Microsoft to offer three new ways to store big data on Azure

Azure to feature a data warehouse, a 'data lake' and the ability to pool multiple databases

Microsoft Azure's new Data Lake architecture

Microsoft Azure's new Data Lake architecture

Microsoft will soon offer three additional ways for enterprises to store data on Azure, making the cloud computing platform more supportive of big data analysis.

Azure will have a data warehouse service, a "data lake" service storing large amounts of data, and an option for running "elastic" databases that can store sets of data that vary greatly in size, explained Scott Guthrie, Microsoft executive vice president of the cloud and enterprise group, who unveiled these new services at the company's Build 2015 developer conference, held this week in San Francisco.

The Azure SQL Data Warehouse, available later this year, will give organizations a way to store petabytes of data so it can be easily ingested by data analysis software, such as the company's Power BI tool for data visualization, the Azure Data Factory for data orchestration, or the Azure Machine Learning service.

Unlike traditional in-house data warehouse systems, this cloud service can quickly be adjusted to fit the amount of data that actually needs to be stored, Guthrie said. Users can also specify the exact amount of processing power they'll need to analyze the data. The service builds on the massively parallel processing architecture that Microsoft developed for its SQL Server database.

The Azure Data Lake has been designed for those organizations that need to store very large amounts of data, so it can be processed by Hadoop and other "big data" analysis platforms. This service could be most useful for Internet of Things-based systems that may amass large amounts of sensor data.

"It allows you to store literally an infinite amount of data, and it allows you to keep data in its original form," Guthrie said. The Data Lake uses Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), so it can be deployed by Hadoop or other big data analysis systems.

A preview of the Azure Data Lake will be available later this year.

In addition to these two new products, the company has also updated its Azure SQL Database service so customers can pool their Azure cloud databases to reduce storage costs and prepare for bursts of database activity.

"It allows you to manage lots of databases at lower cost," Guthrie said. "You can maintain completely isolated databases, but allows you to aggregate all of the resources necessary to run those databases."

The new service would be particularly useful for running public-facing software services, where the amount of database storage needed can greatly fluctuate. Today, most Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings must overprovision their databases to accommodate the potential peak demand, which can be financially wasteful. The elastic option allows an organization to pool the available storage space for all of its databases in such a way that if one database rapidly grows, it can pull unused space from other databases.

The new elastic pooling feature is now available in preview mode.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags cloud computingMicrosoftinternetsoftwareapplicationsdata miningInfrastructure services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?