Snowflake Releases

Snowflake is committed to providing a seamless, always up-to-date experience for our users while also delivering ever-increasing value through rapid development and continual innovation.

To meet this commitment, we deploy new releases and patch releases each week. This allows us to regularly deliver service improvements in the form of new features, enhancements, and fixes. The deployments happen transparently in the background; users experience no downtime or disruption of service, and are always assured of running on the most-recent release with access to the latest features.

This topic describes the process we follow for weekly releases, including the option to request 24-hour early access for Enterprise Edition (and higher) accounts to enable additional release testing (if desired).

In this Topic:

Release Types

Each week, Snowflake deploys two types of planned releases:

New release

May include new features, behavior changes, enhancements, updates, and fixes.

In addition, a new release includes the following deliverables (as appropriate):

Patch release

Includes fixes only.

Additional patch releases are deployed as needed to address any issues that are encountered during the release process.

Pre-release Testing/Validation

At Snowflake, release quality is a top priority. Before each release is deployed, it goes through a full suite of validation tests that include:

  • Regular build testing.

  • Continuous workload and performance testing.

In addition, before any customer accounts are moved to a release, the following validation is performed across all supported cloud platforms:

  • Deployment to internal accounts for a full round of regression testing.

  • Deployment to production accounts running simulated customer workloads.

Staged Release

Once a new release has been deployed, Snowflake does not move all accounts to the release at the same time. Accounts are moved to the release using a three stage approach over two days. Accounts are moved to the new release in the following order, based on their Snowflake Edition:

Day 1

Stage 1 (early access) for designated Enterprise accounts.

Day 1 or 2

Stage 2 (regular access) for all Standard Edition accounts.

Day 2

Stage 3 (final) for all Enterprise Edition and VPS accounts.

The minimum amount of elapsed time between the early access and final stages is 24 hours. This staged approach enables Snowflake to monitor activity as accounts are moved and respond to any issues that may occur.

Note

This staged approach only applies to new releases. For patch releases, all accounts are moved to the patch release on the same day.

In addition, if issues are discovered while moving accounts to a new release or patch release, the release may be halted or, in rare instances, rolled back. In most cases, the follow-up to a halted/rolled-back release is deployed within 24-48 hours.

Early Access to New Releases

If you have multiple Enterprise Edition (or higher) accounts, you can designate one or more of these accounts to take advantage of the 24-hour period between the early access and final stages for new releases. This can be particularly useful if you maintain separate accounts for development/testing and production.

To designate an account for early access, please contact Snowflake Support.

Once you have designated one or more accounts for early access, you can implement a testing framework similar to the following:

  1. Use CURRENT_VERSION (or a UDF that returns similar results) to verify when your early access account(s) are on the new release.

  2. Use your early access account(s) to test your production workloads against the new release.

  3. If any issues are encountered, notify Snowflake Support, who can work with you to prevent the issues from disrupting your other accounts.

Tip

Early access is not required or recommended for all organizations with Enterprise Edition accounts; Snowflake’s rigorous release testing and monitoring during deployments is usually sufficient to prevent most issues. Early access is intended primarily for organizations that desire added certainty that their production accounts will not be affected by changes in new releases.