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Phased Snowflake Onboarding

Use Case

While you're onboarding Snowflake data sources and designing policies, you don't want to disrupt your Snowflake users' existing workflows.

Instead, you want to gradually onboard Immuta through a series of successive changes that will not impact your existing Snowflake users.

A phased onboarding approach to configuring the Snowflake integration ensures that your users will not be immediately affected by changes as you add data sources and configure policies.

Several features allow you to gradually onboard data sources and policies in Immuta:

  • Subscription policy of “None” by default: By default, no policy is applied at registration time; instead of applying a restrictive policy immediately upon registration, the table is registered in Immuta and waits for a policy to be applied, if ever.

    There are several benefits to this design:

    • All existing roles maintain access to the data and registration of the table or view with Immuta has zero impact on your data platform.
    • It gives you time to configure tags on the Immuta registered tables and views, either manually or through automatic means, such as Immuta’s sensitive data detection (SDD), or an external catalog integration to include Snowflake tags.
    • It gives you time to assess and validate the sensitive data tags that were applied.
    • You can build only row and column controls with Immuta and let your existing roles manage table access instead of using Immuta subscription policies for table access.
  • Snowflake table grants coupled with Snowflake low row access policy mode (public preview): With these features enabled, Immuta manages access to tables (subscription policies) through GRANTs. This works by assigning each user their own unique role created by Immuta and all table access is managed using that single role.

    Without these two features enabled, Immuta uses a Snowflake row access policy (RAP) to manage table access. A RAP only allows users to access rows in the table if they were explicitly granted access through an Immuta subscription policy; otherwise, the user sees no rows. This behavior means all existing Snowflake roles lose access to the table contents until explicitly granted access through Immuta subscription policies. Essentially, roles outside of Immuta don't control access anymore.

    By using table grants and the low row access policy mode, users and roles outside Immuta continue to work.

    There are two benefits to this approach:

    • All pre-existing Snowflake roles retain access to the data until you explicitly revoke access (outside Immuta).
    • It provides a way to test that Immuta GRANTs are working without impacting production workloads.

Requirements

The following configuration is required for phased Snowflake onboarding:

  • Impersonation is disabled
  • Project workspaces are disabled

If either of these capabilities is necessary for your use case, you cannot do phased Snowflake onboarding as described below.

Next

See the Getting started page for step-by-step guidance to implement phased Snowflake onboarding.