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NT
Senior Systems Analyst at a non-profit with 201-500 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
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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Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
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AP
Data Architect at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good support, offers advanced threat protection, and it integrates well with Polybase

Pros and Cons

  • "The most important feature for me is the integration with PolyBase."
  • "The need to improve a little bit in terms of user-friendliness."

What is our primary use case?

We are mainly using this solution as an interface between the Data Lake and the users.

We are consultants and this product assists with the services that we offer for our clients. Our company has a large number of consultants who are working in this space.

What is most valuable?

The most important feature for me is the integration with PolyBase.

Other valuable features for me are advanced threat protection and data privacy.

What needs improvement?

I would like there to be more focus on the Software as a Service (SaaS) product. For example, Snowflake, one of their competitors, is more focused on SaaS.

They need to improve a little bit in terms of user-friendliness. I would rate them a three out of five, in terms of how user-friendly the interface is.

The auto-scaling capabilities are quite poor, especially compared to Snowflake or Firebolt.

For how long have I used the solution?

In total, I have been using Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You can scale it, although you need to put in more effort. We have approximately 800 users.

How are customer service and technical support?

In general, Microsoft support is pretty good.

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

I have experience with similar products such as Snowflake and Firebolt.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is very complex compared to other products. It takes weeks to deploy.

What about the implementation team?

We implement this product for our clients.

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

The cost of the licensing depends on the size of the warehouse, where the cost of storage is approximately $130 USD per terabyte. The charge might be several thousand dollars or more each month.

There are multiple options that are available at an extra cost. For example, the advanced threat protection costs an extra $25 USD.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated several options before choosing Synaps Analytics.

What other advice do I have?

The suitability of this product really depends on the use case. It is good if your company is using only Microsoft products and you don't want to use another stack. If you want to use other platforms then you should consider Snowflake, which is also deployed on Azure. It really depends on what it is that you need.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
RP
Software Engineer at a educational organization with 501-1,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
It is well-structured and provides good performance

Pros and Cons

  • "I like its performance. It is well-structured and offers a lot of practical options. Because of the visual design of the product, it is very easy to find icons and other visual elements. It took me more than two weeks to understand how it works. I had an intensive training session to understand it, which was enough. It was not hard to understand how it works."
  • "I am a researcher. For people to be able to research a solution, there should be at least a free trial. Just advertising a product or saying that this product is better doesn't work. I would strongly recommend providing a lot of free trials and trainings. This will also help Microsoft in having more users or customers. Oracle provides some free trials. You can just go for a free trial and use your database online, which is very good."

What is our primary use case?

I used it for a project thesis for my school project.

What is most valuable?

I like its performance. It is well-structured and offers a lot of practical options. Because of the visual design of the product, it is very easy to find icons and other visual elements.

It took me more than two weeks to understand how it works. I had an intensive training session to understand it, which was enough. It was not hard to understand how it works.

What needs improvement?

I am a researcher. For people to be able to research a solution, there should be at least a free trial. Just advertising a product or saying that this product is better doesn't work. I would strongly recommend providing a lot of free trials and trainings. This will also help Microsoft in having more users or customers. Oracle provides some free trials. You can just go for a free trial and use your database online, which is very good.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse for three months.

How was the initial setup?

It was ready when I started to use it. I just had to do my project.

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

Its price could be better. It was a school project, and I got it for free. If I try to pay through my company, it is a little bit more expensive as compared to Oracle.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I am also using an Oracle solution. Oracle has been in the database field for a longer time, and it provides you more familiar terms that the users understand. When users start to work with an Oracle solution, they are more familiar with the terms. They just need basic training to understand it, but with Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, they have to be a little bit more experienced. In order to understand this product better, they have to know how other Microsoft products work.

What other advice do I have?

It is a powerful asset if we can use it and learn more about it. If Microsoft can give some free training sessions for students and amateurs, it would be helpful in knowing more about this product from inside. 

I would rate Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
JS
Solution Principal at a computer software company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5
Good documentation and does not incur costs when not in use, but needs support for query caching

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is that you can suspend the computer if it is not being used, which means that you don't incur costs."
  • "This solution needs to have query caching so that if the same query is run and the results are available, it will return the data from the cache without having to re-run the query."

What is our primary use case?

We are a consulting agency and the Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse is what we use for general BI reporting and visualization.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that you can suspend the computer if it is not being used, which means that you don't incur costs. This is better than Amazon Redshift, where the costs continue to accumulate.

The documentation is good.

What needs improvement?

This solution needs to have query caching so that if the same query is run and the results are available, it will return the data from the cache without having to re-run the query. As it is now, you still have to use compute for each query.

We would like to have integration with the data lake so that we can avoid retrieving the data from it, just to store it in Synapse before we can use it. From an architectural perspective, avoiding this replication would be good.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this product for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Stability-wise, this is a good product.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable, although I don't expect that we will expand it beyond the current usage.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not had to reach out to support. Rather, we have relied on the documentation. It is easy to solve your own problems.

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

I also have experience with using Snowflake. It has the option to cache query results, which is helpful. 

Amazon Redshift is another similar solution that I have experience with, although it lacks the ability to suspend the computer to save costs when it is not being used.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

The Azure SQL Data Warehouse has been renamed to Synapse, although not all of the features have been implemented yet. I am looking forward to a more mature version of this product in the future.

I would rate this solution a seven out of ten.

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
JS
Practice Head BI at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
Good reporting and analytics, and can handle very large amounts of data

Pros and Cons

  • "The main advantage of using this solution is its ability to scale and handle very large amounts of data, in the petabyte range."
  • "With respect to what needs to be improved, concurrent connectivity has some limitations."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and we provide different tools for our clients. Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse is one of the solutions that we have implemented.

The use cases vary depending on the client. We have a couple of clients who are moving their data from on-premises to Azure databases, and they are using this solution primarily for reporting analytics. They also use visualization tools on top of the reporting.

What is most valuable?

The main advantage of using this solution is its ability to scale and handle very large amounts of data, in the petabyte range.

When we are not using this solution we can simply shut it down saving us costs, which is a nice advantage.

What needs improvement?

With respect to what needs to be improved, concurrent connectivity has some limitations. 

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse for about one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are satisfied with the scalability.

A lot of people use the analytics and I would estimate it to be between 50 and 100 users. Most of them are business users, although some are power users who built the system for them.

How are customer service and technical support?

It is good technical support in general, we find. We were in contact with them when we were doing a migration from on-premises to the cloud, and it was very nice.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

This solution is being changed from day-to-day. Now it has become Synapse Analytics and a lot of things are being added to it. I'm curious to see how that turns out. They have a lot of new integrations and features, including predictive analysis and big data integration. They may have solved the issues with concurrent connectivity, so I'm curious to put my hands on it.

The product is being upgraded and updated to support a lot of analytic features, and it is a great tool to use.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

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: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PradeepPV
Vice President Technologies at Excelencia
Real User
Top 5
Easy administration, cost-effective, and scales to any requirement

Pros and Cons

  • "Azure elasticity allows us to scale as much as we want, and it is pay-as-you-go, so we can scale up as we need to."
  • "The configuration for things like high-availability could be more user-friendly for non-technical users."

What is our primary use case?

We are a software development company and this is one of the solutions that we recommend to our clients. The applications that we develop make use of this technology.

How has it helped my organization?

Using Azure SQL Data Warehouse means that you don't have to worry about big servers.

What is most valuable?

The best part is the easy and user-friendly administration and handling of the data.

What needs improvement?

The configuration for things like high-availability could be more user-friendly for non-technical users.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Azure SQL Data Warehouse for almost twelve years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a stable solution with no issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is the best part of going with a cloud-based solution. I don't have to worry about server space. Azure elasticity allows us to scale as much as we want, and it is pay-as-you-go, so we can scale up as we need to. What we propose to the people who are implementing this solution is to start with the minimum requirements and then scale up based on demand.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have not seen any problems with technical support. We have Microsoft certification, so we very rarely contact them for any help. Normally, we handle the support for our clients.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward. The requirements are very clear, and there is not much of a problem when you're doing it.

One of the recent upgrades we have done that included high-availability, loading the data, and setting everything up, took about a month and a half.

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

The licensing fees for this solution are on a pay-per-use basis, and not very expensive.

What other advice do I have?

The core strength of Microsoft technologies is ease of use and administration, regardless of the type of product.

This is a good solution to go with, the cost is reasonable, and I recommend it.

I would rate this solution an eight out of ten.

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?

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
BeverlyTshifularo
Senior Business Analyst: BI Team Lead at a logistics company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 10
The architectural design is very scalable but the services are expensive

Pros and Cons

  • "The features we've found most valuable for data warehouses is extracting data, SSIS packages, and the DBs."
  • "I'm not entirely happy with the billing model. I'm not entirely happy with how the enterprise services are pretty expensive, but that's about it."

How has it helped my organization?

We haven't really implemented any SSIS. I haven't been in a project where it was implemented as part of the data we have been building.

What is most valuable?

The features we've found most valuable for data warehouses is extracting data, SSIS packages, and the DBs.

What needs improvement?

So far, with the current SQL that I'm using compared to what we've previously used, I'm happy with it. I wouldn't necessarily point out anything that needs improvement.

From my point of view from what we have implemented recently, I'm happy with the solution, I'm happy with the performance. I'm not entirely happy with the billing model. I'm not entirely happy with how the enterprise services are pretty expensive, but that's about it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for around 18 months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I think the architectural design is very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

I never contacted Microsoft customer support. 

We do have access to it, but we haven't needed to.

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

I've used Tableau, I've used SQL DB, I've used SAP DB.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup wasn't complex. It was okay. It wasn't complex at all.

To set it up within full compliance with our cloud infrastructure team, I'd say maybe two weeks after beginning our testing. I'd say the team wasn't a hundred percent devoted to setting it up as they had other things to do. So I'd say I'll give it two weeks to be realistic for a large organization.

What about the implementation team?

It depends on whether you have those resources internally or not. If you have internal resources you wouldn't need to outsource, if you don't have, you would. So it's not a matter of how good that application is but a question of whether you have the capability in house.

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

The enterprise services are pretty expensive.

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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