At a customer event held in San Francisco earlier this week, Microsoft announced its new Analytics Platform System that's now generally available. The new platform falls in line with the company's intention to deliver services that enable a data culture across every organization, team, and individual by allowing these entities to be more flexible in how they manage their data.
With this new platform, users can now query across both traditional relational data warehouses and data that's stored in a Hadoop region, either in an appliance or separate Hadoop cluster. Although there's not a whole lot of details on the new platform, it seems to be treated as an appliance, where Microsoft is currently calling it 'big data in a box.'
To learn more about the announcements made earlier this week, then see the SQL Server Pro articles, "Satya Nadella on Bringing a Data Culture to Every Organization, Individual" and "Celebrating Microsoft SQL Server 2014: Plenty for DBAs to Get Excited About."