty nice.  (Generally Available)
  • Search Optimization will now have support for Tables with Masking and Row Access Policies (PRIVATE PREVIEW)
  • FedRAMP High for AWS Government (authorization in process)
***Available ONLY on ENTERPRISE+  OR HIGHER

Building ON Snowflake

New announcements related to:
  • Streamlit integration (PRIVATE PREVIEW in January 2023 – supposedly already oversubscribed?) – This is exciting to see. I cannot wait until the Private Preview.
  • Snowpark Optimization Warehouses (PUBLIC PREVIEW). This was a great move on Snowflake’s part to support what AI/ML Snowpark customers really needed. Great to see it get rolled out. This allows customers access to execute HIGHER MEMORY warehouses which can deal with ML/AI training scale better. Snowpark code can be executed on both warehouse types.

***Available for all Snowflake Editions

Finally – Streaming and Dynamic Tables ANNOUNCEMENTS:

  • Snowpipe Streaming – (PUBLIC PREVIEW SOON) –
  • Snowflake Kafka Connector – (PUBLIC PREVIEW SOON)
  • Snowflake Dynamic Tables – formerly Materialized Tables (PRIVATE PREVIEW) – Check out my fellow data superhero – Dan Galvin’s coverage here:  https://medium.com/snowflake/%EF%B8%8F-snowflake-in-a-nutshell-the-snowpipe-streaming-api-dynamic-tables-ae33567b42e8
***Available for all Snowflake Editions
Overall I”m pretty excited on where this is going.  These enhancements improve Streaming data integration so much more especially with Kafka.  Now you can as a Snowflake customer Ingest real-time data streams and transform data with low-latency.  When fully implemented then this will enable more cost-effective and performance-effective solutions around Data Lakes.

If you didn’t get enough Snowday and want to watch the recording then here is the link below:
https://www.snowflake.com/snowday/agenda/

We will be covering more of these updates from Snowday and the Snowflake BUILD event this week in more depth with the Snowflake Solutions Community.  Let us know if we missed anything or what you are excited about form Snowday in the comments!

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