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A cloud data warehouse is a database that is managed as a service and delivered by a third party, such as Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS), or Microsoft Azure. Cloud data architectures are distinct from on-premise data architectures, where organizations manage their own physical database infrastructure on their own premises.
One of the primary benefits of the cloud is scalability and flexibility. In the cloud, organizations pay only for the resources they need at the time that they need them, allowing data teams to expand or reduce their compute capacity as data volumes and user counts fluctuate. This avoids the large costs incurred by large on-premises data warehouses, which must be built to support an organization’s highest possible capacity needs and run around the clock regardless of demand levels. The flexibility of the cloud brings lower costs and better performance. Another major benefit of the cloud is outsourced management of infrastructure and operations. This allows organizations to focus more on data analytics, data science, and machine learning, and less on providing security and maintenance for a physical data infrastructure.