Microsoft, SnapLogic Team Up To Boost Business Insights from Azure, Cortana Analytics

Microsoft and SnapLogic are cooperating to help users of Azure and Cortana Analytics to boost both speed and scale of their business insights. IDN looks at SnapLogic’s Azureplex, a solution that simplifies many steps in the analytics lifecycle – with self-service data ingestion, data prep  and easy access to cloud storage.

Tags: analytics, Azure, Azureplex, cloud, Cortana, data integration, iPaaS, Microsoft, SnapLogic,

Craig Stewart
vice president, product management

"For organizations to realize the business insights from predictive analytics, they must incorporate data from a wide variety of sources."

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Microsoft and SnapLogic are cooperating to help users of Azure cloud computing and Cortana Analytics to boost both speed and scale for business insights.


SnapLogic, provider of a cloud-based iPaaS (integration platform as a service), is delivering Microsoft cloud users a “no-code, snap-together” way to connect Azure and Cortana to data from hundreds of outside sources – across on-premises, cloud or hybrid environments. Beyond connecting many rich data sources to Azure and Cortana, SnapLogic will also perform data transformations. 


The SnapLogic Azureplex lets Azure and Cortana users design, deploy and run pipelines to deliver and process data at huge scale. The Azureplex is built to scale-out elastically, as it runs atop SnapLogic’s cloud-based iPaaS elastic integration platform which supports real-time and batch-oriented data integration.


SnapLogic offers more than 400 intelligent data connectors (called “Snaps”) to deliver data to Microsoft’s Cortana Analytics suite via streaming, batch and real-time integration platform.  Specially-designed Snaps are available for Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Microsoft Azure SQL Database, and Microsoft Azure Blob Storage.


Beyond helping to simply connections between outside data sources and Microsoft Azure and Cortana, the SnapLogic Snaps will perform data transformations, he added.   


In the big picture, the combination of Microsoft Azure and Cortana, working with SnapLogic’s technologies   (iPaaS, Azureplex and Snap connectors) lets customers simplify top aspects of the analytics lifecycle – self-service data ingestion, data prep, data delivery and easy access to cloud storage.


Microsoft, SnapLogic Teamwork Shows Value of Data Integration to Cloud Analytics 

The Microsoft / SnapLogic cooperation shines a bright light on the value that easy access to multiple data sources can bring to cloud-based ‘on-demand’ analytics, according to execs from both firms. 


"The Cortana Analytics Suite provides a powerful platform for analytics and machine learning in the cloud," said Lance Olson, partner director of program management for Microsoft’s Cortana Analytics. "SnapLogic delivers a way for customers of both companies to connect all their data sources to the cloud so they get faster time-to-value and a more comprehensive way to transform data into intelligent action."


SnapLogic’s vice president of product management Craig Stewart added this insight. "By providing fast, self-service connectivity between data sources and powerful big data analytics in the cloud, the combination of SnapLogic and the Cortana Analytics Suite delivers seamless, predictive ‘analytics-as-a-service’ for the enterprise.”


Stewart outlined the benefits the SnapLogic Azureplex brings to Azure and Cortana users:


“For organizations to realize the business insights from predictive analytics, they must incorporate data from a wide variety of sources and at any latency. When data is coming from unstructured and structured sources, and in real time, traditional point-to-point and ETL approaches simply don’t hold up. SnapLogic supports data integration for cloud analytics and cloud-based data lakes with batch and streaming data integration with a single, self-service platform,” Stewart told IDN.


Stewart described how bringing together the Microsoft and SnapLogic technologies addresses a popular use case for on-demand analytics.


“SnapLogic enables customers to quickly transfer up to petabytes of data into and out of Microsoft Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure SQL Database and Azure Blob. The data can be moved at any latency (scheduled batch, event-driven and continuous streaming) to meet a diverse set of business requirements. Pre-built Snaps for Azure mean that data pipelines can be created without manual scripting. For IT users, this means faster addition of new data sources to pipelines, and lower maintenance needs as data sources and APIs change over time. For non-IT users, this means less reliance on expert integration developers to add new data sources to their business analyses,” he said.


SnapLogic’s Azureplex is also designed to afford customer choice across a combined cloud/on-prem hybrid environment.


“Our customers typically have hybrid enterprise IT organizations with a mix of best-of-breed applications and platforms. SnapLogic helps organizations take advantage of advanced, cloud-based analytics from Microsoft without the manual overhead typically associated with moving data to the cloud,” Stewart added.

To further cut down on complex set-up, the SnapLogic Azureplex has been optimally configured for reliable execution in the Microsoft Azure cloud compute environment.


“All the necessary configuration of the Snaplex, ports open for local communication between Azureplex nodes, ports open for the outbound communication to the Snaplogic Integration Cloud, and other unnecessary ports closed, memory configuration, etc. The goal is to ensure the right configuration every time so customers running Microsoft Azure can get a faster time to data integration value. The Azure Snaps complement the Azureplex by enabling drag-and-drop creation of data pipelines that can be executed on the Azureplex,” Stewart added.  


This means Azureplex supports all types of data delivery to Azure and Cortana for analytics, including batch, streaming and integration.  This is a crucial feature for Microsoft.


“A critical part of that data transformation is connecting data sources, no matter where they exist within the enterprise, with big data stores and analytic tools without the overhead of manual integration or provisioning of compute resources. The Cortana Analytics Suite, with SnapLogic data integration dramatically accelerates time-to-value, and provides a powerful platform for analytics and machine learning in the cloud,” said Joseph Sirosh, Microsoft’s vice president of machine learning and advanced analytics in a statement.


SnapLogic’s iPaaS Elastic Integration Platform with Azureplex is available on the Microsoft Azure marketplace.