November 7, 2019Microsoft Azure’s Big Move in the Cloud with Synapse
The Forecast Calls for Cloudy Weather
You don’t have to be a clairvoyant to know that there is an ever-increasing trend in cloud adoption among start-ups and enterprises alike. In the world of Big Data, the past few years have shown a significant increase in cloud adoption. While Amazon initially led the way with cloud data products – with Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR) for Hadoop and Redshift for data warehousing – the past 12 months have seen new entrants on the scene. For example, Google’s BigQuery has seen great market traction, and Microsoft’s Data Lake and HDInsight products have been a hit within the Microsoft installed base. As the table below shows, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft have a significant market share in the cloud wars, and although Amazon continues to lead, Microsoft’s market share is growing at 3X the rate of the other players in the space.
For AtScale, the adoption of cloud data platforms has strengthened our belief in the need for a Universal Semantic Layer for ALL data, and a method for data model abstraction that works for ANY Business Intelligence consumer. As you may have read in my AtScale 6.0 blog post, we recently announced our GA support for Google BigQuery as a data source, and we are excited about our future plans for Amazon Redshift. Today, I am excited to announce that we are making AtScale available as part of the Microsoft Azure marketplace and as a tightly integrated service within the Microsoft HDInsight platform.
Scale-Out BI, In the Cloud
Over the past few months we have been working closely with the teams at Microsoft to enhance our support for AtScale’s integration with the Azure cloud.
“The adoption of cloud data platforms has strengthened our belief in the need for a Universal Semantic Layer for ALL data”.
As part of our latest release, the following capabilities are now available:
- AtScale is available to deploy either as part of an initial HDInsight cluster deployment, or can easily be added onto an existing HDInsight cluster via the Azure Marketplace.
- We have enhanced AtScale’s SQL query support to work with powerful DirectQuery capabilites of PowerBI, which now means that PowerBI users can have a live, interactive query experience on billions of rows of data stored in HDInsight.
- We have certified AtScale to work with PowerBI Online via the On-Premises data gateway – enabling the publishing of live, pixel-perfect dashboards and visualizations to PowerBI Online, powered by AtScale and HDInsight.
I’d Like Some AtScale With That
Our updated support of AtScale on HDInsight was created using the latest version of the Azure Resource Manager (ARM). By using this approach, we are now able to allow customers to spin up a brand new cluster that includes both a complete HDInsight Hadoop cluster as well as a fully configured AtScale instance connected to this cluster. This capability is a great option for companies looking to try out AtScale and HDInsight for the first time. Additionally, this template allows an AtScale instance to be attached to an existing HDInsight cluster. So for companies looking to bring additional BI workloads directly to their HDInsight cluster (instead of moving the data into a secondary storage system or create extract-only reports), this is a great option to bring BI workloads directly to a scale-out data platform.
Regardless of the deployment approach, the result of deploying AtScale with HDInsight is the creation of a scale-out cluster with native BI and OLAP capabilities.
Live, Interactive PowerBI and PowerBI Online Support on Big Data
As part of our efforts to ensure ease of deployment of AtScale with Azure and HDInsight, we also have focused on ensuring a quality experience for customers who would like to use PowerBI as their go-to BI tool for analyzing data on their HDInsight cluster. Our investment has been in two primary areas.
First, we’ve updated our range of SQL support (for example, we’ve extended our support for nested subqueries and time-function support) so that we can support the types of SQL queries that PowerBI generates when connected via DirectQuery to a SQL-based data provider. This means that PowerBI developers can now develop rich, interactive dashboards and visualizations with a direct connection to what may be billions of rows of data in an HDInsight cluster. With the power of AtScale’s Autonomous Data Engineering, dashboard consumers can have an interactive BI experience without requiring data to be moved off-cluster to achieve this level of responsiveness.
Second, we’ve also certified that AtScale can be used in DirectQuery mode with Microsoft’s PowerBI On-Premises Data Gateway. This means that dashboards and visualizations can be published to PowerBI Online and accessed over the web – live and using DirectQuery – by all of your PowerBI users.
We are really excited about this great combination. With PowerBI’s rich report authoring capabilities – such as built in Time Intelligence functions – and its broad adoption within the Microsoft installed base we are excited to work with HDInsight and Azure adopters to deliver a modern BI solution that scales to even the largest of data sets.
Time to Get Started!
Needless to say, we are excited to work with customers looking to scale their BI efforts on Azure using HDInsight and PowerBI (as well as any other BI tool, incuding Microsoft Excel, Tableau, and many more).