Friday, June 21, 2024

Microsoft Data Portfolio Review

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With a host of analytics services for almost any situation, Microsoft Azure’s data services have got just about every base covered.  

In the world of digital transformation, data is currency. Businesses are using it to extract insights, deliver services and inform key business decisions. Technology has caused the quantity of data available to businesses explode, but it is only useful if you can discover, extract and analyze the information.

Microsoft’s data services offer a powerful platform to migrate databases from legacy systems, make it available to all who need to use it and derive in-depth real-time insights into core functions of your organization.

Microsoft Azure offers a host of enterprise cloud computing services, including database migration, data management and analytics.

The service is targeted squarely at enterprise-level clients, offering them the capacity to leverage data coming into their company and provide access across all the organization.

All these services are backed by Microsoft’s dominant position in the marketplace, including almost 170,000 employees worldwide. 

Let’s review some of the core data products in its large portfolio:

See more: Oracle Data Portfolio Review

Data Migration

Azure’s database migration tool simplifies and expedites the process of migrating data from your own on-premises databases into the Azure cloud.

It supports Microsoft SQL Server, MySQL, PostgreSQL, MongoDB and Oracle migration to Azure from on-premises and other clouds.

An easy-to-understand solution takes you through the migration step by step. They offer a resilient, self-healing migration service that manages the transition.

It works with a two-stage process: You use Azure to discover your database infrastructure. You can then use the database migration service to move that database to the cloud. Azure allows you to automate the process, minimizing the effort and downtime.

Microsoft also offers a high level of security. The company invests more than $1 billion every year into cybersecurity, with more than 3,500 cyber experts.

Its standard migration service is free, while the premium option is free for the first six months from the creation date. The standard service is normally enough for small-to-medium-sized businesses while larger enterprises, with more complex workloads, will benefit from the premium service.


Microsoft Azure offers a wide range of fully managed relational, NoSQL and in-memory databases across both open-source and proprietary engines.

Each one will suit various applications, allowing businesses to adapt the choice to their own requirements.

The databases offered include:

  • SQL database: For managed SQL in the cloud
  • SQL managed instances: A managed, up-to-date SQL instance in the cloud
  • SQL server on virtual machines: Migrate your SQL workloads to Azure while maintaining complete SQL Server compatibility and operating system-level access
  • Database for PostgreSQL: Build scalable, secure, and fully managed enterprise-ready apps on open-source PostgreSQL, scale out single-node PostgreSQL with high performance, or migrate PostgreSQL and Oracle workloads to the cloud
  • Azure database for MySWQL: Deliver high availability and elastic scaling to open-source mobile and web apps with a managed community MySQL database service or migrate MySQL workloads to the cloud
  • Database for MariaDB: Deliver high availability and elastic scaling to open-source mobile and web apps with a managed community MariaDB database service
  • Azure Cosmos DB: Build applications with guaranteed low latency and high availability anywhere, at any scale
  • Cache for Redis: Power fast, scalable applications with an open-source-compatible in-memory data store
  • Database Migration Service: Accelerating your migration to the cloud
  • Managed instance for Apache Cassandra: Modernize existing Cassandra data clusters and apps and enjoy flexibility and freedom with managed instance service

Data analytics

Azure offers a wide range of analytics services, giving it an extremely wide-ranging solution capable of adapting to the needs of each user.

The analytics offerings include:

  • Synapse Analytics: A limitless service bringing together data integration, enterprise data warehousing, big data analytics. You can query data on your terms with either sever-less or dedicated resources.
  • HDInsight: Process vast quantities of data using popular open-source frameworks, such as Apache Hadoop, Spark, Hive, Kafka, with this a customizable, enterprise-grade service for open-source analytics
  • Data Factor: Simplify your data by integrating it into the Azure data factory. You can integrate data sources with more than 90 built-in maintenance-free connectors
  • Machine learning: Provides data scientists and developers with a host of productive experiences to develop machine learning models and improved team collaboration. It allows you to accelerate time to market for key apps
  • Stream Analytics: A powerful real-time analytics service for mission-critical workloads. With just a few clicks, you can build an end-to-end server-less streaming pipeline
  • Data Lake Analytics: Process data on demand with no infrastructure to manage. You’ll be able to develop and run massive parallel data transformation and processing programs
  • Azure Analytics Service: Visualize data quickly with your favorite tools and quickly scale resources to match your needs
  • Event Hubs: A fully managed real-time data ingestion service that is trusted and scalable, allowing you to stream millions of events per second from any source
  • Data explorer: A fast, fully managed analytics service for large volumes of data from applications, websites, IoT devices, and more
  • Data share: A simple and safe service for sharing big data with external organizations
  • Azure Time Series Insights: End-to-end IoT analytics platform to monitor, analyze and visualize your industrial IoT data at scale
  • Microsoft Graph Data Select: A secure, high-throughput connector designed to copy select Microsoft 365 productivity datasets into your Azure tenant

See more: Data Analytics Market Trends 2021

Use Opinion

The sheer breadth of services from Microsoft give it a popular position among users.

Its analytics services receive 4.5 stars out of five, according to users at G2. They praise its speed, ease of use and scalability.

Users are similarly positive about its migration services, with a near 80% positive rating. Comments focus on its accessibility, scalability, and ability to process tasks with near-zero downtime.

Users at TrustRadius enjoy its database services for its intelligence, scalability and reliability. While some prefer a more user-friendly interface, the scale of its services and ability to tailor applications to users’ needs are generally met with a warm welcome.

Use cases

The service’s power and adaptability were key in a major project for Mercedes Benz in designing connected cars. The hardware had to be specifically designed with database solutions capable of catering to the highly specific requirements of the in-car software.

In Brazil, retailer FastShop used Azure Analytics to deliver real-time insights into its business operations. The company sets itself apart through its ability to provide users with a unique personalized shopping experience.

For this, real-time analytics are key. It needed to transform business intelligence in order to drive down costs and maximize operational efficiency. It used Azure’s Synapses and machine learning to automate processes and extract valuable insights from their user data, which might otherwise have been missed.  

See more: Top Cloud Service Providers & Companies of 2021

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