BigQuery: Google’s Fully-Managed Enterprise Data Warehouse Delivers Low TCO

Jon Bitz
  • 7 min read

Much like athletic shoes, cars, or restaurants, there isn’t one “best” product. Sometimes we need stability for lateral motion in basketball, sometimes we prefer minimalist to let the muscles of the feet work. Sometimes we want a fast, healthy lunch, other times a lavish, indulgent experience lasting 2+ hours.

The same holds true for technical solutions, which is why Google offers a variety of tools. Yes, I’m implying that while users need more than one option… they don’t need more than one vendor since all the best tools come from Google! Today I’m diving into analytics tools, specifically BigQuery, to share some of the advantages BigQuery delivers.

What is BigQuery?

BigQuery is Google Cloud’s fully managed and completely serverless enterprise data warehouse.  BigQuery supports all data types, works across clouds, and has built-in machine learning and business intelligence, all within a unified platform. Features include:

  • Flexibility, predictable pricing, and best price performance
  • Analyze and share data across clouds
  • Real-time analytics with streaming data pipelines
  • Unify, manage, and govern all types of data

Study Finds BigQuery = Up to 27% Lower Three-Year TCO

Enterprise Strategy Group conducted a study, “The Economic Advantages of Google Cloud BigQuery versus Alternative Cloud-based EDW [Enterprise Data Warehouse] Solutions.”

ESG’s Principal Validation Analyst writes, “Cloud-based solutions such as Google Cloud BigQuery, AWS Redshift, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Snowflake can provide significant savings and benefits over an on-premises EDW, but they are designed and implemented quite differently.”

ESG investigated the four solutions and created a total-cost-of-ownership (TCO) model. “ESG’s conservative models found that BigQuery can provide a three-year TCO that is up to 27% lower than the other three cloud-based solutions. The elimination of upfront investment, reduction in management complexity, and ability to integrate natively with other solutions contributed largely to the decrease.”

BigQuery vs. The Competition

If you are looking for a fast, cost-effective, and easy-to-use data warehouse, then BigQuery is a great option. ESG’s economic analysis revealed that, when compared with other cloud-based EDW solutions, BigQuery can provide significant savings and benefits in these categories:

  • Elimination of upfront investment and planning
  • Reduction in operational expenses
    • Specifically, provisioning for capacity growth or performance spikes was problematic for all three competitive solutions ESG evaluated. 
  • Greater business agility and reduction in cost of daily administration
    • “BigQuery is the only cloud-based EDW solution of the four that offers fully managed, self-optimizing storage.”

Again, different solutions may fit best in distinct scenarios, but here’s how BigQuery stacks up, at a high-level.

Amazon RedShift

  • ESG writes, “Redshift is based on the concept of nodes (virtual nodes) that must be deployed, configured, and managed… Redshift clusters require planning and sizing, configuration and access through a “leader node,” and scheduled updates several times per year.”
  • Compute or storage are sometimes over-provisioned, resulting in customers paying more than necessary.
  • To achieve the greatest savings, organizations must pay for three years of service upfront


  • Similar to Redshift, compute or storage are sometimes over-provisioned, resulting in customers paying more than necessary.
  • In a blog on Medium, a Snowflake Senior Solutions Architect acknowledged the existence of “rumors around Snowflake being an expensive solution.” As self-service cloud cost observability platform Finout writes, “Still, if you don’t keep an eye on your setup, monthly bills can quickly spiral out of control.”


  • In decades past, organizations purchased, configured, and managed their own servers. Tucked in a cramped, dark closet, this on-prem infrastructure would’ve been maintained by someone like Nick Burns from Saturday Night Live. But organizations globally now recognize the value of relying on public cloud providers to manage running cables, cooling server rooms, and much more. Cloud providers deliver those same values for data warehouses.

Pay Only for What You Use (Really! Without Hassle to Get There)

“Moreover, ESG saw that the underlying architecture of Google Cloud BigQuery, decoupling compute capability and storage capacity, also contributed to lowering overall expenses” With this architecture, you pay only for the compute capacity you use, consistent with a key benefit of cloud computing. And you don’t have to make predictions and overprovision enough instances to handle worst-case scenarios.

The Right Data Solution?

Choosing the right EDW solution requires planning around an effective data cloud strategy. Contact Wursta for support making connections between your business initiatives and all your cloud infrastructure, including setting up a data warehouse.