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What is the new Microsoft Purview?

Unified data governance tool launched as MSFT also rolls out endpoint DLP for MacOS

Microsoft launched Azure Purview in September 2021. The new cloud-native product was designed to help users "create a unified map of your data assets and their relationships with automated data discovery and sensitive data classification". Just seven months later the brand is being killed off after Redmond opted to roll the tool and its Microsoft 365 Compliance portfolio into a new product called Microsoft Purview.

(As part of that rebranding, Office 365 Data Loss Prevention will as of April 19 now be called Microsoft Purview Data Loss Prevention, or DLP.) So, what is Microsoft Purview? Here's what you need to know.

What is Microsoft Purview? How can I use it?

"Traditional data management solutions rely on multiple unconnected, duplicative business processes, and a patchwork of software products augmented with custom code and point-wise integrations" says Microsoft.

"Dozens of products are sometimes used together to address fragments of the data governance and compliance landscape, forcing Chief Data, Security, Compliance, and Legal Officers to stitch together solutions that don’t work together, expose infrastructure gaps, and are costly and complex to manage..."

Microsoft Purview is Redmond's bid to dominate the space with an integrated set of tools and fresh investment that brings its data management capabilities across other clouds and platforms with a suite of solutions spanning -- as Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president, security at Microsoft put it in an introductory video on April 19 -- "unified data governance from 'data and AI' and risk and compliance solutions from security.'"

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The big idea is capabilities that let users, in MSFT's words:

  • "Automate and manage metadata from hybrid sources.
  • "Classify data using built-in and customised classifiers and Microsoft Information Protection sensitivity labels.
  • "Label sensitive data consistently across SQL Server, Azure, Microsoft 365, and Power BI.
  • "Easily integrate all your data systems using Apache Atlas APIs."

(Apache Atlas is an open source metadata management and governance product heavily contributed to by Cloudera, Merck & Co as well as IBM and SAP) and used by companies ranging from AWS to ING.)

What is Microsoft Purview?
Apache Atlas's high level architecture...

Microsoft is also promising fresh investment on multi-cloud and mutli-platform data management and security tools under the Microsoft Purview brand, this week (April 19, 2022) for example announcing the general availability of an endpoint data loss prevention for MacOS solution -- users can manage endpoint DLP policies for macOS devices running Catalina and upwards from the Microsoft Purview compliance portal. (It also includes support for the Chrome browser through an extension and various cloud apps such as Dropbox, Box, Google Drive.)

Redmond has also rolled out more granular DLP controls, for example adding five new conditions for SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business that allow admins to set controls on documents with a particular word or phrase in the name, matching a pattern, of a particular size, created by X person or a member of X group.

How much does this stuff cost?

When it comes to the data discovery and analysis piece, by default, a Microsoft Purview account is provisioned with a Data Map of at least one "capacity unit" that supports requests of up to 25 data map operations per second and includes storage of up to 10 GB of metadata; every 10 GB of metadata storage required needs another capacity unit priced -- in UK south -- at £0.313/hour, the pricing page shows.

(Billing for automated population of the Data Map is serverless and based on the duration of scans or ingestion jobs, which can vary based on the number of systems scanned, data assets contained in the scanned systems, number of classifications selected, the shape of the data and performance of the system scanned.)

For all the hoo-ha from Microsoft about the issue of "multiple unconnected" tools and how Microsoft Purview is the new one-stop shop for "unified" data governance, you may still be directed at one of two portals depending on what you are currently using: customers of the late-Azure Purview get the Microsoft Purview governance portal. Microsoft 365 E5 or Microsoft E5 Compliance, get the Microsoft Purview compliance portal.

See: To concern, Microsoft retires SQL Server 2019 Big Data Clusters early