6 Best Snowflake Open Source Alternatives

on Apache Cassandra, Azure Data Lake Storage, Data Lakes, Data Warehouses, Google BigQuery, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Snowflake • February 2nd, 2022 • Write for Hevo

Snowflake Open Source

Data Warehouses help individuals and businesses to store huge volumes of data for Analytics. This helps organizations to draw meaningful insights from their data which can improve their decision-making process. Snowflake is a popular and one of the most preferred Cloud Data Warehousing solutions today. 

Snowflake is a US-based company founded by Thierry Cruanes, Benoit Dageville, and Marcin Zukowski in 2012. It was meant to address the challenges that businesses face in having to buy expensive hardware appliances for setting up their own data centers for data storage. Snowflake also has an in-house query engine. Snowflake offers fast, secure, reliable, and cost-effective access to data by providing a governed, single, and immediately available source.

Snowflake can also be integrated with Business Intelligence tools like Tableau, Sigma, Stitch, Qlik, and others. You can move your Snowflake data to these platforms for Analytics. Though there is always a need for other better or similar options when it comes to choosing the right Data Storage for your company. There are many Snowflake Open Source alternatives in the market that are widely used by companies because one of their unique features satisfies their requirements. In this article, you will learn about some of the top Snowflake Open Source alternatives.

Table of Contents

Introduction to Snowflake

Snowflake Logo
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Snowflake is a fully managed Cloud Data Warehouse built on top of AWS (Amazon Web Services) to store and analyze large volumes of data. It offers Software as a Service (SaaS) to companies to manage their data and analyze it for better use. Users don’t need to have the hardware to select, install, configure, or manage. All the software updates, maintenance, management, upgrades, and tuning are handled by Snowflake. Snowflake uses ANSI SQL protocol which supports both structured and semi-structured data formats such as JSON, XML, and Parquet.  

Snowflake separates both storage and computing making it flexible to scale up or down both storages and compute as per the business requirements. It can handle terabytes of data with the help of its virtual compute instances and storage buckets.

Key Features of Snowflake

Some of the main features of Snowflake are listed below.

  • Standard SQL: Snowflake allows users to easily manipulate and access data in the Data Warehouse using standard SQL language that includes support of DDL and DML commands. 
  • Data Import and Export: Snowflake supports bulk import and export of data which also includes character encoding, compressed files, delimited data files, etc.
  • Data Sharing: Snowflake users can easily share data to other Snowflake accounts and consume data provided by other Snowflake accounts.

To know more about Snowflake, click here.

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6 Snowflake Open Source Alternatives

The following are the 6 top Snowflake Open Source alternatives that you can consider for individual or company use. The following Snowflake Open Source are listed below.

1) Microsoft SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server Logo - Snowflake Open Source Alternative
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Microsoft SQL Server is a popular SQL database that combines Data Warehousing and Data Analytics. It was developed by Microsoft and there are different versions of SQL Server. It is used in the Microsoft transaction Database, Azure Data Warehouse, and in other platforms. This means that there is a need for robust Microsoft SQL Server ETL tools for Data Analytics and integration. 

After the emergence of Azure Synapse Analytics, Microsoft shifted its focus to developing a unified platform with a closed ecosystem for the Data Ingestion, preparation, management, and serving of data that can be moved to BI and Machine Learning tools which made it a perfect Snowflake Open Source alternative. SQL Server scales well to allow you to store huge volumes of data for future use such as for Analytics. 

2) Postgres

Postgres Logo - Snowflake Open Source Alternative
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If you use data, you must be familiar with PostgresSQL, an object-relational database system, and a good Snowflake Open Source alternative. It is well-known for its stability, reliability, and performance which have made it the top database management system of choice for large corporations. Postgres is also supported by a vibrant community of users, making it easy for you to get help when necessary. 

However, Postgres is a database system, meaning that you will need to have an ETL tool for pushing the data into storage. Postgres was developed to save Database users from huge operating costs. This means that the cost of maintaining PostgreSQL can be lower compared to that of its competitors and other Snowflake Open Source alternatives, helping its businesses to reduce costs.  

Postgres is a Snowflake Open Source alternative but it demands hands-on management. 

3) Google BigQuery

Google BigQuery Logo - Snowflake Open Source Alternative
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Google BigQuery is a Google Cloud Platform developed for Data Engineers and Data Scientists. It is a very scalable Cloud platform that integrates well with Google suite products such as Google Analytics making it a good Snowflake Open Source alternative. However, Google BigQuery doesn’t support native integration with non-Google products. This means that you will have to leverage third-party tools and use them to pull data from external sources. BigQuery can store huge data volumes and comes with SQL Workbench to allow multiple users to query data. Google BigQuery gi)ves its users $300 of free credits. 

4) Azure Data Lake Storage

Azure Data Lake Storage logo - Snowflake Open Source Alternative
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Azure Data Lake Storage platform allows its users to store data of any size, shape, and speed. It can also perform all types of Analytics and processing across languages and platforms. It also integrates well with existing operational Data Warehouses and stores, giving its users an opportunity to extend their data applications. 

Azure Data Lake Storage is massively scalable and gives customers a secure platform to do their Analytics workloads. Additionally, it provides a single platform for Data Ingestion, processing, and Visualization. It also supports the most popular Analytics platforms and a great Snowflake Open Source alternative. 

5) MySQL

MySQL Logo - Snowflake Open Source Alternative
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MySQL is a Relational Database Management System (RDMS) and a good Snowflake Open Source alternative. It is the most popular Relational Database Management System today. 

MySQL is a very powerful DBMS as it comes with a large subset of the functionalities offered by the most expensive Database Management Systems. It is also supported by most operating systems and programming languages including PERL, PHP, Java, C, C++, and others. MySQL offers great performance even with large datasets. It organizes data into tables, with each table having the capacity to handle up to 50 million rows of data. MySQL operates under the GPL license, allowing programmers to modify the software to meet their own needs. 

6) Apache Cassandra

Apache Cassandra Logo - Snowflake Open Source Alternative
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Apache Cassandra is an open-source, decentralized storage system for managing huge volumes of data spread across the world. It provides its users with a highly available service without a single point of failure. 

Apache Cassandra is also scalable, consistent, and fault-tolerant. It was created by Facebook and it follows a different approach from the Relational Database Management Systems. Apache Cassandra uses a column-oriented approach and its data model is based on Google’s Bigtable and its distribution design on Amazon’s Dynamo. It also uses a Dynamo-style replication model without a single point of failure and adds a more powerful data model. 

Cassandra has linear scalability, meaning that the throughput increases as the number of nodes in the cluster is increased. This gives it the ability to offer a quick response time. It also accepts all data formats including structured, unstructured, and semi-structured. 

Those are some of the top Snowflake Open Source alternatives that you should consider. 

Conclusion

In this article,  you learnt about Snowflake is a Cloud Data Warehouse solution used for Data Storage. It comes with an in-house query engine and it was developed to help individuals and companies to save the costs of setting up their own data centers. There are many Snowflake Open Source alternatives that you can consider for personal or company use. You can modify their software to help you meet your specific needs. Some of the top Snowflake Open Source competitors include Microsoft SQL Server, Postgres, MySQL, Azure Data Lake Storage, BigQuery, and Apache Cassandra. These Snowflake Open Source alternatives scale massively to store data of any shape and size. 

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Share your experience of learning about Snowflake Open Source Alternatives in the comments section below!

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