Reducing queues

This topic discusses how a warehouse owner or administrator can reduce queuing in order to improve the performance of queries running on a warehouse.

If too many queries are sent to a warehouse at the same time, the warehouse’s compute resources become exhausted and subsequent queries are queued until resources become available. The time between submitting a query and getting its results is longer when the query must wait in a queue before starting.


You must have access to the shared SNOWFLAKE database to execute the diagnostic queries provided in this topic. By default, only the ACCOUNTADMIN role has the privileges needed to execute the queries.

Finding queues


To determine if a particular warehouse is experiencing queues:

  1. Sign in to Snowsight.

  2. Navigate to Admin » Warehouses.

  3. Select the warehouse.

  4. In the Warehouse Activity chart, use the color associated with Queued load to identify queues.

  5. Look for patterns in the height of the bars to determine if the queues are associated with usage spikes.


Query: Warehouses with queueing

This query lists the warehouses that had a queue in the last month, sorted by date.

SELECT TO_DATE(start_time) AS date
  ,SUM(avg_running) AS sum_running
  ,SUM(avg_queued_load) AS sum_queued
FROM snowflake.account_usage.warehouse_load_history
HAVING SUM(avg_queued_load) > 0;

You can also write queries against the QUERY_HISTORY view to calculate the time that queries spend in the queue.

Options for reducing queues

You have several options to stop warehouse queuing:

  • For a regular warehouse (i.e. not a multi-cluster warehouse), consider creating additional warehouses, and then distribute the queries among them. If specific queries are causing usage spikes, focus on moving those queries.

  • Consider converting a warehouse to a multi-cluster warehouse so the warehouse can elastically provision additional compute resources when demand spikes. Multi-cluster warehouses require the Enterprise Edition of Snowflake.

  • If you are already using a multi-cluster warehouse, increase the maximum number of clusters.

Cost considerations

For a description of how running a multi-cluster warehouse affects credit consumption, refer to Multi-cluster size and credit usage.

If you are running a multi-cluster warehouse in Auto-scale mode, you can use a scaling policy to help control the costs. The Economy scaling policy favors conserving credits over cluster elasticity by keeping running clusters fully-loaded rather than starting additional clusters. This might result in queries being queued and taking longer to complete.

How to configure warehouses to reduce queues

Regular Warehouses:

To create new warehouses to which queries can be distributed, sign in to Snowsight and select Admin » Warehouses. You can also use the CREATE WAREHOUSE command.

Multi-Cluster Warehouses:

To convert an existing warehouse to a multi-cluster warehouse or to increase the maximum number of clusters for an existing warehouse:

  1. Sign in to Snowsight.

  2. Navigate to Admin » Warehouses.

  3. Find the warehouse, and select » Edit.

  4. If you are converting to a multi-cluster warehouse, turn on the Multi-cluster Warehouse option. If you do not see this option, upgrade to Enterprise Edition or higher.

  5. Use the Max Clusters drop-down to adjust the maximum number of clusters.