Microsoft backs open source big data project

Software giant Microsoft is giving up on its own proprietary big data platform and putting Steve Ballmer’s considerable weight behind an open source project called Hadoop.

Hadoop crunches large amounts of data across thousands of servers and according to Vole it will stop development on its own project LINQ to HPC which is also known as Dryad.

Microsoft wants to port Hadoop to its Windows Server operating system and Windows Azure, its online service for building and deploying applications.

Don Pattee, of Microsoft’s Windows High Performance Computing group, said that Hadoop was a great platform for analysing unstructured data or large volumes of data at low cost.

Vole had updated the preview version of Dryad, but that it would not release an official “production” version.

According to Wired, the move shows how much Microsoft has changed over the years. Once it would have been unthinkable that Microsoft would support an open source project written in Java.

Signs that Microsoft was supporting Hadoop started to appear in October when Vole announced that it would integrate it with future versions of its relational database, SQL Server, as well as Windows Azure.

Since Hadoop was built for Linux, so the platform must first be ported to Windows. Doug Leland, general manager of product management for SQL Server, said that Microsoft plans to eventually release its work back to the open source community.