What is the difference between Data Lake Store and Azure SQL Data Warehouse?


  • Hi,

    I am trying to understand conceptual difference between SQL Data Warehouse and Data Lake Store. Both of them can store structured and unstructured data is what I understand. If that is the case then which one to use when and how it is different from each other?

    Any insight will be greatly appreciated.

    Friday, May 27, 2016 10:54 AM


  • Azure data lake store (ADL-S) is a distributed file system. In that sense it is more like Azure Blob Storage than anything else. However, it does not have the scale limitations of blob storage. Azure data lake store is a place to hold data of all shapes and sizes. It's sister technology, Azure Data Lake Analytics (ADL-A), can then be used to explore the data and draw insights from it. ADL-A can also be used to pre-process and prepare data ready for ingestion and modelling in a relational system. You can think of it as a very powerful ETL tool if you wish.

    Azure SQL Data Warehouse is a distributed relational database management system. SQL DW is more oriented to relational, structured data but can ingest semistructured data via PolyBase. As SQLDW is a distributed engine it is ideally suited to adhoc analysis of data - even at massive scale.

    Therefore, ADL-A, ADL-S, blob storage and SQL Data Warehouse can all be brought together to build compelling data warehouse architectures in the cloud.

    Friday, May 27, 2016 4:17 PM