Microsoft launches Windows Azure HDInsight

11th November 2013

Big data processing comes to the cloud

Microsoft has announced the full launch of its cloud-based Hadoop service. Windows Azure HDInsight was developed in partnership with Hortonworks and is now fully available having been available for preview over recent months.

Apache Hadoop is a software framework for processing large data sets from multiple computers in different locations. By offering a version of the framework via its Azure cloud platform, Microsoft is making its powerful functionality more available to potential users.

Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President of the Data Platform Group at Microsoft, made the announcement via a blog post. Clark said: “Windows Azure HDInsight combines the best of Hadoop open source technology with the security, elasticity and manageability that enterprises require.”

HDInsight is the most recent output of Microsoft’s partnership with Hortonworks, the two companies having previously delivered Hadoop for Windows Server and the Hortonworks Data Platform for Windows.

Microsoft cites the following examples of key customers that are already using HDInsight:

  • The City of Barcelona uses Windows Azure HDInsight to pull in data about traffic patterns, garbage collection, city festivals, social media buzz and more to make critical decisions about public transportation, security and overall spending.
  • A team of computer scientists at Virginia Tech developed an on-demand, cloud-computing model using the Windows Azure HDInsight Service, enabling  easier, more cost-effective access to DNA sequencing tools and resources.
  • Christian Hansen, a developer of natural ingredients for several industries, collects electronic data from a variety of sources, including automated lab equipment, sensors and databases. With HDInsight in place, they are able to collect and process data from trials 100 time times faster than before.

HDInsight will integrate with Excel and Power BI (Microsoft’s Office 365 business intelligence product). It will also support a variety of languages, including .NET and Java.

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