Why Microsoft is integrating all of its data analytics products into Fabric

Microsoft is combining existing storage, business intelligence, and data analytics products into a single product, called Microsoft Fabric, it said Tuesday.

Researchers said this could help businesses consolidate workloads while reducing IT integration overhead, complexity and costs.

The implementation of a unified data platform in the form of Microsoft Fabric can be seen as a “riposte” to the increasing volume of data in today’s business, according to Sanjeev Mohan, senior analyst at SanjMo.

“Microsoft realizes that their customers want to reduce integration and complexity. It’s not that customers can’t spend, but they’re looking for value for their IT investment,” said Mohan, adding that if Fabric can provide the right results then it can be the “right” option for a public service provider. on the cloud. .

In addition to reducing IT complexity, Fabrics can also help reduce costs, Mohan said.

“The combined method should be cheaper than the special collection of other types. The pre-assembled fabric also reduces the assembly costs and the skills needed to learn different materials,” said the senior expert.

Microsoft, too, says buying and managing things with Fabric is easy.

“Customers can buy a single computer that supports all of Nsalu’s services. The global capability significantly reduces costs, because any amount not used in one job can be used by any job,” the company said in a statement.

Information, whether it is transactional, functional, or otherwise, according to Forrester’s chief analyst, Boris Evelson, must go through processes such as search, extraction, migration, integration, purification, simulation, and publishing before it becomes useful.

“Typically, some of the technologies that support each step come from different vendors and data or analytics experts need to spend time coordinating,” said Evelson, adding that although Fabric does not eliminate the need to integrate components, it reduces coordination. time and effort, allowing users of data and analytics to focus on solving business problems and managing business opportunities.

Microsoft Fabric provides seven primary services and tools

Microsoft Fabric, according to the company, uses a unified architecture to provide a software-as-a-service (SaaS) information for business developers to help extract insights from unstructured data and present them to business users.

The new Analytics suite comes with seven core modules and tools, including data connectors, data technology tools, data science data flow, and analytics tools among others, it added.

One module on public display, Data Factory, provides more than 150 connectors for connecting cloud and on-premise products, enabling drag-and-drop data transformation and data pipeline capabilities, the company said.

Microsoft has also included a Synapse Data Engineering module, which is also publicly available, that helps with modeling Apache Sparkit said.

Fabric also includes Synapse Data Science, an end-to-end service for data scientists to create advanced AI models, and Synapse Data Warehousing, a combination of fluid storage and data warehouse tools that can run SQL in an open-source environment, the company said. Everything is clear.

Another feature still in the public domain is the Synapse Real-Time Analytics feature that will help developers work with marketing data and analyze the amount of content that changes, Microsoft said.

In addition, the company also includes a Power BI module in Fabric to help business analysts and business users create insights from data with the help of AI-based tools.

The Power BI experience is also heavily integrated into Microsoft 365, it said.

For Amalgam Insights senior analyst Hyoun Park, the addition of Power BI to Fabric closes various holes in Power BI that made it appear more business-ready compared to analytics platforms such as Qlik, TIBCO, or SAS.

Microsoft said Fabric will come with a Data Activator module aimed at data discovery and management. It can trigger notifications and actions when it detects patterns described in the data, the company said, adding that the feature was made private.

All seven modules, according to the company, can determine on company portal.

An Azure OpenAI service added to Microsoft Fabric, Copilot is coming soon

Microsoft is adding its own Azure OpenAI project in Nsalu and will soon integrate GPT-powered Copilot into the analytics platform, the company said.

“With Copilot in Microsoft Fabric, users can use a conversational language to create data and data pipelines, create code and complete tasks, create machine learning models, or visualize results,” it added.

The addition of the Azure OpenAI service and Copilot will greatly accelerate the work done by data scientists in Microsoft Azure by breaking down many barriers between solutions, said Bradley Shimmin, Omdia’s chief analyst.

“It should also accelerate the adoption of Microsoft’s core models and frankly all of the company’s machine learning tools,” Shimmin added.

The move also appears to be an effort by Microsoft to integrate APIs for key languages ​​from the OpenAI stable across its portfolio, Mohan said.

Businesses can also combine Major languages from the Azure OpenAI service along with their own data to create experiences in their own language, the company said, adding that Copilot was not trained in business data.

Fabric receives OneLake support, takes Databricks’ Delta table model

Most Fabric and workloads, according to Microsoft, are stored in SaaS, multiple clouds. his data called OneLake, similar to 365 data stored in OneDrive.

“Information is organized in a data center, and it is automatically selected for access, distribution, control, and compliance. It provides a single storage solution for all manufacturers, where accessing and sharing data is easy and policies and security are centralized,” the company said in a statement. ‘his words.

This helps avoid data silos caused by different vendors providing and managing their own storage accounts, the company explained, adding that OneLake allows businesses to store data in ADLS Gen2, AWS S3, and Google Storage.

The launch of OneLake, according to Forrester’s Evelson, will enable businesses to create mini data lakes in minutes rather than days or weeks.

“Of course, preparing the lake to be ready for the necessary software will take time, but prototyping, proof of concept, agile development will be easier,” said the expert.

Also, the fabric does Delta above Parquet files as a general data type that is not standard across all applications.

“This strong commitment to a common open data model means that customers only have to enter data into the ocean once and all workloads can work on the same data, without having to import it separately,” the company said, adding that this means that OneLake supports all types of structured data and unstructured data.

The implementation of an open source model, according to Evelson, can be a huge time, effort and storage effort.

“Although OneLake itself is not open source, but under the covers the data model is based on an open model called Parquet – a data model optimized for analysis. This means that the data lake, the data warehouse, and the BI platform (in this case Power BI) will use the model exactly the same, and most importantly the same situation/data type,” Evelson said.

In addition, Microsoft said it plans to implement a global security solution for Fabric managed in OneLake to help enterprises manage data security across different data engines, modules or devices.

The model will ensure that all data engines or modules follow the security model when searching for queries or other services, the company said.

Will Microsoft be able to make money on Fabric?

The implementation of Microsoft Fabric, according to experts, can go either way depending on its implementation and popularity.

“If every Office 365 user gets a copy of Canvas, like they get Power BI with an E5 Office 365 license, it will have the same power as Power BI,” Evelson said.

However, Constellation Research senior analyst Doug Henschen cautioned that Fabric’s success will not come overnight.

“We have to remember that everything that has been announced is still being seen and Microsoft has a mixed history when it comes to success in areas such as data storage. Azure Synapse, recently, has not seen much traction or customer praise as a platform,” said Henschen, adding that businesses often do not change platforms quickly.

Microsoft Fabric can be compared to the likes of Google DataPlex, SAP DataSphere and IBM Data Fabric, experts said.

Copyright © 2023 IDG Communications, Inc.

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