Microsoft Azure Synapse

Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology corporation which produces computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, and related services headquartered at the Microsoft Redmond campus located in Redmond, Washington, United States. Its best-known software products are the Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, and the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers. Microsoft ranked No. 21 in the 2020 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue and it was the world’s largest software maker by revenue as of 2019. It is one of the Big Five American information technology companies, alongside Google, Amazon, Apple, and Meta.

Microsoft Azure, often referred to as Azure is a cloud computing service operated by Microsoft for application management via Microsoft-managed data centers. It provides software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and supports many different programming languages, tools, and frameworks, including both Microsoft-specific and third-party software and systems. Azure was announced at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference (PDC) in October 2008 and was formally released in February 2010 as Windows Azure, before being renamed Microsoft Azure in 2014.
Over the years Microsoft has developed several Services on Azure to allow for the seamless implementation of Data & Analytics solutions. It’s cloud-based Reporting Solution “PowerBI” has become a de facto standard over the last 2-3 years. Further Services für Data Management, Data Lake Storage and Data Processing & Transformation were added over the years. To overcome the growing complexity for customers to pick and choose the right Cloud-Service for their needs and to deliver one cloud-service for a complete “Data Lakehouse Architecture”, Microsoft combined all relevant services for Data & Analytics Use-Cases into one single central Service called Azure Synapse Analytics.
Azure Synapse Analytics has combined Microsoft’s Data Lake Storage Service with its own Massively Parallel Processing (MPP) SQL Engine and the market-leading Open-Source Data Processing Engine “Spark” into one cohesive environment allowing for the execution of Enterprise Data Warehousing Workloads and Data Science & Machine Learning Workloads in one environment. The Azure service for ETL “Data Factory” has also been included into Azure Synapse Analytics allowing for code-based and code-free implementation of data pipelines for many source systems including many cloud services and ecosystems (e.g. SAP, GCP, AWS, Oracle and many others). It also integrates with its own cloud-based Reporting Solution “PowerBI” which in turn has introduced features to seamlessly integrate with Azure Synapse Analytics.
Recently Microsoft has introduced Database Templates for Azure Synapse Analytics. These Templates include patterns for industry verticals and large number of generic use-cases. This follows Microsoft’s 2020 acquisition of ADRM Software a leading provider of large-scale industry data models, which are used by many large companies worldwide as information blueprints. This suggests that with Azure Synapse Analytics Microsoft is trying go beyond providing pure base technologies to providing additional business content in their offerings.

User & Use Cases

The concept of the “Data Lakehouse” which follows the approach of utilizing one platform for both data warehouse and Data Science Use-Cases has picked up great speed in the market has become the market standard many vendors are striving for. Many vendors that have traditionally only focused on one part of this platform are focusing on additionally delivering the second part as well. Hence Data Warehouse and Data Science Platform vendors are equally aiming at delivering a complete Data Lakehouse platform. Respondents seem to acknowledge Microsoft Synapse Analytics Data Lakehouse approach with 71% focusing on Advanced Analytics Workloads and Data Warehousing and Data integration Workloads coming in close together at second place showing that this combined platform approach is an important aspect for customers when looking at Azure Synapse Analytics.
Unsurprisingly Self-Service Analytics and Data Governance are picked at 0% as Microsoft offers separate Cloud Services for these use cases namely PowerBI and Azure Purview.
Also it is notable that Azure Synapse Analytics scores very low in the are of data fabric. This is mainly due to all HyperScalers trying to move as many workloads as possible into their cloud platforms. As the market in this area matures more over time and ever more users will be working with at least one cloud vendor we expect Data Fabric to also be marked more often for Azure Synapse Analytics in the future.
The platform scales from small to large sized scenario along data users and also data.

Use cases

n=28

Total number of users per company

n=24

Total number of developers per company

n=28

Company size (number of employees)

n=28

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Microsoft Azure Synapse

Peer Groups Analytical Database Products, Business Software Generalists (data management), Cloud Data Warehousing
VendorMicrosoft
Number of responses28
ProductAzure Synapse Analytics
OfficesWorldwide
Employees221,000
Customers6211
Websitewww.microsoft.com