New Microsoft Cloud Capabilities Lower Barriers to Big Data Analytics

Today’s topics include Microsoft introducing Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, and the U.S. taking the fastest supercomputer title with IBM’s Summit.

On June 27, Microsoft unveiled new cloud capabilities that further lower the barriers to big data analytics.

One new service is Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2, which, according to Tad Brockway, general manager of Azure Storage and Azure Stack at Microsoft, builds on the original Azure Data Lake offering by adding "true [Hadoop Distributed File System] compatibility," tightly integrating the technology with Azure Blob Storage for enterprise-grade levels of scalability and performance.

Meanwhile, several new Azure Data Factory features are now generally available, including new control flow data pipeline capabilities that introduce branching, looping, conditional execution and other concepts that allow users to orchestrate complex integration jobs, along with a new, code-free way of managing data pipelines with a web browser.

Also new are iterative debugging tools in the Azure Data Factory design environment, new flexible pipeline scheduling options and enhanced SDK support for Python, .NET, REST and PowerShell.

The latest edition of the biannual Top500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers was released last week at the International Supercomputing 2018 show in Frankfurt, Germany.

According to the list, the Summit supercomputer built by IBM and housed at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory is now the world’s fastest, wrestling the title from China’s Sunway TaihuLight, which had sat atop the list for the past two years. Summit puts a United States system at the top of the list for the first time since 2012.

In addition to Summit, the U.S. is also responsible for Sierra, the No. 3 supercomputer, which was built by IBM for the Lawrence Livermore Lab. Overall, the United States claimed six of the top 10 spots on the list.