MS Tech Days 2012 in Paris

MS Tech Days 2012 in Paris

The Microsoft Tech Days that took place in Paris, February 6-8, was a great way for us to discover how Microsoft is tackling Big Data.
There are two subjects when we talk about Big Data: Evangelizing and software solutions.

Evangelizing Big Data is a hard task, because you need to explain what is Big Data, why companies will need it and how Big Data technologies like Hadoop will bring values to the users.

  • What: Big Data is Volume, Velocity and Variety. Volume as in the sheer volume to handle. Velocity as the speed at which you can analyze. Variety as in structured (database), semi-structured (xml) and unstructured (flat files).
  • Why: in order to be able to constantly answer new questions using all the raw data and not be tied to a schema you defined a priori.
  • Value added:  create value with the existing data in short analysis cycles.

On the software side, Microsoft decided to add Hadoop to Windows Azure. Now you can store your data in the cloud (private or public) and all the software stack has access to it (Excel, SharePoint, SQL Server …). This move is pretty interesting, the talks mentioned that they have been working for many years on Hadoop, however last year a researcher from Microsoft was still talking about Dryad.

So Microsoft joins the Hadoop bus, as Oracle and IBM have done before, and they propose the whole solution. Instead of Java, they encourage you to write your MapReduce in various Microsoft languages, such as C#, and even in Javascript!

We believe this is a very interesting move, Hadoop and Hadoop users can only win from this environment.

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