Apache Iceberg and Delta Lake are both open-source technologies that provide similar capabilities for managing and querying tables in a data lake. While both solutions are similar in many ways, there are some key differences between the two that may make one a better choice for a given use case.
One of the main differences between Iceberg and Delta Lake is their underlying design. Iceberg was designed to support evolving schemas and complex data types, while Delta Lake was designed to provide ACID transactions and versioning for data stored in a data lake. As a result, Iceberg may be a better choice for use cases that involve complex data types or rapidly evolving schemas, while Delta Lake may be a better choice for use cases that require strict data consistency and versioning.
Another difference between Iceberg and Delta Lake is their query performance. While both solutions provide partitioning and predicate pushdown optimizations to improve query performance, Delta Lake also provides a feature called dynamic file coalescing, which automatically reorganizes small files into larger ones to improve read performance. This feature can be particularly useful for improving query performance in data lakes with many small files.
Finally, another important consideration when choosing between Iceberg and Delta Lake is their ecosystem support. Both solutions have growing ecosystems, but Delta Lake has received more attention from some of the major cloud providers such as Databricks, AWS, and Azure, and has built-in integrations with several popular big data tools such as Spark, Hive, and Presto.
Ultimately, the choice between Iceberg and Delta Lake depends on the specific requirements of a given use case. For use cases that require support for complex data types and evolving schemas, Iceberg may be the better choice, while for use cases that require strict data consistency and versioning, Delta Lake may be the better choice. It is also important to consider the specific query performance requirements and ecosystem support for a given use case when evaluating these solutions.