Five things you need to know about data warehousing in the cloud

The latest “set it and forget it” development in cloud data warehousing might come as a relief for those struggling to get full value out of their data.

“The old way of doing things suffers from a cycle of complexity,” Michael Nixon, Senior Director of Product Marketing with Snowflake Computing, said at a recent ITWC webinar. The more data that organizations put into these older systems, the more time they spend on managing their infrastructure, instead of their data, he said.

Today’s modern data warehouses are designed specifically for the cloud, and are provided as a service. It avoids the pain associated with complicated systems and allows organizations to focus on their business, said Nixon.

What you may not know about the new cloud data warehouses

There have been rapid advances in cloud data warehousing technology. However, many questions remain about whether cloud architecture is truly a viable replacement for in-house technology. Here are the five things to know about today’s service offerings.

  1. Expect a different experience in the cloud. “First and foremost, you want to expect something different from what you have on-premises,” said Nixon. The benefits of a data warehouse in the cloud include: greater elasticity, reduced complexity, lower up-front costs and a faster “time-to-value” from the data, he said.
  1. You no longer need Hadoop to handle big data. Hadoop began with the best of intentions to build a single repository for all data, said Nixon. But, it’s becoming very complex to use Hadoop to manage today’s wide range of data sources and competing workloads. Modern data warehouses can ingest data from all sources in a much simpler way, he said.
  1. An advanced cloud data warehouse can scale itself. The biggest benefit of a cloud warehouse is that it can automatically scale up or down to handle workload changes, without human intervention. “You no longer need to have resources at the ready to handle workload balancing,” said Nixon.
  1. It’s not likely you can build more robust security. “The security capabilities of cloud architecture have really advanced,” said Nixon. It now includes end-to-end encryption, multi-factor authentication and access control and is fully compliant with the toughest privacy regulations.
  1. Most traditional data warehouses are not set up to handle workgroup concurrency. If multiple teams try to access an older data warehouse at the same time, they hit a bottleneck. The new service can allocate different warehouses so there is never a struggle for resources, said Nixon.

Freedom from infrastructure management

It only takes a few minutes to set up a modern data warehouse in the cloud, said Nixon.  There is no hardware or software for organizations to provision, he said. They need only choose the level of service they want and to create a data pipeline. “Everything after that is looked after,” said Nixon.

“Data is constantly generated and the business objective is to process it,” Nixon said. “Does it really pay for your business to build and manage a warehouse, rather than use a service?”

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Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker
Cindy Baker has over 20 years of experience in IT-related fields in the public and private sectors, as a lawyer and strategic advisor. She is a former broadcast journalist, currently working as a consultant, freelance writer and editor.

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