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 Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags applicationsMicrosoftdata miningsoftwarecloud computinginternetInfrastructure services

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

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

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?