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How to migrate from Azure Synapse Analytics to Microsoft Fabric with minimal disruption

 Azure Synapse Analytics to Microsoft Fabric : Microsoft Fabric is a new all-in-one analytics solution that aims to simplify and unify data management, data engineering, data science, real-time analytics, and business intelligence. It is built on a lakehouse architecture that leverages the power of Delta Lake and OneLake, a cloud-native storage layer that integrates with Microsoft 365 apps. Microsoft Fabric also offers a seamless and integrated user experience that brings together various components from Power BI, Azure Synapse, and Azure Data Factory.

If you are currently using Azure Synapse Analytics for your data analytics needs, you might be wondering whether you should migrate to Microsoft Fabric and how to do it with minimal disruption. In this blog post, we will answer some of the common questions and provide some guidance on how to plan and execute a successful migration.

Why should I migrate to Microsoft Fabric?

Microsoft Fabric is not a replacement for Azure Synapse Analytics, but rather an evolution of its vision. You can still use Azure Synapse Analytics as it is, as Microsoft has no plans to deprecate it or any of its underlying services. However, if you want to take advantage of the new features and capabilities that Microsoft Fabric offers, such as:

  • A unified data lake that allows you to access and query data from different sources using the language of your choice (SQL, Spark, Python, etc.)
  • A simplified and integrated user interface that enables you to manage and orchestrate data pipelines, notebooks, SQL scripts, and more from a single workspace
  • A lakehouse architecture that combines the best of data lakes and data warehouses, enabling you to perform both batch and streaming analytics on structured and unstructured data
  • A SaaS foundation that frees you from having to worry about managing or scaling the underlying infrastructure or resources
  • A seamless integration with Power BI and Azure Machine Learning that allows you to easily visualize and apply intelligence to your data
  • A robust security, governance, and compliance framework that ensures your data is protected and controlled across all experiences

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then migrating to Microsoft Fabric might be a good option for you.

How should I migrate to Microsoft Fabric?

The migration process will depend on your current Azure Synapse Analytics implementation and usage patterns. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, but rather a range of possible scenarios and paths. Here are some of the common ones:

Scenario 1: You are using Azure Synapse Serverless SQL Pools as the serving layer for your data lake

This is the most common scenario where you store your data in your data lake in Parquet or Delta Lake format and use Azure Synapse Serverless SQL Pools to expose it to SQL clients such as Power BI. In this case, the migration path is relatively straightforward, as Microsoft Fabric’s Lakehouse and Warehouse engines share the same core engine as Azure Synapse Serverless SQL Pools: Polaris. This means that you can reuse most of your existing SQL scripts and views without much modification. The main steps are:

  • Create a Microsoft Fabric workspace and link it to your existing Azure Data Lake Storage account
  • Import your existing SQL scripts and views into the Fabric workspace
  • Update any references to external tables or files using the OneLake syntax (for example, ONELAKE.[folder].[table])
  • Test and validate your queries using the Fabric SQL experience
  • Update your Power BI reports or other SQL clients to point to the Fabric SQL endpoint

Scenario 2: You are using Azure Synapse Dedicated SQL Pools as your data warehouse

This scenario is where you use Azure Synapse Dedicated SQL Pools to store and process your structured or semi-structured data in SQL tables. In this case, the migration path is more complex, as Microsoft Fabric’s Lakehouse and Warehouse engines use a different storage layer than Azure Synapse Dedicated SQL Pools: OneLake. This means that you will need to convert your existing SQL tables into Delta Lake tables and migrate them to OneLake. The main steps are:

  • Create a Microsoft Fabric workspace and link it to your existing Azure Data Lake Storage account
  • Export your existing SQL tables from Azure Synapse Dedicated SQL Pools using tools such as Azure Data Factory or Databricks
  • Import your exported SQL tables into OneLake using tools such as Databricks or Spark
  • Convert your imported SQL tables into Delta Lake tables using tools such as Databricks or Spark
  • Import your existing SQL scripts and views into the Fabric workspace
  • Update any references to SQL tables using the OneLake syntax (for example, ONELAKE.[folder].[table])
  • Test and validate your queries using the Fabric SQL experience
  • Update your Power BI reports or other SQL clients to point to the Fabric SQL endpoint

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Scenario 3: You are using Azure Synapse Apache Spark Pools for big data analytics

This scenario is where you use Azure Synapse Apache Spark Pools to perform data engineering, data science, or machine learning tasks on your data lake. In this case, the migration path is relatively easy, as Microsoft Fabric’s Data Engineering and Data Science experiences are based on the same Apache Spark technology as Azure Synapse Apache Spark Pools. The main steps are:

  • Create a Microsoft Fabric workspace and link it to your existing Azure Data Lake Storage account
  • Import your existing notebooks, Spark jobs, or Data Factory pipelines into the Fabric workspace
  • Update any references to external tables or files using the OneLake syntax (for example, ONELAKE.[folder].[table])
  • Test and validate your notebooks, Spark jobs, or Data Factory pipelines using the Fabric Data Engineering or Data Science experiences
  • Update your Power BI reports or other SQL clients to point to the Fabric SQL endpoint

What are some of the best practices and tips for migrating to Microsoft Fabric?

Regardless of your specific migration scenario and path, here are some of the best practices and tips that can help you ensure a smooth and successful migration:

  • Plan ahead and assess your current Azure Synapse Analytics implementation and usage patterns. Identify the components, dependencies, and data sources that need to be migrated and the potential challenges or risks involved.
  • Start small and test incrementally. Migrate one component or dataset at a time and validate the results before moving on to the next one. Use a separate development or testing environment to avoid impacting your production workloads.
  • Use tools and automation to simplify and speed up the migration process. Leverage existing tools such as Azure Data Factory, Databricks, or Spark to export, import, convert, or transform your data and metadata. Use scripts or templates to automate repetitive or complex tasks.
  • Monitor and optimize your performance and costs. Track and compare the performance and costs of your queries, notebooks, Spark jobs, or Data Factory pipelines before and after the migration. Identify any bottlenecks or inefficiencies and apply best practices or tuning techniques to optimize them.
  • Communicate and collaborate with your stakeholders and users. Inform them about the migration plan, timeline, and expected benefits. Solicit their feedback and address any issues or concerns they might have. Provide them with training and documentation on how to use Microsoft Fabric.

Where can I find more information or resources on migrating to Microsoft Fabric?

Microsoft Fabric is still in preview mode, so there is not much official documentation or guidance available yet. However, you can find some useful information or resources from the following sources:

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Microsoft Fabric is a new all-in-one analytics solution that offers many benefits and advantages over Azure Synapse Analytics. However, migrating to Microsoft Fabric is not a trivial task and requires careful planning and execution. Depending on your current Azure Synapse Analytics implementation and usage patterns, you will need to follow different migration paths and steps. In this blog post, we have answered some of the common questions and provided some guidance on how to migrate to Microsoft Fabric with minimal disruption. We hope you have found this blog post useful and informative. If you have any questions or feedback, please feel free to leave a comment below or contact us through our website. Thank you for reading!

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