It seems as of late that I’ve been on an Azure kick which, if I’m honest is because I’ve been doing a lot of work in that space. Of course I haven’t forgotten my ALM and TFS roots (I submit exhibit B9 as evidence your honor) so stayed tuned!

That said, while it’s difficult to summarize all of the Azure improvements that are being deployed (which almost seems on a daily basis), I did want to mention HDInsight as it relates to Big Data.

HDInsight is a service from Microsoft that brings an Apache Hadoop-based solution to the cloud. A modern, cloud-based data platform that manages data whether structured or unstructured, and of any size, HDInsight makes it possible for you to gain the full value of big data.

In addition, HDInsight offers the following benefits:

  • Insights with familiar tools: Through deep integration with Microsoft BI tools such as PowerPivot and Power View, HDInsight enables you to easily analyze data for insights. Seamlessly combine data from several sources, including HDInsight, with Microsoft Power Query for Excel. Easily map your data with new Power Map, a three-dimensional mapping Excel 2013 add-in.
  • Enterprise-ready capabilities: HDInsight offers enterprise-class security, scalability, and manageability. Thanks to a dedicated secure node, HDInsight helps you secure your cluster. You can also take full advantage of the elastic scalability of Windows Azure. In addition, we simplify manageability of your cluster through extensive support for Windows PowerShell scripting.
  • Rich developer experience: HDInsight offers powerful programming capabilities with a choice of technologies including Microsoft .NET, Java and other languages. .NET developers can exploit the full power of Language-Integrated Query with LINQ to Hive. And database developers can use existing skills to query and transform data through Hive.

 To get started with HDInsight:

  1. Visit the Windows Azure Management Portal.
  2. In the bottom left, click New.
  3. Under Data Services, click HDInsight.
  4. Click Quick Create, and then follow the quick-start steps.

For additional pricing information, please see the HDInsight Pricing Details webpage. For more information about the service, visit the HDInsight Service webpage.