The company is "also in some sense more easily understood as a phenomenon of how do we make sense [of data]," said Arthur Hu, chief information officer at Lenovo Group Ltd. Business data over the last decade has become both more valuable and more abundant, the result of the push toward digital processes, such as e-commerce and automation, that simultaneously consume and generate information. The data deluge is only likely to increase, thanks to emerging technologies like edge devices and 5G, which are poised to enable data to come from more places at a faster pace. The Morning Download delivers daily insights and news on business technology from the CIO Journal team. Within this framework and defined broadly, "anything that smacks of'how can I take data and make it relevant and accessible and break down the barriers' is going to be highly attractive," said Mr. Hu. An April IDC report estimated that some 59 million petabytes of data would be created, captured, copied and consumed in 2020, up from 45 million petabytes in 2019.
Cloud data warehouse player Snowflake Computing is today announcing availability of its platform on Microsoft's Azure cloud. Heretofore available only on Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company now offers the first major multi-cloud data warehouse. That Snowflake started off on AWS is somewhat ironic, given the company's Microsoft DNA. For example, Snowflake CEO Bob Muglia once led the Server and Tools Business (the precursor to today's Cloud and Enterprise division) at Microsoft. And Soma Somasegar, Managing Director at Madrona Venture Group, which participated in Snowflake's $100M Series D funding round last year, led Microsoft's developer division for many years.
The valuation ranks Snowflake fourth among privately held U.S.-based business software and services companies, according to Dow Jones VentureSource. The latest round, led by Sequoia Capital, brings the total raised by Snowflake to just under $1 billion. Companies use data warehouses to store and analyze huge amounts of information, everything from sales to billing to supply-chain metrics. Annual revenue in data warehousing is expected to climb to $19.87 billion in 2020, a 41% jump from last year, according to market-research firm International Data Corp. Snowflake, which last raised $263 million in January, doesn't disclose its finances.
If the biggest impediment to the Data Warehouse market growth was cost and hardware scalability limits, then the logjam has broken. And if the biggest boon to Hadoop adoption was commodity compute and storage economics, along with elastic scaling, then things may be more complicated now. Cloud-based data warehousing (DW), based on cloud storage and cloud-based clusters of database virtual machines, makes DW much easier than it was on-premises. And now, Snowflake Computing, a cloud DW startup, has slashed storage prices, possibly making the economics as attractive as the logistics. Show me the money here's the lowdown: Snowflake's terabyte/month storage costs are now 30 for "capacity" storage (sold on a contracted basis -- down from 125) and 50 for "on-demand" storage (sold on a pay-as-you-go basis -- down from 150).