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Call it a sign of the times: Now even Microsoft -- the king of proprietary software -- is embracing open source Hadoop. Bottom line: big data makes a compelling case.
Hadoop, it seems, is everywhere these days. IBM, Oracle and Yahoo are among the big guns that have been supporting Hadoop for years. Recently, Microsoft joined the club by announcing it will integrate Hadoop into its upcoming SQL Server 2012 release and Azure platforms.
Apache Hadoop -- to give Hadoop its proper name -- is a software framework that supports data-intensive distributed applications (think Big Data). The framework, written in Java and supported by the Apache Software Foundation, enables applications to work with thousands of nodes and petabytes of data.
Microsoft's embracing of Hadoop is proof that the vendor has seen the writing on the wall about big data -- namely that it must give customers and developers the tools they need (be they proprietary or open-source) to work with all kinds of big data.
"The next frontier is all about uniting the power of the cloud with the power of data to gain insights that simply weren't possible even just a few years ago," said Microsoft Corporate Vice President Ted Kummert in a statement. "Microsoft is committed to making this possible for every organization, and it begins with SQL Server 2012."
As part of its commitment to help customers and developers process "any data, any size, anywhere," Microsoft is working with the Hadoop ecosystem, including core contributors from Hortonworks, to deliver Hadoop-based distributions for Windows Server and Windows Azure that work with industry-leading business intelligence tools.
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