Snowflake Editions

You have decided that snowflake is the technology you want to use to build your next gen data platform, you have decided your cloud provider (Azure, AWS, GCP) then next you need to think about what edition of snowflake suits your business needs?

There are 4 you can select from, each will impact the cost of running snowflake, more per credit:

  • Standard.
  • Enterprise.
  • Business Critical.
  • VPS – Virtual private snowflake.

If you decide to opt for standard, you miss out of some awesome features such as:

  • Multi cluster warehouses (more on this another time).
  • Search optimisation.
  • Materialised views (from experience this is much more powerful than SQL server Indexed views).

On the other extreme side is VPS – Virtual Private Snowflake offers the highest level of security for organizations that have the strictest requirements, such as financial companies and any other large enterprises that collect, analyse, and share highly sensitive data – COMPLETE DEDICATED ENVIRONMENT for your needs. If you are dealing with highly sensitive data then this maybe is your choice. This has all the features of Business critical.

So, the question for most will be should you opt for Enterprise or Business Critical. Snowflake documentation is excellent and they sum up all the difference here: https://docs.snowflake.com/en/user-guide/intro-editions.html but I will tell you some key differences why you would want Business Critical over Enterprise.

  • Private links –Azure ( and AWS / GCP) you can leverage your own Private IP address space for connections rather than relying on traversing along public endpoints – if you need this in the future, I suggest enabling it straightway.
  • Bring your own keys for tri-secret support.
  • Support for PCI, PHI, FedRamp and IRAP.
  • Database failover / failback – thus improving your business continuity strategy.

If there is something from the above list you need, then Business Critical is the one for you, if not then Enterprise.

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