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Microsoft Releases R Server 9.1 with GPU Powered Deep Learning and Pre-Trained Cognitive Models

R Services 9.1 brings a number of deep learning enhancements, including an up to 100x boost in scoring performance and role-based access control. It also brings support for Linux, SQL Server 2016, and popular Hadoop distributions.


has announced R Server 9.1,  a step forward for the company's commercial machine learning platform. This release contains a number of significant new features that should help users get even more out the distribution.

One of the main changes is to MicrosoftML algorithms. They are now portable and available on Linux, Windows, and popular Hadoop versions, as well as . This combines with pre-trained cognitive models for image featurization and sentiment analysis, as well as GPU-accelerated DNNs.

High-Performance Operationalization

Microsoft has also made several tweaks to its platform to make it more suitable for Tier-1 one enterprises. The power of operationalization has been greatly enhanced by the following changes:

  • Real time web services: realize 10X to 100X boost in scoring performance, scoring speeds at <10ms. Currently on Windows platform; other platforms will be supported soon.
  • Role Based Access Control: enables admins to control who can publish, update, delete or consume web services
  • Asynchronous batch processing: speed up the scoring performance for the web services with large input data sets and long-running jobs
  • Asynchronous remote execution: run scripts in background mode on a remote server, without having to wait for the job to complete
  • Dynamic scaling of operationalization grid with Azure VMs: easily spin up a set of R Server VMs in Azure, configure them as a grid for operationalization, and scale it up and down based on CPU / Memory usage”

The release also means SQL Server 2016 users can easily upgrade to R Services 9.1 by via the SqlBindR.exe tool. According to Microsoft, this makes SQL Server the first such solution that can do machine learning in-database.

There's also support for remote execution using the mrsdeploy R package. You can run R script asynchronously, adding significant benefit for scripts with long execution times. There's plenty more in this release, and we won't bore you with every single detail. The best idea is to download R Server 9.1 and read the extensive MSDN documentation.

Ryan Maskell
Ryan Maskellhttps://ryanmaskell.co.uk
Ryan has had a passion for gaming and technology since early childhood. Fusing the skills from his Creative Writing and Publishing degree with profound technical knowledge, he enjoys covering news about Microsoft. As an avid writer, he is also working on his debut novel.

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