Microsoft R Server Is Free for Developers and Students
Nearly a year after announcing the acquisition of Revolution Analytics, Microsoft releases its own branded analytics software platform and offers it to developers for free.As part of a major push into big data analytics, nearly a year ago Microsoft announced it was acquiring Revolution Analytics, the largest commercial software and services provider for R, the popular open-source statistical computing language. Signaling that the integration process is essentially complete—the deal closed on April 6—Microsoft's Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of the software giant's Data Group, announced the availability of Microsoft R Server, effectively replacing Revolution R Enterprise. In a Jan. 12 announcement, Sirosh described the big-data-crunching software "as a broadly deployable enterprise-class analytics platform based on R that is supported, scalable and secure. Supporting a variety of big data statistics, predictive modeling and machine learning capabilities, R Server supports the full range of analytics—exploration, analysis, visualization and modeling." For enterprises, Microsoft intends for the software to serve as the one big data tool to rule them all. Microsoft R Server's multiplatform support allows its "enterprise customers to standardize advanced analytics on one core tool, regardless of whether they are using Hadoop (Hortonworks, Cloudera and MapR), Linux (Red Hat and SUSE) or Teradata," said Sirosh. "By using and extending open source R, Microsoft R Server is fully compatible with R scripts, functions and CRAN packages, to analyze data at enterprise scale," he continued. "It also addresses the in-memory limitations of open source R by adding parallel and chunked processing of data in Microsoft R Server, enabling users to run analytics on data much bigger than what fits in main memory."
Microsoft R Server will also be featured in the upcoming release of SQL Server 2016, under the guise of SQL Server R Services. The bundled offering will cost less than the stand-alone Revolution R Enterprise product. The Windows version of Revolution R Enterprise will be available as stand-alone software until SQL Server 2016 officially launches, said Sirosh.