There is a lot of talk nowadays about Internet of Things (IoT). According to Gartner, there will be nearly 26 billion IoT devices by 2020. Naturally, the data generated by these devices needs to processed and analyzed, very often in real time. Indeed, an increasing number of customers need real-time (operational) analytics performed over a stream of events, such as data coming from sensors, barcode readers, social streams, and all sorts of other devices. Currently, .NET developers could use SQL Server StreamInsight to implement on-premise custom CEP (complex event processing) solutions. However, implementing StreamInsight-based applications is not easy as it requires solid .NET and LINQ skills.
Today, Microsoft announced the public preview of the Azure Stream Analytics service that allows organizations to perform stream analytics in the cloud. What’s interesting is that Microsoft made a significant effort to simplify CEP with the promise that “you can be up and running in minutes”. To that end another cloud service, Azure Event Hubs, simplifies the process of intercepting (sinking) events. And, instead of using .NET LINQ, developers can use Stream Analytics Query Language which has a SQL-like syntax for coding standing queries over the event streams, such as:
SELECT DateAdd(second,-5,System.TimeStamp) as WinStartTime, system.TimeStamp as WinEndTime, DeviceId, Avg(Temperature) as AvgTemperature, Count(*) as EventCount FROM input GROUP BY TumblingWindow(second, 5), DeviceId
At the same time, Azure Stream Analytics preserves the advanced features of StreamInsight, such as windowing. The results of the standing queries can be saved to Azure SQL Database, Azure Blob storage, and Azure Event Hub, for further analysis, such as by using Excel. For more information about Azure Stream Insight and to subscribe for the public preview, visit the service home page.
I’m excited and expect to see a lot of interest around the Azure Stream Analytics service. If this sounds interesting and you need help, as a Microsoft Gold Partner and premier BI firm, Prologika can help you get started in a cost-effective way, such as by using your Software Assurance vouchers to deliver consulting services around data analytics, such as to implement a POC.