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JL
Senior Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
MSP
Top 20
Built-in pipelines, with responsive and committed support, but needs better pipeline security

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "It's a complicated product."

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
NN
Data Architect at a insurance company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Easy to set up, with good scalability and the ability to keep data in specific regions

Pros and Cons

  • "The solution's scalability is very, very good. It's one of the most important aspects for us."
  • "While the solution is flexible, sometimes this works against the user."

What is most valuable?

The solution's scalability is very, very good. It's one of the most important aspects for us. 

We really need our data to stay in Western Europe. As an insurance company, it's important for our business. Microsoft can guarantee that it stays in Western Europe. That way, data is not processed anywhere else.

It's widely acknowledged as an excellent product throughout the industry. There's a lot of knowledge about it in the Netherlands as well. It makes it very easy to find a consultancy and also employees who can help us with its modern architecture.

The initial setup is easy. You don't need extensive training. It's an intuitive process.

What needs improvement?

What I would like to see is a possibility for time travel on the data. For instance, a financial department would like to do an analysis of the data set as it was for the first of the month while another department wants to run the analysis about how things went yesterday or last week. They have different starting points for the queries. I've seen Snowflake handle tasks such as these. It's got a feature called time shuffling, which can show me what's there on a certain variety of dates. It's very convenient.

It would be great if we could query the data of the day as well as in the data warehouse. 

They should have scalable memory processor options for the data warehouse.

While the solution is flexible, sometimes this works against the user.

For how long have I used the solution?

We're new to the solution. We started using it last year around April or May. It's been less than 12 months so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. It's online. That means you can scale it online and can stop the database to change the scaling of it.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've had a few calls with technical support. They were very helpful and responsive. We have been satisfied with their level of support.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very straightforward. It's not overly complex. A company shouldn't have any issues with the initial setup or implementation. You don't need deep technical insights to have training.

You can create a floor space in an hour. That's no problem. Afterward, you have to work with the data and do a few more things in terms of configuration, however, it's not hard.

What other advice do I have?

We are using the latest version of the solution.

I would rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

I would recommend Synapse, however, it depends on which industry an organization is working in. It can be complex, and often, you have to choose between several tools. They're all able to do the same job, they're just more industry-specific in some cases. 

If you want to transform your data, you can choose between the database, data factory, and SQL, and even other tools.

This means it is very flexible, however, it also makes it difficult to administer. It's not that one of these sources is harder per se. It's more about what is the best for the job. Sometimes you create something and it doesn't perform and you have to start from scratch.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: November 2021.
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JM
Practice Director at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
MSP
Scalable with okay technical support but could be more user-friendly

Pros and Cons

  • "Technical support is okay in terms of the help they provide."
  • "The product could be more feature-rich."

What is our primary use case?

The solution is generally used as more of an Analytical Data Warehouse. It's more of an offline enterprise scale. Sometimes I've used it from a marketing perspective, as a marketing data platform. I've not really used it from a risk and the enterprise center as it tends to be more back office, and therefore less around the customer, and more around the finance procurement of HR risk and that type of thing.

What is most valuable?

The solution is scalable.

It's better than a similar solution offered by Amazon.

Technical support is okay in terms of the help they provide.

What needs improvement?

The product could be easier to use. For example, I find Snowflake more user-friendly. They should offer simpler operations.

The initial setup could be faster.

Technical support can get expensive as they charge per use. The product could do more around crowdsourcing to help users find answers or answer questions without having to resort to contacting technical support directly.

The product could be more feature-rich.

They should look at some of what AWS and Snowflake are doing. They've both got a feature stack and also push the integration of things. This is a little bit lacking with Azure.

The analytics side of the solution is pretty weak right now. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for a while. I used it before it was even called Synapse - when it was just Azure SQL Data Warehouse. It's been three or four years.

How are customer service and support?

Technical support is okay, however, it can get expensive. The more you use it, the more it costs. I do not like this particular model.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I also have experience using Snowflake. I use both products. I originally started using Snowflake in 2017.

How was the initial setup?

The solution takes longer to set up than I would like. There are a lot of questions that need to be addressed with the customer, and this can draw out the process. 

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

You do have to pay more the more you use technical support.

Clients have had a free year and then a monthly cost that they need to pay for licensing and access.

What other advice do I have?

I don't use it personally, as I'm a consultant. However, if I implement it for clients, I do use it.

I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten. There's still some work that needs to be done on the product that can make it a lot better.

I would recommend the solution to a company if they were a Microsoft shop. In that case, it's the obvious thing for them to do and it's a good choice.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public 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: Implementer
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JT
Senior Project Manager at a tech company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Easy to set up, good pricing, and fairly user-friendly

Pros and Cons

  • "The product is very user friendly."
  • "It would be ideal if the solution could be better used intuitively by the staff without having a great deal of training."

What is our primary use case?

Our general use case is for government purposes, and therefore, I really can't get into too much detail about it.

How has it helped my organization?

The solution is great at saving time. Overall, we spend far less time putting together static reports than we used to.

What is most valuable?

We're able to generate some dynamic reports. I find that very valuable to be able to see our data in such unique ways.

The pricing is pretty good.

The product is very user friendly.

What needs improvement?

After only using the solution for three months, we haven't yet really gotten into every corner of its capabilities. It's hard to say what might be missing in terms of features.

It would be ideal if the solution could be better used intuitively by the staff without having a great deal of training. An organization should be able to adopt and operationalize it throughout their company with minimal training.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the solution for three months at this point. It hasn't been too long.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite reliable. We haven't experienced any problems with crashing or freezing and haven't really had experience with bugs or glitches. It's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. A company shouldn't have issues expanding it out.

In our organizations, we have less than a dozen users, and those are mostly IT and IT management people.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is okay. I'd rate them seven out of ten. We're satisfied with the level of support we are given.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We were searching for a solution. When we found it, we found something we could use, and then we just stuck with that. We didn't have a previous solution. We had nothing before.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not complex at all. It's pretty straightforward. I'm not that technical, and I was able to handle it.

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

We've found the pricing to be fair. It's not too expensive.

What other advice do I have?

I'd recommend the solution to other organizations. If they have time, I would suggest a company spends more effort looking at some different offerings. That said, generally, if you don't have a whole lot of money to do something, it's a decent option.

We haven't used the solution for too long, however, it's offered us everything we need in terms of features and capabilities. On a scale from one to ten, I'd rate it at an eight.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public 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
Alexis Bustamante
STI Data Leader at grupo gtd
Real User
Top 5
Stable and user-friendly but technical support needs improvement

Pros and Cons

  • "The useability, the user interface, is very user-friendly."
  • "The initial setup is complex."

What is most valuable?

The stability of the solution is pretty good. It's one of the solution's most valuable aspects.

The useability, the user interface, is very user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

The solution needs to improve its integration capabilities. It needs better integration with SQL and other databases. 

The initial setup is complex.

The product needs to implement more machine learning and artificial intelligence.

If they had more IoT and streaming capabilities, it would be helpful.

The product could use more analytics tools.

It would be helpful if we could use the product with less coding.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Normally, the solution is quite stable. The performance is pretty good. We don't regularly deal with issues. It doesn't crash or freeze, and I can't recall any bugs or glitches.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution can scale, however, it is expensive to do so. If a company wants to expand, it will have to pay. Therefore, they should be prepared for that.

Currently, we have about 200 people using the solution.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't have a direct relationship with the technical support when I have a problem. They aren't very good. We aren't satisfied with the level of support we get.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not too straightforward. It's rather complex. We had to get some outside assistance.

The deployment process took us about three months. It was a while.

What about the implementation team?

We hired a consultant to help us with the implementation of the solution.

What was our ROI?

I don't have exact KPIs on this, however, I need to improve the sizing in order to improve our ROI.

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

The is a monthly licensing fee. I can't speak to how much we actually pay, however.

There is just one fee. You do not have any more costs over and above that.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

While we didn't previously evaluate other options, in 2021, we need to explore the other solutions. I intend to look at the Amazon and Google Cloud platforms as other options.

What other advice do I have?

We are both partners and end-users of the product. We use it internally and we use it with some of our clients.

I would caution new users that there is one parameter they need to watch carefully. That is the size of the data warehouse. If you don't configure this parameter to be as small as possible, your costs will be quite high.

I would rate the solution at a seven out of ten. It's a stable platform, however, the price model is questionable in comparison to Amazon and Google and the contact with support is a problem for me. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
MS
Project Manager at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
Very scalable with good documentation and fair pricing

Pros and Cons

  • "The pricing seems to be quite fair."
  • "The initial setup has a bit of a learning curve."

What is our primary use case?

We are an IT service provider. We develop solutions for our clients and this solution is used in some aspects of that.

What is most valuable?

The dashboards are good.

We haven't had any issues when it comes to customization.

The security seems to be okay. It hasn't given us any problems and we don't feel insecure.

The pricing seems to be quite fair.

I know their roadmap, and I am looking forward to what they have already published.

We've been happy with the level of reporting and documentation on offer.

What needs improvement?

There aren't any features that are really lacking in the solution. We don't really have any issues with it in its current form.

When we used the on-premises deployment model, we had data latency issues and suffered from page performance problems. However, since we've moved to the cloud, we haven't had these problems.

The initial setup has a bit of a learning curve.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for the past 18 months so far.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution seems to be scalable. We haven't had any issues with bugs or glitches. It doesn't crash or freeze. It's quite good.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability has been pretty good, in our experience. We have been able to scale it twice to the number of users we needed. We were also able to double the amount of data load. We haven't had issues. If a company needs to expand, it should be able to do so without problems.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've dealt with technical support and have found them to be quite responsive and knowledgeable. We're quite satisfied with the level of support we have been getting so far. They're helpful.

How was the initial setup?

It's hard to gauge the difficulty or simplicity of the setup. For our company, we were learning the processes as we were doing it. In that sense, it was challenging due to the fact that we had to learn and then do. After a period of time, we were able to get comfortable.

What about the implementation team?

We handled the implementation ourselves. We taught ourselves about the process as we went.

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

We pay a licensing fee on a monthly basis. We find the pricing to be fair among the competition.

What other advice do I have?

We're just end-users and customers. We don't have a business relationship with the organization.

We're using the latest version of the solution right now.

I'd recommend the solution to other organizations.

I'd rate the solution at a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
NT
Senior Systems Analyst at a non-profit with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 10Leaderboard
Easy to use, good performance, and useful documentation

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features of Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics are how easy and quick it is to set up the linked services."
  • "When I was trying to link services to an SFTP site it was not able to do all the possible encryption that I needed. They can improve by adding more encryption options."

What is our primary use case?

We have been using Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics as our proof of concept in our data warehouse. As for the analytics part, we have not used it because we do not have any SQL pools. We think it is a bit more than we need because our data is not implicated and the data sets are not very large. It is mostly been used for the detection functions and to link up the sources.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics are how easy and quick it is to set up the linked services.

What needs improvement?

When I was trying to link services to an SFTP site it was not able to do all the possible encryption that I needed. They can improve by adding more encryption options.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics for approximately six months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is incredibly stable. 

The only thing that has not been stable are the pipelines that we are using runtime integration on our on-premise server and something is slowing everything down, it might be a particular ODBC connection. I am not sure if that is due to the Microsoft platform or it might be some other setup or settings that are causing the issue. However, other than this issue, the solution has been brilliant. It has been very reliable and stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. I have changed the interface and most of the operations can be done from the interface by clicking a few buttons, it is quick and easy.

At the moment we only have approximately four people using the solution because it is a data warehouse creation in the back end. We have not reached the stage where our staff will use the product but we are building a single customer view using the platform and we will be increase usage in the future.

How was the initial setup?

The initial installation is straightforward. There is a lot of documentation provided by Microsoft making it very easy to get started.

What was our ROI?

Having used the serverless option for the database has saved us a lot of money.

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

We chose the serverless option for the database which has saved us a lot of money. Our costs are approximately £600 per month.

What other advice do I have?

It is beneficial to always plan exactly what the main aims are and then choose the solution that can do it. If you want something quick, I set something up without any knowledge with Azure in three weeks. Once you get going, everything will be at your fingertips.

I rate Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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VP
Sr. Principal, Vice President - Digital Transformation & Strategic Pursuits Leader at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
User-friendly, scalable, and reliable

Pros and Cons

  • "We've had a good experience with technical support in general."
  • "Right now, we are really struggling with the performance. it's not as good as we had hoped."

What is our primary use case?

We have implemented our data warehouse on Synapse.

What is most valuable?

The solution has been reliable so far.

The product is scalable, or, at least, that is my understanding. 

We've had a good experience with technical support in general. They are helpful. 

The solution has proven to be very user-friendly.

What needs improvement?

Right now, we are really struggling with the performance. it's not as good as we had hoped. 

I cannot recall coming across any missing features. 

One problem is that getting the query cost is not easy. I need to use multiple tools. It can be accessed through the web, or we have Azure Data Studio, or SSMS, and I only get the query cost in SSMS, the SQL Server Management Studio. In other tools, I'm not getting it. For example, in the web version or in Azure Data Studio, it is not available. They need to make it accessible in both of those places as well. 

For how long have I used the solution?

I haven't used the solution for very long. 

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The performance on offer is lackluster. We were hoping for better. 

That said, it is reliable, and if I get the required performance, I am happy with it. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

While I haven't really tested the scalability, it is my impression that the solution can scale and it shouldn't be an issue for any company to do so.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good. They are helping us in improving the performance. We're quite satisfied with the level of service they are offing us. They are helpful and responsive. 

How was the initial setup?

I did not handle the initial setup. That was handled by another party. Therefore, I don't have any insights into the process or how easy or difficult it was to implement. 

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

I don't have any insights into the licensing process. It is implemented on our client's side, and therefore, I'm not involved in that.

What other advice do I have?

We're just customers and end-users. My company does not have any relationship. It's our client who has a relationship with Microsoft.

I'm not sure which version we are using, however, I would guess it is the latest version. I'm not 100% sure.

Since the solution is still new to me, and I am having issues with performance, it's too early to say if I would recommend the solution to other users or companies. 

I'd rate the solution at an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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