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Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics is #2 ranked solution in top Cloud Data Warehouse tools. IT Central Station users give Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics an average rating of 8 out of 10. Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics is most commonly compared to Snowflake:Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics vs Snowflake. Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics is popular among the large enterprise segment, accounting for 72% of users researching this solution on IT Central Station. The top industry researching this solution are professionals from a computer software company, accounting for 28% of all views.
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 was previously known as Azure Synapse Analytics, Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Microsoft Azure SQL DW, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, 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: November 2021

Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Customers

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

Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Video

Archived Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Reviews (more than two years old)

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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

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 is our primary use case?

This is a data warehousing solution.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the scalability. It scales out, so you can build a large database and not have to think about whether it performs, or about connecting to the servers to become larger.

What needs improvement?

There are several specific features and functions available on the on-premises version that do not work with the cloud version. There are many issues regarding migration.

They are building it more and more, but if you have the same version on local you cannot just go to the cloud because some of the functionalities don't work yet. You would have to re-code everything, and maybe even do it differently.

In terms of documentation, they can make it easier or start with some advising or instruction. As it is now, it's like making a puzzle.

Technical support needs some improvement.

They will need to include some features for the Cloud version.

They can make subsets of the database so you can schedule the marking department to work only between nine to five, but ETL can run at night. 

With a subset database, you can cut costs, similar to Snowflake whose price is a lot lower.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for almost two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This solution is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This solution is scalable.

We have a couple of administrations using this solution and the rest are indirectly using third-party tools. They are developers and administrators.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support is difficult. I don't think that their support is good.

You can call for help, they take your request, but they don't have an understanding of the tool.

You have to wait a couple of days for someone to call you back.

There have been times where I knew more than they did, so you have to figure it out for yourself.

I am not satisfied with the support, but I do understand that when you have a service desk or a help desk, they cannot go through the entire solution. What I expect is that the second line should, but they don't have a second line.

You submit in a support ticket and three days later you get a callback and have to explain the problem that you are having again. It takes more time.

I have called Microsoft and even they were not sure and nobody could really help me.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup for me was straightforward, but I have a lot of experience. I think that for some people who are less experienced it would be complex.

It's not just the documentation on what version you need to have and what pricing. It is really difficult.

You have to read a lot to understand what you are doing.

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

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.

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.

The bad side to pay as you go is that sometimes it can stop the enthusiasm of the data scientists, as they are afraid to run a query because they are afraid of the bill and how much it will be.

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 done.

My advice would be to compare this solution with others. Snowflake would be a comparable solution. It's cheaper, faster, and better.

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: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
EK
Data Architect at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Has good MPP architecture but Data Factory integration should be enhanced

Pros and Cons

  • "The MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) architecture helps to make things a lot faster."
  • "This is a young product in transition to the cloud and it needs more work before it is both settled as a product and competitive in the market."

What is our primary use case?

Our general use of this solution has to do with the needs of one of our clients. They had an SQL server and they were migrating from an on-premises SQL Server to Azure SQL server on the cloud. We use this solution because it fits their budget and they have some clients in other countries they want to give access to the product through Power BI.

What is most valuable?

What I like the most would be MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) architecture. Because we had to migrate a lot of data and it helps us a lot to make things faster.

What needs improvement?

As far as improvements to the product, I think the Data Factory integration should be enhanced to be properly implemented because right now it is still lagging behind other vendors like Informatica. We ended up having to use Data Factory because we don't have any expertise in Informatica. But I want to see Data Factory get better overall.

An enhancement I would like to see is in data loading for Data Factory. Right now we are seeing a little bit of a performance lapse in the cloud server. Specifically, this happens between Azure and our clients maybe because we are connecting to SQL Server Management Studio. There is a slight but noticeable delay. I do not know if it has to do with Azure and whether it is their problem or our problem.

I can't complain much about Data Factory, but because I used to use SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services) which was the prior on-prem version, I know what capabilities it is missing in comparison. They changed it over to Data Factory, but by comparison, Data Factory has a long way to go to reach the level of SSIS as a product.

For how long have I used the solution?

Right now we have been using the product for four months.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Right now is still early in our implementation so I can't really say that I am sure it will remain stable in production under larger loads. But so far it is good and we are happy with the solution and its stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One of the reasons we decided to go with Azure was because we knew we could scale-out. We were happy with this scalability before we committed to the product.

Right now, I know only two of our clients are using the solution. They are actually a government organization. But we know we can scale up when we have to.

How are customer service and technical support?

I have not had direct contact with technical support. Someone else handles that. But I have not heard any complaints.

How was the initial setup?

The initial set up was not very complex. It was easy to install this product.

What about the implementation team?

We had a partnership with another team and together we did the installation. They helped us to figure out some architectural decisions which they were very helpful with.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to other people considering this solution is that this is a great product. But there is one problem and that is the rate that Microsoft is changing its software implementations. The rapid changes could make it hard to keep up with upgrades. Some of the features get enabled and disabled very quickly. So we are waiting now until everything settles down because cloud technology is still evolving. We understand that. But, on the other hand, as they make so many changes to keep up with the technology, it remains hard to predict what the future of the product is. I might say to anyone that they wait for some time in 2020 and then start using the product.

On a scale from one to ten where one is the worst and ten is the best, I would rate the product as somewhere between a seven or an eight. If I have to choose seven or eight, I would pick seven-out-of-10.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
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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RR
Executive Board Member / General Manager at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Offers easy administration and it is very stable

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the ease of administration.

What needs improvement?

It would be of interest to improve things like the web service integration and availability in terms of being easy to create internal web services in the database.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution on premise for ten years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable and there are no problems in the database.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't grown a lot so I am not able to say if the solution is scalable or not.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was really easy and straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

I will rate this…

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of this solution is the ease of administration.

What needs improvement?

It would be of interest to improve things like the web service integration and availability in terms of being easy to create internal web services in the database.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the solution on premise for ten years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is quite stable and there are no problems in the database.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We haven't grown a lot so I am not able to say if the solution is scalable or not.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was really easy and straightforward.

What other advice do I have?

I will rate this solution an eight out of ten. Not a ten due to the lack of integration.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.
CK
Consultant at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Easy to use for the end-user but the initial setup is complex

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable features are the flexibility and that it's easy to use as an end-user compared to AWS."
  • "The initial setup process needs improvement. When you're moving to the cloud it takes a bit of time. It would be great if they could implement something that would make it faster."

What is our primary use case?

We use the private deployment model of this solution. 

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the flexibility and that it's easy to use as an end-user compared to AWS.

What needs improvement?

The initial setup process needs improvement. When you're moving to the cloud it takes a bit of time. It would be great if they could implement something that would make it faster. It takes a bit of time but once you're done, you're done. 

The simplicity is good, but it should be that anyone can use it. You shouldn't have to be technical because, with the way it is now, only a technical person who has had training can set it up. If you have a dashboard that anyone can use, it would be easier.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for two years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is great. It can go from zero to infinity. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Their technical support is great. We have local support from distributors.

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

The pricing is okay. You can pay as you go. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it a seven out of ten. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user937602
EMEA IT Program Manager for Sales, Marketing & eCommerce at a transportation company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Easy to set up and use, good technical support, and works with a variety of SQL databases

Pros and Cons

  • "Scaling this solution is easy and the uptime is okay."
  • "I would like to see better integration with Active Directory, because we have had problems, and we still do."

What is our primary use case?

We use this solution for data warehousing. Specifically, we have an ERP that does not have a direct connection to our Power BI solution. This connection will exist in the future, but in the meantime, we use an ETL process to transport data out of the ERP into Azure SQL, and then from Azure SQL into Power BI. At that point, we can use the dashboard to display our information.

Our environment is a private cloud.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of this solution are its easy setup and ease of use.

The SQL functions are ok. I've been working with Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, and PostgreSQL for a long time, and everything is good.

Technical support is very good.

What needs improvement?

There are several things that I would like to see improved with this solution, including:

  • The price of this solution could be improved.
  • I would like to see better integration with Active Directory, because we have had problems, and we still do.
  • I expected that Microsoft would have had something out of the box for Office 365, but they do not.
  • It is difficult to configure, especially if you have multiple domains.
  • I would like to see a simpler interface for the Azure portal because it is kind of complicated.
  • It would be nice to have better monitoring of the usage of the data inside Azure SQL. What we don't use could be achieved in cloud storage. This would allow us to cut down the price.
  • Better customization would improve this solution.

For how long have I used the solution?

Three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The stability is perfect. We have no problem with this solution, and it has not gone down in three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This scalability of this solution is five out of five. It is easy to scale, although it is a bit pricey compared to the competition, even with the Microsoft discount that we get for being a big enterprise.

We have approximately three hundred users for Azure SQL. With respect to Power BI reporting that can run queries in Azure SQL, I think that there are thousands. We have no plans to expand at this time.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support for this solution is amazing. I have contacted them once, and the response time was amazing. They actually developed something that I suggested in the dialog within two months.

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

We used Power BI before choosing this solution.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup of this solution is straightforward, with no issues.

The deployment took about three and a half months, although the time was not because of Azure SQL. It was our ETL tools that we used in-house during the deployment.

We have one cloud engineer, somebody from Microsoft that helps us from time to time, and someone from TPC who assists with the maintenance.

What about the implementation team?

We used an integrator, TPC US, to assist us with our deployment, and I highly recommend them.

What was our ROI?

We have seen ROI, for sure, but I cannot provide any numbers.

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

This is a pricey solution.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

This solution was my recommendation, and I made it because we are a big Microsoft customer and, as such, felt that the integration would be smoother. It probably was.

We did evaluate other options including Google Sheets, Google BigQuery, and another solution from Microsoft.

What other advice do I have?

My advice for anybody researching this or a similar solution is to list the pros and cons, along with the price, and estimate your needs before starting the project. I would also suggest contacting support for Microsoft, Google, and Amazon. Finally, look into other, better-niched providers, like Teradata.

Scaling this solution is easy and the uptime is okay. It is easy to use, and the support is excellent. My biggest complaint is the cost.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

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