Managing in Many Clouds With a Single Code Base
Jan 25, 2019 | 2 Min Read
Author: Michael Nixon
Market News, Snowflake Technology
Snowflake’s cloud-built data warehouse enables companies to shatter the limits on the amount of data they use and how they use it across organizations. Cloud-built data warehousing fosters new business models, use cases, and even an entire industry, such as live data sharing services, that didn’t exist a decade ago.
Adopting more than one cloud provider is fast becoming a common practice for many companies. According to Right Scale’s 2018 State of the Cloud Report, 81 percent of large enterprises now have a multi-cloud strategy, using an average of 4.8 public and private clouds.
Migration to the cloud puts companies in the position to experience rapid increases in pricing and productivity efficiency, as well as flexibility and scalability benefits. However, care must be taken to ensure procedures and workflows typical with on-premises data warehouses are not carried to the cloud when these procedures cause organizations to introduce inefficiencies into their cloud environments.
Because of the flexibility and scalability benefits received, the cloud-built Snowflake operating environment will differ from more restrictive and fixed on-premises data warehouse environments. However, once in the cloud, there is business value in having a common platform and a consistent experience across multiple clouds. Users with a multi-cloud strategy that includes Azure and AWS, now have a common, cloud-built data warehouse platform and experience in Snowflake.
The Value of a MULTI-CLOUD DATA WArehouse
A company that’s capable of working across multiple clouds efficiently gains competitive advantages.
Deploying Snowflake on Azure using a single code base was worth the sizeable investment in time and resources to make it happen. At Snowflake, operating on multiple clouds with a single code base made our engineering, release, and maintenance processes scalable as we continue to expand to new global regions and cloud environments.
A single code base makes it easier to put updates into operation without added downtime. The team that developed the single code base capability at Snowflake worked intensively over an 18-month span to create consistent and complete compatibility with AWS and Azure clouds, while maximizing the performance characteristics on each cloud.
Regardless of where you run your data warehousing, AWS or Azure, Snowflake provides the same familiar experience and benefits. On one level, it’s an engineering detail, but it’s also critical to ensuring you have flexibility and options to execute your strategy data warehouse objectives.
Cross-Platform Capabilities – Dipping Into Details
Every executive wants to be data-driven to harness data insights, streamline operations, and increase the organization’s ability to serve customers.
Snowflake Senior Engineer, Polita Paulus, whose team created one of the first single code base data warehousing functions to operate across multiple clouds, says the key to its flexible application lies in abstraction layers. These are layers of code that ensure consistent function, regardless of how the data warehouse interacts with a particular cloud.
Think of it as building a car that you can drive either on the left side or right side of the road. Abstraction code layers make it possible to move the steering wheel from one side to the other, as needed, to accommodate the driving rules of any nation. They give you the ability to seamlessly adapt the controls to make sure nothing changes in the driving experience – or the safety, fuel efficiency, and speed of the car.
For a more technical, detailed look, read Paulus’s blog post, How We Built Snowflake on Azure.
A Blue-Sky Future for Multiple Clouds
As companies continue looking for ways to store and work with the ever-growing amounts of data, operating across multi-cloud environments with speed and efficiency will prove advantageous to the companies and leaders that invest in doing that now.
With a data warehousing solution that already works across multiple clouds, and a mindset that it’s better to adapt with universal solutions to cloud-based challenges, the current and future advantages of a foundation built on a single code base should be clear across all levels of an organization.