From Snowflake to ClickHouse: How ChistaDATA Enabled the World’s Largest Ad Tech Platform’s Migration and Built an Optimal Real-Time Analytics Infrastructure

The world of advertising technology is fast-paced, data-intensive, and requires real-time insights for efficient decision-making. In this case study, we explore how ChistaDATA, a leading provider of advanced analytics solutions, helped the world’s largest ad tech platform successfully migrate from Snowflake to ClickHouse and build an optimal, scalable, highly reliable, and secure real-time analytics infrastructure.

The Challenge

The ad tech platform, with billions of ad impressions per day and petabytes of data to analyze, faced several challenges with their existing Snowflake infrastructure. The limitations of Snowflake’s pricing model, query performance, and scalability hindered their ability to derive real-time insights and deliver timely advertising campaigns to their clients. They sought a more efficient and cost-effective solution to handle their massive data volumes and enable real-time analytics.


Migrating to ClickHouse: ChistaDATA proposed migrating to ClickHouse, an open-source columnar database management system designed for high-performance analytics. Here’s how ChistaDATA facilitated the successful migration and built an optimal real-time analytics infrastructure:

1. Comprehensive Assessment and Planning: ChistaDATA conducted a thorough assessment of the ad tech platform’s existing infrastructure, data volume, query patterns, and performance requirements. This assessment created a detailed migration plan and architecture design tailored to their specific needs.

1.1 Data Modeling and Schema Design: ChistaDATA worked closely with the ad tech platform’s data engineers and analysts to design an efficient data model and schema that leveraged ClickHouse’s columnar storage and distributed processing capabilities. The data model was optimized for fast query execution and real-time analytics, ensuring seamless integration with their existing data pipelines.

1.1 Infrastructure Deployment and Optimization: ChistaDATA deployed a high-performance ClickHouse cluster, utilizing best practices for hardware selection, network configuration, and system optimization. The infrastructure was designed to handle the ad tech platform’s growing data volumes and provide horizontal scalability for future expansion.

1.2 Data Ingestion and ETL Pipeline: ChistaDATA collaborated with the ad tech platform to develop a robust data ingestion and ETL pipeline, ensuring real-time data streaming from various sources into ClickHouse. The pipeline incorporated data validation, transformation, and enrichment processes to ensure data accuracy and integrity.

1.3 Query Optimization and Performance Tuning: ChistaDATA conducted extensive query optimization and performance tuning to enhance query response times and improve overall system performance. Techniques such as indexing, query profiling, and workload analysis were employed to fine-tune the ClickHouse cluster for optimal performance.

1.4 Data Security and Privacy: ChistaDATA implemented robust security measures, including access controls, data encryption, and compliance frameworks, to protect the ad tech platform’s sensitive data and ensure compliance with industry regulations. Data privacy was a top priority throughout the migration and infrastructure setup.

2. Results and Benefits: The migration from Snowflake to ClickHouse, facilitated by ChistaDATA, brought significant advantages to the ad tech platform:

2.1 Real-Time Analytics: The ad tech platform gained the ability to perform real-time analytics on their massive data volumes, enabling faster insights and decision-making for targeted ad campaigns.

2.2 Cost Efficiency: ClickHouse’s open-source nature and efficient columnar storage reduced infrastructure costs significantly compared to Snowflake, allowing the ad tech platform to allocate resources strategically.

2.3 Scalability and Performance: ClickHouse’s distributed architecture and optimized query execution enabled seamless scalability, ensuring smooth handling of increasing data volumes without compromising performance.

2.4 Reliability and Stability: ChistaDATA’s expertise in building highly reliable systems ensured minimal downtime, high availability, and data integrity. The ClickHouse infrastructure implemented by ChistaDATA offered robust fault tolerance and data replication mechanisms, ensuring data durability and system stability.

2.5 Enhanced Data Insights: The ad tech platform experienced a substantial improvement in data insights and analytics capabilities. The optimized query performance of ClickHouse enabled faster data exploration, ad hoc analysis, and the ability to generate real-time reports and visualizations.

2.6 Streamlined Data Pipeline: The redesigned data ingestion and ETL pipeline provided a streamlined and efficient process for ingesting, processing, and transforming data from diverse sources into ClickHouse. This allowed the ad tech platform to integrate new data sources seamlessly and maintain data integrity throughout the pipeline.

2.7 Empowered Data Team: ChistaDATA’s collaboration with the ad tech platform’s data team empowered them to leverage the full potential of ClickHouse for advanced analytics. The data team gained valuable insights into query optimization techniques, performance tuning, and best practices for working with ClickHouse, enhancing their data engineering and analysis capabilities.

3. Conclusion: The migration from Snowflake to ClickHouse, facilitated by ChistaDATA, transformed the ad tech platform’s real-time analytics capabilities and laid the foundation for scalable and reliable data-driven decision-making. With an optimal ClickHouse infrastructure, the ad tech platform achieved faster query performance, cost efficiency, and enhanced data insights, empowering them to deliver targeted advertising campaigns in real-time. ChistaDATA’s expertise in building high-performance, scalable, and secure real-time analytics infrastructures on ClickHouse proved instrumental in the success of the migration project.

By partnering with ChistaDATA, companies in the ad tech industry and beyond can unlock the full potential of ClickHouse and harness the power of real-time analytics for their business growth and competitive advantage.

Contact ChistaDATA today to explore how their expertise can help your organization build a robust and efficient real-time analytics infrastructure on ClickHouse.

About Shiv Iyer 170 Articles
Open Source Database Systems Engineer with a deep understanding of Optimizer Internals, Performance Engineering, Scalability and Data SRE. Shiv currently is the Founder, Investor, Board Member and CEO of multiple Database Systems Infrastructure Operations companies in the Transaction Processing Computing and ColumnStores ecosystem. He is also a frequent speaker in open source software conferences globally.