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Microsoft Fabric is transforming the Azure platform

Microsoft Fabric

The essence of Microsoft Fabric

Microsoft Fabric is a revolutionary SaaS product designed to streamline data management for enterprises. Check out expert insights from Scott Hermes, VP Azure Architect at Kin + Carta and David Giard, Azure Platform Architect at Microsoft.

It’s like Office 365, but for big data—- this analogy sets the stage for understanding just how innovative Microsoft Fabric is.

"Think of it [Microsoft Fabric] as a wrapper around a lot of different Azure and Microsoft services combined in an easy-to-consume package," says David Giard, Azure Platform Architect at Microsoft. It centralizes data access and governance— akin to Office 365— but is tailored for big data. The core of this system is "One Lake," a singular, secure repository for enterprise data, analogous to OneDrive but for larger, more complex datasets.

Microsoft Fabric solves the problem of data silos

In large enterprises, data silos can lead to inefficiencies and redundancies. Scott Hermes, VP Azure Architect at Kin + Carta, shared an example where a client paid multiple times for the same data set because they lacked a centralized data repository. “This client had no idea what data they were buying across the company," Scott explains, highlighting the need for a unified data management system like Microsoft Fabric.

Easy integration and compatibility

Microsoft Fabric allows you to easily pull together your data, with one layer for governance, one layer for control, and one layer for discoverability. It integrates various Azure tools, such as Azure Data Factory, Azure Synapse, and Azure Data Lake Storage. It also supports the Delta Lake format, enhancing interoperability with Databricks, a significant player in the data management field.

The role of Power BI

Microsoft Fabric naturally complements Power BI, making it easier for enterprises to visualize data. "Power BI licenses come baked in," says Scott, emphasizing the seamless integration that simplifies data analysis and visualization for organizations already invested in Microsoft's ecosystem.

Bridging multiple cloud environments

A standout feature of Microsoft Fabric is its ability to connect with data stored in different cloud environments, including AWS and Google Cloud.

“Data isn’t transferred; it remains where it is. But whenever you need it for Fabric, it goes out and basically does a query," Scott explains.

This feature ensures that organizations can continue to leverage their existing cloud investments while benefiting from Fabric's unified interface.

Recent developments and future roadmap

Microsoft Fabric went generally available in November 2023. Since then, there have been continuous updates and enhancements. "They’re rolling it out rapidly through a series of high quality iterations. The first conference was five months after the product was released and it was a big success," Scott reflects on the excitement surrounding this new product.

Interoperability with on-premises data

"One of the other big areas where Azure has a better story than other clouds is the interoperability with on-premises data," Scott highlights. This capability is crucial for enterprises that still maintain substantial on-premises data stores, and is a significant advantage of Microsoft Fabric over other cloud solutions.

AI integration with Copilot

A key feature included in certain Fabric subscriptions is Copilot, an AI assistant. "Help me write this Power BI report, help me write this DAX query," are some of the ways Copilot assists users, enhancing productivity and simplifying complex tasks.

Governance and security

One pane of glass, no matter where your data is — that describes the unified governance and security model of Microsoft Fabric. It integrates with Microsoft Purview for data governance, ensuring that all data, whether on-premises or in the cloud, is secure and compliant with various regulations.

Final thoughts about Fabric

Microsoft Fabric represents a significant advancement in enterprise data management, offering a unified platform that integrates seamlessly with existing tools and cloud environments. As Scott aptly puts it, "Meet them where they are." This underscores Microsoft’s approach to accommodating diverse data landscapes without forcing enterprises into costly migrations. Check out the full conversation on YouTube.

Streamline your data management with Microsoft Fabric

Microsoft Fabric is poised to revolutionize how organizations manage and utilize their data, providing a robust, scalable, and flexible solution that addresses the complexities of modern data environments. For enterprises looking to streamline their data management processes, Microsoft Fabric offers a compelling proposition. Get in touch with Kin + Carta’s Microsoft experts. See more of Scott’s insights on Microsoft tech, including his recap of Microsoft Build 2024, where Microsoft Fabric’s real-time intelligence feature, EventHouse, was announced.

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