Google BigQuery: and Microsoft?

Google BigQuery is really a fascinating technology for big data analysis. In short terms

BigQuery enables super-fast, SQL-like queries against append-only tables, using the processing power of Google’s infrastructure. Simply move your data into BigQuery and let us handle the hard work.

Via a command line, a web interface or a REST API you can upload your large dataset to Google datacenters and query it by using the power of Google’s cores.

But what about Microsoft? Is there something similar?

In my opinion, the best response is actually this:

Microsoft actually does not offer a real time big data query service like Google’s one but the Azure cloud platform (that I love) offers other alternatives.

Depending on your needs you could have at least two options:

  1. SQL Data Warehouse: A new Azure based data warehouse service that offers full SQL Server experience and can scale up to petabytes. This is the perfect answer if you have relational data and you need performances.
  2. HDInsight: A Windows Azure service that deploys and provisions Apache Hadoop clusters in the Azure cloud, providing a software framework designed to manage, analyze and report on big data. This is an interesting option if you have a large amount of data and you want to do calculations on a batch mode and store the aggregated result set elsewhere.

I think that Google BigQuery and Azure SQL Data Warehouse are actually the most interesting big data solutions.


Obviously there are different prices for every services, but in summary there’s a main difference between the two platforms: With Google BigQuery you pay for the query you perform, with Azure you pay for the resources you allocate.



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