Microsoft Azure Data Factory vs. on-premise ETL – tools: key features compared
A classic ETL-tool is a desktop tool which requires a good-sized server where the tool needs to be installed on. The server will also have to be managed and a basic monitoring needs to be set up to check the health of the system. This also means that the size of the server will have to be determined at front. The ETL-tool will have to be maintained and upgraded when necessary. ADF is a cloud-based, serverless service and does not require any hardware or any installation. Since no server is required, no monitoring or managing of it is needed. Updates of ADF are fully managed by Microsoft and will be implemented automatically.
When using a classic ETL-tool, scaling can be a bottleneck for an agile business. Classic ETL-tools are not always created to handle big volumes of data and the type of server cannot always be switched easily, which will result in a higher time to market. This is one of the main reasons why cloud is so conductive: your system can be upgraded in no time to each desired level.