Microsoft Updates 'Big Data in a Box' Appliance
Microsoft incorporates its latest Windows Server and SQL technology into Analytics Platform System (APS) Appliance with Update 3.Microsoft has released a major new update to its turnkey "big data in a box" solution, Analytics Platform System (APS), the company announced this week. APS combines SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse, Microsoft's Hadoop distribution called HDInsight, and hardware from Hewlett-Packard, Dell or Quanta into an integrated big data processing platform. During APS' April 15 release, the company described it as "an evolution of our SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse (PDW) appliance, which builds upon the high-performance and scale capabilities of that MPP [massively parallel processing] version of SQL Server." The latest version has been "replatformed" to include the newest editions of Windows Server and SQL Server, according to Matt Usher, senior program manager on the Microsoft Analytics Platform System team. APS Update 3 "marks the upgrade of the core fabric of the APS appliance to Windows Server 2012 R2 and SQL Server 2014," he said in a company blog post. The upgrade enables the APS appliance to take "advantage of the improved networking, storage and query execution components of these products," he added. "For example, the APS appliance now utilizes a virtualized Active Directory infrastructure, which helps to reduce cost and increase domain reliability within the appliance, helping to make APS the price/performance leader in the big data appliance space."
Also new is support for PolyBase directory transversal, allowing organizations to extend their data analytics capabilities. Usher explained that his team added "the ability to define an external table that targets a directory structure as a whole."