June 5, 2023 | Blog Featured Insights Technology

Painting the future with Microsoft Fabric – data landscape in one frame

The data world is abuzz with excitement as Microsoft launched into public a preview of its latest offering, Microsoft Fabric. This so-called all-in-one analytics solution has generated significant market hype across the data community, promising to revolutionize and simplify the data & analytics infrastructures and bring the “data into the era of AI”. What does this all mean in practice? Take a minute and let us tell you what the Fabric is all about.

Microsoft Fabric is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution wrapping all the different components of data landscape together under one package. With one licence you get it all what you need for your data environment: Data Factory, Synapse, Power BI and OneLake. You don’t need to buy the different resources separately anymore; it is all included into a single service and managed and governed centrally.

OneLake = centralized data storage for all your analytics data

OneLake is the other of the most remarkable features of the Fabric, as it aims to mitigate the need of data duplication within the whole solution. You, who have been working with data infrastructures, probably know that it is common that the data needs to be duplicated across the data solution’s layers for different analytical engines to support the different use cases of the data. In OneLake the data is stored in compressed parquet-format, and all the different analytical engines within the Fabric can query the same data efficiently.

To put this in context, both T-SQL engine for building a data warehouse and Analysis Service Engine for Power BI reports can use the same data as efficiently. Microsoft promises to extend this “One copy of data“ -paradigm further by enabling shortcuts for the data, so that different teams can use the same data for their specific purposes by creating virtual data products. In addition, OneLake offers a possibility to expand the lake into some third-party data storages, such as Amazon S3, without a need to move the data physically to the OneLake. Quite impressive.

Introducing AI to empower developers

The other remarkable feature of Fabric is the inclusion of the AI within the Fabric across the solution. This means introducing Copilot into all building blocks of the Fabric to assist you in your work to increase your efficiency. For example, in the future you can ask Copilot to build a HR report for you in Power BI. Interesting to see how well this feature is going to work. With Copilot Microsoft aims to empower the citizen developers to be more integral part of the data development process and thus promote the organizations to become even more data driven. Most of the Copilot features are still in Private Preview though, so we all must wait a bit longer to get our hands on these cool new features.

More sustainable tomorrow through innovation in resource efficiency

At Evitec, we have already begun exploring the capabilities that Microsoft Fabric offers. Our own OneLake is already up and running, and we are well in our way to uncover the possibilities of Fabric. While the service is still in preview mode, and some child-diseases are expected, many of the features seem promising. We truly are impressed by its ability to eliminate the need for data duplication.

As the volume of data continues to grow in the world, so does the carbon footprint of the data storage. And as we are thriving towards more sustainable tomorrow, it is important that also the data solutions are designed to be as resource efficient as possible, and here Fabric seems to make a clear difference by having the only one copy of the data. Given of course that the processing of the data does not lose the benefits gained by reduction of the storage.

Time will tell whether Fabric can claim all the promises Microsoft has made for it, but if it does, we think that Fabric is a real game changer in the data field. Join us to the journey to unravel the potential of your data with Microsoft Fabric!

Written by

Henni Niiranen

Data Consultant

Customer story

Evitec toteutti Vierumäki-yhtiöille tietovarastointiratkaisun Snowflakella

Vierumäki-yhtiöt käyttävät lukuisia eri järjestelmiä ja dataa kerätään useista eri lähteistä. Tänä vuonna ajankohtaiseksi tuli analytiikan uudistaminen ja sitä tukevan tietovaraston rakentaminen.

Asiakkaan tarpeet kuultuaan projektitiimi päätyi ehdottamaan modernia, täysin Azuresta saatavilla oleviin palveluihin perustuvaa Snowflake/Matillion -yhdistelmää, joka antaa hyvät mahdollisuudet luoda liiketoiminnan päätöksentekoa tukeva tietovarasto ja analytiikkaratkaisu. Ratkaisun keskiössä on Snowflakeen luotu tietovarasto ja tiedon latauksista huolehtiva Matillion ETL for Snowflake -tuote. Tietovaraston päälle on toteutettu analytiikkaa Power BI:llä.

-Projektissa olisi voitu käyttää perinteisempiäkin ratkaisuja, mutta asiakkaan tarpeet kartoitettuamme totesimme SaaS- ja PaaS -palveluiden olevan heitä paremmin palvelevia, kertoo pääarkkitehtina projektissa toiminut Tuomas Rantanen.

-Valitsimme Evitecin, sillä tiesimme jo entuudestaan, että he tekevät sen mitä lupaavat. Ehdotettu kokonaisuus oli sellainen, johon emme olisi ilman projektitiimin asiantuntemusta päätyneet. Lopputuloksena syntyi ratkaisu, joka palvelee tarpeitamme hyvin nyt ja ennen kaikkea tulevaisuudessa, kertoo Tommi Koivistoinen Vierumäen Infra Oy:stä.

Vierumäen Infra Oy on osa Vierumäki-yhtiötä. Sen toimialana on alueen lämpö-, kylmä- ja energiatuotanto, vesihuollon, infran ja ICT-järjestelmien ja tietoverkon hoito- ja ylläpito, pesulatoiminta, liikuntapaikkojen hoito- ja ylläpito sekä ICT-, isännöinti- ja toimitilapalvelut.