Azure adds real-time analytics for Hadoop and machine learning features

Rebecca Gibson
Rebecca Gibson
By Rebecca Gibson on 16 October 2014
Azure adds real-time analytics for Hadoop and machine learning features

Microsoft has expanded its Azure data services platform to support Apache Hadoop in Azure HDInsight and add new machine learning capabilities in the Azure Marketplace.

Revealed this week at the Strata + Hadoop World event in New York, the expanded platform is part of Microsoft’s commitment to providing big data to more customers via the cloud.

Available in preview from 15 October, Apache Storm is now supported in HDInsight, allowing Microsoft’s customers to process Hadoop data from their connected devices in near real time using a fully managed Hadoop service. These analytics capabilities enable customers to carry out various tasks, such as evaluating operational data in real-time to facilitate predictive maintenance.

In addition, Microsoft has introduced new machine learning capabilities in the Azure Marketplace, allowing customers and partners to access machine learning capabilities as web services. Customers and partners can now leverage an engine for adding product recommendations to a website, an anomaly detection service for predictive maintenance or fraud detection and a set of R packages, a popular programming language used by data scientists.

Introduced this summer and currently available in preview, Microsoft Azure Machine Learning enables customers and partners to rapidly design, test, automate and manage predictive analytics solutions in the cloud. This will help developers to create search engines, online product recommendations, credit card fraud prevention systems, GPS traffic directions and personal assistants for mobile devices.

Writing in a blog post, T.K. Rengarajan, Microsoft’s corporate vice president of data platforms, explained that big data, Hadoop and advanced analytics, is changing the way many Microsoft customers do business. “As they collect and store more data than ever before, they expect more from their data and want more insights from it, including being able to do real-time analytics over streams of data to complement their existing Hadoop deployments,” said Rengarajan. “Microsoft’s approach is to make it easier for our customers to work with data of any type and size — using the tools, languages and frameworks they want — in a trusted cloud environment.”

Rengarajan explains that to do this, Microsoft has delivered a comprehensive set of cloud solutions – such as Azure Machine Learning, Azure HDInsight and other Azure data services – to managed data services from its partners.

“We’re committed to supporting the broadest data platform so our customers find real value in the cloud, on their terms,” said Rengarajan. “With our big data and cloud solutions, customers likeMediaCom, Pier 1 Imports and ThyssenKrupp Elevator have more options to enable new scenarios to gain deeper insight from their data and improve the way they deliver services and products to their customers.”

Microsoft partner and Hadoop vendor Hortonworks has also integrated its Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) with Azure. In the next version of HDP, Hortonworks will also deliver hybrid data connectors, allowing customers to extend their on-premise Hadoop deployments to Azure and leverage the cloud for backup, scale and testing.

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