Plans of porting Hadoop to Windows and wider integration with other MS products
Hadoop, originally developed based on the the MapReduce framework from Google and by now an Apache Open Source project is effectively consisting of libraries, allowing to use off the shelf servers to process very large datasets. Hadoop can then check if there are any failures and continue to run, even if individual servers are not working. Common extensions to Hadoop are other, analytical tools like Hive or Pig.
Integration with SQL, connections to Azure
Microsoft has now announced to integrate its own line of SQL and database products with Hadoop. There had been other, smaller projects like writing connectors between Windows and Hadoop. The new initiative is judged as a much deeper integration of Hadoop than before.
Additionally, Microsft plans to port the software, which was developed to run on Linux, to Windows. Hadoop will be usable with Azure, the cloud computing offering from Microsoft, too. Partner in these efforts will be Hortonworks, a company that had spun off Yahoo.
Quote from a Microsoft press release (Oct. 12, 2011):
"Microsoft will be working with the Hadoop ecosystem, including core contributors from Hortonworks, to deliver Hadoop-based distributions for Windows Server and Windows Azure that works with industry-leading business intelligence (BI) tools, including Microsoft PowerPivot. A Community Technology Preview (CTP) of the Hadoop-based service for Windows Azure will be available by the end of 2011, and a CTP of the Hadoop-based service for Windows Server will follow in 2012. Microsoft will work closely with the Hadoop community and propose contributions back to the Apache Software Foundation and the Hadoop project." (Source: Microsoft)
If you are interested in the history of Hadoop and getting a better understanding what motivated development, have a look at this presentation on Slideshare: How Hadoop revoluonized Data Warehousing at Yahoo and Facebook (2009)
Note: The video used as an illustration for this post is not related to VISION Cloud - but we thought that it makes a point about what these new technologies are actually used for. (Source of Video: (InformaticaCorp) Original video here.