Microsoft's Prajna Open Source Project to Play in the Big Data Pool

by Ostatic Staff - Oct. 13, 2015

Has Microsoft finally warmed up to open source? New CEO Satya Nadella (shown here) is definitely pushing that notion. Several media outlets reacted a few months ago when Nadella commented on how he "loves Linux" and reportedly claimed that a substantial part of Microsoft's Azure cloud is already Linux-based.

Now, Microsoft is working on a brand new open source platform, under an Apache license, that seeks to allow developers to  easily build cloud computing services and mobile applications that can analyze big streams of data. It is called Prajna, and the code is now on GitHub

Prajna is built on Microsoft’s .NET programming language, which the company open sourced last March, and is reportedly inspired by the big data capabilities of Apache Spark.

ZDNet's Mary Jo Foley reported the following on the new project:

"Prajna/OneNet is a Microsoft Research project that's about building a distributed functional-programming platform for those wanting to build cloud services that make use of big-data analytics...An abstract written by the head of the Prajna project noted that Prajna/OneNet, like Spark, is a distributed functional programming platform. However, the Microsoft team claims that Prajna is pushing the distributed functional programming model further than Spark does by 'enabling multi-cluster distributed programming, running both managed code and unmanaged code, in-memory data sharing across jobs, push data flow, etc."

 Microsoft has posted a related PDF, and a Microsoft job posting related to Prajna notes the following:

"Prajna offers real-time in-memory data analytical capability similar to Spark (but on .Net platform), but offers additional capability to allow programmer 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)."

 OStatic will continue to report on Prajna as it continues to be developed, but it's still more evidence that Microsoft is very focused on open source tools and platforms.