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Cloudera Big Data Partnership Adds Azure Options

In Microsoft's new era of openness, interoperability and increased customer options, the company continues to hedge its Big Data bets with a stream of new partnerships, services and initiatives.

The company's continued expansion of data developer services in Microsoft Azure cloud was highlighted this week by a partnership with Cloudera Inc., one of the "big three" Big Data players with enterprise offerings based on Apache Hadoop.

Cloudera Enterprise this week achieved Azure Certification to offer more Big Data options for Microsoft cloud customers, and further integration of Cloudera technology with other Microsoft data services is on tap.

"As a result of this certification, organizations will be able to launch a Cloudera Enterprise cluster from the Azure Marketplace starting Oct. 28," Microsoft said in a blog post. "Initially, this will be an evaluation cluster with access to MapReduce, HDFS and Hive. At the end of this year when Cloudera 5.3 releases, customers will be able to leverage the power of the full Cloudera Enterprise distribution including HBase, Impala, Search and Spark."

Just last week, Hortonworks Inc. -- another of the top three Hadoop vendors and a principal competitor to Cloudera -- announced Azure certification for its Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP). This expands on the partnership of Microsoft and Hortonworks, which last year teamed up for the Microsoft cloud-based Hadoop service, HDInsight, and earlier developed HDP for Windows.

Also last week, Microsoft announced HDInsight integration with Apache Storm for real-time Big Data analytics.

In the latest move with Cloudera, Azure customers will have more Big Data options, especially after Cloudera 5.3 is released in December. Then, Cloudera said, customers will be able to:
  • Deploy Cloudera directly from the Microsoft Azure Marketplace.
  • Import data into Cloudera from SQL Server.
  • Use Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 for self-service business intelligence.
  • Use Azure Machine Learning for cloud-based predictive analytics.

The SQL Server functionality is a further sign of Microsoft's tremendous effort to keep its traditional flagship relational database management system (RDBMS) relevant in the new world of Big Data analytics powered by non-relational NoSQL databases. Partnerships with Big Data vendors are key to that strategy, and Microsoft has now teamed up with two of the leading enterprise offerings in major initiatives.

"Microsoft and Cloudera are collaborating to help customers realize Big Data insights with the cloud," said Microsoft exec Scott Guthrie in a statement. "Now Azure customers can deploy Cloudera Enterprise with a few clicks, visualize their data with Microsoft Power BI and gain insights to transform their business -- all within minutes."

Stay tuned for further partnership news, possibly even with the third leading Hadoop vendor, MapR Technologies Inc.

Posted by David Ramel on 10/23/2014


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