Cloud Giant Microsoft Announces Launch of Azure Analytics Services
February 19, 2019
Cloud giant Microsoft has announced the launch of new Azure analytics services. Competing with major cloud players like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud Platform (GCP), the Richmond, Washington, United States-based transglobal corporation has shifted its focus from software-based products to cloud-based services like the Azure cloud platform and Office 365. The company has made two new Azure analytics services generally available - Azure Data Lake Storage Gen2 (ADLS) and Azure Data Explorer (ADX).
Microsoft’s new Azure ADLS Gen2 service offers analytics using the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS). The scalabile, cost-effective, and highly secure service stores structured and unstructured data. Used in conjunction with the Azure Blob File System driver (ABFS) the solution removes the need for a sophisticated client-side driver and ensures “high fidelity file system transactions” by allowing folders and files to be managed on the server side. With a hierarchical namespace (HNS) that facilitates atomic file and folder operations, the solution makes job execution faster, and with fewer compute operations required, reduces user costs. The other service, ADX, is a “fast and highly scalable data exploration service for log and telemetry data”. The solution enables users to manage multiple software-based data streams and is specifically beneficial for the analysis of diverse data from a variety of data sources.
“One of our key priorities was to ensure that ADLS is compatible with the Apache ecosystem,” explained Jurgen Willis Director of Product Management, Azure Engineering on the company’s website. “ We accomplished this by developing the Azure Blob File System (ABFS) driver. The ABFS driver is officially part of Apache Hadoop and Spark and is incorporated in many commercial distributions”. He added, “Azure Data Explorer (ADX) is a fast, fully managed data analytics service for real-time analysis on large volumes of streaming data. ADX is capable of querying 1 billion records in under a second with no modification of the data or metadata required. ADX also includes native connectors to Azure Data Lake Storage, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, and Power BI and comes with an intuitive query language so that customers can get insights in minutes”.