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Microsoft Fabric: The New End-to-End Analytics Platform

Microsoft Fabric: The New End-to-End Analytics Platform

Microsoft just launched their new comprehensive analytics platform, Microsoft Fabric, designed to revolutionize the way organizations harness the power of their data. 

Seamlessly merging tools such as Azure Data Factory, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Power BI, Microsoft Fabric intends to serve as the go-to platform for end-to-end analytics and a foundation for AI. 

By providing a simplified compute infrastructure and one data lake, the solution enables a unified experience surrounding data integration, data science, real-time analytics, data movement, business intelligence, data engineering, and data warehousing. The highly fragmented nature of the current data and AI tech market typically results in a piecemeal approach to analytics services and tools derived from numerous vendors, driving up costs and creating integration and data silo challenges. 

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Microsoft Fabric revolves around the concept of unification throughout infrastructure, data lake, governance, product experience to deliver a single source of truth that promotes improved collaboration.  

Basically, the Microsoft Fabric platform aims to transform the way people access, manage and operationalize data and insights. 

What is Microsoft Fabric? 

 

Microsoft Fabric is an AI-powered data and analytics platform built on Microsoft’s multi-cloud data lake, OneLake. Fabric leverages a unified architecture to deliver a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) experience and the full-service capabilities needed to simplify the process of extracting insights from raw data 

In other words, Microsoft Fabric is a one-and-done platform for the entire analytics experience. 

The SaaS aspect streamlines the way developers obtain insights and deliver it to regular business users. So instead of struggling with the analytics tool sprawl from different vendors, organizations can better support the respective experiences of data scientists, data analysts, business users, data warehousing professionals, and data engineers with one cohesive platform. 

Microsoft Fabric achieves this by integrating and optimizing experiences like Data Factory, Data Science, Real-Time Analytics, Power BI, Data Engineering, and Data Warehouse. This level of integration provides collective analytics experiences, centralizes governance and administration, enables ready developer access and purposing of assets, and allows for the use of existing analytics tools through a cohesive data lake.  

Additionally, creators don’t have to be bogged down by integrating and managing the foundational infrastructure, so they can just focus on more important activities. There’s also central configuration and automatic application of enterprise permissions and capabilities throughout all the services. 

Microsoft is promoting Fabric as the SaaS manifestation of its existing platform-as-a-service (PaaS) products, like Azure Data Factory, Azure Data Explorer and Azure Synapse Analytics, all of which Fabric can connect with. Fabric is essentially the natural progression of these products. 

There’s seven core workloads incorporated into the Fabric analytics suite, each with its own analytics experiences that are intended to work alongside one another: 

Synapse Data Science 

Purpose-built for data scientists, the Synapse Data Science component offers a cohesive workflow for developing complex AI and machine learning models. Data scientists and business users can work within the same platform for more streamlined data sharing and collaboration between the different roles. Also, the data science experiences position users to perform diverse tasks throughout the data science process, from data exploration to BI reports. 

Synapse Data Warehousing 

Synapse Data Warehousing delivers a harmonious data warehouse and lake house experience developed on an enterprise level distributed processing engine that supports performance at scale. Because compute is completely distinct from storage, there's independent scaling for each component. The Warehouse suits all skill levels, and speeds up time-to-insights and eliminates the potential for data duplication via a dataset that’s fully integrated with Power BI in DirectLake mode.  

Data Factory 

Azure Data Factory focuses on providing a data integration experience for data ingestion, preparation and transformation thanks to diverse data sources, such as databases, Lakehouse, and real-time data. It’s designed to ensure both citizen and professional developers can intelligently transform data. It also includes Fast Copy, accelerating data movement between any preferred data stores, and offers over 200 native connectors for connecting to on-prem and cloud data sources.  

Data Activator 

Data Activator enables a no-code experience that involves real-time data detection and monitoring and triggers alerts and actions when it discovers designated patterns within the data.  

Synapse Real-Time Analytics 

Synapse Real-Time Analytics is a completely managed big data analytics platform that allows developers to work with observational data, the fastest growing type of data. It’s optimized for time-series and streaming data, and can support scaling for a limitless quantity of data. Also, automatic data streaming, indexing and partitioning from all data sources and formats, in addition to on-demand visualizations and query generation, results in rapid insights. 

Synapse Data Engineering 

Synapse Data Engineering allows users to develop and maintain infrastructures so their companies can gather, store, process, and analyze sizable quantities of data. It targets an elevated authoring experience for Spark, so data engineers can conduct large scale data transformation and use the lakehouse for data democratization. Users can also schedule and coordinate Spark and notebook tasks due to the integration with Data Factory. 

Power BI 

Fabric’s Power BI helps business users and analysts obtain data insights thanks to AI-fueled tools and robust visualization. The integration with Microsoft 365 means that insights are available in an environment that business users are likely familiar with and work in.  

The Top Microsoft Fabric Standouts

 

Our take on Microsoft Fabric is that it’s an experience-driven, integration-centric vehicle for helping organizations merge their workloads while simultaneously diminishing the IT complexities and expenses that are typically associated with integration.  

There’s a few Microsoft fabric features that are particular standouts: 

  • OneLake is the Fabric equivalent of Microsoft 365’s OneDrive; it gets rid of data silos and duplication that can frequently occur in data lakes and data warehouses via data sharing within one, consolidated data lake.  
  • With Delta and Parquet enabling an open data format, one copy of data can support every workload rather than managing various copies of data for business intelligence or databases, etc.  
  • Security is based on one ubiquitous model, which helps to simplify security and governance. 
  • The addition of Azure OpenAI Service, which will eventually be integrated with Copilot, will allow users to work with generative AI and conversational language for faster discovery of data insights, and enables data professionals to build workflows, produce code, develop machine learning models, and visualize outcomes.  
  • The integration with well-loved Microsoft 365 applications helps nurture a data-driven culture across the organization and speed up user adoption. 
  • The universal computing pool across all workloads can potentially lower costs because any compute capacity that goes unused can still be leveraged by any of the workloads. 

Organizations can transition from their existing products to the new solution on their own timelines via forthcoming migration paths. However, it’s often challenging to get started with a new analytics platform. 

Microsoft consultancies, like CloudServus, are experts with Microsoft’s products and services and can help you succeed with every aspect of implementation and deployment. We’re proud to be an industry-recognized, Triple-Gold Microsoft Partner and have experienced consultants ready to get you started on your Microsoft Fabric journey.  

We provide personalized guidance throughout the entire journey so your teams can feel confident working with a new analytics platform and integrating Microsoft Fabric into their day-to-day workflows. Many of our services are even designed to streamline the process.   

For example, our Microsoft Cloud Security Assessment can ensure that your Microsoft environment remains protected during the transition to Microsoft Fabric. Additionally, our Microsoft Licensing Assessment means you don’t miss out on any potential savings opportunities via licensing optimization. 

Our team will answer any questions you might have during our complimentary, no-pressure consultation and we can help you determine if Microsoft Fabric is the ideal fit for your organization’s needs and goals.  

Also, Microsoft is encouraging users to give these new experiences a shot through a free Microsoft Fabric trial, which you can find here. There’s no need to even provide credit card information to get a preview of the platform. So you can easily get an initial impression of the platform and how it might best fit within your analytics environment.  

Be sure to connect with us at CloudServus and get started with Microsoft Fabric. We can do the heavy lifting so you can focus on preparing to use all of Fabric’s exciting new analytics tools.  

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