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A Review of Azure Synapse Analytics

Teo Lachev looks at Azure Synapse Analytics:

There is plenty to like in Azure Synapse which is the evaluation of Azure SQL DW. If you’re tasked to implement a cloud-based data warehouse, you have a choice among three Azure SQL Server-based PaaS offerings, including Azure SQL Database, Azure SQL Managed Instance, and Azure Synapse. In a nutshell, Azure SQL Database and Azure SQL MI are optimized for OLTP workloads. For example, they have full logging enabled and replicate each transaction across replicas. Full logging is usually a no-no for decent size DW workloads because of the massive ETL changes involved.

In addition, to achieve good performance, you’ll find yourself moving up the performance tiers and toward the price point of the lower Azure Synapse SKUs. Not to mention that unlike Azure SQL Database, Azure Synapse can be paused, such as when reports hit a semantic layer instead of DW, and this may offer additional cost cutting options.

Teo focuses primarily on SQL Pools and the more SQL-friendly side of things (ELT and Power BI) rather than Spark pools.