Guthrie took the fight directly to Amazon Web Service’s Redshift, the clear competitor for the Azure SQL Data Warehouse product. “Unlike Redshift, this allows you to increase or reduce the amount of compute you need in seconds,” he said.

“In Redshift, it can take hours or even days to resize your data warehouse. Redshift does not have the ability to pause a cluster. Azure SQL Data Warehouse can be turned off so you’re only paying for storage. It can also be deployed and run from an on-premises environment.”

Guthrie also announced a new data lake service within Azure. This data storage service can hold data in its original form, and can store and analyze up to an exabyte of data, said Guthrie. “The service provides built-in enterprise-grade security support. enabling you to secure and lock down anything stored inside,” he said. The new data lake service supports the Hadoop File System, meaning developers can use existing Big Data tools to access that information.

“Azure now has…the richest analytic capabilities of any cloud and enables you to build highly differentiated apps for your customers,” said Guthrie.