Microsoft has been working for years to get more of its software into the data center and cloud infrastructure markets with System Center and the Azure platform, and now it's moving into the so-called big data space.
The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant earlier this week released SQL Server 2012 to manufacturing, revealing that will be available for GA by April 1. The biggest improvement is that it's been infused with a set of new features designed to handle larger workloads--whether on premises or in the cloud.
The big data features in SQL Server 2012 include new storage options and tools that help with analysis of large workloads.
For example, the new version includes an in-memory column-oriented database to improve analytics performance. In addition, Microsoft is developing a Windows-based version of Hadoop (the Hortonworks edition) for the Azure cloud environment, which should be ready for prime time by July 1.
Hortonworks is a spinout company from Yahoo that employs many of the original creators of Apache Hadoop, an open-source software package that is rapidly becoming the go-to big data batch analytics platform of choice.
The new Windows Hortonworks service would enable customers to gain relevant insights from complex data stores hosted in the cloud by optimizing data streams with SQL Server 2012 and tools such as Excel and PowerPivot, the company said.
Last October, the company introduced a preview Hadoop service on Azure. The preview is being expanded to 2,000 users, from 400, for the 2012 release.
Go here for more information and downloads of SQL Server 2012.
Chris Preimesberger is eWEEK's Editor for Features and Analysis. Twitter: editingwhiz