Which Type of Data Incur Snowflake Storage Cost?


Angela Bailey

Snowflake is a powerful cloud data platform that provides scalable storage and computing capabilities for businesses. While Snowflake offers various pricing models, it’s essential to understand which types of data incur storage costs. This knowledge can help optimize your data usage and effectively manage your Snowflake expenses.

Understanding Snowflake Storage

Snowflake uses a unique architecture that separates compute resources from storage. This separation allows businesses to scale their compute resources independently from their storage needs, providing flexibility and cost-effectiveness.

When you load data into Snowflake, it automatically compresses and stores it in a columnar format, optimizing storage efficiency. However, not all types of data are treated equally when it comes to storage costs.

Data Types That Incur Storage Costs

1. Table Data:

  • Snowflake charges for the total amount of uncompressed data stored in your tables.
  • The more data you store, the higher the storage costs will be.
  • It’s crucial to regularly analyze and clean up unused or unnecessary data to avoid unnecessary expenses.

2. Time Travel Data:

  • Snowflake provides a unique feature called “Time Travel” that allows you to query historical versions of your data.
  • Time Travel consumes additional storage space as it preserves all changes made within a specified retention period (default is 1 day).
  • You should carefully manage your Time Travel retention settings based on your business requirements to control associated costs.

3. Fail-safe Data:

  • Snowflake automatically protects against accidental deletion or modification of data through the “Fail-safe” feature.
  • Fail-safe data incurs additional storage costs as it maintains copies of your data for a predefined retention period (default is 7 days).
  • Review and adjust your Fail-safe retention settings according to your business needs to optimize storage expenses.

Data Types That Do Not Incur Storage Costs

1. Metadata:

  • Snowflake does not charge for metadata, including table schemas, views, or user-defined functions.
  • This allows you to freely create and manage metadata objects without worrying about storage costs. Query Results:

    • Snowflake does not charge for the temporary storage used to store query results.
    • This temporary storage is automatically managed by Snowflake and is cleared once the query completes or if it’s unused for an extended period of time.


    Understanding which types of data incur Snowflake storage costs is crucial for managing your expenses effectively. By regularly monitoring and optimizing your table data, Time Travel settings, and Fail-safe retention periods, you can control and minimize your storage costs. Remember that Snowflake’s separation of compute resources from storage provides flexibility, allowing you to scale each independently based on your specific business needs.

    Take advantage of Snowflake’s powerful features while being conscious of how different data types impact your overall storage costs!

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