Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Microsoft's new elastic cloud computing platform was announced by Scott Guthrie, executive vice president of Cloud and Enterprise at Microsoft, on the second day of Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC). The WPC is currently in session throughout this week.
During his Day 2 keynote, Guthrie shared that the platform, “allows you to stand up a data warehouse literally in minutes and run to even a petabyte in terms of size.”
What makes this Database-as-a-Service platform unique is that organizations can scale the service to up to 60 times its present computing power in only a matter of seconds.
In a blog post, Joseph Sirosh, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Data Group explained:
“With a few clicks in the Azure Portal, you can launch a data warehouse, and start analyzing or querying data at the scale of hundreds of terabytes. Our architecture separates compute and storage so that you can independently scale them, and use just the right amount of each at any given time. A very unique pause feature allows you to suspend compute in seconds and resume when needed while your data remains intact in Azure storage.”
Built on MPP architecture
Azure SQL Data Warehouse was built on a massively parallel processing architecture built on top of Microsoft´s SQL Server 2016 engine. It offers both storage compression and instant analytics. Paired with Azure Machine Learning, it provides deep analytics reporting.
With a built-in Polybase capability Azure SQL Data Warehouse can also query Hadoop systems directly by enabling a single SQL-based query surface for all available data.
As a part of the Cortana Intelligence Suite, Azure SQL Data Warehouse integrates with Azure Data Factory for data integration pipelines, with Azure Machine Learning for predictive analytics, Power BI for business intelligence, HDInsight for big data insights, R and Spark for big data analytics.
When it comes to security, Microsoft states that the platform is embedded with built-in auditing, threat detection and machine learning to help decipher possible query patterns that happen to be malicious.
Moreover, like its other cloud-based services, it comes with Microsoft's Transparent Data Encryption service. Azure SQL Data Warehouse was first presented as a limited preview, a year ago in June 2015.