Microsoft unveils scalable data services on Azure

Scott Guthrie at Build announcing new Azure data services

SAN FRANCISCO: Microsoft used its Build developer conference to unveil new scalable data services on the Azure public cloud platform, enabling developers to work with relational and non-relational data sources.

The two new services, Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Azure Data Lake, were announced during a keynote by Scott Guthrie, executive vice president for Microsoft’s Cloud and Enterprise Group.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse is “the first data warehouse that can scale and grow to any size, as well as import from any data source”, Guthrie claimed, saying it can support petabytes of data and aggregate data from sources such as an operational SQL database, SAP system or Hadoop deployment for analysing big data.

Guthrie compared it against Amazon’s rival Redshift service on the AWS cloud, claiming that “you can independently adjust compute and storage resources and only pay for what you need. You can grow and shrink in seconds, whereas [Redshift] takes hours or days to scale.”

He also said that customers can “pause” their SQL Data Warehouse subscription when not needed, and pay only for the time that they are using it.

“We’re really excited about what SQL Data Warehouse represents, and how it lets you aggregate and analyse data,” Guthrie said.

Meanwhile, Azure Data Lake enables customers to pool and analyse large volumes of data from multiple sources, such as sensor data from the Internet of Things.

“Data Lake literally lets you store an infinite amount of data – we’re talking about exabytes – and you can keep the data in its original form, and run high throughput analytic jobs, and the service will auto-scale up for you,” Guthrie said.

Machine learning and big data services from Microsoft and partners like Cloudera and Hortonworks are integrated into Data Lake to give developers high-performance ways to store, process and analyse large volumes of structured and unstructured data, according to Microsoft.

“One of the great things about it is that it exposes data using the standard Hadoop HDFS API, so you can run standard Hadoop workloads to process any data stored in Data Lake. You can query against literally exabytes of content,” Guthrie said.

Guthrie also announced preview releases of .Net Core runtimes for Linux, Windows and Mac OS X, and gave a demonstration of Docker support for Linux and Windows Server.

Azure has 19 computer regions operating today, which is more than AWS and Google Cloud combined, Guthrie claimed, and now manages more than a million servers.

“Azure offers the choice and flexibility of a full spectrum cloud, with multiple operating system programing frameworks supported,” he said.

The conference has also seen Microsoft announce it will support Apple and Android apps on Windows 10 and that its Project Spartan browser will officially be called Edge.

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30 April 2015 | 8:56 am – Source: v3.co.uk

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