UPDATED 12:45 EDT / JUNE 04 2019

CLOUD

Data warehouse firm Snowflake Computing adds a marketplace for third-party data

Cloud data warehouse company Snowflake Computing Inc. is making it easier for users to access different data sources with a new service it announced today at its Snowflake Summit event in San Francisco that runs through June 6.

The extremely well-funded San Mateo, California-based Snowflake sells a cloud data warehouse that runs on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Corp.’s Azure. The offering competes with the native data warehouse services on those platforms, as well as other solutions from companies including Google LLC.

Snowflake sets itself apart with a collection of automation features designed to reduce the work involved in managing deployments. The new Snowflake Data Exchange is essentially a marketplace for Snowflake users that enables third-party data from various providers to be accessed more conveniently, the company said.

The exchange does away with the need to tap into such data via an application programming interface or by first extracting data to cloud storage. Benefits include faster access and more control over the data, the company said.

The Snowflake Data Exchange can be accessed directly from user’s accounts, and contains a broad catalog of real-time data sources that companies can access and combine with existing data sets. Data providers include companies such as Weather Source LLC, which offers information on hyperlocal weather systems and climate change from around the world.

“The Snowflake Data Exchange is a disruptive new technology that will redefine how companies acquire, leverage and monetize data to power their businesses,” Weather Source Chief Executive Officer Mark Gibbas said in a statement.

Analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. said the addition of Snowflake’s Data Exchange should be useful, since it’s difficult for companies to select, provide, license and market data as a standalone offering.

“Data-as-a-service is a less spoken-about but very real ‘as-a-service’ business,” Mueller said. “Snowflake’s new capability makes it easier for enterprises to dip into DaaS, albeit on Snowflake’s platform only.”

The addition of the Snowflake Data Exchange service comes barely a month after Snowflake announced its CEO, former Microsoft Corp. executive Bob Muglia, would leave the company, to be replaced by ex-ServiceNow Inc. CEO Frank Slootman.

“The Snowflake Data Exchange allows our customers to interchange data in a secure, innovative and friction-free way,” Slootman said.

The new service was announced just one day after Snowflake said it’s making its data warehouse available on Microsoft’s Azure Government cloud platform, which is a special version of Azure that’s designed to meet stricter federal security and compliance requirements.

Image: geralt/Pixabay

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