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Microsoft Announcements around Azure Synapse Analytics at a Glance

It’s no secret that data is the most powerful currency in the world today and will remain to be so. To work on this data, rather Big Data, enterprises need disparate services either on-cloud or on-premise. Have you ever craved for a single cloud service to build end-to-end analytics solutions for all business needs?

On November 4, 2019, during the Ignite 2019 keynote presentation, Satya Nadella announced a gamechanger technology for the cloud named Azure Synapse. It is a centralized and limitless analytics service bringing Enterprise Data Warehousing, Big Data Analytics, Power BI, and Machine Learning on the same page and at petabyte-scale. Azure Synapse provides a unified user interface allowing different teams to work together at rapid speed and tackle business-critical needs quickly.

We have carried out an in-depth analysis of Azure Synapse and identified some extraordinary features that cannot be ignored by data-oriented companies.

Improvements over Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Microsoft has renamed Azure SQL Data Warehouse to Azure Synapse and taken it to the next level by adding powerful yet simpler and more collaborative executions. Let’s dive into the existing pain points and how this new service would mitigate them:

  • Though Azure Data Warehouse works on Massively Parallel Processing, it lags in query concurrency. Such concurrency issues have been resolved with Azure Synapse Analytics by fusing in-memory processors and clusters which can handle petabytes of data at blazing speed.
  • There had always been a gap between Azure Data Warehouse and Data Lake which has been resolved by the release of Azure Synapse Analytics. This service bridges the gap between Data Warehouse and Data Lake by providing a single interface which interacts with both, using SQL queries.
  • Extra manpower has always been needed to integrate and monitor multiple resources. But with this single interface small or medium level companies can now afford to work on Azure Data Warehouse or Azure Synapse Analytics as this will surely decrease the overall expenditure.

Features & Benefits of Azure Synapse Analytics

Now it’s time to go through the important features of Azure Synapse Analytics which every organization would like to explore:

  • Azure Synapse Analytics is a fusion of parallel processing with improved concurrency and in-memory performance of Spark.
  • Unified system i.e. Azure Synapse Studio comes with integration capabilities from Data Warehouse, Data Lake, Big Data Analytics Systems, Power BI, and Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning.
  • This service provides a user interface to query both relational and non-relational data at petabyte-scale using the most common SQL language.
  • Removes overhead expenses of upscaling resources and spin them down when not in use as this service will automatically use them serverless on-demand at scale.
  • Azure Synapse Analytics also provides a mechanism to integrate with provisioned resources if already provisioned and in use.
  • Single Service enhances work collaboration which in turn will reduce the overall efforts to build end-to-end solutions significantly. Most organizational departments stand to gain from the implementation of Synapse Analytics in ways such as:
  • Data Engineers can use a codeless or code-first approach to ingest, transform, and manage the data using hybrid data ingestion and orchestration techniques.
  • Data Administrators can work on query optimizations by directly running the queries from the unified user interface which means no extra tool like SQL Server Management Studio is required now. They can also assign resources to escalate critical workloads using intelligence workload, workload isolation, and improved concurrency capabilities.
  • Business Analysts can use the datasets prepared by data engineers and build Power BI dashboards on top of it using the same service.
  • Data Scientists can use integrated Notebooks to generate Machine Learning models for predictions using Python and SQL.
  • This service provides a unique experience, where scripts can be automatically generated by simply selecting the data files. You can generate the SQL scripts or Python code to start with your data. Once executed this service provides a view to check your query results and performance using pre-defined charts and graphs. No separate tool like SSMS is needed here.
  • Azure Synapse comes with the most advanced security and privacy features in the market including:
  • Automated threat detection and always-on data encryption techniques to secure your data.
  • Enriched column-level and row-level security.
  • Support for dynamic data masking to protect data in real-time.

How to get started with Azure Synapse?

  • Create a workspace on Azure using your subscription and resource group.
  • Go to https://web.azuresynapse.net/ and select Azure Active Directory, Subscription, and Workspace to work on the Azure Synapse unified interface.
  • Create and link Azure Synapse Analytics (formerly Azure SQL Data Warehouse) with Azure Synapse unified interface to utilize the features.

As a global Microsoft systems integrator and a Microsoft Gold Partner, AgreeYa has been delivering services and solutions across Modern Data Warehouse platforms.