top of page
  • Writer's pictureJordan Berry

Microsoft Fabric - A Game Changer for Data Analytics & more

Microsoft Fabric makes setting up & managing your data platform simpler than ever. Combined with Interloop’s team of experts, you can transform data into insights faster than ever.


What is Microsoft Fabric?

At Microsoft Build 2023, Satya Nadella introduced Fabric, Microsoft’s unified SaaS-based solution that stores all organizational data. Microsoft fabric combines many of their existing tools, Data Factory, Synapse Analytics, Data Explorer & Power BI into a single unified experience.



This is all built on top of an open and governed lakehouse foundation layer - introduced as One Lake. The goal of fabric is to create a cost-effective & performance-optimized toolkit that can be used for all things data. This includes running adhoc queries, business intelligence workload, AI & machine learning, & much more.


Microsoft Fabric Platform
Microsoft Fabric Platform

This cloud native offering, handles much of the complexities & technical hurdles that have historically plagued data engineering teams such & creates a single location for an organization to operate their data workloads - regardless of the use case.


While this tool has dramatically lowered the barrier to entry, it does still require expertise to operationalize effectively. We’re optimistic that this set of tools will help data teams across the globe deliver more value to those how needs insights to operate their organizations.


One Lake: It’s like OneDrive for your Data

One of the biggest challenges when trying to build a modern data platform for your organization is copies of data everywhere. You need to manage the data in your operational systems, copy it into your data lake, and then possibly copy the data again into your data warehouse. If you need to share data or access data from a third party, more copies.


OneLake aims to solve these challenges for an organization. As Microsoft states:


OneLake is a single, unified, logical data lake for the whole organization. Like OneDrive, OneLake comes automatically with every Microsoft Fabric tenant and is designed to be the single place for all your analytics data.

Why is this a game changer? By unifying data at the highest level, organizations can finally leverage data as a competitive advantage. Cross functional teams can all operate off the same underlying source of truth to make decisions faster.


Combine this with a singular governance model that allows different domains in the business to operate in concert with each other at each step of the way - this is a truly revolutionary approach to data management.


One Lake

What are Shortcuts?

In addition to OneLake, Microsoft introduced Shortcuts - a way to connect & analyze data across different business domains (or even other organizations) without having to move the data.

Microsoft Fabric Shortcuts

For those that are familiar with the promise … and shortcomings, of Data Virtualization — this appears to be a monumental step towards a Zero ETL (LINK) world.


Let’s paint this picture a little more vividly - imagine your organization works with Channel Partners that each collect data that needs to be analyzed. Some store it in ADLS, Microsoft’s Storage Layer while others have adopted Amazon’s S3 Storage tools. With Shortcuts, this data can all be analyzed without having to setup any ETL pipeline to consolidate this data into one analytical Store.


We’re excited to see the developments with shortcuts but in theory this will open up the ability to share data within & across organizations in wholly novel ways.


What happened to Azure Synapse?

For those familiar with Microsoft’s analytics offerings - you may be wondering “So what’s going to happen with Azure Synapse?”


Azure Synapse Analytics

Microsoft has stated that while Azure Synapse Analytics will remain available to customers, most of the R&D resources will be moving toward Fabric. Reading between the lines, we would expect that the Azure Synapse Studio will not see many updates over the coming months while most of the functionality is moved into Fabric.


One of the biggest changes when moving to Fabric is that Microsoft does not intend to move Mapping Data Flows into Fabric. If your organization currently uses MDF, you will need to re-evaluate your approaches to data transformation.


Our advice, continue using Azure Synapse Analytics in tandem with Microsoft Fabric until it is available through general availability near the end of 2023.


How do I get started with Microsoft Fabric?

In an effort to drive organizations to try out Microsoft Fabric, Microsoft is offering a Free trial. You can simply navigate to your existing PowerBI Instances and you will see a new Fabric Branded portal.


Microsoft Fabric Interface

To navigate directly to Microsoft Fabric - visit https://app.fabric.microsoft.com/


Microsoft Fabric is in Public Preview with General Availability expected to be available near the end of 2023.


Should I migrate to Microsoft Fabric?

With all these additional capabilities, should you migrate everything to Fabric today? After using Fabric for several weeks, we would recommend the following approach:


1. For production workloads, continue to use Azure Synapse Analytics over Microsft Fabric. We’ve noticed that there are definitely some bugs and shortcomings with the Fabric Interface at the moment (as of publishing this article in August 2023. We expected Microsoft to address many of these challenges in the coming months)


→ LINK OR EMBED TO FABRIC ISSUE TRACKER


Check out our Microsoft Fabric Issue Tracker to a list of shortcomings or challenges our experts have experienced while working with Microsoft Fabric.


Microsoft Fabric Lakehouse

2. Adopt the Microsoft Fabric Lakehouse Structure (Files & Delta Tables) Today

  • By adopting the new Microsoft Fabric Lakehouse Standard, organizations can prepare themselves for a smooth migration down the road.

  • By standardizing on Delta Tables, we’ve seen many organizations achieve speed gains, a shared understanding, & technical benefits such as full ACID transaction support an more. To learn more about the benefits of the Delta Table, open source format - Read this article by Data Bricks.

3. Take advantage of the Free Trial to find any data gaps

  • With Microsoft offering a generous free trial, we advise our clients to begin experimenting with Microsoft Fabric to better understand it’s limitations, the capacity pricing model, & new functionality (such as the recently launched Data Activator). If you are already using PowerBI, you’ll be very familiar with the concepts and should be

4. Get Started Experimenting Today

  • Microsoft has made it clear that Fabric is the Future so by experimenting or working with experts today, you’ll be ahead of the curve when Fabric becomes the standard for most Microsoft Based organizations.

To learn more about migration specifics & how your organization should think about a transition to Microsoft Fabric - read our Migration Guide: From Azure Synapse Analytics to Microsoft Fabric (LINK TO BLOG)


How do I get started today?

Schedule a free consultation with one of our experts to understand how you can start using Microsoft Fabric Today.




35 views

댓글


bottom of page