How to Migrate to Snowflake: 2022 Guide - Ideas2IT

How to Migrate to Snowflake: 2022 Guide

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In nearly every industry, data has become an indispensable resource. In fact, according to a MicroStrategy study, 60% of organizations now rely on data to drive new business opportunities and optimize spending.

But despite the fact that this trend continues to grow, many companies are left scratching their heads when it comes to managing data. That’s where data warehousing comes in. In today’s market, Snowflake stands out as one of the most popular data warehousing solutions. And for good reason: It’s a robust, high-performance, and user-friendly system.

Moving From On-Premise to Cloud: Is It Really Worth It?

If you’re still using a traditional on-prem system, you may be wondering, “why migrate to the cloud?” There are many benefits. But, in short, by migrating from on-prem to cloud data warehousing, you’ll be able to gain a competitive edge in your industry.

That’s because the increase in agility, reliability, security, and flexibility allow you to effectively manage and leverage your data like never before.

What Is a Snowflake Data Warehouse?

At its core, Snowflake is a powerful database management systems (DBSM) that offers both cloud computing and cloud storage. And, because its storage and compute functions are decoupled, they can be independently scaled. This provides organizations with an immense flexibility when it comes to handling high volumes of big data.

Snowflake comes in the form of a software as a service (SaaS) and can be built on top of Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Microsoft Azure, or Amazon Web Services (AWS). As a result, it’s entirely run on public cloud infrastructure. Plus, compared to other data warehousing solutions, the Snowflake platform is especially robust and low-maintenance.

So, is Snowflake the best data warehousing software on the market—as evidenced by the Teradata vs Snowflake debate? The question can only be answered in terms of your own unique IT needs and resources. Speak to a software solutions specialist to find out if Snowflake is a right fit for your business.

Moving Data to Cloud Warehousing: What Types of Data Can I Migrate to Snowflake?

As a relational database, Snowflake allows users to store structured data into warehouses of various sizes. Any valid, single-byte delimiter is supported, including CSV and TSV formats. But Snowflake also supports certain semi-structured data types, including:

  • JSON
  • Avro
  • ORC
  • XML
  • Parquet

For unstructured data, however, you’ll need to use the company’s latest platform, Snowpark. Snowpark enables the storing, processing, and querying of unstructured data, such as medial images or call center recordings. That said, how to migrate to the cloud when it comes to unstructured data is another topic altogether.

How to Prepare for a Snowflake Cloud Data Migration

Before you migrate data to cloud platforms of any sort, you first need to lay the groundwork. This means you’ll want to capture all the necessary information about your existing IT environment. This includes the documentation and data that will need to be moved.

For example, when migrating from an Oracle on-prem DB to a Snowflake cloud DB, you must identify which databases and database objects that need to be moved. Objects and schemas belonging to Oracle (such as DBSNMP, SYS, and others) needn’t be touched.

How to Prepare for a Snowflake Cloud Data Migration

Keep in mind that you may encounter some broken objects as you prepare for data migration in cloud warehousing. But don’t worry about these; trying to tackle this now will only serve to inject risk and cause delays in your on-premise to cloud migration. Instead, prioritize the migration of your essential data sets and enterprise data warehouses (EDW).

If you’re looking for some project management advice as you prepare to move data to cloud, check out this Snowflake guide. It includes special emphasis on topics like effective planning and data migration architecture.

How to Migrate Data From On-Prem to Snowflake Cloud Data Warehouse

In this section, we discuss how to migrate to cloud warehousing. If you follow these three simple steps, you’ll be able to migrate data to the cloud in just a few minutes.

For large-scale migrations, there are many data migration cloud tools and resources available to assist you. For now, let’s look at the steps involved in a simple data migration from on-premise to cloud warehousing. We’ll use a CSV example to illustrate how user-friendly Snowflake migration really can be.

1. Select and Split Your Data

Moving data to the cloud from your local environment is fairly simple. Suppose you have a large CSV file you want to migrate to cloud.

Start by using a file splitter like GSplit or an ETL tool. This lets you split a big file into many smaller chunks. Doing so allows you to take advantage of Snowflake’s parallel processing capabilities.

2. Migrate Data to Snowflake Staging Area

To stage the data, open the SnowSQL command line client (CLI). This is a typical CL environment that can be downloaded directly through the platform. You can now begin the process of staging your local files. To do so, simply use a PUT command with the correct Snowflake syntax.

Note that you can set the level of parallelization in the command line utility to any integer between 1 and 100. Keep in mind that the higher the number, the greater processing power you’ll need to execute the command.

You can also auto-compress your files if you haven’t already zipped them; this feature is automatically set to a Boolean value of true, so don’t forget to set it to false if you’ve already manually zipped your files.

3. Verify Your Migration to the Cloud

Once the process is complete, you’ll have successfully transferred your local CSV files to Snowflake’s internal stages. Using the command ls, you can list all the files in your directory.

Here, you should see the files that you’ve just moved, in addition to any other files you previously moved. From the stage data, you can now create tables and query data within your Snowflake dashboard.

You can also follow this procedure to move data to the cloud that has a semi-structured file format. That’s all there is to it: With Snowflake, data migration to cloud is fast and simple.

Migrating Data Doesn’t Have to Be Complicated. Get the Power of Snowflake Data Warehouse, With Ideas2IT

Data migration to the cloud is an important step in your organization’s digital transformation. This is especially true as managing, storing, and analyzing data becomes increasingly critical to business processes.

Snowflake cloud services offer businesses a rich array of features and improvements over traditional on-prem solutions. Plus, migrating from on-prem to cloud isn’t as daunting as you may have thought—especially with the right custom software developer by your side.

Now that you understand how to move to the cloud, consider partnering with a software development company that can help you build the Snowflake digital assets you need.

At Ideas2IT, we’ve been developing custom software solutions for over 13 years. From healthcare to the financial sector, we can assist with your on-prem to cloud migration. We also specialize in managing Snowflake cloud services. Contact us today to get started on your move to cloud computing.