• September 2015
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Microsoft Forges Ahead With ‘Prajna’ Big-Data Analytics Framework for Cloud Services

ZDNet (09/15/15) Mary Jo Foley

Microsoft Research’s Cloud Computing and Storage (CCS) group is developing Prajna, an open source distributed analytics platform designed for building distributed cloud services that utilize big-data analytics. “Prajna can be considered as a set of [software development kits] on top of .Net that can assist a developer to quickly prototype cloud service, and write his/her own mobile apps against the cloud service,” according to CCS’ Web page. “It also has interactive, in-memory distributed big-data analytical capability similar to [Apache] Spark.” Microsoft researchers say although Prajna is a distributed functional programming platform, it goes further than Spark by “enabling multi-cluster distributed programming, running both managed code and unmanaged code, in-memory data sharing across jobs, push data flow, etc.” The “functional programming” element of Prajna is associated with the F# .Net functional programming language. “Prajna…offers additional capability to allow programmers to easily build and deploy cloud services, and consume the services in mobile apps, and build distributed application with state [e.g., a distributed in-memory key-value store],” notes the Web posting. Prajna head researcher Jin Li believes the platform has greater flexibility and extensibility than Spark, and could revolutionize the construction of high-performance distributed programs.


Dew Helps Ground Cloud Computing

EurekAlert (09/15/15)

A “cloud-dew” architecture could enable cloud users to maintain access to their data when they lose their Internet connection, says University of Prince Edward Island professor Yingwei Wang. He notes the architecture follows the conventions of cloud architecture, but in addition to the cloud servers there are “dew” servers held on the local system that act as a buffer between the local user and the cloud servers.  Wang says this configuration prevents data from becoming desynchronized, which happens if one reverts back to the old-school approach of holding data only on the local server whether or not it is networked.  “The dew server and its related databases have two functions: first, it provides the client with the same services as the cloud server provides; second, it synchronizes dew server databases with cloud server databases,” Wang notes.  The dew server retains only a copy of the given user’s data, and the lightweight local server makes the data available with or without an Internet connection and synchronizes with the cloud server once the connection is established.  Wang says the architecture could be used to make websites available offline.