You’re Spending Too Much on Snowflake—Here’s How to Fix It

By: Phil D'Amico | August 17th, 2023

It may surprise Snowflake users to learn the efficiency of their warehouse credit usage can be as low as 10%. They realize that gaining visibility into data activity happening within their environment can be challenging, but that doesn’t mean managing its costs has to be. Our WatchDog solution provides a simple path to substantial cost savings by tuning the complex configurations of Snowflake warehouses through proprietary algorithms and cache optimization.

One of the main reasons you opted for Snowflake was because you would only pay for the compute you consumed.

You said goodbye to the raised floor sunk costs of on-prem infrastructure and complex skillsets to support an onsite solution. But when you look at your monthly Snowflake costs now, you are caught by surprise. Why are the fees so much more expensive than they appeared to be when you signed up? Maybe you’re already asking your teams to run fewer workflows or less often. But you’re solving it the wrong way. Snowflake is an incredible tool. You’re just paying too much for it.

You can have lower costs and more workloads and CoEnterprise can help—and we can prove it out of the gate at no cost to you. There isn’t a quicker way path to cost reduction in Snowflake with minimal to no impact on your end users. In this blog post, we’ll explain why you’re paying too much, how it happens, and how our WatchDog solution can fix it.


It isn’t true—you’re paying way more

Maybe we’re wrong, but you probably think that you pay for Snowflake compute something like this:

  1. A query is run for a second
  2. You pay for a second
  3. There are negligible incidental costs like data storage
  4. The second is added to your bill
  5. At the end of the month, add up all the seconds and calculate the credits

If this is what you think Snowflake consumptions look like, you are in the dark and don’t understand what you are actually paying for. Don’t feel bad. You’re in good company.


The Snowflake Efficiency Index (SEI)

There’s a thing at CoEnterprise we call the Snowflake Efficiency Index (SEI). It’s the ratio of time that a query runs versus the net time that is applied towards a credit. If a query ran for exactly an hour and you were charged for an hour, then that would be 1:1. You would have an Efficiency Index of 100%. But if you ran a query for thirty minutes, then you would have an Efficiency Index of 50%. Before reading any further, guess what the Efficiency Index is in your Snowflake environment? 90%, 80%, 50%? You probably assume you’re closer to 90% than 50%. You could be in for a surprise. Here’s the provable reality:

You may be running queries as low as 25% of the time that you are getting billed.

If you have an annual spend of $500K on Snowflake, your time running queries might only be for $125K. That should bother you. A lot. Think about that when someone asks you to cut costs.


How can I tell what my Snowflake Efficiency Index (SEI) is?

Guess what? You can’t. There is nothing in Snowflake meta data that allows a Snowflake customer to make this calculation. Snowflake exposes incredibly rich, enviable meta data, but not here. You can imagine why not. For example, you can see your credits consumed for compute, for cloud services, for storage, etc., but if you’re hoping for the ratio of compute time to credit time to be administratively available, you’ll be frustrated. It’s opaque. So, it could be you have 15% SEI or it could be you have a 60% SEI. No matter what efficiency you’re running at, we’re pretty sure it can be improved substantially, and we’ll prove it to you and you can calculate your overall savings from there. You’ll be thrilled.

Bottom line: you’re paying too much, and you can fix it – or you can prove us wrong with your 92% SEI and know that you can sleep at night.

WatchDog by CoEnterprise


So, why can CoEnterprise figure this out and we can’t?

We’ve done some serious homework. We’ve reverse-engineered the compute billing model, considered a multitude of factors, and can juggle the trade-offs that exist between cost and user experience. We know where to look, why to look there, and where the levers are hidden. And we keep you fully in control for what matters most to you and your organization.

How do we do it? We have a solution called WatchDog and its bite is as big as its bark. WatchDog will continually monitor your environment, optimizing your Snowflake account for cost and making sure that your users remain delighted. It provides fine-grained control over your Snowflake compute and your results will be stunning.

Just as important, we can prove it to you for free.


How can you get your Snowflake Efficiency Index?

Reach out to our sales team. We’ll set up a 30-minute exploration of your Snowflake account meta data to get you your SEI and the information you need to fix it. We’ll demonstrate what you could have saved in the last 30 days with our solution. Our assessment requires no user data, a marginal amount of time, and a chance to radically alter your monthly bill.


No quicker way to cost reduction with Snowflake

You’ve been losing money in Snowflake since you started reading this article. In less than 30 minutes, we can provide you with a reliable estimate of what you would have saved with WatchDog if you’d installed it 30 days ago.

Click here to get started now!


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