Snowflake Vs. Microsoft Azure: 6 Major Differences


Excerpt: Since many people around the world are using the internet these days, the amount of data and information has also surged. Maintaining this data has become a major challenge for the admins and the data administrators. 


Choosing the right data handling platform for proper management and control of data at a fast pace and in less time with utmost efficiency has also posed a challenge. For many years, cloud computing has come to the rescue by relieving the data management landscape. This article will give an insight into two major cloud-based technologies, i.e., SnowFlake and Azure, and also enlist all the reasons why it is popular. 

What does one understand by Snowflake and Azure technology?

Azure first came into being in 2008 and is now commonly known as Microsoft Azure. It is a cloud-based technology that provides various cloud computing services and tools, including analytics computing, storage, and many more. It is an open technology that has its services included for all users. Organizations and large companies use different services that Microsoft Azure provides; moreover, it develops and frames new kinds of applications conveniently. The services provided by Microsoft about Azure are also not free of cost. 

You have monthly costs to pay for using Azure’s services and resources. The customer requires an Azure subscription to access all services, including the Azure interface. These services may create databases and virtual machines (VMs) that are cloud-based resources for businesses and organizations. The REST, HTTP, and XML-based Azure API enable developers to interface with the services offered by Microsoft Azure.

If you are interested in Cloud Computing, you can enroll in Azure Training and improve your skills in this field.

Main benefits when it comes to using Azure Cloud

  1. Scalability: Every business has had this change requirement for some time. Organizations may increase their storage capacity and computational power on demand because of the Azure cloud platform. To avoid any interruptions while working, it avails users of the benefit of the ability to modify their service agreements to their needs.
  2. No need for on-site hardware: To execute any complicated setup, the company’s organization needs a good quantity of hardware resources, which is responsible for a huge amount of consumption of the whole budget. However, this Azure cloud platform need not have any on-site hardware to store data in the clouds with high security and little hardware.
  3. Cost-effective: If anyone wishes to access Microsoft Azure’s services to their fullest potential for their IT businesses, they must subscribe to the platform. However, it is also trustworthy for creating control over the IT budget. It is very effective for lowering the cost incurred for infrastructure, placing a heavy financial load on the company, and using the precise cloud capabilities they need. If we see it from an overall perspective, it is comparatively cost-effective.
  4. Microsoft Azure has been responsible for providing a service level agreement with a 99.95% availability rate. Additionally, it delivers high availability and redundancy across 140 nations, in contrast to other cloud service providers. Due to its high availability, many corporations have a special preference for Azure technology to protect their data and take advantage of its special capabilities whenever and wherever required.
  5. Cybersecurity: Companies and other organizations have the biggest concern about protecting their data. The Azure cloud platform from Microsoft delivers top-notch protection against any malware, online threats, theft, DDoS attacks, network outages, etc. It consists of multi-layered security architecture, and all data saved in the cloud is secured with the help of cutting-edge encryption technology and a two-tier authentication system.

Major disadvantages of Azure

  1. High-level management is required for the proper functioning of Azure effectively and efficiently. Additionally, it does not give you the privilege to administer the cloud-based data center, so you must maintain it locally by monitoring, patching, etc. Although you don’t have to pay any money for the hardware it needs to function, you still need someone to carry out the administration of Azure.
  2. Speed Issue: If your organization or corporation is based in the US, India, Japan, or China, you may get the added benefit of Azure’s faster speeds, but if it is located in South America, you will experience this specific lacuna. Due to Azure’s global availability in 140 countries and 54 regions, customers must also deal with performance issues and ambiguities.

What does one understand by Snowflake?

On July 23, 2012, Snowflake technology first came into being. Snowflake sees its development on the Microsoft Azure platform. It provides a lucrative platform for data warehousing and safe data sharing. The snowflakes also provide an extremely flexible and efficient data storing, processing, and analyzing solution. 

Although it does not require hardware or software to install, set up, or manage the data, upgrade, or installation in any organization, data may be seen as effective transportation into Snowflake by properly utilizing an ETL solution like Stitch. A lot of different cloud providers drive snowflake through ANSI SQL. It also makes a provision for data protection and encryption for existing data. By submitting queries to Snowflake, the user can easily get an opportunity to evaluate their data.

Some benefits of Snowflakes:

  1. Simple to Implement: Snowflake’s existing SaaS design makes its deployment simple and rapid. It doesn’t need a lot of hardware or software resources, which simplifies the availability of the task to be completed quickly without interfering with the organization’s and company’s continual and everyday business activities. The implementation procedure has been made quite simpler.
  2. Low Price: The cost of deployment and maintenance has been responsible for somewhat decreasing and providing relief to the company’s or organization’s budget since Snowflake, if we draw a comparison, does not require hardware or software resources. With the help of Snowflake, one gets the ability to employ data storage indefinitely and affordably. If there is a minimum consumption of 60 seconds, it provides the consumer with many different types of billing offers.
  3. Data Sharing Potential: Snowflakes provides comprehensive data-sharing options for its customers. It also consists of the ability to share data with third parties and uses a reader account. If we look at large enterprises, it can be responsible for the simplification of data processing, which is particularly advantageous.
  4. Accessibility and Security: The Snowflake had its nexus, especially for the safe cloud storage of data. It gives readily available data across all locations and is also equipped with excellent data security. Data access via the cloud is also quite easy and seamless and doesn’t need any lengthy or complicated procedures to be followed. 

Major disadvantages of Snowflakes

  1. Bulk data load: While Snowpipe makes an allowance for continuous data loading, it is not always a desirable thing as it might cause difficulty for businesses to convert their data to Snowflake.
  2. Support for unstructured data: Snowflakes has now made a support system for structured and semi-structured data, but most well-known, significant enterprises have anticipation and support for unstructured data, improving the capabilities and adaptability of the business and cloud computing platforms.
  3. Limited working tools: The Snowflakes’ work is quite restricted and has less flexibility, and it is also available at cloud platforms in the IT environment since they can only operate on a few cloud tools, such as AWS, Azure, and Google cloud.

Six differences that exist between Azure and snowflake

  1. Microsoft Snowflake’s and Azure’s architectures are very different if compared to each other. The Snowflake design is an MPP hybrid, whereas Azure has its building structure on MPP (Massively Parallel Processing).
  2. While Snowflake technology does not have the support system for XML, Azure technology does.
  3. The Snowflakes architecture uses CLI, JDBC, and ODBC as its APIs, while the Azure architecture uses .net, JDBC, and ODBC.
  4. The SaaS (Software as a Service) platform, which operates on top of Google and Azure clouds, is the founding stone of Snowflake. On the other hand, Azure technology is a Paas (Platform as a Service) with all the features of a free workplace setting.
  5. They use all kinds of computer resources differently; however, both platforms provide the ability to create basic SQL databases for data warehousing, and the Snowflake SQL database runs completely independently of the computing resources that employ SQL databases. The Azure technology, however, necessitates the basic creation of a separate SQL pool as it wants to create a SQL database for warehousing.
  6. The Scalability of Azure and Snowflake are also different from each other. Users may divide their workloads and operate them parallelly in the shared data layer because of the Snowflake. As opposed to this, Azure offers two services: the first one is a SQL pool, and the other is serverless SQL alternatives.


Both being cloud computing-based technologies, Snowflake and Azure have incredible capabilities and benefits, which is why they have the power to create a stir in the IT market. A huge chunk of people is using snowflakes and Azure, and even the majority of IT engineers are eager to learn about them and change their career paths accordingly. These cutting-edge cloud computing platforms have been responsible for increasing productivity, speeding up corporate operations, and lessening the danger of threats and assaults against any sensitive data that is kept online.

Author Bio:

I am Korra Shailaja, Working as a Digital Marketing professional & Content writer in MindMajix Online Training. I Have good experience in handling technical content writing and aspire to learn new things to grow professionally. I am an expert in delivering content on the market demanding technologies like Mulesoft Training, Dell Boomi Tutorial, Elasticsearch Course, Fortinet Course, PostgreSQL Training, Splunk, Success Factor, Denodo, etc.

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