To enable this, businesses everywhere are moving to cloud data warehouse solutions, with the cloud market predicted to reach $7.69 Billion by 2028.
If you’re an IT leader or Data Manager looking to revolutionize your data governance strategy with a new data warehouse platform, this article is for you. We’ll dive deep into cloud data warehouses, including what they are, their benefits versus traditional models, and the top providers on the market.
Let’s get into it!
What is a Cloud Data Warehouse?
A cloud data warehouse is a modern, cloud-based method for storing and managing large data volumes by utilizing cloud infrastructure.
Like SaaS, servers, and storage solutions, moving data stores into the public cloud helps organizations store data, analyze data, query data, and share data at scale, helping them advance their data science capabilities and stay ahead of their competition.
This makes sense for your broader enterprise data strategy, too, as cloud solutions fit nicely into a modern IT architecture, creating resiliency, scalability, and enabling teams to move with more agility.
At a time when business applications are only becoming more connected, a central, cloud-based data warehouse is the perfect asset to bring data from diverse parts of the organization together to enable new insights and advanced data analysis capabilities.
Cloud Data Warehouse vs Traditional Data Warehouse Concepts
Cloud-based data warehouse services are becoming more and more popular versus traditional on-premises solutions, but why is this? Let’s examine the critical differences between the two data architecture models.
Traditional Data Warehouse – Key Concepts
- Traditional, on-premises data warehouse solutions require businesses to purchase and house their own hardware.
- Businesses need trained employees to build, manage, and repair traditional enterprise data warehouses.
- Requires large up-front investment to set up.
- If businesses want to scale to store large amounts of data, it takes a long lead time to implement.
- Best for structured data sets only.
- Higher security levels as on-premises data warehouses can be secured locally with few vulnerability points.
Cloud Data Warehouse Solution – Key Concepts
- Public cloud data warehouse platforms are managed by the supplier, with businesses not having to purchase their own hardware.
- All of the skills, expertise, and maintenance sit with the supplier, no matter the data types.
- Cloud storage works on a subscription basis, typically on a base fee paid monthly or yearly.
- Cloud solutions can easily handle structured and semi-structured data, as well as unstructured data from multiple sources.
- A cloud provider can scale up quickly, giving businesses flexibility and the ability to move at speed.
- While cloud data warehouses are very secure, the ‘off-premises’ nature means security is handled by the 3rd party too.
As you can see, a cloud data warehouse offers different capabilities versus traditional on-premises options, with hundreds of cloud vendors on the market ready and waiting to support businesses turbocharge their data capabilities.
5 Cloud Data Warehouse Benefits
Now that we know the key differences between traditional and cloud-based data warehousing capabilities, let’s look at the benefits your business can gain by making the switch.
1. Greater business flexibility
Like many other cloud solutions, data warehouses give businesses the ability to scale up their operations incredibly quickly. This is especially important for big companies that hold petabytes of data, helping them move with speed without time-intensive tasks such as ordering and installing hardware.
The flexibility of Big Data platforms also extends into the financials, with monthly arrangements making it easy for businesses to manage their budgets too.
2. Kinder to your budgets
Talking of budgets, cloud data warehouses are becoming increasingly popular because they also save businesses money. This is because, with a cloud solution, there’s no need for large upfront hardware costs as they’re borne by the vendor. Instead, the costs are spread over the contract term, making them more budget-friendly.
Businesses also save money by not having to employ multiple data experts, with the vendor providing the expertise in-house.
3. Speed up performance and best practices
Where cloud-based systems really come into their own is in the performance. Even though the data is stored in the cloud, your ability to manage and load the data is improved thanks to high-speed computing power. This enables you to adopt a modern data strategy, turbocharging your data management capabilities with real-time data access, Big Data analytics, and the ability to combine multiple data sources with ease.
4. Bring your team together with greater collaboration
Operationally, cloud data warehouses make it easier for your team to store, manage, and analyze their data, improving their efficiency and fostering collaboration. This is great news for data engineering teams as they can work with data across different departments and systems quickly and effectively.
5. More reliable data warehouse service
Data storage needs to be reliable to keep your business ticking over, and fortunately, cloud-storage solutions offer greater redundancy than on-premises equivalents. With multiple backups and dual data writing, cloud-based solutions have a higher uptime while also benefiting from a range of controls to keep you operational if one part of the system fails.
Most cloud data warehouses have an uptime of 99.9%+, so you and your data are in safe hands, reducing your risk and giving you more time to focus on what matters.
The Top Cloud Data Warehouse Providers and Solutions – Snowflake, Google, AWS and More
If you’re in the market for a cloud-based data warehouse, the good news is you won’t be short of choice. While there are hundreds of providers on the market, let’s run through 4 of the big boys!
1. Snowflake Cloud Data Platform
Snowflake utilizes Amaazon Web Services to offer one of the most popular data center solutions by loading and optimizing data from virtually any source using JSON, Avro, and XML. Snowflake is a data warehouse that uses an intuitive UI to make the whole experience seamless, with low maintenance and low infrastructure requirements.
2. Azure Synapse Analytics
Microsoft Azure Synapse is a full-service analytics service combining integration, enterprise-grade performance, and Big Data analytics capabilities. It works seamlessly as part of Microsoft Azure, and boasts the most advanced privacy features on the market by layering the security offering with column, row, and dynamic data masking controls.
3. Google BigQuery
Google BigQuery is the Google Cloud platform for managing data at scale. The serverless solution works on a logical data warehouse architecture with columnar storage and data from object storage and spreadsheets. BigQuery is a real-time solution with automation, ingestion, and dashboarding features that are able to handle any amount of data.
4. Amazon Redshift
Built on top of Amazon’s world-leading AWS cloud service, Amazon Redshift is a fully managed cloud data warehouse that offers complete scalability and virtually unlimited data storage. Regardless of the size of the data set, Redshift offers fast data loading performance using SQL and Business Intelligence applications. Whether you’re after an enterprise data warehouse, operational data store, or a flexible data mart, Redshift can store any type of data.
It’s time to level up your data storage capabilities
Organizations across the world are making the shift to cloud-based data warehouses. Not sure a cloud solution is right for you? Let’s finish with an industry case study – health care:
- Healthcare providers store thousands of client’s data, with multiple data points generated at different times throughout a patient’s life.
- They need access to data in real time, often at the point of making a life-saving diagnosis.
- The performance and reliability of cloud-based solutions help healthcare providers make fast decisions, identify trends and systematic issues, and enrich existing case files, all while benefiting from the 24/7 reliability of cloud technology.
This is just an example of one industry, but all industries can reap the benefits of cloud-based data warehousing. If you’re ready to take the first steps on your cloud journey, why not check out our Smart Data services? Here, you’ll find more details on what we offer and case studies from previous clients who have turbocharged their business through migrations to cloud-based technologies!
Here, you’ll find more details on what we offer and case studies from previous clients who have turbocharged their business through migrations to cloud-based technologies!
Some FAQs to finish:
Q: How is a cloud data warehouse solution different from an on-premises data warehouse?
A cloud data warehouse uses cloud technology to store structured and unstructured data in large volumes effectively.
Unlike traditional on-premise solutions, by utilizing cloud technology, businesses benefit from scalability, greater reliability, faster performance, and reduced costs by utilizing the services, skills, and hardware of a 3rd party vendor.
Q: How does Data Integration work in modern cloud-based data warehouses?
Data warehouses are all about integrating different data sources together in the cloud to provide a single source of business data that can be stored, enriched, and analyzed to enable business benefits. Whether it’s through middleware integration, APIs, consolidation, or virtualization, there are many ways to integrate data into a data warehouse.
Q: What is data warehouse automation?
Data warehouse automation is a set of processes, technologies, and systems designed to speed up the data management lifecycle, storing, cleaning, and analyzing data without human intervention. Data warehouse automation tools make complex Business Intelligence easy to achieve within hours and at a very low cost.
Q: Where can I find data warehouse vendors online?
Data warehousing is a big business, so there are literally hundreds of vendors to choose from. Outside of the big 4 (Azure Snapse Analytics, Snowflake, Amazon Redshift, and Google BigQuery), comparison platforms such as G2 are great places to find, compare, and read reviews for data warehouse vendors across the globe..