Microsoft Announces Azure SQL Database elastic database, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Azure Data Lake

In this mobile-first, cloud-first world, we’re creating and consuming data through new devices and services – and developers are building applications and analytics solutions at a rapid pace to take advantage of the new forms, types and sizes of data. As Scott Guthrie talked about in his keynote this morning, a big piece of what we’ve been working on and will continue to invest in, is making it easier to work with all your data – no matter how big or complex – and how to build new applications utilizing data to take advantage of the intelligent cloud. Today, we’re pleased to share three major data platform announcements: Azure SQL Database elastic database, Microsoft’s new offering to support SaaS applications; Azure SQL Data Warehouse, a fully managed relational data warehouse-as-a-service; and Azure Data Lake Microsoft’s hyper-scale data store optimized for big data analytic workloads.

Azure SQL Database elastic databases

As customers look to ease and expedite building and managing applications, the scale, simplicity and economics of the cloud are impossible to ignore. With new capabilities and enhanced security features, Microsoft’s relational database-as-a-service, Azure SQL Database, can support robust enterprise applications in the cloud as well new SaaS applications, including:

  • Elastic databases – available in preview today – allow you to build SaaS applications to manage large numbers of databases that have unpredictable resource demands. Managing dynamic resource needs can be more art than science, and with these new capabilities, you can pool resources across databases to support explosive growth and profitable business models. Instead of overprovisioning to accommodate peak demand, cloud ISVs and developers can use an elastic database pool to share resources across hundreds – or thousands – of databases within a budget that they control. Additionally, we are making tools available to help query and aggregate results across these databases as well as implement policies and perform transactions across the database pool. 

    Create a pool of elastic databases to scale and share resources across unpredictable demands.

  • New security capabilities for managing data and applications in Azure: Row-level security and Dynamic data masking are already currently in preview, and new in preview today is Transparent data encryption. Transparent data encryption has been a top request from customers and we are excited to bring this to market building on the other advanced security features already available in preview.
  • Preview of Full-text search capabilities in Azure SQL Database to support richer search capabilities in new cloud applications. With this and other features such as the in-memory columnstore and parallel query, we continue to bring the benefits from the decades of innovation in query processing technologies on-premises to the cloud and make it even easier to migrate existing on-premises SQL Server applications to the cloud.

Azure SQL Data Warehouse

As customers move more applications and structured data in the cloud, we’ve seen strong demand for additional options for cloud-based data warehousing and analytics. Scott also announced Azure SQL Data Warehouse, a new, first-of-its-kind elastic data warehouse in the cloud. It’s the first enterprise-class cloud data warehouse that can dynamically grow, shrink and pause compute in seconds independent of storage, enabling you to pay for the query performance you need, when you need it. Azure SQL Data Warehouse is based on the massively parallel processing architecture currently available in both SQL Server and the Analytics Platform System appliance, and will work with existing data tools including Power BI for data visualization, Azure Machine Learning for advanced analytics, Azure Data Factory for data orchestration and Azure HDInsight, our 100% Apache Hadoop managed big data service. The preview for Azure SQL Data Warehouse will be available later this calendar year.

Introducing Azure SQL Data Warehouse

Azure Data Lake

For customers looking to maximize value on unstructured, semi-structured and structured data, we announced Azure Data Lake, a hyper-scale data store for big data analytic workloads. Azure Data Lake is built to solve for restrictions found in traditional analytics infrastructure and realize the idea of a “data lake” – a single place to store every type of data in its native format with no fixed limits on account size or file size, high throughput to increase analytic performance and native integration with the Hadoop ecosystem. Azure Data Lake is a Hadoop File System compatible with HDFS that is integrated with Azure HDInsight and will be integrated with Microsoft offerings such as Revolution-R Enterprise and industry standard distributions like Hortonworks and Cloudera. The preview for Azure Data Lake will be available later this calendar year.

Microsoft Azure data lake supports multiple big data analytic workloads


Try and sign up for new previews today

The move to the cloud is accelerating across industries, and we are proud to provide a comprehensive database and analytics platform that enables you to more easily work with big data and extract as much value as possible from your data to accelerate your business. Additionally, over the last few months we’ve had the opportunity to share with you a wave of new platform offerings and innovations, from the general availability of the latest Azure SQL Database release bringing near-complete compatibility with SQL Server, our preview of the first managed service running on Linux with HDInsight and the general availability of new cloud services such as Azure DocumentDB and Azure Search. With today’s announcements, we’re build on our existing investments and continuing to make it easier for customers to capture, transform, and analyze any data, of any size, at any scale – using the tools, languages and frameworks they know and want in a trusted environment on-premises and in the cloud.

Try out the Azure SQL Database previews made available today and sign up to be notified as the Azure SQL Data Warehouse and Azure Data Lake previews become available. Stay tuned for more on Microsoft’s data platform at next week’s Ignite conference in Chicago.