Choosing the right database is a critical choice when building any software application. All databases have different strengths and weaknesses when it comes to performance, so deciding which database has the most benefits and the most minor downsides for your specific use case and data model is an important decision. Below you will find an overview of the key concepts, architecture, features, use cases, and pricing models of Apache Doris and Snowflake so you can quickly see how they compare against each other.
The primary purpose of this article is to compare how Apache Doris and Snowflake perform for workloads involving time series data, not for all possible use cases. Time series data typically presents a unique challenge in terms of database performance. This is due to the high volume of data being written and the query patterns to access that data. This article doesn’t intend to make the case for which database is better; it simply provides an overview of each database so you can make an informed decision.
Apache Doris vs Snowflake Breakdown
Cloud data warehouse
Doris can be deployed on-premises or in the cloud and is compatible with various data formats such as Parquet, ORC, and JSON.
Snowflake can be deployed across multiple cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud
Interactive analytics, data warehousing, real-time data analysis, reporting, dashboarding
Big data analytics, Data warehousing, Data engineering, Data sharing, Machine learning
Horizontally scalable with distributed storage and compute
Highly scalable with multi-cluster shared data architecture, automatic scaling, and performance isolation
Apache Doris Overview
Apache Doris is an MPP-based interactive SQL data warehousing system designed for reporting and analysis. It is known for its high performance, real-time analytics capabilities, and ease of use. Apache Doris integrates technologies from Google Mesa and Apache Impala. Unlike other SQL-on-Hadoop systems, Doris is designed to be a simple and tightly coupled system that does not rely on external dependencies. It aims to provide a streamlined and efficient solution for data warehousing and analytics.
Snowflake is a cloud-based data warehousing platform that was founded in 2012 and officially launched in 2014. It is designed to enable organizations to efficiently store, process, and analyze large volumes of structured and semi-structured data. Snowflake’s unique architecture separates storage, compute, and cloud services, allowing users to independently scale and optimize each component.
Apache Doris for Time Series Data
Apache Doris can be effectively used with time series data for real-time analytics and reporting. With its high performance and sub-second response time, Doris can handle massive amounts of time-stamped data and provide timely query results. It supports both high-concurrent point query scenarios and high-throughput complex analysis scenarios, making it suitable for analyzing time series data with varying levels of complexity.
Snowflake for Time Series Data
While Snowflake is not specifically designed for time series data, it can still effectively store, process, and analyze such data due to its scalable and flexible architecture. Snowflake’s columnar storage format, combined with its powerful query engine and support for SQL, makes it a suitable option for time series data analysis.
Apache Doris Key Concepts
- MPP (Massively Parallel Processing): Apache Doris leverages MPP architecture, which allows it to distribute data processing across multiple nodes, enabling parallel execution and scalability.
- SQL: Apache Doris supports SQL as the query language, providing a familiar and powerful interface for data analysis and reporting.
- Point Query: Point query refers to retrieving a specific data point or a small subset of data from the database.
- Complex Analysis: Apache Doris can handle complex analysis scenarios that involve processing large volumes of data and performing advanced computations and aggregations.
Snowflake Key Concepts
- Virtual Warehouse: A compute resource in Snowflake that processes queries and performs data loading and unloading. Virtual Warehouses can be independently scaled up or down based on demand.
- Micro-Partition: A storage unit in Snowflake that contains a subset of the data in a table. Micro-partitions are automatically optimized for efficient querying.
- Time Travel: A feature in Snowflake that allows users to query historical data at specific points in time or within a specific time range.
- Data Sharing: The ability to securely share data between Snowflake accounts, without the need to copy or transfer the data.
Apache Doris Architecture
Apache Doris is based on MPP architecture, which enables it to distribute data and processing across multiple nodes for parallel execution. It is a standalone system and does not depend on other systems or frameworks. Apache Doris combines the technology of Google Mesa and Apache Impala to provide a simple and tightly coupled system for data warehousing and analytics. It leverages SQL as the query language and supports efficient data processing and query optimization techniques to ensure high performance and scalability.
Snowflake’s architecture separates storage, compute, and cloud services, allowing users to scale and optimize each component independently. The platform uses a columnar storage format and supports ANSI SQL for querying and data manipulation. Snowflake is built on top of AWS, Azure, and GCP, providing a fully managed, elastic, and secure data warehouse solution. Key components of the Snowflake architecture include databases, tables, virtual warehouses, and micro-partitions.
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Apache Doris Features
Apache Doris is designed for high-performance data analytics, delivering sub-second query response times even with massive amounts of data.
Apache Doris enables real-time data analysis, allowing users to gain insights and make informed decisions based on up-to-date information.
Apache Doris can scale horizontally by adding more nodes to the cluster, allowing for increased data storage and processing capacity.
Snowflake’s architecture allows for independent scaling of storage and compute resources, enabling users to quickly adjust to changing workloads and demands.
Snowflake is a fully managed service, eliminating the need for users to manage infrastructure, software updates, or backups.
Snowflake provides comprehensive security features, including encryption at rest and in transit, multi-factor authentication, and fine-grained access control.
Snowflake enables secure data sharing between accounts without the need to copy or transfer data.
Apache Doris Use Cases
Apache Doris is well-suited for real-time analytics scenarios where timely insights and analysis of large volumes of data are crucial. It enables businesses to monitor and analyze real-time data streams, make data-driven decisions, and detect patterns or anomalies in real time.
Reporting and Business Intelligence
Apache Doris can be used for generating reports and conducting business intelligence activities. It supports fast and efficient querying of data, allowing users to extract meaningful insights and visualize data for reporting and analysis purposes.
Apache Doris is suitable for building data warehousing solutions that require high-performance analytics and querying capabilities. It provides a scalable and efficient platform for storing, managing, and analyzing large volumes of data for reporting and decision-making.
Snowflake Use Cases
Snowflake provides a scalable, secure, and fully managed data warehousing solution, making it suitable for organizations that need to store, process, and analyze large volumes of structured and semi-structured data.
Snowflake can serve as a data lake for ingesting and storing large volumes of raw, unprocessed data, which can be later transformed and analyzed as needed.
Data Integration and ETL
Snowflake’s support for SQL and various data loading and unloading options makes it a good choice for data integration and ETL
Apache Doris Pricing Model
As an open-source project, Apache Doris is freely available for usage and does not require any licensing fees. Users can download the source code and set up Apache Doris on their own infrastructure without incurring any direct costs. However, it’s important to consider the operational costs associated with hosting and maintaining the database infrastructure.
Snowflake Pricing Model
Snowflake offers a pay-as-you-go pricing model, with separate charges for storage and compute resources. Storage is billed on a per-terabyte, per-month basis, while compute resources are billed based on usage, measured in Snowflake Credits. Snowflake offers various editions, including Standard, Enterprise, Business Critical, and Virtual Private Snowflake, each with different features and pricing options. Users can also opt for on-demand or pre-purchased, discounted Snowflake Credits.
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