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Snowflake Tutorial For Beginners: Guide To Architecture [2023]

Snowflake tutorial for beginners gives you a perfect start to learning everything you need to master the cloud-based warehousing platform. Keep reading as we have briefed Snowflake database architecture and its fundamentals. 

Built on the top of AWS (Amazon Web Services), Snowflake is a cloud-based data warehousing platform. It is a true SaaS offering. The Snowflake data warehouse is much faster, easy to set up, and far more flexible compared to traditional data warehouse solutions. 

With the demand for big data growing, enterprises are shifting from traditional data storage solutions to cloud data warehouses. The reason behind choosing the cloud for storage is its high scalability and flexibility. Snowflake is one of the most widely popular cloud data solutions on the market. 

Read our beginner’s guide to learn data warehousing solutions, their features, Snowflake architecture, and so much more. 

What Is Snowflake Cloud Data Warehouse? 

According to a 6Sense report for 2023, over 11718 companies have started using Snowflake as their data warehousing tool. The reason behind the adoption of Snowflake is its high scalability and easy data management. Snowflake is the first analytics database built for the cloud. In addition, it can run on the most popular cloud providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud platforms. 

Snowflake is a data warehousing platform that enables businesses to store, manage, and analyze large data volumes. The unique multi-cluster shared data architecture delivers the concurrency, performance, and elasticity that organizations require. It features three main layers — compute, storage, and global services — that are physically separated but integrated logically. 

Architecturally, there are three layers in the Snowflake platform. 

Database Storage Layer 

The core aim of the database storage layer is to break massive volumes of data into multiple tiny partitions. The scalable cloud blob storage stores structured and semi-structured data systematically to make data management simple. Compute nodes link to the storage layer to acquire data for query processing. 

Query Processing Layer 

The second layer is responsible for query execution with the help of virtual warehouses. MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) compute clusters comprise many nodes with Memory and CPU hosted on the cloud. The best part about virtual warehouses is that they can be auto-resumed and auto-suspended using the auto-scaling factor. 

Cloud Services Layer 

The cloud services layer coordinates and handles all other services in Snowflake, such as sessions, SQL compilation, encryption, etc. The services in this layer include infrastructure management, authentication, metadata management, access control, and query parsing and optimization. 

Let’s take an example to understand how these different layers work together in a Snowflake. 

  • Snowflake connects through one of the supported clients and starts a session.
  • The first virtual warehouse starts working by submitting a query. 
  • The service verifies the authorized access data in the database to execute operations defined in the query. 
  • Once Snowflake processes the queries, the service layer creates an optimized query plan and sends query execution instructions to the virtual warehouse. 
  • Upon receiving the instructions, the virtual warehouse allocates resources to let the data in the storage layer execute the query. 
  • Finally, the users get the end results. 

Snowflake Tutorial: Connect & Load Data  

Now let us learn how to connect to Snowflake data warehouse in this Snowflake tutorial for beginners. There are multiple ways to connect with other services, including: 

  • ODBC and JDBC drivers
  • Third-party connectors like BI tools and ETL tools
  • Native connectors 
  • Command-line clients 
  • Web-based user interface 

Below we include the four options that enable you to load data in the scalable and secure cloud platform. 

SnowSQL for Build Loading 

The build loading is performed in two phases — file staging and loading data from CSV files. 

Staging the files: In this phase, all the data files are uploaded to a location where Snowflake can access them. Next, it loads massive amounts of data from stage files into tables in the database system. 

Loading the data: In the second phase, you will need a virtual warehouse to load data into Snowflake. The warehouse extracts data from each file. Next, it inserts the data as rows in the table. 


Snowpipe is an excellent option for bulk-loading data in Snowflake. You can use this method to stage files in external locations. The best part about Snowpipe is that you can automate the process by using COPY command with additional features. With the help of external computing resources, you can continuously load the data and eliminate any need for a virtual warehouse. 

Third-Party Tools

Snowflake offers a comprehensive ecosystem of services and applications that lets you load data from disparate external data sources. 

Web Interface 

The last method to load data into a scalable and secure Snowflake platform is the web interface. You need to simply select the table and press the load button. This will help you load data into Snowflake. As it combines both staging and loading data into one operation, it simplifies the overall process. 

Whether you want to implement Snowflake or load data into it with the help of Snowflake tutorial for beginners, having an expert team by your side is vital. The Inferenz team has been helping enterprises streamline their data migration process. Feel free to contact Inferenz experts to make data management simple. 

Get Started With Snowflake Tutorial For Beginners

Snowflake is one of the best tools for data stacks, helping enterprises load and process data quickly. One of the best benefits that Snowflake provides is that the virtual warehouse can be scaled up or down to leverage the compute resources and pay only for what you use. 

Inferenz can help you transfer data to the fully managed cloud data warehouse — Snowflake. Our expert will focus on understanding your needs to load or store data in the modern cloud stack. For more information about the Snowflake tutorial for beginners or to learn more about the migration, contact Inferenz experts today.