Analytics Evolution with Azure Synapse and Azure Databricks

Written by Harini Krish

Lead Technical Content Writer

We now have two platform-as-a-service spark offerings in Azure, but then which one should you pick?

Azure Databricks is operating with advancements to the spark engine, cross-platform compatibility, and a mature workspace. Nonetheless, Azure Synapse Analytics convenes as a core integrated platform.

In this blog, we will look at the key differences, distinguish how we achieve different Spark patterns, and equip you with the knowledge to pick the best solution for you.

Azure declared rebranding of the Azure SQL Data Warehouse into Azure Synapse Analytics. But then, this was not a new name for the same service. Azure has added many new functionalities to Azure Synapse to bridge the gap between big data and data warehousing technologies.

Primer to Azure Databricks & Azure Synapse

Azure Databricks is an analytics platform that is Apache Spark-based that is used to enhance the Microsoft Azure cloud services platform. Intended with Apache Spark's founders, Databricks is integrated with Azure to provide a one-click setup, streamlined workflows, and a highly interactive workspace that allows for collaboration between data engineers, data scientists, and business analysts.

Azure Synapse is a vast analytics service that brings together enterprise data warehousing and Big Data analytics. It provides you with the freedom to query data on your terms, using any serverless on-demand or provisioned resources—at scale. Azure Synapse brings these two worlds in conjunction with a cohesive experience to ingest, prepare, manage, and serve data for immediate BI and machine learning needs.

They do have common ground to some extent, but they are not the same thing. Databricks is pretty much run by Apache Spark, whereas SQL Data Warehouse manages synapse Analytics.

What Azure Synapse Analytics Adds New to the Table?

  • Limitless Scale

  • Deeper Insights

  • Real-Time Analytics Experience

  • Advanced Security and Privacy

Azure Synapse Analytics Components

  • Open-source Spark & Delta

  • Synapse Pipelines

  • On-demand Pool

  • Provisioned Pool

  • Synapse SQL

  • Studio

When to make use of Azure Synapse Analytics and Azure Databricks?

Through the new features in Synapse, we see some comparable functional capabilities as in Databricks, which raises how Synapse compares to Databricks and when to use which.


Showdown of Databricks vs. Synapse Analytics


Enhancements in Azure Synapse Analytics

  • Business intelligence and machine learning integration with Microsoft Dynamics software.

  • Cloud-native HTAP integration enables access to the freshest operational data.

  • Advanced security features to protect real-time data.

  • Unified analytics experience within the Azure Synapse studio

  • Workload optimization

Recommendation for Specific Use-Cases

  • Azure Databricks & Azure Synapse for Ad-Hoc Data Lake Discovery

  • Azure Synapse for SQL Analyses & Data Warehousing

  • Azure Databricks for Machine Learning Development

  • Azure Databricks for Real-time transformations

  • Azure Synapse for Reporting and Self-Service BI

How can you leverage Azure Synapse Analytics in your organization?

Azure Synapse Analytics enables cost-effective data management and analytics by leveraging the cloud's power and scale: Azure Synapse will break the silos that exist today and allows insights for all by integrating with Power BI and Azure Machine Learning and AI.

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