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Databricks Cost Efficiency: 5 Reasons Why Unravel Free Observability vs. Databricks Free Observability

“Data is the new oil, and analytics is the combustion engine.” – Peter Sondergaard Cloud data analytics is the key to maximizing value from your data. The lakehouse has emerged as a flexible and efficient architecture, […]

  • 7 min read

“Data is the new oil, and analytics is the combustion engine.” – Peter Sondergaard

Cloud data analytics is the key to maximizing value from your data. The lakehouse has emerged as a flexible and efficient architecture, and Databricks has emerged as a popular choice. However, data lakehouse processing volumes can fluctuate, leading to unpredictable surges in cloud data spending that impact budgeting and profitability. Executives want to make sure they are getting the most from their lakehouse investments and not overspending.

Implementing a proactive data observability and FinOps approach early in your lakehouse journey helps ensure you achieve your business objectives and bring predictability to your financial planning. Choosing the right lakehouse observability and FinOps tool sets your team up for success. Since the goal is efficiency, starting with free tools makes sense. Two free options stand out:

  • Overwatch – the open source Databricks observability tool
  • Unravel Standard – the free version of Unravel’s data observability and FinOps platform

Below are 5 reasons to choose Unravel free observability vs. Databricks free observability:

Reason #1: Complete observability

Many organizations take a do-it-yourself approach, building piecemeal observability solutions in-house by cobbling together a variety of data sources using open source tools. The problem is that it takes months or even years to get something usable up and running. Unravel’s data observability and FinOps platform helps you get results fast.

Unravel provides a 360° out-of-the-box solution

Unravel provides a holistic view of your Databricks estate, reducing the time to value. Gain deep insights into cluster performance, job execution, resource utilization, and cost drivers through comprehensive lakehouse observability. Unravel’s observability solution provides you with detailed visibility into the performance of your Databricks clusters. 

Unravel for Databricks insights overview dashboard

Insights overview dashboard in Unravel Standard

Ensure no blind spots in your analysis by leveraging Unravel’s end-to-end visibility across all aspects of your Databricks environment. View your lakehouse landscape at a glance with the Insights Overview dashboard. You can see the overall health of your Databricks estate, including the number of clusters that are over- or under-provisioned, the total number of inefficient and failed apps, and other summary statistics to guide your efforts to optimize your lakehouse towards better performance and cost efficiency.

Purpose-built correlation

Unravel’s purpose-built correlation models help you identify inefficient jobs at code, data layout/partitioning, and infrastructure levels. Databricks logs, metrics, events, traces, and source code are automatically evaluated to simplify root cause analysis and issue resolution. You can dive deep into the execution details of your Databricks jobs, track the progress of each job, and see resource usage details. This helps you identify long-running and resource-intensive jobs that might be impacting the overall performance and efficiency of your lakehouse estate.

End-to-end visibility

Visual summaries provide a way to look across all the jobs and clusters in your Databricks workspace. No need to click around your Databricks workspace looking for issues, run queries, or pull details into a spreadsheet to summarize results. Unravel helps you easily see all the details in one place. 

Reason #2: Real-time visibility

A single errant job or underutilized cluster can derail your efficiency goals and delay critical data pipelines. The ability to see job and cluster performance and efficiency in real time provides an early warning system.

Live updates for running jobs and clusters

React promptly to any anomalies or bottlenecks in your clusters and jobs to ensure efficiency. Unravel’s real-time insights allow you to catch long-running jobs before they impact pipeline performance or consume unnecessary resources.

Unravel for Databricks workspace trends dashboard

Workspace Trends dashboard in Unravel Standard

See DBU usage and cluster session trends

By understanding the real-time performance of your Databricks workloads, you can identify areas where improvements can be made to improve efficiency without sacrificing performance. Leverage Unravel’s real-time insights to make data-driven decisions for better resource allocation and workload management. 

Drill down to see DBU usage and tasks for a specific day

Quickly find resource consumption outliers by day to understand how usage patterns are driving costs. Unravel helps you identify opportunities to reduce waste and increase cluster utilization. By having visibility into the real-time cost implications of your jobs and clusters, you can make faster decisions to boost performance and improve business results.

User-level reporting for showback/chargeback

Granular reporting to the user and job level helps you produce accurate and timely showback and chargeback reports. With Unravel’s real-time visibility into your Databricks workloads, you have the power to see which teams are consuming the most resources and proactively manage costs to achieve efficient operations. Reacting quickly to anomalies and leveraging real-time, user-level insights enables better decision-making for resource allocation and utilization. Unravel enables central data platform and operations teams to provide a reliable, single source of truth for showback and chargeback reporting.

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Reason #3: Automated Cluster Discovery

You can’t fix problems you can’t see. It all begins with getting visibility across all your workspace clusters and jobs. Unravel automates this process to save you time and ensure you don’t miss anything.

Easily connect to all of your clusters in the workspace

Simplify the process of connecting to your Databricks clusters with Unravel’s automated cluster discovery. This streamlines the observability and management of your compute clusters, so you can focus on resource optimization to boost productivity. Unravel lets you easily see all of your clusters without adding dependencies.

Unravel for Databricks cluster dashboard

Compute dashboard shows clusters in Unravel Standard

Quickly discover clusters with errors, delays, and failures

Unravel lets you see clusters grouped by event type (e.g., Contended Driver, High I/O, Data Skew, Node Downsizing). This helps you quickly identify patterns in compute clusters that are not being fully utilized. This eliminates the need for manual monitoring and analysis, saving you time and effort.

View cluster resource trends

Unravel’s intelligent automation continuously monitors cluster activity and resource utilization over time. This helps you spot changing workload requirements and helps ensure optimal performance while keeping costs in check by avoiding overprovisioning or underutilization to make the most of your cloud infrastructure investments.

Reason #4: Ease of Entry

Open source and DIY solutions typically have a steep learning curve to ensure everything is correctly configured and connected. Frequent changes and updates add to your team’s already full load. Unravel offers a simpler approach.

Unravel is quick to set up and get started with minimal learning curve

Integrating Unravel into your existing Databricks environment is a breeze. No complex setup or configuration required. With Unravel, you can seamlessly bring data observability and FinOps capabilities to your data lakehouse estate without breaking a sweat.

Unravel SaaS makes setup and configuration a breeze

But what exactly does this mean for you? It means that you can focus on what matters most—getting the most out of your Databricks platform while keeping costs in check. Unravel’s data observability and FinOps capabilities are provided as a fully managed service, giving you the power to optimize performance and resources, spot efficiency opportunities, and ensure smooth operation of your data pipelines and data applications.

No DIY coding or development required

Unravel is trusted by large enterprise customers across many industries for its ease of integration into their Databricks environments. Whether you’re a small team or an enterprise organization, Unravel’s data observability and FinOps platform is designed to meet your specific needs and use cases without the need to build anything from scratch.

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Reason #5: Avoid lock-in

A lakehouse architecture gives you flexibility. As your data analytics and data processing needs grow and evolve, you may choose additional analytics tools to complement your cloud data estate. Your data observability and FinOps tool should support those tools as well.

Unravel is purpose-built for Databricks, Snowflake, BigQuery, and other modern data stacks

Each cloud data platform is different and requires a deep understanding of its inner workings in order to provide the visibility you need to run efficiently. Unravel is designed from the ground up to help you get the most out of each modern data platform, leveraging the most relevant and valuable metadata sources and correlating them all into a unified view of your data estate.

No need to deploy a separate tool as your observability needs grow

Unravel provides a consistent approach to data observability and FinOps to minimize time spent deploying and learning new tools. Data teams spend less time upskilling and more time getting valuable insights.

Independent reporting for FinOps

Data analytics is the fastest growing segment of cloud computing as organizations invest in new use cases such as business intelligence (BI), AI and machine learning. Organizations are adopting FinOps practices to ensure transparency in resource allocation, usage, and reporting. Unravel provides an independent perspective of lakehouse utilization and efficiency to ensure objective, data-driven decisions.

Compare Unravel and Databricks free observability

Databricks vs. Unravel free observability

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Achieve predictable spend and gain valuable insights into your Databricks usage. Get started today with Unravel’s complete data observability and FinOps platform for Databricks that provides real-time visibility, automated cluster discovery, ease of entry, and independent analysis to help you take control of your costs while maximizing the value of your Databricks investments. Create your free Unravel account today.

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Unravel for Databricks FAQ 

Can I use Unravel’s data observability platform with other cloud providers?

Yes. Unravel’s data observability platform is designed to work seamlessly across multiple cloud providers including AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud. So regardless of which cloud provider you choose for your data processing needs, Unravel can help you optimize costs and gain valuable insights.

How does automated cluster discovery help in managing Databricks costs?

Automated cluster discovery provided by solutions like Unravel enables you to easily identify underutilized or idle clusters within your Databricks environment. By identifying these clusters, you can make informed decisions about resource allocation and ensure that you are only paying for what you actually need.

Does Unravel offer real-time visibility into my Databricks usage?

Yes. With Unravel’s real-time visibility feature, you can monitor your Databricks usage in real time. This allows you to quickly identify any anomalies or issues that may impact cost efficiency and take proactive measures to address them.

Can Unravel help me optimize my Databricks costs for different workloads?

Yes. Unravel’s data observability platform provides comprehensive insights into the performance and cost of various Databricks workloads. By analyzing this data, you can identify areas for optimization and make informed decisions to ensure cost efficiency across different workloads.

How easy is it to get started with Unravel’s data observability platform?

Getting started with Unravel is quick and easy. Simply sign up for a free account on our website, connect your Databricks environment, and start gaining valuable insights into your usage and costs. Our intuitive interface and user-friendly features make it simple for anyone to get started without any hassle.