It's been a while since we've heard anything from the HDInsight camp at Microsoft, but this week marks an end to the lull.

On June 3rd, at the Hadoop Summit in San Jose, Microsoft let loose a minor update to HDInsight allowing it to now support Hadoop 2.4. Apache Hadoop, as you know, is open source framework that allows for large-scale processing and storage, i.e., Big Data. Per Microsoft, the new version support increased performance gains by 100 times. Microsoft cites the collaboration with Hortonworks and the open source community as the primary reason for the performance improvements. In addition, a new web interface has been slung on top of HDInsight, allowing customers to query using a friendlier UI.

You can read more about HDInsight and sign-up for a free trial here: Azure HDInsight

Today (June 6th), Microsoft is releasing yet another technology into Preview, Apache HBase clusters. HBase, also an open source product, is written in Java, built on NoSQL, and provided to store large quantities of fault-tolerant data. Devised to run on the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) Microsoft touts its use of HBase as a way bringing near real-time data lookups, replication, and in-memory caching to HDInsight. Interestingly, HBase is modeled after Google's BigTable data storage system.

Learn more about Microsoft's HBase implementation and grab a free trial from here: Get started using HBase with Hadoop in HDInsight