5 reasons Databricks runs best on Azure
For any organization running big data workloads in the cloud, exceptional scale, performance, and optimization are essential. Databricks customers have multiple choices for their cloud destination. Azure Databricks is the only first-party service offering for Databricks, which provides customers with distinct benefits not offered in any other cloud. The first-party integration and our unique strategic alliance saves customers time and effort and significantly accelerates time to value. As Forrester notes, “Competitive advantage is no longer about ‘first to market’, it’s [now about] ‘first to value’”1.
Azure Databricks enables customers to be first to value for these five reasons:
- Unique engineering partnership
- Mission-critical support and ease for commerce
- Azure ecosystem
- Native security, identity, and compliance
- Rapid onboarding
1. Unique engineering partnership
The Azure and Databricks engineering teams are constantly working together to deepen the integration of Databricks within Azure to enable rapid customer success. In fact, both engineering teams have spent hundreds of thousands of hours optimizing Databricks for Azure. This collaboration drives a highly performant level of cloud-scale operations that would not be possible without this unique engineering partnership. The engineering teams work together to enhance the performance and scalability, monitor environments and provide business-critical support. Since Azure Databricks is a first-party service, the Azure Databricks engineering team can optimize the offering across storage, networking, and compute. Azure customers not only benefit from this optimization, but they also get access to new innovations, like the exclusive preview of the new Photon engine, before they are available in any other cloud.
2. Mission-critical support and ease for commerce
Thanks to our unique partnership, Microsoft is able to provide Azure Databricks customers with enterprise-level support from one single place instead of a bifurcated model they would experience elsewhere. This is important for customers running mission-critical workloads with Databricks. With Azure Databricks, customers also benefit from a streamlined licensing process. Azure customers can start using Azure Databricks immediately, with no additional licenses to sign or procure. This is in addition to receiving a single bill, greatly simplifying the customer experience and providing them the level of support and predictability customers expect from their cloud providers.
3. Azure ecosystem
Azure Databricks is fully integrated with the vast portfolio of products and services in the Microsoft Azure ecosystem, accelerating customers’ time to value. The joint engineering effort ensures seamless integration of Azure Databricks with services such as Azure Data Factory, Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure Synapse Analytics, and Power BI to deliver a consistently integrated experience for customers. The highly optimized Azure Synapse connector, for example, is the most popular service connector across all of Databricks. Over 1,500 customers, such as Marks & Spencer and Rockwell Automation, have used Azure Databricks and Azure Synapse together to modernize their analytics platform in the cloud and gain high-performance and scalability. The Power BI connector to Azure Databricks makes it easier and more performant to deliver great BI visualizations and reports through the same Power BI service. The combination of these services operating seamlessly together reinforces why Azure is the preferred destination for running mission-critical analytics workloads with Databricks.
4. Native security, identity, and compliance
Another benefit that Azure Databricks uniquely provides is enterprise-grade Azure security, including Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) integration, role-based access controls, and service-level agreements (SLAs) that protect your data and your business. Native integration with Azure AD enables a customer to run complete Azure-based solutions using Azure Databricks from the moment an Azure Databricks workspace is deployed. This is a zero-touch experience for the customer compared to stitching together a separate, stand-alone authentication solution after deploying a workspace. With Azure AD authentication, you can connect securely to other services from Azure Databricks using your Azure AD account. The identity and access management is propagated throughout all other Azure services in the solution and flows between them in one seamless experience, which means less work and less time to get a solution up and running.
From a compliance perspective, Azure Databricks is the only Databricks environment with the FedRAMP High Authorization along with 12 other security certifications. This authorization provides customers assurance that Azure Databricks is designed to meet U.S. Government security and compliance requirements to support their sensitive analytics and data science workloads. Azure Databricks also achieved the HITRUST Common Security Framework (CSF) certification, which enables customers to use Azure Databricks with confidence for data analytics and data science in regulated industries such as healthcare, life sciences, and financial services.
5. Rapid onboarding
As a fully managed, first-party Azure service, getting started with Azure Databricks is easy. With just a few clicks, data teams can get started with Azure Databricks to set-up a Databricks workspace. They can effortlessly collaborate across teams and access all other needed services immediately through the Azure portal. Azure Databricks provides an easy path to get started and is available to customers around the world in 34 Azure regions.
Get started today
Taken together, Azure provides the best destination to run your Databricks workloads because of the joint engineering investment that facilitates a unified support model and seamless integration with the Azure ecosystem. Only Azure offers Databricks as a first-party service which presents a compelling choice amongst the cloud vendor options. Learn more about how you can start taking advantage of these benefits today with Azure Databricks and get started now with our new and improved free trial experience.
1Forrester, Your Business Is Only As Fast As Your Data, Michelle Goetz, 15 January 2021