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Data Lakehouse and Its Architecture

In today's data-driven world, businesses are collecting information from various sources. However, managing and analyzing this data can be a complex challenge. Traditional data management approaches often struggle with the sheer volume and variety of data.  This is where data lakehouses come in.

We'll explore:

  • The Limitations of Traditional Data Management

  • Introduction to Data Lakehouses

  • Data Lakehouse Architecture

Traditional Data Management Approach

Organizations across industries collect information from multiple sources like customer transactions, social media interactions, sensor data, etc. This ever-growing data pool holds immense potential for driving informed decisions, improving operational efficiency, and gaining a competitive edge. However, harnessing this power hinges on effectively managing this vast and often complex information. This is where the true challenge lies: data management.

Data management encompasses the information, from initial capture and storage to organization, analysis, and utilization. It's about ensuring the availability, integrity, security, and accessibility of data.

Traditional data management approaches often fall short in the face of today's data deluge. Organizations grapple with several critical challenges:

  • Data Silos: Information becomes fragmented and isolated within separate systems, making it difficult to obtain a unified view of the data landscape. This hides the ability to identify trends, correlations, and hidden insights across various departments or data sources.

  • Data Quality: Inconsistent data entry practices, human error, and integration issues can lead to inaccurate or incomplete data. This significantly undermines the value of analytics efforts. Dirty data can lead to misleading results, flawed decision-making, and ultimately, hinder organizational goals.

  • Scalability: Traditional data warehouse architectures, designed for structured data, can struggle to accommodate the ever-increasing volume, velocity, and variety of data generated today. As data continues to grow exponentially, these systems may not be able to handle the influx, leading to performance bottlenecks and limitations in data storage capacity.

  • Compliance: Navigating the complex landscape of data security and privacy regulations is a constant concern. Organizations ensure regulations like GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and CCPA (California Consumer Privacy Act), dictate how data is collected, stored, and used. Traditional data management practices may not provide the security measures or granular access controls to meet these stringent requirements.

In response to these challenges, Data Lakehouse entered into data management. This innovative approach seeks to bridge the gap between data lake flexibility and the structured organization of a data warehouse.

Let's explore the concept and how it can revolutionize organizations to manage and utilize their data.

What is a Data Lakehouse?

A data lakehouse is a unified data architecture that serves as a central repository for all data types, regardless of format. It combines the data lake flexibility and scalability with the structure and governance of a data warehouse. This allows organizations to store vast amounts of raw data (structured, semi-structured, and unstructured) in its native format, while also enabling the creation of organized datasets for specific big data analytics needs.

The power of the data lakehouse lies in its ability to seamlessly integrate the best aspects of data lakes and data warehouses:

  • Data Lake DNA: Inheriting the flexibility of data lakes, data lakehouses can store massive amounts of raw data without a pre-defined schema. This eliminates the upfront work needed for data structuring in a data warehouse, making it ideal for capturing and storing unforeseen data sources like sensor data or social media feeds. Tools like Delta Lake and Apache Spark can further enhance the performance and reliability of data stored within the lakehouse.

  • Data Warehouse Discipline: Data lakehouses borrow the structure and governance capabilities from the data warehouses. This allows for data organization, transformation, and creation of defined schemas for specific analytical purposes. This structured data supports business intelligence (BI) tools and facilitates machine learning (ML) workloads. Data engineers can leverage these structured datasets to build powerful models and applications.

Many organizations are increasingly opting for cloud data lakehouses. These solutions leverage the scalability and cost-efficiency of cloud storage infrastructure, making them a compelling option for businesses of all sizes.

Data Lakehouse Architecture

Data Lakehouse Architecture

Mosaic AI (Data Science & AI): This refers to Mosaic AI's core services. They likely provide:

  • Machine Learning Libraries: Frameworks like TensorFlow or PyTorch for building and deploying custom machine learning models.

  • Data Science Expertise: A team of data scientists skilled in data preparation, model development, and deployment for various AI applications.

  • Pre-built AI Models: Industry-specific or pre-trained models that can be customized for client needs.

Delta Live Tables (ETL & Real-time Analytics): Delta Live Tables offer real-time data ingestion and transformation capabilities. Here's the technical breakdown:

  • Streaming Data Sources: Integration with Apache Kafka or other streaming platforms to ingest data as it's generated.

  • Micro-batch Processing: Data is processed in small batches for near real-time updates within the data lakehouse.

  • Delta Lake Integration: Leverage Delta Lake's ACID transactions and schema enforcement for reliable and consistent data updates.

Workflows (Orchestration): Workflows are automated processes managed by Apache Airflow or similar tools. They handle:

  • Data Pipeline Orchestration: Scheduling and coordinating data extraction, transformation, and loading (ETL) tasks.

  • Job Dependency Management: Ensuring tasks are executed in the correct sequence within the data pipeline.

  • Error Handling and Monitoring: Automatically handling errors and providing visibility into pipeline execution.

Databricks SQL (Data Warehousing): Databricks SQL provides a serverless SQL environment on top of Apache Spark for data warehousing functionalities:

  • Structured Query Language (SQL): Allows users to run familiar SQL queries on data stored in Delta Lake.

  • Interactive Data Exploration: Enables analysts to explore and analyze data for business intelligence purposes.

  • Integration with BI Tools: Connects to business intelligence tools like Tableau or Power BI for data visualization.

DatabricksIQ: DatabricksIQ is a business intelligence tool built on Databricks SQL offering:

  • Self-service Analytics: User-friendly data exploration and visualization without writing SQL queries.

  • Interactive Dashboards: Creation of interactive dashboards and reports for data storytelling.

  • Collaboration Features: Allows teams to share and collaborate on data insights.

Unity Catalog: This is a central metadata repository built on Apache Atlas:

  • Metadata Management: Stores information about all data assets within the data lakehouse, including lineage, schema, and location.

  • Data Discovery: Facilitates searching and identifying relevant datasets for analysis.

  • Access Control: Manages user permissions and access control for data security.

Delta Lake UniForm (Storage Layer): This layer leverages Apache Spark and Delta Lake for data storage:

  • Apache Spark: Provides a distributed processing engine for efficient data processing and transformation at scale.

  • Delta Lake: Offers an open-source storage layer on top of data lakes like S3 or ADLS. It provides features like:

  • ACID Transactions: Ensures data consistency and reliability during writes.

  • Schema Enforcement: Defines data structure for improved data quality and governance.

  • Time Travel: Allows querying historical versions of data for auditability and rollbacks.

Lakehouse Specific Pillar

Data Governance:

  • This ensures that data is high quality, secure, and follows the rules.

  • It helps you use your data to make good decisions for your business.

Interoperability and Usability:

  • Let everyone in your company access and use the data easily.

  • This makes it simple to explore and analyze the data.

Lakehouse Common Pillars

Operational Excellence:

  • It will keep the data lakehouse running smoothly and reliably.

  • Ensures your data is always secure and available.

Security, Privacy, and Compliance:

  • Protects your data from unauthorized access and cyber threats.

  • Follows data privacy laws and regulations.


  • This ensures that your data is always available, even if there's a problem.

  • Ensures you can always access the information you need.

Performance Efficiency:

  • It helps you get insights from your data quickly and easily.

  • It makes the data lakehouse run fast, even with large datasets.

Cost Optimization:

  • Keeps the cost of storing and using your data under control.

  • It helps you get the most value out of your data lakehouse investment.

Components of a Data Lakehouse

Here are the key components of Data Lakehouse that work together to create the platform:

Cloud Object Storage: Unlike traditional data warehouses, data lakehouses leverage the scalability and affordability of cloud storage services like Amazon S3, Azure Blob Storage, or Google Cloud Storage.

  • Allows organizations to store massive volumes of data in its native format structured data like financial records, semi-structured data like JSON logs, and unstructured data like images and videos.

  • This flexibility ensures no valuable information is left behind.

Metadata Layers: Data within the lakehouse is vast and diverse. To navigate this information effectively, data lakehouses utilize metadata layers. These layers act like comprehensive catalogs, meticulously recording information about each data asset within the system.

This metadata includes

  • Data type

  • Origin

  • Creation time

  • Access control permissions.

With a robust metadata layer, data discovery and management become significantly easier. Data scientists and analysts can quickly locate the specific datasets they need for their projects, eliminating the time-consuming task of sifting through mountains of unlabeled data.

Query Engine Designs:  Extracting insights from the data lakehouse requires powerful tools. This is where query engine designs come into play. These specialized engines are optimized for efficiently processing and analyzing data stored within the lakehouse.

  • Can handle the complexities of diverse data formats.

  • Popular options include Apache Spark and Presto, which enable users to run complex SQL queries on the data lakehouse, allowing them to uncover hidden patterns and trends within the information.

Open Data Formats:  To ensure flexibility and interoperability within the data lakehouse, open data formats play a crucial role. These formats, like Parquet or Avro, provide a standardized way to store data, regardless of the source or platform used for its creation.

  • Allows data integration from various applications and tools, fostering a more unified data environment.

  • They are optimized for efficient storage and retrieval within the cloud object storage layer, further enhancing the overall performance of the data lakehouse.

Benefits of a Data Lakehouse:

By merging these strengths, data lakehouses offer a compelling set of advantages:

  • Reduced Data Redundancy: Organizations often grapple with data silos and redundant data copies across different systems. Data lakehouses consolidate information into a single platform, eliminating unnecessary duplication and streamlining data management.

  • Cost-Effectiveness: Data lakes are known for their cost-efficient storage of raw data. Data lakehouses capitalize on this advantage by leveraging low-cost object storage for less frequently accessed data while offering options for storing structured data in a cost-optimized manner compared to traditional data warehouses. This helps organizations manage their data storage budget effectively.

  • Scalability: Data lakehouses are built to handle the ever-growing volume, velocity, and variety of data inherent in today's big data landscape. They can easily scale to accommodate future data growth without significant infrastructure upgrades, making them ideal for organizations with a continuous influx of information.

  • Enhanced Data Governance: Within the data lakehouse, data governance ensures accuracy, security, and compliance. This is crucial for organizations operating in highly regulated industries.

  • Democratization of Data: Data lakehouses centralize data storage and provide granular access controls. This allows various teams within the organization, from data scientists to business analysts, to access and utilize relevant data for their specific needs, fostering a more data-driven culture.

  • Support for Advanced Analytics: The structure of schema-defined data within the data lakehouse empowers advanced analytics use cases. Data scientists can leverage this structured data for machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) applications, unlocking valuable insights and predictive capabilities.


Data lakehouses are revolutionizing data management. They offer a flexible platform to store and analyze all your data, structured or not. This lets you discover hidden insights and make data-driven decisions faster.

They combine powerful tools to:

  • Organize your data efficiently

  • Analyze it in real-time

  • Collaborate on insights across teams

  • Make data-driven decisions with confidence

By implementing a data lakehouse, you can achieve better data governance, reduce costs, and unlock the true potential of your information assets.


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