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Snowflake Offers General Availability For Its Datawarehouse-as-a-Service

Startup also snags $45 million in venture financing to fuel its anticipated growth.

Snowflake Computing's cloud data warehouse service is now generally available, the startup revealed Tuesday, and the company is set to begin lining up channel partners to work with the Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse service.

The San Mateo, Calif.-based company also said it had collected $45 million in Series C financing, money the company will use to further develop its technology and expand its sales and marketing efforts. The financing round was led by Altimeter Capital and joined by existing investors Redpoint Ventures, Sutter Hill Ventures and Wing Ventures.

Snowflake is positioning itself as an alternative to traditional on-premise data warehouse systems that tend to be complex, expensive and time-consuming to build. The Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse is a SQL data warehouse delivered as Software-as-a-Service in the Amazon Web Services cloud. The startup said it can deliver data warehouse services for a fraction of the cost of on-premise systems.

[Related: 2015 Big Data 100: Infrastructure, Tools and Services]

"This is really the most elastic [data warehouse] product on the market," said CEO Bob Muglia in an interview with CRN. "It makes things simple for people. That's the whole goal."

Snowflake, founded in 2012, exited stealth mode in October and has been offering its data warehouse service on a limited basis since late last year. Some 80 customers have been trying out the service with about 20 of those in production. "We've had some customers in very heavy production for about six months now," Muglia said.

Snowflake has now finished developing the service's features and capabilities that make it enterprise-ready and useful for all use cases, the CEO said. Those include native support for a diverse range of data types, multidimensional elasticity, self-tuning functions, "extreme" high availability, disaster recovery and enterprise-class security -- the latter including such capabilities as encryption for data at rest and during transmission.

The data warehouse service works with structured and semi-structured data, the latter including increasingly prevalent machine data.

Snowflake expects that the data warehouse service will appeal most to businesses replacing legacy data warehouse and data mart systems, for supporting data-intensive cloud applications and for machine data analysis.

Snowflake has just begun recruiting solution provider partners to work with the vendor's data warehouse service, including systems integrators and companies that provide services around the offering, such as those that can integrate the service with on-premise business systems, and build dashboards and other user applications. Some partners also are expected to bring their vertical industry expertise to the table, Muglia said. "We're very early in our stage of channel development," he said.

Snowflake is charging usage-based fees for the Snowflake Elastic Data Warehouse services, priced at $2 per "on-demand credit," with the number of credits needed depending on the amount of data stored and the level of query and processing work performed. The company also is offering discounts for prepaid credits.

PUBLISHED JUNE 23, 2015

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