After years of collaboration with Hortonworks, Microsoft recently revealed news of its Hadoop as a service offering via its Windows Azure cloud platform. The offering, based on the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP), is called Windows Azure HDInsight and boasts compatibility with Excel, SQL Server and PowerBI. According to a Microsoft blog post by Quentin Clark, Corporate Vice President of the Data Platform Group at Microsoft, “Windows Azure HDInsight combines the best of Hadoop open source technology with the security, elasticity and manageability that enterprises require.” HDInsight supports .NET and Java for developers and represents part of Microsoft’s larger strategic goal of bringing big data to a billion people. Microsoft elaborated on its Hortonworks-based Hadoop as a service offering just as Rackspace made a similar announcement in the context of its own public cloud and managed hosting platform.
On Monday, Rackspace announced the availability of the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) powered by Apache Hadoop within both its managed hosting environment and public cloud infrastructure. Customers can additionally choose a hybrid approach to leveraging the Hortonworks distribution of Apache Hadoop on Rackspace’s offering by using the managed hosting offering for Hadoop hosted within a private cloud in conjunction with a Hadoop deployment on its public cloud platform. The news of the availability of HDP as part of Rackspace’s suite of offerings represents part of a broader move by the San Antonio-based company to offer databases and datastores over and beyond SQL and Oracle. Rackspace’s recent acquisition of ObjectRocket and Exceptional Cloud Services, for example, means that, in addition to Hadoop, it will be offering MongoDB as well as Redis To Go as a service in the near future as well. The integration of HDP within the Rackspace platform illustrates the phenomenon of convergence within the IT industry whereby cloud platforms are converging with Big Data platforms as both technologies become sufficiently maintstream such that customers feel comfortable experimenting with the conjunction of both cloud hosting environments and the likes of Hadoop and MongoDB. More specifically, cloud adoption appears to be accelerating Big Data adoption given that customers now have ample opportunities to experiment with cloud-based Hadoop environments without shouldering the burden of its deployment and maintenance.