Microsoft announces R Server availability inside Azure HDInsight

MicrosoftMicrosoft has announced the availability of R Server inside Azure HDInsight, the company’s Hadoop-as-a-service aspect of Azure Data Lake.

Speaking at Strata + Hadoop World, the company is seemingly hoping to capitalize on the growing trend of open source technologies. Microsoft R is now 100% compatible with Open Source R and any library that exists can be used in the R Server context.

Microsoft acquired Revolution Analytics in early 2015 as a means of entering the R-based analytics market, and has since delivered SQL Server R Services on SQL Server 2016 CTP3. R is one of the world’s most widely used programming languages for predictive analytics.

“By making R Server available as a workload inside HDInsight, we remove obstacles for users to unlock the power of R by eliminating memory and processing constraints and extending analytics from the laptop to large multi-node Hadoop and Spark clusters,” said Oliver Chiu, Product Marketing, Hadoop/Big Data and Data Warehousing at Microsoft. “This enables the ability to train and run ML models on larger datasets than previously possible to make more accurate predictions that affect the business.”

The company claims that by making the R Server available as a workload inside HDInsight, it will remove memory and processing constraints allowing developers to better utilize the power of Hadoop and Spark clusters. If correct, organizations will be able to run machine learning models on larger datasets, increasing the accuracy of business predications which are made by the model.

“This gives you the familiarity of the R language for machine learning while leveraging the scalability and reliability built into Hadoop and Spark,” said Chiu. “It also eliminates memory and processing constraints and easily extends their code from their laptop to large multi-terabyte files producing models that are more powerful and accurate.”