What is Azure Data Share?
Azure Data Share is a new cloud service from Microsoft. Hosted on their Azure public cloud, this service plans to reinvent data sharing of cloud hosted data. It does this by simplifying the data sharing process whilst giving better control and governance, enabling organisations to share their data more effectively.
Personally, when I am sharing data, there are several requirements that a solution must deliver;
- I want to know who I shared the data with
- I want to know exactly what has been shared
- I want to spend the minimum amount of time doing it
- I want to avoid building infrastructure which adds cost
- I want it to only go to the intended recipient
- I want the data to be transferred in a secure manner
- I want to communicate with the recipient any limitations on data use
- I want to be able to revoke access
- I want the recipient to get updates to the data without me having to do any further work
- I want to be sure I am sharing the correct data in line with my organisations policy
Azure Data Share is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) component, and as such, there is no infrastructure to deploy and no code to write, so you can be up and running very quickly. It is a “share at source” technology, so no copies of data are taken internally for it to be published. This avoids time and space storing copies of data that you then must manage. This is especially useful if you are sharing large data sets.
Use cases for this service include inter organisation sharing, external sharing with suppliers/customers, and data marketplaces. A REST API is also available to allow you to build custom data sharing applications using this technology. Azure Data Share is currently in Public Preview.
How does it work?
Azure Data Share is managed through the Azure Portal web interface. It currently allows you to share data sets hosted in Azure BLOB storage and in Azure Data Lake Store (Gen1 and Gen2). More supported data providers will be added in the future.
The whole process is managed by the Azure Data Share service, which gives the sharer and recipient a single pane of glass for all data sharing done through the service. It allows the sharer to see what data has been shared, when it was shared, who it has been shared with, the status of all invites and whether updates to the data are subscribed too. At any point in time the sharer can revoke access to the data updates.
(Figure above reproduced from Microsoft documentation)
What are the benefits?
Some of the benefits provided by Azure Data Share include;
- You know who each data set has been shared with
- You know exactly what has been shared
- Simple management. Share data in minutes
- No infrastructure required. No setting up SFTP servers, no emailing uncontrolled data
- No open access. You can only access the data if you have been invited
- The data is transferred using encrypted data snaphots that never leave Azure
- Access can be revoked at any time
- Provide updates to the data without any additional work
- Simple single pane of glass web interface to manage sharing
How much does it cost?
While in preview, Azure Data Share only charges for dataset movement compute. Dataset movement compute are the resources required to move a dataset from the source to the destination. Dataset movement compute charges are prorated by the minute and rounded up. Currently this is £0.373 per vCore/Hour.
Would you like to know more?
Would you like to know more on how your organisation can take advantage of a modern cloud technology approach to solving your data problems? Contact us on the link below.