Microsoft – Cloud Platform roadmap site – plans to embrace big data and open source

March 18th, 2015 by Stephen Jones Leave a reply »

Microsoft has revealed its Cloud Platform roadmap site, with the resource providing a view of the improvements and developments across the Cloud Platform business. The roadmap spans cloud services like:
- Microsft Azure, Intune, Power BI, and Visual Studio Online,
- and server offerings such as: Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server and Visual Studio.
- and Converged system appliances are also displayed, such as Cloud Platform System, Analytics Platform System and StorSimple.

Microsoft intend that this site will ensure a comprehensive and open view of the company’s current roadmap; where they are focusing on and what technology is currently in development or coming out within the next few months.

Takeshi Numoto, corporate vice president of the Cloud and Enterprise Marketing Group at Microsoft, wrote in a blog: “With this view, you will be able to understand and plan for what’s coming next. In addition, you will be able to easily view newly available products and services, including those in public preview, to help you take full advantage of our expanding portfolio. ..”We believe this site is an important step on that journey. As the site grows and matures, we’ll look forward to your feedback on what is working and where we can improve, to ensure this resource is a valuable asset for your business.”

Microsoft clearly wants its Azure cloud platform to be the default place for organizations to run their workloads. In an ideal Microsoft world all those workloads would also be built upon proprietary Microsoft MSFT technologies so Redmond is keen to make Azure as palatable for non Windows workloads as it is for Windows ones.

This week sees the Strata + Hadoop conferenceis taking place, and its the home of open source big data discussions, Microsoft will further embrace other technologies. The company announced today that it is launching a preview of its Hadoop-based cloud tool that runs on Linux. At the same time it is making its existing Azure ML service, a machine-learning tool-set, more widely applicable with support for Python. This is in addition to the already-announced support for the R language. Readers will recall that just last month Microsoft acquired Revolution Analytics, the company behind the open source R language.

Microsoft is also going to make Storm, an open source stream analytics tool, available for the HDInsight platform with support for .NET and Java. This is in addition to the existing Azure Stream Analytics offering that the company plans to continue to sell. It is also looking at deal with data integration vendor Informatica. to join the Azure Marketplace so that that means is that the Informatica Cloud agent is available in Linux and Windows virtual machines on Azure. That will enable enterprise customers to create data pipelines from both on-premises systems, and the cloud, to Azure data services such as Azure HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning, Azure Data Factory and others, for management and analysis.

K. Ranga” Rengarajan, corporate vice president, Data Platform and Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president, Machine Learning wrote in a blog post that:

“Our goal is to make big data technology simpler and more accessible to the greatest number of people possible: big data pros, data scientists and app developers, but also everyday businesspeople and IT managers. Azure is at the center of our strategy, offering customers scale, simplicity and great economics. And we’re embracing open technologies, so people can use the tools, languages and platforms of their choice to pull the maximum value from their data.

Microsoft is in a direct race with Amazon Web Services to win the battle of the cloud vendors. Opening up to all these other solutions adds yet another value proposition for customers looking to decide between Azure and AWS.

“Amazon Web Services leads the infrastructure as a service pack, but Microsoft’s Azure is closing; there’s a lot of room for apps to move to the cloud; and more enterprises are going with hybrid approaches, according to RightScale’s annual survey of cloud adoption. RightScale’s survey of infrastructure as a service usage covered 930 respondents with 306 enterprises with 1,000 employees or more. Of the respondents, 24 percent were RightScale users. Of the companies surveyed, 45 percent had 1 to 100 employees with the remainder 100 workers or above. By region, 62 percent of respondents were from North America, 18 percent from Europe and 12 percent from Asia. The remainder was in other regions. (ZDNet 02.18.2015)”
“More than half of all public cloud deployments use Amazon Web Services (AWS), but Microsoft Azure is gaining ground. According to an annual survey of 930 IT professionals, conducted by cloud management specialist RightScale, 57% of SMEs and large enterprises use AWS public cloud, compared with 54% in the same study last year. (Computer Weekly 02.20.2015)”
Research conducted by Tata Communications, a leading provider of A New World of Communications™, has found that organisations with 500+ employees are seeing tangible benefits from cloud computing. 85% say cloud had lived up to industry hype, with 23% declaring that cloud had exceeded their expectations. According to the global survey, this groundswell of positive opinion has been contributed to by enterprises experiencing tangible benefits when using cloud services – with 83% of enterprises feeling they have experienced benefits they did not expect to see. The most popular of these benefits cited by respondents were: increased productivity (69%), better access to data (65%), and reductions in costs (63%). (BusinessWire 02.26.2015)

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