Microsoft announces collaboration between Azure Cloud and Databricks

Meet Microsoft Azure Databricks, a marriage between Microsoft’s cloud platform and unified analytics firm Databricks’s Unified Analytics Platform.

Ali Ghodsi, the CEO of Databricks, said the partnership with Microsoft built on his firm’s momentum as a cloud-based platform for analytics based on Apache Spark.

He added: “The ability to provide our Unified Analytics Platform to all Microsoft Azure users in such an integrated fashion is invaluable to end users looking to simplify big data and AI.”

The integration of these services will drive collaboration between data engineers, data scientists and business analysts.

Azure services that are available in the integrated product include the Azure Active Directory, Azure Portal, and other Azure data services such as Azure Cosmos DB, Azure SQL Data Warehouse, Microsoft Power BI, and Azure Data Lake Store.

Rohan Kumar, Microsoft’s Corporate VP of Azure Data, said: “With Azure Databricks, deeply integrated with services like Azure SQL Data Warehouse, our customers are now positioned to increase productivity and collaboration and globally scale analytics and data science projects on a trusted, secure cloud environment.”

The platform’s customers already include names such as E.ON and Lennox International.

Sam Julian, E.ON’s data services product owner, said the firm previously spent several hours per day to analyze about one terabyte of wind turbine data. Now, this takes a couple of minutes.

Lennox International’s Director of Information Technology, Sunil Gondalapati, said his firm supplied WiFi-enabled thermostats.

Using Microsoft Azure Databricks they have increased efficiency from 60% to 94% and where they previously took 6 hours to process 2 million records, they can now process 10 billion records in 14 minutes.