Microsoft Azure Review

Has fast cycle development time and good coupling with internal and external tools

What is our primary use case?

It could be used for overall migration from on-premises systems for data ingestion to data processing, data modeling, advanced analytics, and high-end reporting. Microsoft Azure can be used to move from conventional, on-premises relational and traditional data systems and big data systems to the cloud.

What is most valuable?

I have found cost advantage and faster execution to be valuable features. Overall, Microsoft products are budget-friendly. 

The cycle development time is pretty fast, and there's very good coupling within the whole set of Microsoft tools, from the database to the ETL engine, ingestion through Azure Data Factory, then modeling with Synapse Analytics, and reporting through Power BI.

You also have the ability to integrate with external tools if required. For instance, if you don't want to model on Synapse Analytics, which is a Microsoft product, you can use Snowflake. So, it allows customers to adopt a hybrid approach of mix and match when needed.

What needs improvement?

As for improvement, I think better accelerators and better tools that can be used to migrate and leverage the existing models and data schemas are needed. 

Also, on the ETL side, we can convert data pipelines that are already setup on-premises and business tools that already exist. If we can migrate and automate these into Azure faster, it would be great. I think a faster migration path will help. There is a lot of scope for improvement in this area.

Better reporting capabilities would be good also, because as of now, Microsoft Azure has its own path with Power BI. However, better integration with other enterprise reporting platforms would help.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Microsoft Azure for two to three years.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good for all cloud platforms since it is at a global level. So, it is very professional.

How was the initial setup?

Installation is very fast and can take a few minutes to an hour. A lot of documentation is available, so it could be done in-house.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Microsoft Azure comes with a long-term license and trial licenses as well.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate this solution at nine on a scale from one to ten.

The strategy we are employing is to adopt a hybrid approach rather than switching all at once. We are moving in small bits and having both environments for business continuity. Then, once we and the users are feeling more confident, we will totally switch to the cloud.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
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