Open source is not an unknown term for Microsoft. But months after contributing efforts towards Linux and Docker, the Redmond company has just actively started contributing to Apache Spark.
Microsoft launched the preview version of Spark for Azure HDInsights last year. The same preview has now been translated into general release. This general release for Azure HDInsight is fully managed with Spark service from Hortonworks.
Spark for Azure HDInsight offers the industry’s highest availability service level agreement for Spark deployments at 99.9 percent. Also, it comes with out of the box integration of open source notebook Jupyter.
Apart from Spark for Azure HDInsight, Microsoft has R Server for HDInsight to help in moving coded projects to the cloud without the necessity of purchasing hardware or specialised operations team. The software giant also gives R Server for Hadoop with support for Spark execution framework and R statistical language implantation. This will enable the possibility of running R functions on several Spark nodes.
Microsoft has additionally released a free R client tool. This easy-to-use tool helps data scientists to utilize open source R functions to analyse the data on a local workstation. It is supposed to help users examine remote big data and scale out analytics by computing production instance of R server.
Another tool by Microsoft, Power BI is now supporting Spark Streaming to expand the Apache offering. The data visualisation tool enables users to stream real-time events from Spark Streaming.
All these developments bring Apache Spark closer to Microsoft. This would help in influencing the open source community to support Microsoft’s efforts.