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Following the recent launch of Windows Azure HDInsight last October, we are announcing that Windows Azure HDInsight now supports Hadoop 2.2 clusters in preview.

Windows Azure HDInsight is Microsoft’s 100 percent Apache Hadoop-based distribution forWindows Azure. Hadoop is a distributed storage and processing platform that provides analysis on large volumes of both relational and non-relational data. With HDInsight, Azure customers can either leverage data in Windows Azure Blob storage or the native HDFS file system that is local to the compute nodes. You can then dynamically provision Hadoop clusters to process your data and leverage the elastic scale of Windows Azure. Read the CIO magazine spotlight that highlighted customers who are crunching large volumes of data and integrating new types of data into their analysis with HDInsight.

New in this release of Windows Azure HDInsight is an order magnitude (up to 40x) improvement to query response times, data compression (up to 80%) for lower storage requirements, and leveraging the benefits of YARN (upgrading to the future “Data Operating System for Hadoop”). Windows Azure HDInsight is also globally available across all Windows Azure datacenter locations (North America, EMEA, and Asia) with the exception of China.

To get started with Windows Azure HDInsight that supports a preview of Hadoop 2.2, visit the documentation guide here.  We invite you to learn more through the following resources:

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