Do Customers Want Open Data Platforms?
Interesting article comparing Open Data/Open Source to Snowflake, coming down in favor of Open.
The article points out that Snowflake was an early detractor of Hadoop. But glosses over the very real problems that companies trying to implement Hadoop (an open framework with free utilities) have encountered. Those problems are well described in an article which quotes former Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia (https://www.datanami.com/2017/03/13/hadoop-failed-us-tech-ex… ).
The article does admit that Snowflake makes a compelling case that shielding user from technical complexity is worth giving up that control, but then comes around and claims customers won’t be happy with non-open source/open-data: “What about an enhancement in the file format that enables better compression or better processing?” they ask. says the article.
Well, we just saw an example of that! Snowflake implemented additional data compression. This was done completely behind the scenes with zero impact on users or workflows, with the only result that costs for Snowflake customers declined. An ultimate “taste great, less filling” technical result if you ask me, compared to trying to roll your own data compression on top of some open framework that isn’t tuned for performance.
And of course, competitors like Dremio claim that Snowflake’s architecture is just another veiled attempt to lock customers in to Snowflake, and is quoted as saying: The only functionality you’re going to get is what Snowflake is going to provide you. Which is inaccurate since Snowflake is working with multiple vendors for connectors so that you can do processing in/with them instead. Databricks is cited as an example of “Open,” without mentioning that it’s all Spark-based and that you have to literally code programs to use Spark, or that Spark is just another part of the Hadoop eco-system.
At any rate, I found it interesting to read an anti-Snowflake article even if it did have much with which I disagree.