Azure SQL Data Warehouse

What is it?

A fully-managed, highly-scalable, data warehouse service that allows mix-n-match of OLTP and OLAP data sources.

Data Warehouse (OLAP) versus OLTP

Data Warehouse is essentially a star schema, non-OLTP database. This is to  be distinguished from a pure REPORTING database – which reports off OLTP data (typically, a READ REPLICA is provided of the production OLTP database).

Azure SQL DW – MPP (Oracle RAC like architecture)

Using a MPP (Massively Parallel Processing) design, the Azure DW breaks up larger queries into smaller chunks and distributes them across nodes (much like Oracle RAC does).


Polybase allows querying of unstructured data in flat files. The Azure DW supports Polybase.

PaaS versus IaaS versus VDC

Azure DW is PaaS, which means that the resulting service will have a public IP. If a public IP is not acceptable, one is restricted to IaaS – preferably through a VDC. A Virtual Data Center (in Azure) is the equivalent of an AWS VPC.

What is Superdome?

Superdome is Microsoft (and HP’s) answer to Exadata (Oracle Exadata Database Machine (Exadata) is a combined compute and storage system optimized for running Oracle Database software.)

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