Microsoft Corporate Vice President Ted Kummert kicked off the SQL PASS conference today in Seattle. For those of you who aren’t familiar with SQL PASS, it is an event for the SQL Server community, driven by the SQL Server community. During his opening keynote this morning, Kummert announced an end-to-end roadmap for Big Data that adopts Apache Hadoop ™ by distributing enterprise-class Hadoop based on solutions on both Windows Server and Windows Azure. This is great news for existing Windows Azure customers, as well as customers looking for an open and flexible cloud platform. By enabling organizations to deploy Hadoop-based big data analytic solutions in Hybrid IT scenarios either on premises, in the cloud, or both, customers will gain more flexibility to move their compute resources to where the data is born. A Community Technology Preview of a Hadoop-based distribution on Windows Azure will be available by the end of this year. For additional details on Microsoft’s commitment to Big Data and this morning’s news, please read Ted Kummert’s blog post.