Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Review

Built-in pipelines, with responsive and committed support, but needs better pipeline security

What is our primary use case?

I work for a consulting firm, with many different use cases.

Synapse DW is for traditional data warehousing with a large amount of volume, that requires you to do reporting.

In terms of Synapse Analytics, I haven't put it in yet, but I'm looking at it for kind of one-stop-shop or Swiss Army Knife type projects. They've been asking for a factory or creating something that connects to the cosmos to turn it into analytics reportings, just sort of needless connecting and just making it easy from a developer standpoint to deliver on any sort of business analytics that needs to be done.

What is most valuable?

I think the most valuable component is that pipelines are built into it and then the feature that you can mirror a cosmos BB for analytics.

What needs improvement?

I think that there should be better governance. Actual pipeline level security, if you create a pipeline within the tool, because it's a one-stop-shop for everything, you control who has access to what, and that goes for anything, whether it's an internal or an externally managed table. 

I think there needs to be an improvement with support for external tables supporting Spark, but further support of Lakehouse to make it a true data warehousing product where you have this true separation of computes and you have a separation of storage. 

I think it kind of dips its toes in there, but in order to achieve, I think with a vision that Microsoft is doing, trying to get at to replace Bolt, but compete with Snowflake and Databricks at the same time, it needs to have those features on.

In the next release, I would like to see Lakehouse and better governance.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics for six months and Synaps for a couple of years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a very stable solution. We have not had any issues with the stability of it.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For its traditional data warehousing, it's scalable.

For Synapse Analytics, I am uncertain about being able to trust it with large volumes, which is what you would expect with Databricks.

There are only three or four people in our organization who do this type of work.

How are customer service and technical support?

We directly work with Microsoft in everything, so they're very responsive for us and they're definitely very committed to that product.

How was the initial setup?

It's a complicated product.

What about the implementation team?

I am a consultant. I implemented the solution myself.

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

It's very difficult to price unless you know exactly how the customer is using it.

What other advice do I have?

I would recommend this solution to others who are interested in using it.

I think it's definitely something that they should consider. It's come a long way from where it started. 

It's just finished out a public preview and it's great if you're looking to combine a lot of tools into one and you're running a smaller shop. I think it's a great tool.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

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