What 2020 is teaching us is that the world can change in an instant. In the span of a few months, we have witnessed massive disruptions across every industry around the globe. Factories are idle, hotels are empty, and the transportation backbone that connects us all is quiet. Navigating these unprecedented times is challenging and requires a new level of agility for businesses to deal with abrupt changes in our world.
Core to achieving this agility is the ability to gain fresh, continuous insights from data. Our commitment to customers is to make analytics in Azure the most performant and secure experience it can be, and when we debuted Azure Synapse Analytics in November 2019, we effectively removed the barriers between enterprise data warehousing and big data analytics to enable data professionals to collaborate, build, and manage their analytics solutions with ease. Azure Synapse Analytics is a game-changer in the industry, and it has been exciting to see the strong customer interest since its debut.
But we didn’t stop there. Another barrier that has long existed is the one that separates operational data from analytical systems. Historically, supporting hybrid transactional analytical processing (HTAP) workloads has been complex, costly, and has forced customers to make tradeoffs between transactional and analytical processing needs. They either had to over-provision expensive resources such as memory to support both analytics and transactions in a single system or maintain distinct systems. Most customers opted for the latter, which means that they are forced to manage complex extract, load, and transform (ETL) pipelines to connect their analytical and operational systems, adding lag to their time to insights.
There has never been a simple, low cost, cloud-native HTAP implementation that enables immediate, in-the-moment insights on a business—until today.
Introducing: Azure Synapse Link
Today, we’re pleased to announce the preview of Azure Synapse Link, a cloud-native implementation of HTAP. A capability that removes the barriers between Azure operational database services and Azure Synapse Analytics, Azure Synapse Link enables customers to get insights from their real-time transactional data stored in their operational databases with a single click, without managing data movement or placing a burden on their operational systems. Azure Synapse Link is now available in Azure Cosmos DB and will be available in our other operational database services such as Azure SQL, Azure Database for PostgreSQL, Azure Database for MySQL, and others in the future.
How does it work? Fundamental to Azure Synapse Link is our cloud-native architecture. To enable it, customers simply click a button in their favorite Azure database service, and a direct link to the data is established with Azure Synapse Analytics. The operational data is then automatically and continuously made available to Azure Synapse Analytics in an optimized columnar structure, similar to a covering index. No complex ETL pipelines or additional database compute resources are required and customers can run their analytics workloads on real-time data through Azure Synapse Analytics immediately and cost-effectively.
To learn more about Azure Synapse Link, check out my Mechanics video: