Understanding Snowflake Credit and Storage Usage

Snowflake provides a highly complete and compatible SQL Data Warehouse that delivers unprecedented flexibility and scalability. The goal of Snowflake pricing is to enable these capabilities at a low cost in the simplest possible way.

The Snowflake cloud architecture separates data warehousing into two distinct functions: virtual warehouse processing and data storage. The costs associated with using Snowflake are based on your usage of the service for each of these functions.

In this Topic:

Virtual Warehouse Credit Usage

Virtual warehouses are used to execute queries, load data, and perform other DML operations. Snowflake credits are used to pay for the processing time used by each virtual warehouse.

What are Snowflake Credits?

All costs for compute resource in Snowflake are based on credits. When you signed up for the Snowflake service, you either purchased (or were granted) a quantity of credits or you chose to be billed for your monthly credit usage. Snowflake credits are charged based on the number of virtual warehouses you use, how long they run, and their size.

Warehouses come in different sizes: X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, 2X-Large, 3X-Large, and 4X-Large. The number of credits charged for a warehouse per hour while it is running is based directly on its size:

Credits charged per hour
X-Small Small Medium Large X-Large 2X-Large 3X-Large 4X-Large
1 2 4 8 16 32 64 128

Important

  • Warehouses are only charged for credit usage when they are running. When a warehouse is suspended, it is not charged for any credit usage.
  • The smallest granularity of time charged for credit usage is one hour (60 minutes), regardless of whether the warehouse runs for the entire 60 minutes or a fraction of the time:
    • Starting or stopping a warehouse within the hour has no impact on the number of credits charged.
    • When a warehouse is increased in size, a minimum of one hour’s worth of credits are charged for the difference in credits described above, i.e. credits are charged only for the additional servers that are provisioned.
  • Each provisioned server for a running warehouse has an internal timer for tracking hourly credit usage, based on when the server was provisioned. To ensure proper charging of credits, the clock is maintained regardless of whether the entire warehouse is suspended or the individual server is shut down (due to warehouse resizing or cluster shutdown).

Viewing Credit Usage for Your Account

Users with the ACCOUNTADMIN role can use the Snowflake web interface or SQL to view monthly and daily credits charged for all the warehouses in your account.

To view warehouse credit usage for your account:

Web Interface:Click on Account > Billing & Usage
SQL:WAREHOUSE_METERING_HISTORY (in the Information Schema)

Data Storage Usage

Data storage is calculated monthly based on the average number of on-disk bytes for all data stored each day in your Snowflake account, including:

  • Files stored in Snowflake locations (i.e. user and table stages or internal named stages) for bulk data loading/unloading. The user who stages a file can choose whether or not to compress the file to reduce storage.
  • Data stored in database tables, including historical data maintained for Time Travel. Snowflake automatically compresses all data stored in tables and uses the compressed file size to calculate the total storage used for an account.
  • Historical data maintained for Fail-safe.

The monthly costs for storing data in Snowflake is based on a flat rate per terabyte (TB). The amount charged per TB depends on your type of account (Capacity or On Demand) and region (US or EU). For data storage pricing, see the pricing page.

Viewing Data Usage for Your Account

Users with the ACCOUNTADMIN role can use the Snowflake web interface or SQL to view average monthly and daily data storage (in bytes) for your account.

To view data storage (for tables, stages, and Fail-safe) for your account:

Web Interface:

Click on Account > Billing & Usage

SQL:

Information Schema functions:

Viewing Data Usage for a Table

Users with the appropriate access privileges can use either the web interface or SQL to view the size (in bytes) of individual tables in a schema/database:

Web Interface:Click on Databases > db_name > Tables
SQL:SHOW TABLES

In addition, users with the ACCOUNTADMIN role can use SQL to view table size information:

SQL:TABLE_STORAGE_METRICS View (in the Information Schema)

Important

The size displayed for a table represents the number of bytes that will be scanned if the entire table is scanned in a query; however, this number may be different from the number of physical bytes (i.e. bytes stored on-disk) for the table, specifically for cloned tables and tables with deleted data:

  • A cloned table does not utilize additional storage (until rows are added to the table or existing rows in the table are modified or deleted). As a result, the table size displayed may be larger than the actual physical bytes stored for the table, i.e. the table contributes less to the overall data storage for the account than the size indicates.
  • Data deleted from a table is not included in the displayed table size; however, the data is maintained in Snowflake until both the Time Travel retention period (default is 1 day) and the Fail-safe period (7 days) for the data has passed. During these two periods, the table size displayed is smaller than the actual physical bytes stored for the table, i.e. the table contributes more to the overall data storage for the account than the size indicates.

For more information about storage for cloned tables and deleted data, see Data Storage Considerations.