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Case Study: Migrating a Large Data Warehouse to Snowflake


Our client needed a solution that would solve several related issues. Their existing data warehousing solution was an on-premise appliance that was not performing fast enough to meet business needs. Acquisitions by the company meant additional performance needs were required on a regular basis. The client found itself having to invest in hardware too frequently, and decided that this was not an optimal long term strategy due to scalability issues. Other issues that drove our client to seek a better solution included the high costs to maintain and store the physical hardware necessary for their data warehouse. There was also a struggle for resources between departments as queries were slow while the existing solution was loading data. There was also a risk associated with having everything rely on this physical hardware in the event of a catastrophic event such as a natural disaster. The client turned to INSPYR Solutions to solve these issues.


INSPYR Solutions was brought into the equation after having successfully served this client in past projects. As a trusted partner, the client knew that INSPYR Solutions would deliver on the promised solutions in a timely manner. Thanks to a strategic partnership with Snowflake, the enterprise data warehouse built for the cloud, INSPYR Solutions was able to offer this ideal solution to the client that solved all of the problems presented by the existing on premise data warehouse solution.

Snowflake’s elastic cloud solution can handle fluctuating resource needs. Their virtual warehouse separates compute and storage, so using the Snowflake solution proposed by INSPYR Solutions immediately solved the issue of slow queries. Since this solution is built for the cloud, INSPYR Solutions was also able to establish faster and more efficient processes to integrate existing on-premise systems such as the mainframe, ERP, and CRM with the cloud.

INSPYR Solutions provided a solution architect team to implement the Snowflake solution. This team also oversaw conversion and integration package development to ensure that the existing on premise systems would be fully functional with Snowflake as they were migrated from the old system.


INSPYR Solutions provided the client a cloud warehouse solution that resulted in a 200 to 300 times faster performance of the data warehouse compared to the old system. In addition to this remarkable increase in speed, the new and more flexible platform also allows areas of the company to have their own separate warehouses, eliminating the competition for competing queries that the company experienced in the past. It is even possible for each department to have their own virtual cluster with separate billing for even easier management.

In addition to the increased speeds, INSPYR Solutions also won the client an enormous cost savings compared to the old data warehouse. The Snowflake platform presents a 70% cost savings on hardware and software compared to the previous solution.

While these two results on their own are quite noteworthy, INSPYR Solutions also gave the client the peace of mind that comes with knowing that its data would be safe even in the event of a natural disaster. Thanks to Snowflake’s ability to replicate client data across zones, the recoverability is ensured at no additional cost.

Another reason why INSPYR Solutions recommends the Snowflake platform is that it is available all the time, but a client only pays for what they use, unlike the older business model of having to maintain and pay for servers constantly. Snowflake’s cloud also requires no maintenance, no partitions, is optimized for the client’s usage patterns, and uses ANSI SQL, making it easy to transition without extensive training for existing staff.

Not only does Snowflake perform better and faster, but it costs significantly less than the previous system the client was using. INSPYR Solutions was able to offer this elegant solution to the client, aid with oversight and management of the conversion and integration, and complete the client’s migration to a newer, better system.

Client Profile

The client is a global supplier of products and services for the everyday workplace. It promotes productivity by offering the latest technology products and merchandise catered to meet the needs of consumers worldwide. As a company with an ever growing online presence, the client provides customers with an award-winning e-commerce website specifically catered to meet the demands of its growing online client base. The client’s annual sales are in the billions and with over a thousand stores across many countries, this Fortune 500 company continues to be one of the leading suppliers in its industry.

Technologies Supported

Snowflake is the only data warehouse built for the cloud. Snowflake delivers the performance, concurrency and simplicity needed to store and analyze all data available to an organization in one location. Snowflake’s technology combines the power of data warehousing, the flexibility of big data platforms, the elasticity of the cloud, and live data sharing at a fraction of the cost of traditional solutions. Snowflake: Your data, no limits. Find out more at snowflake.com.

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