Understanding All about Cloud Data Warehouse (2023)

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Last Updated on April 10, 2023 by Ashish

Introduction

Data Warehouse is a database enterprise system used to store data and other information from multiple sources. Cloud Data Warehouse is basically a cloud storage system to manage all the collected resources in a cloud space. Data Warehouse within the area of cloud computing helps to accomplish business service flawlessly in a private cloud.

Cloud Data Warehouse is a highly sophisticated designed and integrated cloud management system used to optimize Business Intelligence (BI) analytics and scalability. Cloud Data Warehouse management system does not require any separate physical data centers to store or manage the data [1]. Therefore, Cloud Data Warehouse focuses on organizational growth and permits to pay attention merely to business continuity without managing the server room [2].

Cloud Data Warehouse works in a similar way as Traditional Data Warehouse for collecting information from different sources including Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, and stores in a cloud space [1]. Image portrays the basic framework of the Cloud Data Warehouse system.

Cloud Data Warehouse enables flexibility in terms of varying business strategies in meeting high demands. Cloud Data Warehouse also ensures rapid repository shrinkage and greater performance. In addition, Cloud Data Warehouse parallelly supports the intelligence team to develop a better understanding for faster delivery [2].

Cloud Data Warehouse
Cloud Data Warehouse

Key Features of a Cloud Data Warehouse

Some of the key features of Cloud Data Warehouse are highlighted as follows [3].

  • Cloud Data Warehouse allows flexible data access from anywhere in the world. Cloud Data Warehouse helps trading companies to manage large quantities of data which adds an extra advantage in running their businesses smoothly.
  • Cloud Data Warehouse connects different sources of data and enables diverse data-integrated features.
  • Cloud Data Warehouse includes Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) features to support and improve big data performance.
  • Cloud Data Warehouse supports data management tools to build discrete datasets. These tools are also capable of running queries and permission allocations.
  • Cloud Data Warehouse is typically designed with columnar storage features. The columnar database is a kind of storage system that processes data column-wise and ensures high speed.
  • Cloud Data Warehouse also offers a Cloud Disaster Recovery feature and backup the resources automatically to ensure safety in case of any calamities, or hardware/software failures.
  • Cloud Data Warehouse also saves disk space by compressing data and removing redundant or repetitive data.
  • Cloud Data Warehouse came up with high security and data encryption features. Cloud Data Warehouse ensures limited access to data by only authorized users.
Cloud data warehouse
Storage Room

Traditional VS Cloud Data Warehouse

The differences between Traditional Data Warehouse and Cloud Data Warehouse can be stated as follows [3]. The image also illustrates the basic dissimilarities between these two Data Warehouses.

  1. Traditional Data Warehouse is an on-premises physical data storage system, whereas Cloud Data Warehouse is a cloud data storage system.
  2. Traditional Data Warehouse requires separate hardware to run. However, no hardware is required for Cloud Data Warehouse since it is a cloud concept.
  3. A separate server room is required near the office premises to set up a Traditional Data Warehouse shown in the Image Below. On the other hand, Cloud Data Warehouse does not require any separate server room or data center for its installation.
  4. Traditional Data Warehouse is not portable and scalability is less because It is quite impossible to shift a Traditional Data Warehouse system from one place to another. Simultaneously, the Concept of portability is absent in the Cloud Data Warehouse system, thus Cloud Data Warehouse is more scalable.
  5. To access the data stored within a Traditional Data Warehouse system, the user should remain present in person near the Data Warehouse where it is located. Alternatively, the data stored in Cloud Data Warehouse can be easily accessible from anywhere in the world.
  6. Maintenance is required in the case of a Traditional Data Warehouse since it includes separate servers, hardware, wires, cables, etc. Separate staff also needs to be recruited to manage the Traditional Data Warehouse. On the other hand, Third party cloud service providers took complete responsibility for the maintenance, updates, hardware, software, etc. in the case of Cloud Data Warehouse.
  7. Installation of a Traditional Data Warehouse requires much time and human support, whereas Cloud Data Warehouse Installation is very easy.
  8. Traditional Data Warehouse is less flexible and scalable. Traditional Data Warehouse needs purchasing of additional hardware for its expansion. At the same time, Cloud Data Warehouse is highly flexible and scalable. Cloud Data Warehouse is very easy to redesign and mold according to the company’s needs and desires.
  9. Traditional Data Warehouse is costly due to the involvement of expensive hardware, separate server room, maintenance staff, etc. Concurrently, Cloud Data Warehouse is comparatively cheaper than Traditional Data Warehouse. In the case of Cloud Data Warehouse, payment should be made for only the utilized memory space.
  10. Many risk factors are associated with Traditional Data Warehouses. Traditional Data Warehouses are not a safe option for disaster recovery during natural calamities, military war, hardware failures, etc. During any catastrophe, it is difficult to retrieve the stored resources from a physical storage system. Besides, Cloud Data Warehouse is more secure and safer than Traditional Data Warehouse. The only threat is cyber-terrorism attacks and hacking.
  11. Traditional Data Warehouse is an offline process, whereas Cloud Data Warehouse is an online process. Cloud Data Warehouse requires an active internet connection.
  12. Data recovery speed is slower in Traditional Data Warehouses. It depends on copying speed, system specifications, processor speed, etc. In contrast, Data recovery is much easier and faster in Cloud Data Warehouse. It depends on the internet and bandwidth speed.
Cloud Data Warehouse
Traditional Data Warehouse VS Cloud Data Warehouse

Benefits of adopting a Cloud Data Warehouse

Cloud Data Warehouse can provide benefits in many ways. Some of them are pointed out below as follows [4]. Image also demonstrates the fundamental merits of Cloud Data Warehouse.

  • Accessibility: Cloud Data Warehouse does not restrict its users to access the cloud storage data remotely. In simple words, Cloud Data Warehouse allows its user to access the cloud data at any time from any geographical location.
  • Scalability and flexibility: It is very difficult for any company to predict the future business market. As a result, Cloud Data Warehouse allows scalability to the unpredicted businesses to expand or contract data volume according to their needs. Cloud Data Warehouse does not require any external devices as data volume increases.
  • Maintenance: Separate attention on the maintenance of Cloud Data Warehouse is not required, as the cloud service providers take care of this matter.
  • Cost: Cloud Data Warehouse is cost-effective due to the absence of expensive hardware, server room, and maintenance staff.
  • Performance: The performance of Cloud Data Warehouse is generally high due to the presence of columnar storage and MPP features. These features are capable of processing real-time cloud analytics and quicker running of queries than a Traditional Data Warehouse system.
  • Efficiency: Cloud Data Warehouse consists of multiple servers to share the loads equally. These servers manage enormous amounts of data efficiently without any time lapse.
  • Data storage: Data storage option is not a barrier in Cloud Data Warehouse systems. Nowadays most of the cloud service providers offer a pay-as-you-go subscription model as a paying option for the fraction of storage space companies use.
  • Integration: Cloud Data Warehouse easily integrates data including unstructured and semi-structured from distinct multiple sources to other applications. Sharing data is also easy in Cloud Data Warehouse.
  • Disaster recovery: Cloud Data Warehouse is designed in such a way as to ensure better safety and efficient data recovery during any natural or man-made disasters like earthquakes, floods, military attacks, riots, etc. Cloud Data Warehouse took a backup of all the essential information in the cloud storage on a regular basis without worrying about purchasing additional equipment.
Cloud Data Warehouse
Benefits of Cloud Data Warehouse

Challenges of a Cloud Data Warehouse

Besides the fact that Cloud Data Warehouse is extremely advantageous to businesses, more often the companies face frequent challenges while implementing the Cloud Data Warehouse concept. Here are some of the key threats associated with Cloud Data Warehouses [5].

  • Cost: Although Cloud Data Warehouse is economically cheaper than Traditional Data Warehouse systems, sometimes Cloud Data Warehouse can be very expensive. Since the Cloud Data Warehouse concept runs on a subscription-based model, therefore, the companies have to spend a fixed monthly or annual rent to retain the benefits of Cloud Data Warehouse.
  • Lack of expertise: Cloud Data Warehouse facility is very complex and requires excellent IT skills to run the system.  Most of the companies were not able to implement the Cloud Data Warehouse service due to a lack of proper knowledge and expertise in the field. The companies should recruit professional IT experts having in-depth technical and cloud security understandings to manage Cloud Data Warehouse systems.
  • Security issue: In some cases, Cloud Data Warehouse also fails to deliver strong security alerts. A major reason includes the possibility of hacking or cyber-attack concerns. There is always a probability of hacking the confidential information stored in the cloud space and abusing the same by cybercriminals.

Another security issue can be the trust factor that exists between the customer and the cloud service provider. Cloud Data Warehouse service is provided by a 3rd party company, thus all the deposited resources in the cloud storage are under the surveillance of service providers. The vendors can easily get access to the user’s data if they want. Hence, the customer should choose a trusted cloud service vendor.

  • Data movement: Another problem associated with Cloud Data Warehouse is retrieving the data back into the company’s databases from the cloud. To extract the resources back to the on-premises servers and data centers, ETL (Extracts, Transforms, and Load) needs to be built, and the cost may reach sky-high.

Moreover, loading huge quantities of data into the Data Warehouse in different formats is a very critical task for engineers.

  • Standardization: Different cloud service providers offer different pricing models to the customers for enjoying the benefits of Cloud Data Warehouse service. Hence, most of the time the customers get confused and find it difficult to choose the right one.

It is also challenging for companies to predict the accurate cloud space size that should be purchased in order to utilize the storage efficiently. According to statistics reported by the 2018 RightScale State of The Cloud, 35% of the Cloud Data Warehouse storage is being wasted by the companies seeking the Data Warehouse facility.

Cloud data warehouse
Cloud data storage

Case Studies Different Cloud Data Warehouse Service Providers

Cloud Data Warehouse provides the best solutions to data storage systems using the intelligence system and data analytics. Most companies nowadays took the assistance of a Cloud Data Warehouse management system for storing their valuable data securely in the cloud space.

Cloud Data Warehouse
Server Rooms Exchanging Cyber Data

The selection of a suitable Cloud Data Warehouse service provider is equally important as the proper management of a Data Warehouse system. Here is the list of some reputed Data Warehouse cloud service providers [6].

  1. Amazon Redshift: Amazon Redshift is the Data Warehouse cloud service delivered by the giant e-commerce retailing company Amazon. Amazon Redshift is one of the most popular Data Warehouse service solutions that exist in today’s present market. This Data Warehouse solution has been accepted worldwide by a wide range of reputed companies and businesses including Yelp, Intuit, and Mcdonald’s.

Redshift is built from amazing AWS infrastructure, therefore there will be no issues in the future regarding quality and performance. Moreover, Redshift perfectly fits any kind of data structured or semi-structured into the AWS architecture.

  1. Google BigQuery: BigQuery is a Cloud Data Warehouse service offered by Google. As the parent organization name suggests, it is one of the trusted Data Warehouse solutions. BigQuery offers better accessibility of queries with open SQL databases. Additionally, building an artificial intelligence environment is simple with BigQuery, because BigQuery can be easily embedded with machine learning tools.

The most highlighted benefit that makes this serverless Data Warehouse popular among users, is the nominal cost. The scalability is also high. Hence, BigQuery retains all the desired properties required for an ideal Cloud Data Warehouse.

  1. IBM Db2 Warehouse: Db2 Warehouse is a high-performance data quality management Cloud Data Warehouse solution developed by IBM. The foremost advantage is the integration of the IBM columnar database system with the Db2 Data Warehouse. Due to better compatibility between the two products from the same manufacturer, the performance would be significantly higher.

Db2 Data Warehouse gives provision for cloud distribution, which is only achievable with the AWS Data Warehouse system. Db2 Warehouse also supports a wide range of operating systems, from which the users can choose the most suitable one. IBM also offers an on-premises Db2 Data Warehouse system.

  1. Microsoft Azure Synapse: Microsoft Azure Synapse is an advanced Cloud Data Warehouse solution built by Microsoft Corporation. It is the upgraded model of the Microsoft Azure SQL database. Synapse is a cutting-edge analytics system that integrates Data Warehouse with the most recent advanced big data analytics.

With Microsoft Azure Synapse it is possible to build a business intelligence network within the current data structure. Microsoft Azure Synapse also came with the most advanced security features that safeguard all the cloud resources tightly.

  1. Snowflake: Snowflake is another flexible Data Warehouse solution that came with the facility of a pay-as-you-go pricing model. Another strong point of Snowflake is the simple frame structure that makes it reliable and easy to understand among users.
Cloud Data Warehouse
Internet Cyber Security
  1. Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse: Oracle as the name suggests, is another reputed Cloud Data Warehouse service provider. The most highlighted features of this Data Warehouse are flexibility and scalability.

It allows the users to properly manage the storage space according to their needs. This elastic Data Warehouse follows a pay-as-you-go pricing model for the consumer’s convenience to pay only for the resources they consume.

  1. SAP Data Warehouse Cloud: SAP Data Warehouse also holds similar characteristics like scalability, elasticity, and flexibility to Oracle Data Warehouse. The specialty of SAP Data Warehouse lies in making effective intelligent business decisions. Thus, SAP Data Warehouse is suitable for businesses of any size.
  2. Teradata Integrated Data Warehouse: Teradata Integrated Data Warehouse remains the top market leader in the Data Warehouse services field. Teradata Data Warehouse serves some of the largest companies in the world for over 35 years. Teradata Data Warehouse is capable of extracting data from different sources and delivers 360-degree insight for sustaining quality data management.
  3. Panoply: Panoply is a Data Warehouse system utterly designed for the cloud concept. Panoply includes optimized storage and vision integration features that help companies to succeed in the field of data analytics and management.

Panoply is capable of storing and synchronizing different data sources and allows easy data access using SQL. Panoply is also compatible with a wide range of business intelligence tools that make it more suitable to handle data-oriented decisions.

  1. Yellowbrick Data: Yellowbrick Data is exclusively designed for hybrid cloud storage systems. Organizations relying on the Yellowbrick Data Warehouse structure can run any SQL requests apart from Ad-hoc queries on demand. Further, Yellowbrick also assists in the continuous monitoring of warehouse conditions and 24/7 customer support.

The image compares some of the top Cloud Data Warehouse service providers based on cost, scaling, performance, data types, maintenance, and compatibility.

Cloud Data Warehouse
Comparisons of Cloud Data Warehouse service providers

Conclusion

This article reflects the complete details of Cloud Data Warehouse management. The whole article is divided into six sections that focus on different things related to Cloud Data Warehouse management systems. Almost all the facts about Cloud Data Warehouse were tried to cover within these divided segments.

The article starts with an introduction section that covers the fundamentals of Cloud Data Warehouse. The first portion draws a basic outline and tries to provide a simple idea of Cloud Data Warehouse. The second segment highlights the significant features associated with Cloud Data Warehouse. The features portray some of the strength that makes Cloud Data Warehouse superior to Traditional Data Warehouse.

Cloud Data Warehouse
Virtual Data Center

A comparison between Traditional Data Warehouses and Cloud Data Warehouses is included in the third section. This portion indicates the drawbacks associated with the Traditional Data Warehouse, simultaneously highlighting the benefits of Cloud Data Warehouse over Traditional Data Warehouse.

The fourth and fifth segment illustrates the benefits and threats related to Cloud Data Warehouse. The Fourth section discusses some substantial advantages that make Cloud Data Warehouses more acceptable among users than Traditional Data Warehouse. Parallelly, the fifth section also states some of the crucial challenges linked to Cloud Data Warehouse that should not be ignored.

Finally, some of the reputed Cloud Data Warehouse service providers are listed in the sixth fragment and their case studies are also considered. There are always some positive as well as negative sides to be considered when choosing a suitable Data Warehouse service provider. It is very hard to find the best or optimum one in all respects. Therefore, the companies should select the most appropriate one based on their business models and the pricing strategy offered by the Data Warehouse vendors.

References

  1. Qlik. (2022). Cloud Data Warehouse Guide. https://www.qlik.com/us/cloud-data-migration/cloud-data-warehouse#:~:text=A%20cloud%20data%20warehouse%20is,for%20scalable%20BI%20and%20analytics. (Retrieved on 28th November, 2022)
  2. Vernon DaCosta.(6th September 2021). What is Cloud Data Warehouse?: Comprehensive Guide 101. Hevo. https://hevodata.com/blog/cloud-data-warehouse-101/ (Retrieved on 28th November, 2022)
  3. ThoughtSpot. (2022). What is a cloud data warehouse and how does it work? https://www.thoughtspot.com/data-trends/data-storage/what-is-a-cloud-data-warehouse (Retrieved on 28th November, 2022)
  4. Rehan, A. (25th June 2021). 6 Benefits of Adopting a Cloud Data Warehouse for Your Organization. Astera. Wainstein, L. (26th September, 2018). Managing a Data Warehouse in the Cloud: 5 Challenges. Database Trends and Applications. https://www.dbta.com/Editorial/Think-About-It/Managing-a-Data-Warehouse-in-the-Cloud-5-Challenges-127062.aspx (Retrieved on 28th November, 2022)
  5. EM360 Tech. (18th September 2020). Top 10 Cloud Data Warehouse Solution Providers. https://em360tech.com/data_management/tech-features-featuredtech-news/top-10-cloud-data-warehouse-solution-providers (Retrieved on 28th November, 2022)