Snowflake is a data warehouse solution that has been purpose-built for the cloud and offered as an SaaS (software as a service) product. Users can store and analyze information in Snowflake data warehouses, which can run on all three of the major public cloud providers: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform (since 2019).
Of course, Snowflake isn’t a standalone solution for business intelligence and big data: it requires a way for information to enter the data warehouse in the first place. As a supplement to Snowflake, many users rely on platforms such as Alooma in order to automate the data extraction and integration process.
Alooma is a data migration service that helps enterprises construct data pipelines for cloud data warehouses. The appeal of Alooma and various ETL platforms is that they allow for migrations to multiple destinations such as: Google BigQuery, Amazon Redshift, Microsoft Azure, and Snowflake. However, as we'll discuss in the next section, the future of Alooma lies firmly with one destination: Google BigQuery.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about the Alooma acquisition and Alooma alternatives for Snowflake users. If your business uses Amazon REdshift, see our Redshift Users: A Guide to Leaving Alooma blog article.
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Post Acquisition Alooma
In February 2019, Google announced that it would acquire Alooma, launching a new chapter for the company. Now, Alooma will no longer service new customers who are using other cloud providers besides Google BigQuery. However, Google has assured existing Alooma customers that services like Redshift, Snowflake, and Azure will retain legacy support until March 2020. Which, is now only a few months away.
Snowflake users are concerned about the future of Alooma in Google’s hands, and for good reason. Many customers currently pairing Alooma with Snowflake are starting to look for other alternatives that are more friendly to their choice of tech stack.
Snowflake Users: How to Leave Alooma
With the drawbacks and disadvantages of Alooma in mind, it’s not surprising that Snowflake users might want to switch to another data migration platform. However, you shouldn’t jump ship without an idea of where you’re headed next. Any serious alternative to Alooma for Snowflake users should be an ETL data migration platform with a rich variety of integrations.
Whichever ETL data migration solution you decide to go with, you should look for one with the following features:
- Integrations: Your choice of cloud data migration platform should be capable of integrating all the enterprise data you want to move into your data warehouse, either with its standard feature set or via some tinkering.
- Extensibility: If you plan to add more data sources in the future—or even if you don’t plan on it—it’s a smart idea to choose a solution that’s flexible and extensible.
- Reliability and performance: ETL data pipelines should be capable of running essentially non-stop, with built-in fault tolerance included.
- Security: If your business must be compliant with IT security standards such as Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, or SOC 2, be sure to choose a data migration solution that explicitly meets these standards.
- Support: Data migration can become difficult at times, as we all know. When you encounter problems on an ETL platform, a good support team is necessary. Image trying to decipher a vague error message without help. To avoid this, keep in mind the importance of support from your ETL solution team.
That said, what are the major Alooma competitors and alternatives?
Alooma Alternatives: Talend
Talend is an open-source ETL data integration software platform that includes integrations with cloud data warehouses such as Snowflake. The Talend platform boasts hundreds of pre-built integrations with different data sources, and is capable of working with both cloud and on-premises environments.
Users have given positive marks to Talend on business software review websites. Like Alooma, Talend currently has an average rating of 4 out of 5 stars on G2 Crowd. Reviewers praise Talend's ease of use, customizability, and open-source code base. However, they also mention that knowing Java is a prerequisite for advanced use cases with Talend. In addition, some reviewers complain about debugging challenges and slow performance for large processing jobs.
Alooma Alternatives: Segment
Segment is an API tool that enables you to integrate more than 300 different tools and platforms for advertising, marketing, analytics, and data warehousing. Since March 2018, Segment has been compatible with Snowflake data warehouses in the cloud.
In a review on G2 Crowd, software engineer Chase R. calls Segment "dead simple while solving a problem every technical product faces." Complaints about Segment largely center around the tool's high costs for larger enterprises, as well as a steeper learning curve when getting started using the software.
Alooma Alternatives: Xplenty
Software such as Xplenty offers many of the same benefits as Alooma, while allowing current Alooma users to gracefully exit from the Google ecosystem.
Like Alooma, Xplenty offers a complete toolkit for building data pipelines from multiple sources into a cloud data warehouse such as Snowflake. In addition, Xplenty is capable of not only ETL integration, but also ELT (extract, load, transform) and data replication.
The benefits of Xplenty include:
- Pre-built integrations: Xplenty comes with more than 120 pre-built integrations for common data sources. These include Snowflake, Microsoft SQL Server, Oracle, MySQL, MongoDB, cloud storage services, analytics and advertising tools, and business intelligence platforms.
- Security and compliance: For sensitive data and personal information, Xplenty is compliant with IT standards such as FLE, Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), PCI DSS, and GDPR.
- Customer support: Xplenty offers personable customer support through chat and email, as well as an online knowledge base and documentation.
In large part due to its rich feature set and excellent support, Xplenty has largely been well-received among its customers. The Xplenty software has received an average rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars on G2 Crowd, beating out Talend. Thanks to these high marks, Xplenty has been named one of G2 Crowd’s leaders in the category of ETL Tools for summer 2019.
CTO Mike B. writes in a review on G2 Crowd: “After evaluating 10 or so ETL providers, I went with Xplenty because their service has a relatively straightforward GUI, but also allows for a fairly sophisticated level of configuration. Most of the time the GUI is sufficient, but I'm also able to script bits and pieces and add custom SQL to handle the weird edge cases, or make some of the large transfers more efficient.”
Digital analytics consultant Nick G. compliments the user-friendliness of Xplenty, writing: “Xplenty is a cloud-based ETL tool that links to most of the sources and destinations that we need. When there is no native connector, the REST API connector will achieve the result we want, and the support team are always ready to jump in and help if needed. I also like the fact that the support team and comprehensive documentation is often focused on helping you learn to achieve the result you want, rather than doing the job for you.”
Xplenty has had an equally warm reception on Capterra, where it has an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars. Users praise the software’s powerful capabilities, its ease of use, its intuitive user interface, and its wide variety of data integrations.
Alooma is a highly respectable ETL platform that does much to facilitate the data migration process for data warehouses in the cloud. However, problems with debugging and the user interface leave some Snowflake customers looking for a better alternative to Alooma—and that’s not to mention the upcoming acquisition by Google that could leave Snowflake users in the cold.
With these concerns in mind, Snowflake users planning to leave Alooma should have a strong alternative lined up before they make the switch. For many enterprise customers, Xplenty is that alternative. Xplenty’s user-friendly, drag-and-drop interface makes it easy for even non-technical users to migrate information into their Snowflake data warehouse, getting the insights they need faster and more efficiently.
Switching from Alooma and want to find a solution that works just as well with your Snowflake data warehouse in the cloud? Xplenty is here to help. . Our team of data integration experts will help set up the solution that works best for your business needs and objectives. Get in touch with us today for a personalized demo of Xplenty and free 7-day trial of the platform.