Microsoft Azure Makes Room for MapR Cluster Deployments

A MapR rapid deployment offering and the ability to fine-tune Application Insights telemetry are among this week's updates to Microsoft's cloud computing platform.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft makes no secret about its big data ambitions for Azure.

In June, the company announced that it was working on enabling MapR clusters on the company's cloud. Now, customers can spin up their MapR-based big data processing environments directly in the Azure Marketplace.

"Using the streamlined Marketplace UI one can easily setup 3, 6, 10, 20, or 30 node size MapR cluster ready to handle any enterprise class workloads," said Hariharan Jayaraman, senior program manager, Microsoft Azure Compute, in an Oct. 22 announcement.

MapR is a popular, built-for-business Hadoop distribution for big data workloads, and Microsoft Azure isn't the only cloud capable of running the software. In August, MapR Technologies announced the distribution's arrival in Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace.

"MapR is a complete distribution for Apache Hadoop that packages more than a dozen projects from the Hadoop ecosystem to provide you with a broad set of big data capabilities," Jayaraman said. "The MapR platform not only provides enterprise-grade features such as high availability, disaster recovery, security, and full data protection but also allows Hadoop to be easily accessed as traditional network attached storage (NAS) with read-write capabilities."

Version 5.0, which made its official debut during June's Hadoop Summit, supports real-time applications with auto-synchronized database, search indices and storage. MapR recently added Apache Drill 1.2 for additional analytics capabilities.

Getting MapR up and running on Azure is a matter of searching for it on the Marketplace and kicking off a guided setup process.

"Once you have selected the [offering] please go through the Create process and enter the Basics configuration for the cluster deployment which includes: MapR Cluster name, SysAdmin username, authentication type (you can choose password or SSH public key), resource group name, subscription and location where you want to run your MapR cluster," instructed Jayaraman. Full instructions are available here.

This week, Microsoft also announced some improvements to Azure Application Insights for developers seeking to glean better insights into their Web application usage and performance. A new Application Insights software development kit (SDK) keeps developers from drowning in telemetry data.

"Modern applications with many users can generate a lot of telemetry data," noted Vitaly Gorbenko, a Microsoft Azure Application Insights program manager, in a blog post. "In addition to dealing with an increased cost of storing more data in Application Insights, your application will have higher network consumption, and the performance impact from monitoring may be high."

To remedy this and improve the quality of app telemetry data, the release of the Application Insights SDK 2.0.0 beta includes a new sampling capability.

"From the application standpoint, sampling is a feature of the SDK that allows you to collect and store a reduced set of telemetry while maintaining a statistically correct analysis of application data in the portal," Gorbenko said. "Currently, sampling can be used with ASP.NET web applications on both client and server sides, or only from the client-side for web applications written with other (non .NET) server-side platforms."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...