Snowflake’s cloud data warehouse gains traction at major players’ expense

Competition in the cloud data warehouse space is heating up, and one of the most significant companies to emerge in the space is Snowflake Inc.

That’s one of several conclusions from spending data recently provided to SiliconANGLE by Enterprise Technology Research Inc. ETR’s survey of information-technology professionals found that Snowflake’s data warehouse approach, which separates compute from storage and allows users to scale up or down on the fly, was generating solid traction in the marketplace.

“You’re seeing share gains from the cloud companies — Snowflake, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google — at the expense certainly of Teradata, but likely IBM and Oracle,” said Dave Vellante, chief analyst at SiliconANGLE sister market research firm Wikibon and co-host of theCUBE, at SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio in Boston. “The takeaway here is that Snowflake is very strong and the other cloud vendors — AWS, Microsoft and Google and their data stores — are doing very well in the marketplace and challenging the incumbents.”

The full discussion with transcript is here.

Dawn of enterprise search

Behind Snowflake’s gains and the disruption of the traditional data warehousing market lies a, perhaps, more significant development. Snowflake and its cloud colleagues could be doing for data search what Google LLC did over 20 years ago for content on the internet.

“One thing we see Snowflake as potentially able to do is bring enterprise search to the marketplace,” Vellante said. “Eighty percent of the data that’s out there today sits behind firewalls; it’s not searchable by Google. What if you could unlock that data and access and query it anytime and anywhere?”

The answer could well be a repeat of what the enterprise world saw with upstart companies, such as Data Domain Corp., that revolutionized disk-based backup disaster recovery and archiving, or ServiceNow Inc. which simplified digital workflows on a single enterprise cloud platform. And the common thread for all three companies is Frank Slootman, Snowflake’s current chief executive officer, who previously led both Data Domain and ServiceNow.

“He looks for a great product, he looks for a big market, he looks for disruption, and he looks for off-the-chart return on investment,” Vellante noted. “With ServiceNow, we saw the potential to transform not only IT operations, but to go beyond help desk and change management. We think something similar could happen here.”

Based on the data provided from the ETR survey, there are a few companies that would prefer to slow Snowflake’s roll. One of them, Oracle Corp., may turn toward its Exadata in-memory database appliance to create new storage processing software solutions.

“They’re putting a lot of wood behind the Exadata arrow,” Vellante said. “They will rearchitect Exadata to bring compute to the data. You can see the pressure that the cloud is placing on the incumbents.”

Snowflake’s rapid rise in the data warehousing world has served as yet another reminder that the evolution of cloud-scale technologies will continue to dominate the enterprise conversation.

“Cloud again is winning,” Vellante said. “It’s driving the spending discussion within IT. The database used to be kind of boring, and now it’s red hot.”

Here’s the complete video analysis, one of many CUBE Conversations from SiliconANGLE and theCUBE:

Photo: SiliconANGLE

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