back to article A flurry of data warehouse activity surrounds Snowflake's staggering $120bn valuation

Tech stock sailed through an era-defining moment last week as recently IPO'd cloud data warehouser Snowflake surpassed IBM in market capitalisation. Investors' collective imagination is decidedly unflattering for Big Blue. Leaving aside its undeniable role in the development of modern computing, it has around 350,000 employees …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    So long as my pension company.. not investing in them, let the idiots buy stock.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @IGotOut Re: So long as my pension company..

      Which company?

      Snowflake or IBM? ;-P

      I agree that Snowflake is well overvalued and over priced.

      Their niche is based on the idea of enterprises doing a lift and shift of their RDBMS Data Warehouses to the Cloud as is.

      Free clue... not a good idea. Paradigm shift in underlying tech. ...


      They had and killed Informix. During the 90's they figured out how to do ORDBMs at scale. (IDS and Illustra. ) Could have been a game changer until Informix got bought by IBM.

      IBM kills the souls of companies that they acquire.

      Posted anon for the obvious years.

  2. Detective Emil


    Well, I know what 4-F means, but Triple-F has got me beaten.

    1. Snowy Silver badge

      Re: Triple-F?

      I can think of a rather rude version of Triple-F two of the words being Find and Forget the other being the middle of the three. It could be how they plan to work over their investors.

    2. Gordon 10

      Re: Triple-F?

      I think he is a former Wrestler in the WWE.

  3. Steve Channell

    There is no such thing as magic

    If we're honest the reason that Snowflake has a market sector is [1] Hadoop based databases are still very primitive (not significantly different from the Huston Automatic Spooling Progam of the 1960's), [2] Licence price of traditional RDBMS are very high.

    There is no magic, Snowflake is not especially different from DATAllegro which sharded data across commodity servers in a previous generation, but unlike DATAllegro it runs in the cloud where it must compete with the cloud vendors own products and cover the rental charge of servers. While it has a high valuation it can invest in marketing and technology to optimise (caching, distribution, query plan, serialisation) for specific use-cases.. but eventually economics will catch-up with them: The question whether they can lock-in customers before the prices drops for alternatives.

    1. Gordon 10

      Re: There is no such thing as magic

      Not bad but you miss a point. Lower level of admin needed compared both to Legacy on-prem and Cloudy databases like Hadoop - all wrapped up in a decent UI. A Productised Database if you will.

      They have succeeded in masking the Swans feet thrashing better than most other contenders.

      1. Steve Channell

        Re: There is no such thing as magic

        When I first designed a core banking database for millions of transactions per day, special care was needed to the design indexces, segment size and extends and partitioning to match CPU and volume count, with extensive testing for /*+.. */ query hints to use hash and temp for sorting and scheduler optimisation to avoid parallel jobs using buffer pools at the same time.. doing that today would be largely redundant, but legacy DBA procedures have not moved on.

        Snowflake might have a great UI, but the biggest advances are due to simply updating application and using instrumentation in database: when a $50k server can store all data in optane memory with hundreds of CPU cores, there is a case for moving analytics back to operational database and avoiding almost all of the data-warehouse use-cases. When Teradata launched (with i386 AMP), it was a step-change in performance, but the biggest (multi-million) DBC/1012 then, is less capable then a commodity laptop today..

        Great technology, but the real competitor is that $50k box as a VDI running {Tableau, PowerBI, Qlikview}

  4. NetBlackOps

    The funny thing here is that the optimizations are all low hanging fruit to anyone in database engineering coding to new hardware.

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