Microsoft is expanding the options for customers of its Azure cloud platform to operate big data projects in the cloud with the addition of new Hadoop offerings from MapR Technologies and Hortonworks in addition to its own big data services.
MapR and Hortonworks both offer enterprise-grade analytics packages based on the open source Apache Hadoop platform. Microsoft will offer the MapR Distribution and the recently released Hortonworks Data Platform 2.3 on Azure from this summer.
T K Rengarajan, corporate vice president for the data platform in Microsoft's Cloud and Enterprise division, said on Microsoft's SQL Server blog that the moves are part of the firm's commitment to making Azure the best cloud platform for hyper-scale big data projects.
"This includes an existing Hadoop-as-a-service solution, Azure HDInsight, a hyper-scale repository for big data, Azure Data Lake, and Hadoop infrastructure-as-a-service offerings from Hortonworks and Cloudera," Rengarajan said.
The MapR Distribution, which has just hit version 5.0, includes Hadoop plus MapR-FS, an HDFS and POSIX compliant file store; MapR-DB, a NoSQL data store; and the MapR Control System management tool.
When MapR is available in the Azure Marketplace, customers will be able to launch a full Hadoop cluster based on MapR as an Azure Virtual Machine with a few clicks, Microsoft said.
Meanwhile, The MapR Distribution will also be integrated with the Azure Data Lake, enabling users to deploy tiered analytical and storage capabilities, while MapR will fully support deployment of MapR-DB on Azure.
The Hortonworks Data Platform has already been available on Azure, but the new 2.3 release is claimed to offer a greatly improved user experience along with increased enterprise readiness across security, governance and operations.
The enhanced user interface comes courtesy of Hortonworks' integration of the Apache Ambari project, which has been developed to support easier provisioning, management and monitoring of Hadoop clusters.
HDP 2.3 also introduces customisable dashboards for some of the most frequently used components, plus Smart Configuration for HDFS, YARN, HBase and Hive, and other improvements to make it easier to manage a Hadoop deployment.
"HDP 2.3 brings an entirely new user experience for Apache Falcon, our data lifecycle management component," said Hortonworks product manager Rohit Bakhshi.
"The new Falcon UI allows you to search and browse processes that have executed, visualise lineage and set up mirroring jobs to replicate files between clusters and cloud storage, allowing enterprises to seamlessly back up data to Azure Blob Storage."
HDP 2.3 will be supported for deployment on Azure virtual machine instances from this summer, and will simultaneously be available on Windows Server and Linux, according to Hortonworks.
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