This year’s Snowflake Summit brought together Snowflake leaders, customers, and partners to discuss the future of the Data Cloud—and the transformational power of breaking down silos and bringing data together. Under the banner of “Data Together Now,” the summit explored all aspects of data-driven businesses and showed how Snowflake is helping connect the world’s data and making it actionable to drive business value.
“Snowflake’s unique approach has not only redefined what’s possible with data by pioneering the Data Cloud, but it has given us a strong foundation to continue to build and innovate on,” said Christian Kleinerman, Snowflake’s SVP of Product. “This foundation powers Snowflake’s market leadership across six workloads types, with blazing performance, reduced operational complexity, and hardened security. It’s what enables us to create a global experience across clouds and regions. And it breaks down silos so organizations can connect to the most relevant data for their business.”
Over the course of two days and more than 60 sessions, thousands of virtual attendees learned about the vision for the Data Cloud, how leading enterprises such as JetBlue, Novartis and Kraft Heinz are leveraging Snowflake to accelerate business value and personalize customer experiences. Thought leadership sessions were complemented by technical deep-dive, ask the expert, and hands-on lab sessions, which brought actionable skills training to attendees. In these sessions, attendees learned about everything from how to bring third-party data into their machine learning models to how to build a recommendation engine with Amazon SageMaker.
What’s Next for the Data Cloud?
One key summit highlight was the product keynote, in which Co-Founder and President of Products, Benoit Dageville, and Christian Kleinerman shared their vision for the future of the Data Cloud and unveiled numerous new capabilities, features, and innovations.
“The idea for the Data Cloud started nine years ago…At that time, Thierry [Cruanes] and I were witnessing the failure of both data warehousing and big data solutions, and we knew something completely different was needed,” Dageville explained. “Our dream was to build a solution where you could store all your data, regardless of its structure or volume, and then run any number of workloads against that data with no complexity or concurrency limits. We wanted our dream solution to be self-service and extremely easy to use…and with a significant reduction in cost by using a pay-as-you-go model.”
Flash forward to the Data Cloud. Dageville spoke about the Data Cloud’s key differentiators, which continue to fuel growth and guide future innovation:
- Platform architecture: Delivered as a fully managed service, Snowflake’s Data Cloud is a single platform that covers 23 cloud regions around the globe from different cloud providers. This multi-clustered, shared data architecture removes data size and compute storage limits, while its instant elasticity—individual clusters can be spun up and down in seconds—delivers true on-demand computing power.
- Interconnectivity: Snowflake’s architecture enables global business connectivity, regardless of cloud or region. In this way, Snowflake helps break down silos to provide a complete view of an organization. By enabling multiple workloads across structured and semi-structured data to be run concurrently, Snowflake accelerates time to value and makes “noisy neighbor” issues a thing of the past.
- Data sharing: “Imagine being able to share databases exactly like you would share documents within Google Docs,” Dageville said. With the Data Cloud, businesses can share data easily within and across teams, leverage external data sources without copying data, and collaborate with partners and vendors securely. Through the growing Snowflake Data Marketplace they can also connect with exciting new data providers to make better business decisions.
During this session, Kleinerman also shared a slew of new product releases that are currently in development, in private or public preview across five key areas:
- Data programmability, including the launch of Java user-defined functions (UDFs), a Snowflake SQL REST API and the Snowpark Accelerated Program, which provides partners with access to technical experts and additional exposure to Snowflake customers. Snowpark and Java functions are in preview to all customers on AWS and the Snowflake SQL API is in public preview now.
- Global data governance, including anonymized views, PII classification, and an integration with Alation. Private preview for anonymized views is coming soon. PII classification is currently in private preview. Alation integration will be available soon in a future Alation release.
- Platform optimizations, including improved storage economics, increased support for interactive experiences, and a new usage dashboard. Storage economics and support for interactive experiences are available now. New usage dashboards are in public preview.
- Connected industries, including new ways to discover, test, and transact with data providers directly within Snowflake Data Marketplace. These capabilities will be in private preview later this year.
- Powered by Snowflake, a new Snowflake Partner Network (SPN) program designed to help software companies and application developers such as Adobe and Seismic build, operate, and grow their applications on Snowflake.
Raising the Stakes
Day Two began with an interview with Molly Bloom, the woman behind the largest high-stakes poker games in the world. She shared her story of reinvention and resilience with Snowflake’s SVP of Enterprise Sales, John Sapone. “In the early days watching the players before I was running the game, I started to realize what an incredible emotional bias human beings have when making decisions. And I started to really focus on data…In the beginning it was ‘Let me assess risk here. Let me collect as much data on them as I can.’”
The Summit also provided an opportunity to recognize the next generation of Snowflake users—early-stage companies that are leveraging Snowflake to build and grow their businesses. The Grand Finale of the Snowflake Startup Challenge saw the competition’s three finalists compete to win an investment opportunity of up to $250,000 from Snowflake Ventures. A panel comprising Snowflake executives and representatives from top-tier VC firms grilled the finalists, and while all three were impressive, OverlayAnalytics ultimately emerged victorious.