Table cloning is required for purposes like data backup, testing, and replication. Teradata, a leading data warehousing platform, provides an efficient method for cloning tables. However, Snowflake, a cloud-based data warehousing platform, offers an even more effective approach with its zero-copy cloning feature. This article will compare table cloning in Teradata with Snowflake’s zero-copy cloning.

Teradata Clone Tables: Conventionally, cloning tables in Teradata entails a three-step process:

  1. Retrieve the DDL statement of the table to be cloned.
  2. Create a copy of the table structure using this DDL.
  3. Run an INSERT…SELECT into the empty table.

Teradata provides a streamlined alternative with the statement:


The CREATE TABLE AS statement simplifies the process of creating a new table, whether it is empty or populated, eliminating an extra step from the traditional process.

Teradata’s CREATE TABLE AS statement provides multiple advantages:

The process of transferring statistics or definitions from the original table to the cloned table is streamlined, saving time and resources formerly used to recollect statistics.

The CREATE TABLE AS method enables SQL-based cloning, which allows for the creation and population of clone tables using SQL statements, including joins and aggregations.

Rules and attributes for cloning tables in Teradata include:

All attributes are also cloned when creating a table, except when cloning based on a SQL statement.

Depending on the SQL syntax, you can modify table and column attributes during cloning.

Specifying the primary index when cloning from a SQL statement is essential for optimum performance and avoiding skewed data.

Snowflake’s Zero-Copy Cloning:

Snowflake’s zero-copy cloning feature further simplifies the cloning process. Unlike Teradata, you can create a clone of a table or schema using only one statement.


Snowflake’s zero-copy cloning method is faster and more cost-effective as it does not duplicate data or require additional storage. Moreover, Snowflake automatically handles metadata, statistics, and primary key definitions, simplifying the cloning process. In comparison, Teradata’s CREATE TABLE AS statement is less efficient. Therefore, by adopting Snowflake’s streamlined cloning approach, you can optimize your data warehousing operations by reducing complexity and saving time and resources.

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