[I work for Snowflake but do not speak for them.]

Apache Iceberg support isn't GA in Snowflake yet so isn't affecting any current revenue. What was stated on the earnings call is it *could* affect some future revenue. However, adding native support was the right thing to do and ultimately should bring more workloads to Snowflake where customers can't or don't want to move data out of a data lake. Snowflake storage pricing is $23 to $13.80/compressed TB per month based on contract ACV. Some companies will pay more than that storing it on their own so won't move. Others will but will still use Snowflake compute to maintain the Iceberg tables.

Snowflake's native table format (FDN) was the first and still arguably the best cloud native table format. I think most companies will evaluate the feature and governance advantages of FDN and keep using it, but it is nice for customers to have a choice.

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Thanks for the context Stephen. I think the risk, which was evident on the analyst call, isn't about Snowflake's native support for Iceberg, its Iceberg moving data outside of Snowflake altogether regardless of when Snowflake supports this tabular format. Once data is out, it's easy to envision a world where the processing is also done outside of Snowflake.

Ultimately, I don't think this is a winner-take all. Iceberg will enable new revenue streams outside of Snowflake for some of the lakehouse vendors, but it doesn't necessarily mean Snowflake it done, esp once Snowflake GAs support for Iceberg too

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Mar 11Liked by Karim Fanous

You're suggesting that "moving data to Apache Iceberg format" means Snowflake won't get the compute. That remains to be seen. Having supported a customer recently that is struggling to maintain customer managed Iceberg tables in Spark, I think people are underestimating the effort in keeping the tables nicely structured over time. Snowflake offers two flavors of Iceberg support, and one is "Snowflake managed". In that flavor, the customer is having Snowflake maintain the Iceberg tables and associated files just as it would with FDN tables. Iceberg tables are first party objects in Snowflake and all native functionality will be supported with them. I think we'll see many customers use Snowflake managed Iceberg tables, and as anyone can test today, performance is extremely good (close to 100% FDN). Even in the case of customer managed Iceberg as a raw landing zone, Snowflake might still maintain the silver and gold layer. You'll see a lot of different permutations--Snowflake's job will be to show cost efficiency of using Snowflake to maintain Iceberg tables over customer's doing it in other technologies. May the best technology win!

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