This post is by Microsoft Press author and Microsoft MVP Andrew Brust:

I am proud to announce that I am ZDNet’s newest contributor, penning their Big on Data blog.

I’ve been interested in the “Big Data” movement for a while. I have Microsoft to thank for this, as I wrote a white paper on NoSQL for the SQL Azure team, and the research for it exposed me to the “Big Data” topic. I’ve worked with BI technology since the late 90s and I’ve worked with databases, data access and related programming since I did dBase II programming in the mid-80s. So moving to Big Data is a natural progression for me.

But there’s an unnatural part, too: for the most part, the Big Data field has been a relatively Microsoft-free industry area. Given that I’m the co-author of Microsoft Press’s upcoming title, Programming SQL Server 2012 (following in the footsteps of the book’s 2005 and 2008 editions), and affiliated with Microsoft in myriad other ways, moving into the Big Data area brings me into unfamiliar territory. The more I look though, Big Data is so new, and ambiguously defined, that it’s unfamiliar to just about everybody, even if some do not admit it.

And now that SQL Server 2012 has RTM’d, I can come home again, at least for a visit. That’s because Microsoft’s Hadoop for Windows (including Windows Azure) brings Big Data to the Microsoft server and cloud platforms and it brings it to SQL Server too. Why do I say that? Because Microsoft’s ODBC driver for Hive/Hadoop provides Big Data access for SQL Server Reporting Services, Analysis Services Tabular mode and thus to Power View too, not to mention Excel and PowerPivot. SQL Server 2012 is really the first release of the product that’s Big Data-ready, and I think that’s pretty exciting.

While my blog will not be Microsoft-specific, my latest post is all about SQL Server. Check out the post and please spread the word to your friends, both offline and online!