Microsoft's Revolution Analytics Deal Is Finalized

Microsoft outlines plans to add R-language-based advanced analytics capabilities and integrations after finalizing its purchase of Revolution Analytics.

Doug Henschen, Executive Editor, Enterprise Apps

April 6, 2015

3 Min Read
<p align="left">Revolution Analytics is now a subsidiary of Microsoft. It will maintain its current products and support for non-Microsoft platforms and open-source projects, the company stated.</p>

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It will be business as usual for Revolution Analytics, but expect great new R-language-based advanced analytics capabilities from Microsoft SQL Server and the Azure HDInsight and Azure Machine Learning cloud services. Microsoft set these expectations on Monday as it finalized the acquisition of Revolution Analytics, which was announced in January.

"We will build R and Revolution’s technology into our data platform products so companies, developers, and data scientists can use it across on-premises, hybrid cloud and Azure public cloud environments," wrote Joseph Sirosh, corporate VP of information management and machine learning at Microsoft, in a blog on the announcement. "For example, we will build R into SQL Server to provide enormously fast and scalable in-database analytics that can be deployed in an enterprise customer’s datacenter, on Azure, or in a hybrid combination."

Scalable R analytics will also be available through Azure HDInsight and Azure Machine Learning (Azure ML), Sirosh wrote, "making it much easier and faster to analyze big data, and to operationalize R code for production applications."

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Revolution Analytics will keep its name and will continue to drive important open-source initiatives, according to David Smith, Revolution's chief community officer. "We’ll continue to support and develop the Revolution R family of products -- including on non-Windows platforms like Mac and Linux," Smith wrote in a blog. "The free Revolution R Open project will continue to enhance open source R. We’ll continue to advance the big data and enterprise integration capabilities of Revolution R Enterprise."

As a subsidiary of Microsoft, Revolution Analytics will also continue to run Revolution R Enterprise products across heterogeneous platforms including Linux, Teradata, and Hadoop deployments, Sirosh noted, specifying continued support for the ParallelR collection of packages for distributed programming, Rhadoop for running R on Hadoop nodes, DeployR for deploying R analytics in Web and dashboard applications, and the Reproducible R Toolkit and RevoPemaR for writing parallel external memory algorithms.

The surest sign that Revolution Analytics will continue on its pre-acquisition course was the announcement that Dave Rich, CEO of Revolution Analytics, has been named general manager of advanced analytics at Microsoft. Offering his own spin on the deal, Rich wrote in a blog that Microsoft's acquisition is another sign that big data-powered analytics are ready for mainstream adoption.

"Traditional CIOs are now becoming the 'chief insight officer' for the enterprise, operating as though he or she is a management consultant to the organization," Rich wrote. "Along with the chief data officer and functional VPs like the CMO or CRO, the good ones will help the company re-engineer how it makes decisions and implements recommendations."

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About the Author(s)

Doug Henschen

Executive Editor, Enterprise Apps

Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of Transform Magazine, and Executive Editor at DM News. He has covered IT and data-driven marketing for more than 15 years.

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