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Oracle to Snowflake Migration Benefits

12.01.2023
Oracle to Snowflake Migration Series, part 1

Oracle is among the leading database management systems for running online transaction processing and data warehousing systems. With increasing volume, velocity, and variety of data that is at our disposal for modern analytics, Oracle offers limited scalability to support demanding workloads. In addition, Oracle comes with high licensing and maintenance costs, requires hardware on which it runs, and must have dedicated DBA staff available to set up and maintain the system.

Snowflake’s Data Cloud scales in a way that’s simply not possible to do with Oracle. By separating compute from storage, Snowflake automatically and instantly scales with its multi-cluster architecture. It provides access to a virtually unlimited number of concurrent users and applications while ensuring that performance is not diminished. With Snowflake, you only pay for what you use; there are no licensing or upgrade fees.

Despite the widespread use of Oracle and availability of Oracle talent, many businesses are moving their applications away from Oracle and onto Snowflake not only for the superior scalability but also for other benefits, such as total cost of ownership, reduced maintenance effort, and unique cloud capabilities that distinguish Snowflake from traditional Oracle environments.


For this reason, we have compiled this guide, where we’ll deep dive into the migration strategy itself, present how to migrate data, metadata, ETL scripts, stored procedures, and functions and what to look out for during the process. To top it up, we’ll show you some really staggering comparisons from our recent projects.


If you’d like us to review your stack and help you with your migration challenges, feel free to drop us a message. Read on how to migrate data from Oracle to Snowflake.


Migration benefits

We’ll start off with the benefits when comparing Snowflake against Oracle, which are answering the first question of why to migrate and are explained in more detail in the following sections.

No Traditional Administration

Snowflake is based on an as-a-service delivery model in the cloud that manages itself without the need for traditional database administration roles. Snowflake reduces complexity with built-in performance tuning, so there is no need for a DBA to be available at all times to perform query optimization. Most queries will run just fine in Snowflake without the need for manual intervention.

Workload management is unnecessary in a Snowflake environment due to its multi-cluster architecture, which allows you to create separate compute clusters for varying workloads to avoid resource contention. This is all accomplished internally by Snowflake with minimal DBA support.

Already In The Cloud

Many new data sources are already in the cloud which enables loading data into Snowflake directly from cloud storage providers, including AWS, Azure, and GCP. Data can be accessed from all of these sources with direct, governed, and secure access in real-time with minimal data copying and moving operations. This eliminates the investment in new infrastructure to store and process data and enables powerful analytics.

Pay Only What You Use

Snowflake cost is based on a pay-as-you-go model depending on the amount of data that is stored and the workload that is processed. You pay only for what you use and there is no overhead. This significantly differs from Oracle, where capacity planning for on-premises is required and you always incur the risk of over- or under-configuring your system. This is especially critical in situations when you need multiple servers, such as with high-availability configurations that require overhead capacity. Snowflake’s elastic storage and compute architecture eliminates this risk.

You can read more about Snowflake’s pricing on our blog.

Disaster Recovery

The Oracle database has several disaster recovery scenarios, many of which require the purchase of additional hardware, software licenses, and network infrastructure. With Snowflake, this is not necessary because by design, Snowflake is automatically synced across multiple availability zones. No manual administration work is required on your part to establish this configuration. In addition, Snowflake has powerful features such as time travel and fail safe that secure your data against unexpected events.

Oracle to Snowflake Migration Ebook

Download this step by step tutorial written by Snowflake Data Superhero.



No Need for Additional Environments

With Oracle, if you need separate development and test environments, you need additional servers, which means more infrastructure and administration effort. To set up a new environment, administrators must perform the cumbersome task of exporting data structures, data, and applications from one environment and then importing into another environment.

In Snowflake, you can simply create another database in your account and configure it for any purpose, such as development or test. With Snowflake’s zero-copy clone feature, you can quickly populate the new database with a complete copy of the original database at no additional cost.

Standard SQL

Snowflake is ANSI SQL compliant and thus supports the tools millions of business users already know and use today. This allows for a straightforward transition from Oracle.

In summary, there are many compelling reasons to migrate from Oracle to Snowflake. Once the decision to migrate has been made, the actual migration exercise begins. We will walk through a case study of one of our migrations.


Maja Ferle
Senior Consultant and Snowflake Data Superhero