The Complete Guide to Snowflake Pricing | 2024

Mar 10th, 2024
The Complete Guide to Snowflake Pricing | 2024
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Understanding Snowflake's Pricing Structure

Snowflake adopts a consumption-based pricing strategy, common among cloud Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings. Instead of a flat-rate subscription, charges are based on the extent of resources utilized, including computing power, storage, and data transfer, with fees calculated according to fixed rates for each category.

The platform operates on a system of 'credits' which are expended during operation, such as when running virtual warehouses. The cost of these credits is influenced by several factors, including the selected Snowflake plan, the geographic location of data hosting, and the choice of cloud provider.

Table of Contents

  1. Diverse Plans for Various Needs
  2. Geographic Flexibility with Snowflake Regions
  3. Benefits and Considerations of Snowflake's Pricing Model
  4. Snowflake Service Pricing Simplified
  5. Conclusion

Diverse Plans for Various Needs

Snowflake offers several subscription plans, each tailored to meet different organizational needs:

  • Standard Edition: The base-level offering provides essential Snowflake capabilities.
  • Enterprise Edition: Offers advanced features including multi-cluster warehouses for better scalability.
  • Business Critical Edition: Focuses on enhanced security and data protection measures.
  • Virtual Private Snowflake (VPS): The most secure option, offering the highest level of data isolation and protection.

Each plan comes with specific features designed to cater to varying business requirements, with detailed comparisons available in Snowflake's documentation.

Geographic Flexibility with Snowflake Regions

Snowflake allows the creation of multiple accounts across a wide selection of regions and cloud providers, with over 35 regions available. This flexibility ensures that organizations can align their Snowflake usage with their existing cloud infrastructure, optimizing performance and data governance.

Benefits and Considerations of Snowflake's Pricing Model

The pay-as-you-go nature of Snowflake's pricing ensures cost efficiency, allowing organizations to scale resources up or down based on demand, thereby avoiding unnecessary costs for unused capacity. However, the variability in expenses can make budget forecasting challenging, emphasizing the need for diligent usage monitoring and budget management.

Cost-Effectiveness of Snowflake

With appropriate usage monitoring and management practices, Snowflake can be an exceptionally cost-effective solution for data management. The platform encourages the use of its in-built reporting tools, custom dashboards, or third-party solutions to help users keep track of their spending effectively.

Snowflake Credit Costs

The pricing of Snowflake credits varies based on the plan, the data hosting region, the chosen cloud provider, and any applicable discounts. This range is particularly noticeable in the on-demand payment option, where charges are billed monthly, with differences observed across various regions, including the United States.

In summary, Snowflake's flexible, usage-based pricing model offers businesses a scalable, efficient, and secure data management solution. By selecting the appropriate edition and leveraging tools for usage monitoring, organizations can maximize their investment in Snowflake while keeping costs under control.

Snowflake Service Pricing Simplified

Snowflake offers a diverse range of services each tailored to different data processing needs. Here’s a breakdown focused on "Snowflake Pricing" to clarify how costs are determined across its services.

Virtual Warehouse Pricing

The backbone of Snowflake's compute cost, virtual warehouses, vary in price based on their size. Each size represents a doubling in resources, with Snowpark-optimized options offering 16 times the memory at 1.5 times the cost. This chart simplifies the credit consumption per hour for each warehouse size:

- **X-Small to 6X-Large**: Credits per hour increase from 1 for an X-Small to 512 for a 6X-Large warehouse.

- **Snowpark-Optimized**: Starting from Medium size, the credits per hour are 1.5 times the regular warehouse, beginning at 6 credits per hour for Medium up to 768 for 6X-Large.

Virtual warehouse expenses typically account for 80% of a customer's Snowflake bill, making them a key area for cost optimization.

Serverless Pricing

Snowflake's serverless options like Snowpipe and Automatic Clustering consume credits based on specific multipliers. Notably:

  • Cheapest: Query Acceleration and Snowpipe Streaming, at 1 credit per hour.
  • Most Expensive: Materialized views maintenance and Search Optimization Service, at 10 compute credits per hour.

Serverless features offer varied credit rates, highlighting the need to understand each service's cost impact.

Storage Pricing

Snowflake charges directly for storage in its proprietary format across cloud services (Amazon S3, Azure Blob Storage, Google Cloud Storage), with costs differing by region and provider. For instance, AWS USA regions may have a rate of $23 per TB per month. Detailed pricing is available on Snowflake's site, emphasizing the importance of managing storage to avoid unnecessary costs.

Data Transfer Costs

While ingress to Snowflake is free, and transferring data within the same region and provider incurs no cost, certain features that involve data egress may have associated charges. It's vital to consult Snowflake's detailed pricing to understand potential egress fees.

Cloud Services Costs

Snowflake's cloud services, covering non-storage and non-processing activities, employ a fair-use policy where usage of up to 10% of compute credits is included at no extra cost. This policy ensures that most customers won't incur additional charges, though extensive simple query executions might exceed this threshold.

Snowpark Container Services Pricing

Introducing Snowpark Container Services (SPCS), a managed container service allowing for containerized workloads within Snowflake. SPCS operates on Compute Pools, distinct from virtual warehouses, with credits varying by compute node type (CPU, High-Memory CPU, GPU). These services cater to different requirements, from cost-effective setups to high-memory and GPU-intensive applications.


Understanding the specifics of Snowflake's pricing across virtual warehouses, serverless services, storage, data transfer, cloud services, and container services enables better budget management and cost optimization in leveraging Snowflake's data cloud capabilities. 

For more detailed information on Snowflake's pricing structure, check out our previous blog post on how to optimize your Snowflake costs.

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