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What is the difference between Azure Data Lake and Cosmos Db?

AlHal2 asked
What is the difference between Azure Data Lake and Cosmos Db?
Is Data Lake simply the next version or does it include extra functionality?
What is best for handling unstructured data?
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Adam BrownSenior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010

Cosmos is a distributed database system used for any purpose that a DB can be used for. Data Lake is a "Big data" solution that is designed for storing and processing analytical data. It isn't usable as a traditional DB. 


Don't they both use U-SQL?
It was this this article that also prompted my question.
Senior Systems Admin
Top Expert 2010

U-SQL is a database system that can be used for any purpose, but the purpose of the system that uses the SQL database is what determines overall purpose. Data lake is designed to collect and store data for analysis at a later date, which allows for business intelligence apps to operate. 

Cosmos DB is a database infrastructure system. It can store data of any type and allows creation of apps for any purpose. Those apps store data necessary to function in the DB. cosmos makes that data available in a highly redundant, distributed manner. 

Cosmos db can be used to store analytical data just like data lake. The main difference is that cosmos can store other type of data for other purposes. 


I think you've answered the original question, so thanks very much.
Am I correct in saying that the data lake has more powerful and faster analytics than cosmos?  I'm just trying to consider the uses cases of each.
Is the data lake better for unstructured data?
Please could you elaborate on what you mean by database infrastructure.  I know that relational databases have tables, views and stored procedures.  I'm not sure how the term applies to non relational databases.