Azure Data Factory Or Integration Services?

Teo Lachev contrasts use cases for Integration Services vesus Azure Data Factory V2:

So, ADF was incorrectly positioned as “SSIS for the Cloud” and unfortunately once that message made it out there was a messaging problem that Microsoft has been fighting ever since. Like Azure ML, on the glory road to the cloud things that were difficult with SSIS (installation, projects, deployment) became simple, and things that were simple became difficult. Naturally, Microsoft took a lot of criticism from the customers and community, including from your humble correspondent. ADF, or course, has nothing to do with SSIS, thus leaving many data integration practitioners with a difficult choice: should you take the risk and take the road less traveled with ADF, or continue with the tried-and-true SSIS for data integration on Azure?

To Microsoft’s credits, ADF v2 has made significant enhancements in features, usability, and maintainability. There is an also a “lift and shift” option to run SSIS inside ADF but since this architecture requires a VM, I consider it a narrow case scenario, such as when you need to extend ADF with SSIS features that it doesn’t have. Otherwise, why would you start new development with SSIS hosted under ADF, if you could provision and license the VM yourself and have full control over it?

All in all, Teo is not the biggest fan of ADF at this point and leans heavily toward SSIS; read on for the reasoning.

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