Understanding Billing for Serverless Features

Certain Snowflake features rely on compute resources provided by Snowflake (aka serverless compute model) rather than user-managed virtual warehouses. These compute resources are automatically resized and scaled up or down by Snowflake as required for each workload.

For these features, which usually require continuous and/or maintenance operations, this model is more efficient, allowing Snowflake to charge based on the time spent using the resources. In contrast, user-managed virtual warehouses consume credits while running, regardless of whether they are performing any work, which may cause them to sit idle or be overutilized.

In this Topic:

Serverless Features

The following features utilize Snowflake-managed compute resources:

Functional Area




Automatic Clustering

Automated background maintenance of each clustered table, including initial clustering and reclustering as needed.


Materialized views maintenance

Automated background synchronization of each materialized view with changes in the base table for the view.

Data loading


Automated processing of file loading requests for each pipe object.

Database replication

Database Replication and Failover/Failback

Automated copying of data between accounts, including initial data replication and maintenance as needed.


The credits consumed by these serverless features are not monitored or controlled by resource monitors; resource monitors only work with the virtual warehouses that you create/manage in your account.

Billing for Snowflake-managed Compute Resources

Features that rely on Snowflake-managed compute resources appear on your bill as separate line items. Charges for these features are calculated based on total usage of the resources (including cloud service usage) measured in “Compute-Hours”. One compute-hour is comparable to the computing resources utilized when running an X-Small virtual warehouse for an hour.

For more details about each feature, see the corresponding topics.