AWS Glue vs Azure Databricks

November 07, 2022


When it comes to big data processing, AWS Glue and Azure Databricks are two of the most popular options on the market. Both platforms offer scalable and flexible cloud deployments, but which one is better? In this blog post, we'll compare AWS Glue and Azure Databricks to help you make an informed decision about which platform is right for your needs.

AWS Glue

AWS Glue is an ETL (extract, transform, and load) service that makes it easy to move data between data stores. It is fully managed and provides a scalable and cost-effective solution for big data processing. Using AWS Glue, you can automate the process of discovering data, transforming it, and making it available for analysis.

Some of the important features that AWS Glue offers include:

  • Code-free ETL using AWS Glue Studio.
  • Integration with other AWS services such as S3, Redshift, and Athena.
  • Automatic schema discovery and inference.
  • Parallel job execution and data processing.

Azure Databricks

Azure Databricks is an Apache Spark-based analytics platform that offers collaborative and scalable cloud deployments. It provides a fully managed and optimized Spark environment that allows you to process big data and build machine learning models on a global scale.

Some of the important features that Azure Databricks offers include:

  • Integration with other Azure services such as Blob storage, Data Lake Storage, and Azure SQL Database.
  • Support for multiple languages including Python, Scala, and R.
  • Automatic cluster management and optimization.
  • A collaborative workspace for data scientists, analysts, and engineers.


Now that we have a brief idea about both the tools, let's compare them head-to-head based on various factors and metrics.


When it comes to performance, both AWS Glue and Azure Databricks offer impressive scalability and flexibility. AWS Glue uses Apache Spark as its underlying engine, which means that it can process data quickly and efficiently. Azure Databricks, on the other hand, is built on top of Apache Spark and offers automatic cluster management and optimization, which can further enhance performance.


Pricing is a major factor when it comes to choosing between AWS Glue and Azure Databricks. AWS Glue charges hourly for ETL jobs, and additional costs may apply for storing data in other AWS services. Azure Databricks charges per minute of usage, and there are additional costs for storing data in Azure services. Both platforms offer cost calculators to help you estimate your expenses.

Ease of Use

Both platforms offer user-friendly interfaces and integration with other cloud-based services. AWS Glue comes with AWS Glue Studio, a code-free ETL solution that allows you to build ETL jobs using a drag-and-drop interface. Azure Databricks, on the other hand, offers a collaborative workspace that allows data scientists, analysts, and engineers to work together seamlessly.


Both AWS Glue and Azure Databricks offer high availability and fault tolerance, with automatic failover and cluster management. However, AWS Glue offers more regions globally, while Azure Databricks offers more Azure regions.


As we've seen, both AWS Glue and Azure Databricks offer powerful and flexible cloud deployments for big data processing. AWS Glue is a good option for organizations that are already using other AWS services and need a cost-effective ETL solution. Azure Databricks is an excellent choice for organizations that need a collaborative and scalable Spark-based analytics platform. Choosing between the two platforms depends on your specific business needs and workload requirements.


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