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Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics vs Snowflake comparison

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Executive Summary
Updated on March 24, 2022

We performed a comparison between Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and Snowflake based on our users’ reviews in four categories. After reading all of the collected data, you can find our conclusion below.

  • Ease of Deployment: Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics reviewers had mixed reviews on the deployment, with many feeling it was complex. On the other hand, Snowflake reviewers felt it was an easy setup and deployment.
  • Features: Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics users felt the software helped them control expenditures and was very scalable, but they had security concerns and felt the software wasn’t intuitive. Reviewers of Snowflake liked the stability and scalability of the solution and felt the software addressed challenges for traditional data warehouses, but said the UI needed improvement, especially when it came to extracting data.
  • Pricing: Users of Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics gave mixed reviews on the pricing, with many feeling it was expensive. Users of Snowflake liked the efficient pricing model and felt it was high yet fair.
  • Service and Support: Both Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics and Snowflake reviewers felt the support they received was helpful.

Comparison Results: Based on the parameters we compared, Snowflake had a better user rating regarding ease of deployment and pricing. Both softwares had the same rating when it came to service and support. In terms of features, Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics users felt the software had security issues and didn’t feel it was very intuitive. In contrast, users of Snowflake felt the UI needed improvement.

Q&A Highlights
Question: Which is better - Azure Synapse Analytics or Snowflake?
Answer: If you are dealing with semi-structured data like json Snowflake has great support in handling and querying json data. it is also good to use as data lake and can act as one stop solution for a data lake and cloud data warehouse. query performance and low maintainability is also what makes snowflake a great choice.
Featured Review
Buyer's Guide
Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics vs. Snowflake
May 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics vs. Snowflake and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
598,116 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Quotes From Members
We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use.
Here are some excerpts of what they said:
Pros
"I have not used the technical support from Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics, but I worked with the developers at Microsoft who were top-notch.""Fills the gap between big data and classic data warehouses.""The solution's scalability is very, very good. It's one of the most important aspects for us.""The pricing seems to be quite fair.""The solution has been working well overall.""The most important feature for me is the integration with PolyBase.""The features most valuable are the simplicity, how easy it is to create a dashboard from different information systems.""The most valuable feature is that you can suspend the computer if it is not being used, which means that you don't incur costs."

More Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Pros →

"The ETL and data ingestion capabilities are better in this solution as compared to SQL Server. SQL Server doesn't do much data ingestion, but Snowflake can do it quite conveniently.""It is a very good platform. It can handle structured and semi-structured data, and it can be used for your data warehouse or data lake. It can load and deal with any data that you have. It can extract data from an on-premises database or a website and make it available in the cloud. It has very fast implementation and integration as compared to other solutions. There is no need for the DBA to manage or do the day-to-day DBA tasks, which is one of the greatest things about it.""The most valuable features are sharing data, Time Travel, Zero Copy Cloning, performance, and speed.""The most efficient way for real-time dashboards or analytical business intelligence reports to be sent to the customer.""It was relatively easy to use, and it was easy for people to convert to it.""The initial setup is very simple.""The features that I have found most valuable are the ease of use, the rapidness, how quickly the solution can be implemented, and of course that it's been very easy to move from the on-premise world to the Cloud world because Snowflake is based on SQL also.""It's ultra-fast at handling queries, which is what we find very convenient."

More Snowflake Pros →

Cons
"While the solution is flexible, sometimes this works against the user.""I would like to see more ready-to-use products from Synapse. Right now, everything seems a bit futuristic without much modern use.""More integration is needed to improve the product for the future.""It needs strong support for social media, internet data, and native support for NoSQL.""Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics can improve by increasing the size of the files that we can load on the platform. We have some files that are too large to be loaded and it would be a benefit to us if the limit was increased. Additionally, the way we use the tool for generating reports can be made better. They should add some drag-and-drop rules without the need of programming these rules using some programming language. It would be helpful if we did not need someone that was technically advanced to be able to do it with, such as someone with no IT background. Having a reporting tool without code would be great.""I am very sure that there are areas in need of improvement, but I can't recall what they are off the top of my head.""I am pretty sure that there are areas that need improvement but I just can think of them off the top of my head.""It would be ideal if the solution could be better used intuitively by the staff without having a great deal of training."

More Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Cons →

"It would benefit from an administration that allows you to be aware of your credit consumption once you have the service so that you may be sure how many credits you are consuming when you use the platform and to make sure that you are making the most efficient use of these resources. In other words, to improve their interface so that you may monitor the consumption of your credits on Cloud.""Their strategy is just to leverage what you've got and put Snowflake in the middle. It does work well with other tools. You have to buy a separate reporting tool and a separate data loading tool, whereas, in some platforms, these tools are baked in. In the long-term, they'll need to add more direct partnerships to the ecosystem so that it's not like adding on tools around Snowflake to make it work. They can also consider including Snowflake native reporting tools versus partnering with other reporting tools. It would kind of change where they sit in the market.""They need to improve its ETL functionality so that Snowflake becomes an ETL product. Snowpipe can do some pipelines and data ingestion, but as compare to Talend, these functionalities are limited. The ETL feature is not good enough. Therefore, Snowflake can only be used as a database. You can't use it as an ETL tool, which is a limitation. We have spoken to the vendor, and they said they are working on it, but I'm not sure when they will bring it to production.""Snowflake has support for stored procedures, but it is not that powerful.""We would like to be able to do modeling with Snowflake. It should support statistical modeling.""Some SQL language functions could be included.""An additional feature I'd like to see is called materialized views, which can speed up some run times. I'd like it to be able to be used where you can have multiple tables inside them; materialized view. That would be nice. As well as being able to run cursors, to be able to do some bulk updates and some more advanced querying, table building on the fly.""They should improve the reporting tools."

More Snowflake Cons →

Pricing and Cost Advice
  • "All of the prices are available online."
  • "Our license is very expensive"
  • "They are cost aggressive, and it integrates well with other Microsoft tools."
  • "There is a cost calculator available online that allows you to input your entire scenario, and it will get back to you with information on what the costs are going to be."
  • "Its price could be better. It was a school project, and I got it for free. If I try to pay through my company, it is a little bit more expensive as compared to Oracle."
  • "The price of the package not expensive and depends on how much it is used."
  • "The cost of the licensing depends on the size of the warehouse, where the cost of storage is approximately $130 USD per terabyte."
  • "This is a cost-effective product."
  • More Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Pricing and Cost Advice →

  • "The pricing for Snowflake is competitive."
  • "On average, with the number of queries that we run, we pay approximately $200 USD per month."
  • "Pricing is approximately $US 50 per DB. Terabyte is around $US 50 per month."
  • "The price of Snowflake is very reasonable."
  • "The price of Snowflake is quite reasonable."
  • "Its price should be improved. It should be cheaper than Microsoft."
  • "It is per credit. It has a use-it-as-you-go model. We bought a chunk of 20,000 credits, and they were lasting us for at least a year. We didn't have the scale of data like a much larger company to consume more credits. For us, it was very inexpensive. Their strategy is just to leverage what you've got and put Snowflake in the middle. It doesn't make it expensive because most of the organizations already have reporting tools. Now, if you were starting from scratch, it might be cheaper to go a different way."
  • "We used Snowflake to see if it is cheaper than using BigQuery. It was just to maintain the cost or the KPI regarding the cost of connectivity by users. Snowflake wasn't cheaper than BigQuery, and its affordability was the main issue."
  • More Snowflake Pricing and Cost Advice →

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    Questions from the Community
    Top Answer: 
    Amazon Redshift is very fast, has a very good response time, and is very user-friendly. The initial setup is very straightforward. This solution can merge and integrate well with many different… more »
    Top Answer: 
    Traditional ETL would usually use a dedicated database (or even database server) where you'll load & transform your raw data before ingesting it into the final destination. This would allow checking… more »
    Top Answer: 
    I have not used the technical support from Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics, but I worked with the developers at Microsoft who were top-notch.
    Top Answer: 
    It is a cloud solution with many useful features. It has the data science capability. It can transform data and prepare data for a data science project with scalability.
    Top Answer: 
    It is pay-as-you-go. Its cost is in the medium range.
    Top Answer: 
    We would like to be able to do modeling with Snowflake. It should support statistical modeling.
    Ranking
    2nd
    Views
    30,157
    Comparisons
    21,551
    Reviews
    38
    Average Words per Review
    499
    Rating
    7.8
    1st
    Views
    38,349
    Comparisons
    28,801
    Reviews
    46
    Average Words per Review
    553
    Rating
    8.4
    Comparisons
    Also Known As
    Azure Synapse Analytics, Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Microsoft Azure SQL DW, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, MS Azure Synapse Analytics
    Snowflake Computing
    Learn More
    Overview

    Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics is an end-to-end analytics solution that successfully combines analytical services to merge big data analytics and enterprise data warehouses into a single unified platform. The solution can run intelligent distributed queries among nodes, and provides the ability to query both relational and non-relational data.

    Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics is built with these 4 components:

    1. Synapse SQL
    2. Spark
    3. Synapse Pipeline
    4. Studio

    Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Features

    Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics has many valuable key features, including:

    • Cloud Data Service: WIth Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics you can operate services (data analytics, machine learning, data warehousing, dashboarding, etc.) in a single workspace via the cloud.

    • Structured and unstructured data: Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics supports both structured and unstructured data and allows you to manage relational and non-relational data - unlike data warehouses and lakes that tend to store them respectively.

    • Effective data storage: Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics offers next-level data storage with high availability and different tiers.

    • Responsive data engine: Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics uses Massive Parallel Processing (MPP) and is designed to handle large volumes of data and analytical workloads efficiently without any problems.

    • Several scripting languages: The solution provides language compatibility and supports different programming languages, such as Python, Java, Spark SQL, and Scala.

    • Query optimization: Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics works well to facilitate limitless concurrency and performance optimization. It also simplifies workload management.

    Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics Benefits

    Some of the benefits of using Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics include:

    • Database templates: Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics offers industry-specific database templates that make it easy to combine and shape data.

    • Better business insights: With Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics you can expand discovery of insights from all your data and apply machine learning models to all your intelligent apps.

    • Reduce project development time: Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics makes it possible to have a unified experience for developing end-to-end analytics, which reduces project development time significantly.

    • Eliminate data barriers: By using Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics, you can perform analytics on operational and business apps data without data movement.

    • Advanced security: Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics provides both advanced security and privacy features to ensure data protection.

    • Machine Learning: Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics integrates Azure Machine Learning, Azure Cognitive Services, and Power BI.

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics users who are currently using the solution.

    PeerSpot user Jael S., who is an Information Architect at Systems Analysis & Design Engineering, comments on her experience using the product, saying that it is “Scalable, intuitive, facilitates compliance and keeps your data secure”. She also says "We also like governance. It looks at what the requirements are for the company to identify the best way to ensure compliance is met when you move to the cloud."

    Michel T., CHTO at Timp-iT, mentions that "the features most valuable are the simplicity, how easy it is to create a dashboard from different information systems."

    A Senior Teradata Consultant at a tech services company says, "Microsoft provides both the platform and the data center, so you don't have to look for a cloud vendor. It saves you from having to deal with two vendors for the same task."


    Snowflake is a fully managed SaaS (software as a service) that provides a single platform for data warehousing, data lakes, data engineering, data science, data application development, and secure sharing and consumption of real-time / shared data.

    Its platform is made up of three components:

    1. Cloud services: As part of its cloud services, Snowflake uses ANSI SQL, which empowers users to optimize their data and manage their infrastructure, while Snowflake handles the security and encryption of stored data.
    1. Query processing: With Snowflake, workload concurrency is never a problem because its compute layer is made up of virtual cloud data warehouses that let you analyze data through requests. Each of the warehouses do not compete for computing resources nor do they affect the performance of each other.
    1. Database storage: Snowflake manages all parts of the data storage process automatically, including file size, compression, organization, structure, and metadata, as well as statistics.

    Snowflake Features

    Snowflake has many valuable key features. Some of the most useful ones include:

    • Scalability: Snowflake architecture provides nearly unlimited scalability and high speed because it uses a single elastic performance engine. The solution also supports an unlimited amount of concurrent users and workloads, from interactive to batch.
    • Automation: Snowflake makes automation easy and enables enterprises to automate data management, security, governance, availability, and data resiliency.
    • Seamless cross-cloud and cross-region connections: With seamless cross-cloud and cross-region connections, Snowflake eliminates ETL and data silos. Anyone who needs access to shared secure data can get a single copy via the data cloud. In addition, Snowflake makes remote collaboration and decision-making fast and easy via a single shared data source.
    • Third-party data integrations: Snowflake’s Data Marketplace offers third-party data which allows you to connect with Snowflake customers to extend workflows with data services and third-party applications.

    Snowflake Benefits

    There are many benefits to implementing Snowflake. Some of the biggest advantages the solution offers include:

    • Helps optimize costs
    • Reduces downtime
    • Improves operational efficiency
    • Built for high reliability and availability
    • Automates data replication for fast recovery

    Reviews from Real Users

    Below are some reviews and helpful feedback written by PeerSpot users currently using the Snowflake solution.

    Sreenivasan R., Director of Data Architecture and Engineering at Decision Minds, says, "Data sharing is a good feature. It is a majorly used feature. The elastic compute is another big feature. Separating compute and storage gives you flexibility. It doesn't require much DBA involvement because it doesn't need any performance tuning. We are not really doing any performance tuning, and the entire burden of performance tuning and SQL tuning is on Snowflake. Its usability is very good. I don't need to ramp up any user, and its onboarding is easier. You just onboard the user, and you are done with it. There are simple SQL and UI, and people are able to use this solution easily. Ease of use is a big thing in Snowflake."

    A director of business operations at a logistics company mentions, "It requires no maintenance on our part. They handle all that. The speed is phenomenal. The pricing isn't really anything more than what you would be paying for a SQL server license or another tool to execute the same thing. We have zero maintenance on our side to do anything and the speed at which it performs queries and loads the data is amazing. It handles unstructured data extremely well, too. So, if the data is in a JSON array or an XML, it handles that super well."

    A Solution Architect at a wholesaler/distributor comments, "The ability to share the data and the ability to scale up and down easily are the most valuable features. The concept of data sharing and data plumbing made it very easy to provide and share data. The ability to refresh your Dev or QA just by doing a clone is also valuable. It has the dynamic scale up and scale down feature. Development and deployment are much easier as compared to other platforms where you have to go through a lot of stuff. With a tool like DBT, you can do modeling and transformation within a single tool and deploy to Snowflake. It provides continuous deployment and continuous integration abilities. There is a separation of storage and compute, so you only get charged for your usage. You only pay for what you use. When we share the data downstream with business partners, we can specifically create compute for them, and we can charge back the business."

    Offer
    Learn more about Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics
    Learn more about Snowflake
    Sample Customers
    Toshiba, Carnival, LG Electronics, Jet.com, Adobe, 
    Accordant Media, Adobe, Kixeye Inc., Revana, SOASTA, White Ops
    Top Industries
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company22%
    Comms Service Provider13%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Insurance Company9%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider18%
    Financial Services Firm7%
    Energy/Utilities Company5%
    REVIEWERS
    Computer Software Company39%
    Financial Services Firm12%
    Manufacturing Company9%
    Comms Service Provider6%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Computer Software Company26%
    Comms Service Provider15%
    Financial Services Firm9%
    Insurance Company5%
    Company Size
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business31%
    Midsize Enterprise20%
    Large Enterprise48%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business17%
    Midsize Enterprise14%
    Large Enterprise70%
    REVIEWERS
    Small Business25%
    Midsize Enterprise23%
    Large Enterprise52%
    VISITORS READING REVIEWS
    Small Business19%
    Midsize Enterprise18%
    Large Enterprise63%
    Buyer's Guide
    Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics vs. Snowflake
    May 2022
    Find out what your peers are saying about Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics vs. Snowflake and other solutions. Updated: May 2022.
    598,116 professionals have used our research since 2012.

    Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics is ranked 2nd in Cloud Data Warehouse with 39 reviews while Snowflake is ranked 1st in Cloud Data Warehouse with 49 reviews. Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics is rated 7.8, while Snowflake is rated 8.4. The top reviewer of Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics writes "Scalable, intuitive, facilitates compliance and keeping your data secure". On the other hand, the top reviewer of Snowflake writes "Good usability, good data sharing and elastic compute features, and requires less DBA involvement". Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics is most compared with Amazon Redshift, Apache Hadoop, SAP BW4HANA, Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse and AWS Lake Formation, whereas Snowflake is most compared with Amazon Redshift, Vertica, AWS Lake Formation, Oracle Exadata and Teradata. See our Microsoft Azure Synapse Analytics vs. Snowflake report.

    See our list of best Cloud Data Warehouse vendors.

    We monitor all Cloud Data Warehouse reviews to prevent fraudulent reviews and keep review quality high. We do not post reviews by company employees or direct competitors. We validate each review for authenticity via cross-reference with LinkedIn, and personal follow-up with the reviewer when necessary.