Azure for Big Data workloads?
Hortonworks has again teamed with Microsoft to extend Hadoop support to the latter's Azure cloud platform and Windows Server ecosystem. This week they unveiled the fruits of that collaboration with previews of their new offerings, Windows Azure HDInsight Service and Microsoft HDInsight Server for Windows.
HDInsight is a "100 percent Apache compatible Hadoop distribution, supported by Microsoft," says the sofftware giant. The product is intended to ease Microsoft shops into the world of unstructured data analysis and connect to a growing market of business intelligence (BI) tools that support Hadoop.
It's not the first time the companies have collaborated to bring Hadoop, an open source Big Data processing platform, into Windows environments.
In the past, they have partnered on getting Hadoop to run on Windows Server. And in March they unveiled a Hive ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) driver that brings Big Data analytics and business intelligence capabilities to Excel via PowerPivot.
Today the companies hope the partnership will usher in an era of easy to implement Big Data services, whether on the cloud or in the data center.
"Providing Hadoop compatibility on Windows Server and Azure dramatically lowers the barriers to setup and deployment and enables customers to pull insights from any data, any size, on-premises or in the cloud," said Microsoft technical fellow David Campbell.
Microsoft Moving In
More importantly, the move keeps Microsoft in contention when CIOs evaluate their Big Data options. Just in time, too. In recent months, rival business software makers have turned up the heat in the Big Data landscape.
Earlier this month, SAS announced Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) support for its High-Performance Analytics Server product. In June, VMware announced Project Serengeti, an effort to get Hadoop to run on the company’s virtualization platform. Also in June, Cloudera – an Oracle partner – made some big updates to its enterprise Hadoop distribution.
In a blog post for Hortonworks, Campbell explained how the new offerings will help Microsoft shops leverage their current IT investments, management setups and developer know-how while they pursue Big Data profit-boosting potential.