Microsoft's Big Data Cloud Welcomes MapR

In a big data push, the company announced this week that Azure will soon support MapR Hadoop clusters and that Power BI gained two new data sources.

Azure supporting Hadoop clusters

In a big data push, the company announced this week that Azure will soon support MapR Hadoop clusters and that Power BI gained two new data sources.

Building on Azure HDInsight, Microsoft's cloud-based Hadoop-as-a-service offering, the company announced this week that it is expanding its support for other big data platforms.

This summer, Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) 2.3, will become available on Azure. "The new capabilities in HDP 2.3 will empower more enterprises to leverage Open Enterprise Hadoop to drive transformational outcomes," said Tim Hall, vice president of product management at Hortonworks, in a June 8 announcement. Those capabilities include automated host discovery, transparent Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) data encryption and a raft of new features that improve security and simplify management.

Soon, Azure will welcome another Hadoop distribution, MapR.

Microsoft's T.K. "Ranga" Rengarajan, corporate vice president of the company's Data Platform unit, wrote in a company blog post "that MapR will also be available in the summer as an option for customers to deploy Hadoop from the Azure Marketplace. MapR is a leader in the Hadoop community that offers the MapR Distribution including Hadoop which includes MapR-FS, an HDFS and POSIX compliant file store, and MapR-DB, a NoSQL key value store."

MapR on Azure will enable customers to transfer data between Microsoft SQL services and MapR within Azure. Customers will also be able to deploy MapR's in-Hadoop NoSQL database, MapR-DB, for real-time big data processing. "Organizations use MapR to impact business 'as-it-happens' through automated processes that shorten data-to-action cycles – and we are now extending that value to Azure's customers," said Steve Wooledge, vice president for product marketing for MapR Technologies, in a company statement.

In sharp contrast to the Microsoft's Windows-only past, the company is now on a mission to build a business cloud that welcomes all comers. Rengarajan said the partnership with MapR is "a sign of our continued commitment to make Hadoop more accessible to customers by supporting the ability to run big data workloads anywhere – on hosted VM's and managed services in the public cloud, on-premises or in hybrid scenarios."

Separately, Microsoft announced new appFigures and MailChimp content packs for Power BI, the company's cloud-based big data analytics visualization and reporting solution for users of practically all skill levels.

appFigures provides mobile developers with sales data and download reports from app marketplaces. "The out-of-box dashboard, reports and dataset allow you to retrieve data including app sales, downloads, and ad statistics which are used to populate a default dashboard and related reports," said Microsoft's Power BI team in a statement.

MailChimp is an email marketing tool that allows organizations to craft targeted campaigns. Now, users have new, visually rich ways of determining the success of their efforts.

"Power BI allows you to monitor and explore that data using the MailChimp APIs, offering a set of out-of-box content for your analytics," stated the group in a June 9 update. "The dashboard, reports and dataset curated for the MailChimp scenario allow you to easily access data such as Top Campaigns of Total Opens by Day of Week."

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...