Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Overview

Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Cloud Data Warehouse tools. It is most often compared to Snowflake: Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics vs Snowflake

What is Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics?

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a Fast, flexible, and secure analytics platform for the enterprise. Azure SQL Data Warehouse lets you independently scale compute and storage, while pausing and resuming your data warehouse within minutes through a massively parallel processing architecture designed for the cloud. Seamlessly create your hub for analytics along with native connectivity with data integration and visualization services, all while using your existing SQL and BI skills.

Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics is also known as Azure Synapse Analytics, Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Microsoft Azure SQL DW, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, MS Azure Synapse Analytics, MS Azure Synapse Analytics, MS Azure Synapse Analytics.

Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Buyer's Guide

Download the Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2021

Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Customers

Toshiba, Carnival, LG Electronics, Jet.com, Adobe, 

Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Video

Pricing Advice

What users are saying about Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics pricing:
  • "There is a cost calculator available online that allows you to input your entire scenario, and it will get back to you with information on what the costs are going to be."
  • "My company pays for the license and I am not sure about the price."
  • "We normally pay between $300 and $500 per month, which is quite expensive for how much we actually use it, performance- and usage-wise. They have a cheap version and an expensive version, and our usage usually falls in the middle ground, which makes it not as cost-effective as it could be."
  • "It goes by the usage, and there are some limits. Synapse goes by particular pricing, and it is expensive. Both Azure Synapse Analytics and Snowflake are pretty expensive. They don't have standard pricing. They deal with each customer differently."
  • "They are cost aggressive, and it integrates well with other Microsoft tools."
  • "This solution starts at €1000.00 a month for just the basics and can go up to €300,000.00 per month for the fastest version."

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JS
Information Architect at Systems Analysis & Design Engineering
Real User
Top 20
Scalable, intuitive, facilitates compliance and keeping your data secure

What is our primary use case?

I am a consultant, and when I go on-site, it's to determine how they can move to the cloud. Often, clients want to migrate because everyone else is. Others want to because they assume that they are going to save money. They will require less support staff in-house and they won't have to purchase servers. Customers have a need to cut back on expenses, and equipment. Their servers are becoming obsolete and are required to update their licensing. Rather than doing that and creating a larger overhead, they look into Microsoft Azure. It might be a better way to go and it's less money upfront. Some… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "We also like governance. It looks at what the requirements are for the company to identify the best way to ensure compliance is met when you move to the cloud."
  • "It would be beneficial to take the top vendors and identify some kind of straightforward action to work with them. Instead of having to employ a separate vendor tool to be able to move this, it would be nice to be able to go through Microsoft."

What other advice do I have?

Clients will look at Pro Dell Compare. They use the tool to determine how simple it is or how complicated it will be to move their data. They consider whether they need to make use of one of Microsoft's partners to have them help, or can they do it themselves, and they determine how risky it is along with how simple it will be. Will they have enough manpower, and whether or not they're going to have to hire external consultants to help them. They also consider whether they are going to move their applications or are they going to wait? and what's going to come first. They create a plan. You…
MichelTimp
CHTO at Timp-iT
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
User-friendly, informative dashboard, and excellent customer service

What is our primary use case?

The healthcare sector is looking for how to accomplish certain processes because currently a lot of it is pure logistics. The goal is to announce and to make processes more transparent and see if they can be made more efficient. This is where business analytics comes in. The organization is using different kinds of information sources, such as electronic client dossiers or HR systems. They will see what kind of knowledge is required, how the patient or the clients are experiencing what quality of health, and create dashboards to see how the organization is doing. This will show which areas… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "The features most valuable are the simplicity, how easy it is to create a dashboard from different information systems."
  • "Indicating what areas need improvement in this solution is a difficult question because the organizations that I am working for are really new in this area. However, an even better more simple interface, or perhaps an extension of a connector app store solution, would be helpful."

What other advice do I have?

My advice to those wanting to implement this solution would be to "Think big and act small." See what is up ahead. One of the organizations that I am working for, the big picture is population health management. We are not going to start with that, we are going to start to improve one small process, which is a cumbersome process that is been difficult for many years. That is the process that we are going to make transparent towards the organization, to see where the bottlenecks could be or are, and improve that process. We want the user experience to improve and that the amount of time you can…
Learn what your peers think about Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: July 2021.
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SS
Sr. Teradata Consultant at a tech services company with 201-500 employees
Consultant
Top 20
Easily scalable with lots of features and good encryption

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution for analytic purposes. It allows us to store data for years and then go back and look up information to learn things like how users function, react, follow trends, etc. It allows us to follow past and recent demands for products as well so that we might be able to find the reasoning behind the action or trend.

Pros and Cons

  • "Microsoft provides both the platform and the data center, so you don't have to look for a cloud vendor. It saves you from having to deal with two vendors for the same task."
  • "The performance needs to improve in future releases."

What other advice do I have?

We're a Microsoft partner. I have experience with the Microsoft Cloud Data Warehouse specifically within the Unix cloud environment. We're using the latest version of the solution. It's important for organizations considering the solution to consider their business requirements and expectations. They need to be clear about what type of cloud solution they are looking for. We help our clients do this and interview them to find out what their needs are so that the best platform can be chosen for them. It may be Azure. It may be Snowflake. It depends on the company's needs. At the end of the day…
Alexis Bustamante
STI Data Leader at grupo gtd
Real User
Top 5
Smoothly integrates data from diverse sources, but can be prone to bugs

What is our primary use case?

I work with Azure Synapse Analytics, Power BI, and Premier as a data administrator, using Microsoft's Azure cloud infrastructure. Azure Synapse Analytics is the principal data administration tool for our internal data warehousing, but we also use it for our customers' data warehousing and analytics in different industries. For data entry, we use Microsoft Power BI. Internally, we have about 200 personnel currently using Azure Synapse Analytics, including data specialists, service managers, and other tech workers. It is not extensively used by all, however, because we don't often use it for… more »

Pros and Cons

  • "We use Azure Synapse Analytics in many different areas and industries, so I like that you can administrate and create pipelines for difference sources of data and later integrate and deploy it to other internal areas, such as separate dashboards for financials, and so on."
  • "Unfortunately, we have had some issues with the dashboard reporting. Sometimes, the data for specific periods would just appear blank on the dashboard. To investigate this, we worked with a Microsoft incident agent and it turned out to be a result of bugs in the platform when dealing with specific types of queries in Azure Data Factory."

What other advice do I have?

There is always room for improvement with Azure Synapse Analytics, but for our use cases it works very well. I would rate Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics a seven out of ten.
DR
Director, Consulting, Technology Services at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
MSP
Easy to scale out and scale down services and relatively straightforward to install, but needs Managed VNet and more compatibility with SQL Server

What is our primary use case?

We mostly provide cloud data warehousing platforms for major banks in Canada. What we're trying to do is to create a standard platform environment that is compliant with the regulatory requirements imposed by the government and financial overseeing institutions for the banks. We help them to onboard the lines of business to these platforms and migrate the existing workloads to the cloud platforms.

Pros and Cons

  • "The ability to scale out services on-demand and scale them down when they are not required is most valuable. You are in control of your expenditures, and you are also in control of the horsepower that you need. That's a major advantage."
  • "The major challenge that we're seeing with Azure Synapse is around security concerns. The way it is working right now, it has Managed VNet by Microsoft option, similar to the implementation of Azure Databricks, which may pose a concern for financial institutions. For managed environments, the banks have very strict policies around data being onboarded to those environments. For some confidential applications, the banks have the policy to encrypt it with their own key, so it is sort of like Bring Your Own Key, but it is not possible to manage the resources with Microsoft or Databricks, which is probably the major challenge with Azure Synapse. There should be more compatibility with SQL Server. It should be easier to migrate solutions between different environments because right now, it is not really competitive. It is not like you can go and install SQL Database in some other environment. You will have to go through some migration projects, which probably is one of the major showstoppers for any bank. When they consider Synapse, they not only consider the investment in the actual service; they also consider the cost of the migration process. When you scale out or scale down your system, it becomes unavailable for a few minutes. Because it is a data warehouse environment, it is not such a huge deal, but it would be great if they can improve it so that the platform is available during the change of configuration."

What other advice do I have?

For working with Synapse, you need to have an understanding and knowledge of the product to take full advantage of it. Synapse has a lot of features in terms of scalability, such as resource management, distribution, and partitioning. There are a lot of things that you need to consider when you go for it. It is not a simple database that you put in there, and it is running itself. I would rate Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics a seven out of ten.
Mukul Biswas
Enterprise Solutions at Celebal Technologies
Real User
Top 10
Scalable, easy to use and set up with an intuitive platform that integrates well with Power BI

What is our primary use case?

We are service providers for our clients. My clients primarily come from the enterprise segments, such as manufacturing, retail, pharmaceutical, and industrial. Most are supported by a large ERP solution like SAP. Some of our clients are mid-size and others are large enterprise companies, some of the largest in India.

Pros and Cons

  • "They are available on the Cloud, and the platform is very intuitive."
  • "It needs strong support for social media, internet data, and native support for NoSQL."

What other advice do I have?

We use the serverless platform as a service, that is only available with Microsoft Azure. You don't have to hire experienced engineers to set up and implement the solution, saving you money, because it is very intuitive and the turnaround time is very low compared to other data warehouses. I would put it in par with solutions such as Redshift and BigQuery. It's very modern, easy, and intuitive. Most of the services are cheaper than other vendors. This definitely falls into one of the top three or top four solutions and platforms in the world. I would definitely recommend it. If someone should…
MD
Managing Partner at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Real User
A good solution for simple data warehousing that scales well, but it needs better technical support

What is our primary use case?

This is a data warehousing solution.

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is the scalability."
  • "It's pay as you go, so you never know what your bill is going to be beforehand, and that's scary for customers. If you have someone who makes a mistake and the program's a loop that is running all night, you could receive a very expensive bill."

What other advice do I have?

It's a nice solution for a simple data warehousing, but it's still an immature solution. It is stable but it takes a lot of time. Smaller companies have better products, but the problem will always be there and the smaller company will not survive. Customers will have tools that are not supported anymore. Microsoft is so big that people trust them, they will eventually get there but it will take time to get the features with quality. There are, however, some solutions available that are better and cheaper. You can purchase them instead of having to reprogram everything that you have already…
ML
Managing Director at a consultancy with 1-10 employees
Real User
Top 20
Good scalability and stability but needs user training

What is our primary use case?

We are using it internally and afterward some of the outcomes are made public, either to customers or in different projects. It's mainly for preparing internal documents when we use Word. Otherwise, we use it for externally or for a lot of PowerPoint and Excel for budget purposes. Being a small company, we don't need a very sophisticated software solution, so with an Excel spreadsheet, we can handle the different budget of different projects simultaneously.

Pros and Cons

  • "The stability is pretty good."
  • "The macro functions, though useful, are not totally user-friendly. Some people have difficulties in learning them."

What other advice do I have?

I'm just an end-user and customer. I'd rate the solution at a seven out of ten. I'd rate them higher if they could make it more user-friendly in terms of those more sophisticated capabilities that the system offers. Also, the training requires long hours. That's something difficult to organize when people have to be allocated to specific training sessions, instead of being on the projects. There's a kind of complex way of balancing the possibility of some people using the more sophisticated solutions and getting trained.
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