HortonWorks Powers Microsoft’s Hadoop Distro

Microsoft took a big dive into big data analytics today, alongside the announcement of SQL Server 2012.  Thanks to a partnership with HortonWorks, a Hadoop service provider that was spun off from Yahoo!, the software giant will integrate the open-source data platform into Windows Server and Windows Azure.  Microsoft revealed the team-up at the PASS Summit for SQL Server in Seattle.

“Hortonworks has a rich history in leading the design and development of Apache Hadoop. Their experience and expertise in this space helps us accelerate our delivery of our Hadoop-based distribution on Windows Server and Windows Azure while maintaining compatibility and interoperability with the broader ecosystem,” Ted Kummert, Corporate Vice President for Microsoft said in a press release.

HortonWorks will be working with Microsoft’s R&D team by providing feedback, egression and acceptance testing and other input.

One of the things Microsoft’s Hadoop integration will offer is PowerView, a suite of database visibility tools designed for SQL, will be ported over to Hadoop as well.  In addition Microsoft is working on an ODBC driver that will plug its query systems into Hive, Hadoop’s data warehousing system that leverages a language similar to SQL called HiveQL. This will enable users to execute Hadoop queries from Exel and Power Point. A SharePoint Server 2010 plug-in is in the making.

Microsoft also released the SQL Server 2008 R2 and SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse Hadoop connectors today.

Microsoft will likely become a big influencer in the Hadoop ecosystem, but it’s entering a very competitive market.  Cloudera is currently among the biggest Hadoop distributors, and it’s only one name amongst several smaller startups that are working on their own distribution plans.

Cloudera plays a big role in the Hadoop world, and CEO Mike Olson even got involved in a blogged argument  with HortonWorks head Eric Baldeschwieler over the question of who contributed the most to Hadoop: his company or Yahoo!.  It’s a tough market indeed.