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Microsoft today announced that its new cloud-based data warehousing service, the Azure SQL Data Warehouse, is now available in a limited public preview. Microsoft first showcased the service at its Build developer conference in April.

Companies can use the new service in addition to, or instead of, expensive data warehousing hardware that can live in their own data centers. Using the familiar SQL query language, analysts can run queries on relational and non-relational data with the new service. It’s comparable to leading public cloud Amazon Web Services’ Redshift and the cloud data warehouse from Snowflake Computing.

Microsoft believes Azure SQL Data Warehouse has advantage over other options.

“As you can scale compute costs separately from storage costs, costs are easier to forecast than competitive offerings,” Tiffany Wissner, senior director of data platform on Microsoft’s SQL Server team, wrote in a blog post on the news.


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More broadly, the service helps Microsoft round out its cloud service portfolio as it competes with Amazon, Google, IBM, and others.

For now, SQL Data Warehouse is “designed for” data warehouses between 5 and 10TB, Wissner wrote. That way, Microsoft can take in feedback and figure out ways to improve the service.

Microsoft is teaming up with a whopping 21 partners for the launch: Attunity, Birst, Bryte Systems, ClearStory Data, Coffing Data Warehousing, Dell Statistica Dundas Software, Inbrein, Infolibrarian, Informatica, Jinfonet LogiAnalytics, Qlik, Redpoint Global, SiSense, SnapLogic, SQL Sentry, Tableau, Targit, and Yellowfin, according to a blog post from Garth Fort, general manager of enterprise partners at Microsoft.

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