OneLake vs ADLS Gen2: Full Feature Comparison

Announced as part of Microsoft Fabric, OneLake is a tenant-wide managed data lake storage. More end-user friendly than ADLS Gen2, it gives a OneDrive-like experience to the users. Let's compare OneLake and ADLS Gen2's features.
OneLake vs ADLS Gen2: Full Feature Comparison
OneLake vs ADLS Gen2

Create your workspace, upload your data, and start processing it. Using OneLake is this easy.

Although OneLake is very similar to ADLS Gen2 (probably a some type of customised deployment of it in the background), it also differs from it in more than once category. Before we start, let’s make its purpose clear: It’s a turnkey, global, managed solution for your organisational data needs. It’s not something you can deploy repeatedly, but it also doesn’t require being deployed or having its ARM template managed.

You can consider ADLS Gen2 like a big house. You can decorate it as you like, demolish and start building it again, host parties or raves, up to you. It’s yours, you manage it, you control it, you build it. It’s hands-on, but great power comes with great responsibility. You have to be very responsible when using it.

OneLake is more like a hotel. You have a predefined structure, a predefined set of rooms. Don’t get me wrong, it’s customisable: You can have as many floors as you want, and as many rooms as you want in it. But you can’t change the building structure or the floor plans. On the other hand, it’s maintained. You don’t need to clean it, care for it, repair it, maintain it. It’s all done for you.

Full Feature Comparison

Category OneLake ADLS Gen2
Turnkey Yes No
SaaS Yes No
Requires Fabric Yes No
Deployment Style Global Region-Based
Number of instances Only single instance tenant-wide As many as you want
(within subscription limits)
DFS API Support Read/Write Supported
No data update
Read/Write/Update
Blob Storage Compatible No Yes
Folder Structure Opinionated Flexible
Access Tiers Support
(Hot, Cool, Cold, and Archive)
No Yes
Other Storage Account
Capabilities Supported
No Yes
SFTP No Yes
Storage Events (EventGrid) No Yes
Authentication & Authorisation Azure AD (Microsoft Entra ID) Azure AD (Microsoft Entra ID)
Shared Access Signature
Access Control Workspace and Item Based
Compute Type Based
Role-Based (RBAC)
Attribute-Based (ABAC)
Access Control Lists (ACL)
Private Endpoints No Yes
Soft-Delete and Delete
Protection
No Yes
Compatible with Synapse
and Databricks
Yes Yes
File Explorer Support Yes No
Fabric Support Integrated Via Shortcuts
Via Data Flows

References

Best practices for using Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 - Azure Storage
Learn how to optimize performance, reduce costs, and secure your Data Lake Storage Gen2 enabled Azure Storage account.
OneLake access and APIs - Microsoft Fabric
Microsoft OneLake supports a subset of Azure Data Lake Storage (ADLS) Gen2 and Blob Storage APIs. Learn about the differences.
Create a lakehouse with OneLake - Microsoft Fabric
Learn how to create a lakehouse and load data into it with OneLake; you can also add data in bulk or schedule data loads.
Harun Legoz

Harun Legoz

I’m a cloud solutions architect with a coffee obsession. Have been building apps and data platforms for over 18 years, I also blog on Azure & Microsoft Fabric. Feel free to say hi on Twitter/X!

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