We reported in October of last year that Microsoft was making the leap into NoSQL with a Windows version of Hadoop. Although several months have passed, there haven’t been any official statements from the Seattle giant regarding a concrete roadmap. We still don’t have any official details, but we do have a leaked slide.
Although NoSQL and its biggest celebrity, Hadoop, are deeply rooted in open source, commercial behemoths like Oracle, IBM, EMC and now Microsoft have embraced the technology and are attempting to make it their own (or at least make a few million dollars). Until now, we’ve only known that Microsoft plans to release Windows Azure and Windows Server versions of Hadoop through a partnership with Yahoo Hadoop spinoff Hortonworks, but a new leaked slide obtained by ZDNet shows Microsoft has much more planned.
As you can see, the roadmap indicates Microsoft is planning to simultaneously deliver the final version of Hadoop on Azure and a tech preview of Hadoop on Windows Server on March 30. The final release of the Windows Server offering is planned for June 29. Obviously, the dates are subject to change.
What’s more interesting on the slides are the supporting tools that Microsoft plans to incorporate in its Hadoop strategy, like Hbase, Flume, Mahout and Lucene and the suggestion that there will be a native .Net library for programming against Hadoop. It also seems that Microsoft will be investing in integrating System Center and Active Directory with the platform.
Microsoft has partnered with the company that created Hadoop, so I’m not surprised that the roadmap indicates the product line will be comprehensive. What will be interesting to watch is how soon the to be Hadoop product will be marketed. Will Microsoft attempt to include it under a larger SQL Server umbrella and call it something like SQL Server for Big Data Powered by Hadoop? Will Hortonworks compete head to head with Microsoft once the Windows version of Hadoop is release?
What This Means
Currently, the Hadoop market is dominated by small nimble companies, but that is unlikely to be the case in a few years as large players like Microsoft enter and offer Hadoop solutions that plug-and-play with the existing ecosystem. Some smaller companies will be acquired, some will fail and other will persist as niche Hadoop ninjas. However, by that time the next new cool thing will be out and hardly anybody will be paying attention.