Microsoft’s Azure goes big on low cost data analytics

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Despite Microsoft playing second fiddle to Amazon in the cloud computing wars, the company’s scrappy cultural mindset has argubly led to more consumer-friendly developments in recent months.

Corporate vice president of Microsoft Azure Julia White is dropping the news bomb on the business’ latest optimization efforts that are leading to greater cost/benefit metrics for customers.

In the most recent study by GigaOm, they found that Azure SQL Data Warehouse is now outperforming the competition up to a whopping 14x times. No one else has produced independent, industry-accepted benchmarks like these. Not AWS Redshift or Google BigQuery. And the best part? Azure is up to 94 percent cheaper.

Azure’s new price-performance improvements are also being applied across  Azure Data Lake Storage and Azure Databricks in addition to updates to cloud security and industry analytics.

White claims that Azure has the most comprehensice set of compliance offerings around and is subsequently the most trusted cloud service in the market thanks in part to its advance idenitiy governance and access management with Active Directory support.

On the insights side of the wall, combing data gathered in Azure with Microsoft’s robust visualization tool PowerBI, customers recieve unparalleled insights and analysis, according to White.

Leveraging Microsoft’s Common Data Model, Power BI users can easily access and analyze enterprise data using a common data schema without needing complex data transformation. Customers looking for petabyte-scale analytics can leverage Power BI Aggregations with Azure SQL Data Warehouse for rapid query. Better yet, Power BI users can easily apply sophisticated AI models built with Azure. Powerful insights easily accessible to all.

Last but not least is the intangible metric of future-proofing Microsoft’s Azure optimizations offer. In order to achieve the marker of future-proofed technological development, White offered the addidional annoucemments of:

  • General availability of Azure Data Lake Storage: The first cloud storage that combines the best of hierarchical files system and blob storage.
  • General availability of Azure Data Explorer: A fast, fully managed service that simplifies ad hoc and interactive analysis over telemetry, time-series, and log data. This service, powering other Azure services like Log Analytics, App Insights, Time Series Insights, is useful to query streaming data to identify trends, detect anomalies, and diagnose problems.
  • Preview of new Mapping Data Flow capability in Azure Data Factory: Visual Flow provides a visual, zero-code experience to help data engineers to easily build data transformations. This complements the Azure Data Factory’s code-first experience to enable data engineers of all skill levels to collaborate and build powerful hybrid data transformation pipelines.

Being in the number 2 spot in the battle for cloud marketshare is argubly serving Microsoft as it is forced to compete on multiple vectors effectively for mindshare and user satisfaction.