Snowflake Embraces Open Data with Polaris Catalog

June 3, 2024

On the first day of its Data Cloud Summit today, Snowflake unveiled Polaris, a new data catalog for data stored in the Apache Iceberg format. In addition to contributing Polaris to the open source community, the catalog also enables Snowflake customers to use open compute engines with their Iceberg-based Snowflake data, including Apache Spark, Apache Flink, Presto, Trino, and Dremio.

The launch of Polaris represents a significant embrace of open source and open data on the part of Snowflake, which grew its business predominantly through a closed data stack, including proprietary table format and a proprietary SQL processing engine. The freeze on openness began to thaw in 2022, when Snowflake announced a preview of support for Iceberg, and the ice dam is melting rapidly with today’s launch of Polaris and the expected GA of Iceberg soon.

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Vendors active in the open data community applauded Snowflake on the move, including Tomer Shiran, the founder of Dremio, which develops an open lakehouse platform based on Iceberg.

“Customers want thriving open ecosystems and to own their storage, data and metadata. They don’t want to be locked-in,” Shiran said in a press release. “We’re committed to supporting open standards, such as Apache Iceberg and the open catalogs Project Nessie and Polaris Catalog. These open technologies will provide the ecosystem interoperability and choice that customers deserve.”

Read the full story, via Datanami.

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