Microsoft delivers first public preview of its Hadoop on Windows Azure service

Microsoft delivers first public preview of its Hadoop on Windows Azure service

Summary: Microsoft is making available its first public preview of HDInsight, the Hadoop big-data framework on Windows Azure technology it is developing with Hortonworks.


Microsoft made available its first public preview of its Hadoop on Windows Azure service, known as HDInsight Service, on March 18.


To date, Microsoft has made three private previews of the HDInsight Service on Azure available to select testers. (I originally believed last October's preview to be a public one, but was told by company's officials that, in fact, today's deliverable is the first public preview.)

Microsoft, along with partner Hortonworks, announced plans to bring the Hadoop big-data framework to Windows Server and Windows Azure in the fall of 2011. Microsoft made a first public preview of its Hadoop on Windows Server product (known officially as HDInsight Server for Windows) available in October 2012.

Originally, there seemingly was an aggressive timetable to deliver the final versions of both Hadoop on Windows Azure (March 2012) and Hadoop on Windows Server (summer 2012). Since that time, Microsoft officials have gone quiet as to the new planned final delivery dates. (I've heard a rumor that the non-test/final build of HDInsight on Azure might be out as of summer 2013.)

In a post to his blog on March 18, Corporate Vice President Scott Guthrie announced the public preview, noting that "HDInsight provides everything you need to quickly deploy, manage and use Hadoop clusters running on Windows Azure." Those interested can request access to the preview and then create an HDInsight Cluster within the Azure Management Portal, he said.

Hortonworks recently announced availability of a beta of its own Hadoop on Windows Server offering, known as Hadoop Data Platform (HDP) for Windows. Hortonworks officials have said HDP for Winows is the foundation for the coming Microsoft HDInsight products. HDP for Windows is due out in final form in the second quarter of 2013, Hortonworks officials said.

Guthrie unveiled a couple of other non-big-data-focused offerings in the aforementioned blog post, as well. He announced a new mobile services Web client library that supports IE8 and later browsers, current versions of Chrome, Firefox and Safari, and Phone Gap 2.3.0 and higher. There's also now cross-origin resource sharing support available, which allows mobile services to accept cross-domain Ajax requests.

As a result, developers can now connect both HTML5 Web client apps and Apache Cordova/PhoneGap apps to their mobile services, using Azure for both data storage and authentication, Guthrie said.

Topics: Big Data, Cloud, Microsoft, Windows Server


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Is HADOOP really useful?

    I can understand its usage as a big storage container but I don't see where the "DATA" is in this so-callled 'big-data' platform.

    When you stored sth in an un-structural manner you can forget about real-time analysis that is ideal for a typical BI application. So you end up with Peta-bytes of data sitting in there unable to be mined fast and efficiently enough. What do you call a big pile of data that cannot be mined? It's basically JUNK as you get no value outta it.
    • RE: Is HADOOP really useful?

      Well... it is useful for
      1. Dataset that is big
      2. Inherently unstructured (like web pages for example or log files)
      3. Can be run in batch

      And I would argue you would need all three conditions, else some other option might be better.
    • It's useful if you know what you're doing

      When you have petabytes of unstructured data, Hadoop is useful because you can run batch jobs to process and make sense of the data. It's not meant to necessarily always be real-time even though there are ways of making it more real-time.
      Robert Schultz
  • I love how these articles don't tell you what the product actually is.

    Fortunately Wikipedia exists, so I can look up the description of "Windows Azure" when I am done reading articles.
    Richard Estes
    • And done!

      From Wikipedia's description, it sounds as though it is a replacement for SkyDrive, but with some other stuff too, And also, Office already uses a e-deployment system for versions 03-10 called App-V, which installs a separate partition (usually Drive Q), and somehow, I guess that makes it run better.
      Richard Estes
      • I can't resist...

        You may also want to look up "Microsoft Windows" ... that's vital to understanding this article. Also: "data."

  • Which is like running Apache on Windows.

    Why would you want to do that? Why Mary Jo, why don't you tell us why should anyone do this?
    • amen brother

      Truer words never spoken. I am guessing it is for those who have a gun pointed at their head or employer only wants them working on a Ms Windows Platform. It doesn't save you money so it is rather foolish. However hopefully someone else can provide good reasons as to why you would run Hadoop on Windows.
    • DOT NET

      Its about toolset! if you have a group of .NET devs(like many companies do) and a need for Hadoop you don't have to retrain them in some obtuse toolset they can use their .NET skills.
  • Putting Hadoop On Windows... like putting a turbocharger on a bullock-cart.

    How are you supposed to do Big Data on a platform that keeps slowing down without regular defragging?