Open dialogue about standards, open source, and interoperability at Microsoft

March, 2013

  • Customer Spotlight: Ascribe Uses Windows Azure HDInsight to Open Doors to Real-time Medical Insights

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    Emergency clinicians and health care providers are great at saving lives and treating illnesses. But what if they could go beyond addressing immediate needs and be better prepared to help their patients and communities just by using the massive amounts of data currently locked up in patient case notes, social media feeds, school attendance logs and retail drug sales?

    AscribeAscribe, a leading provider of clinically focused IT solutions used by an estimated 82 percent of the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) trusts, decided to create a pilot to answer these questions and help clinicians identify trends and improve services with faster access to information. With NHS’ ever-expanding sets of clinical data, Ascribe knew that a robust Big Data business intelligence (BI) solution could help their healthcare providers detect, predict, and respond more quickly to outbreaks of infectious disease and other health threats.

    “If you think about each clinician who struggles with getting timely, accurate data, and you compound it on a national scale, then it becomes an immense challenge,” said Paul Henderson, Business Intelligence Division Head at Ascribe. “You have lots of small pieces of data coming in from multiple places, and it can be very difficult to aggregate and interpret.”

    Ascribe worked with partner Two10Degrees to map unstructured data from Leeds Teaching Hospitals, one of the biggest NHS trusts in the UK, using a hybrid-cloud solution based on Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Enterprise software and the Windows Azure HDInsight Service, a cloud-based deployment of Apache Hadoop.

  • Windows Azure HDInsight Service Preview: Hadoop-based Big Data in the Cloud

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing & Operations

    HDInsightYesterday, Microsoft released the public preview of the Windows Azure HDInsight Service, our cloud-based distribution of Hadoop. The Windows Azure HDInsight Service is built on the Hortonworks Data Platform to ensure long term compatibility with Apache Hadoop, while providing customers with the low cost and elasticity of cloud computing.

    Customers can perform Hadoop-based big data analysis in the cloud through the Windows Azure Portal, paying only for the storage and compute capacity that they use. The preview will enable customers to deploy permanent clusters with up to 40 nodes.

    The HDInsight Service also works well with Microsoft’s business intelligence tools including Excel, PowerPivot, Power View, and Data Explorer, allowing users to easily analyze their organizations’ data and garner valuable insights.

    For more information about Windows Azure HDInsight Service, including our work with the Hadoop community, see the Data Platform Insider blog.

  • Data Explorer Connects Big Data to Excel 2013

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    The amount of data available to individuals today is powerful and can spark exciting new insights. But it can also overwhelm. Consequently, organizations are challenged to give employees the tools needed to find and access the most pertinent information, whether across the web or within internal networks.

    The Microsoft Data Explorer Preview for Excel 2013 addresses this challenge by providing an intuitive user interface for data discovery and refinement. With the Data Explorer add-in, users can now quickly and easily import data from a variety of sources, including relational, structured, and semi-structured data sets. Sources like Facebook, OData feeds, Windows Azure Marketplace, and big data solutions like Hadoop are now within the reach of any user.

  • Hortonworks Brings Apache Hadoop Preview to Windows Server

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    During the recent Strata 2013 conference, Hortonworks released the beta of the Hortonworks Data Platform (HDP) for Windows, an enterprise-ready and 100% Apache Hadoop-based distribution for Windows Server. This release is the result of a deep engineering partnership between Hortonworks and Microsoft that aims to accelerate enterprise adoption of Hadoop by extending its reach across platforms. Now customers have more options to manage data of any type or size on-premises or in the cloud.

  • Windows Azure Mobile Services Now Supports Android

    Posted by Kerry Godes
    Senior Manager, Worldwide Marketing and Operations

    Earlier this week, Microsoft announced Windows Azure Mobile Services support for the Android platform, furthering the commitment to make it easy to connect client and mobile applications to a scalable cloud backend, regardless of platform.

    The Android announcement builds upon the existing support for iOS, Windows Store, and Windows Phone 8 apps. By providing SDKs that support building native apps for a variety of platforms, Windows Azure enables companies to provide a first-class experience - regardless of device.