Hadoop specialist Hortonworks today announced the public availability of Hortonworks Data Platform 2.0 for Windows, for the first time giving Microsoft Windows shops access to a distribution of Apache Hadoop 2.0 certified for production usage on Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows Server 2012.\n"This is the first availability of the YARN-based architecture on a Windows environment," says Jim Walker, director of product marketing for Hortonworks. "Running Hadoop on Windows is paramount to a whole range of customers." "Having Windows available to on-prem Windows shops is critical to a lot of customers," he adds. Apache Hadoop YARN (short for Yet Another Resource Negotiator) is the foundation of Hadoop 2.0, released last October. YARN serves as the Hadoop operating system, taking what was a single-use data platform for batch processing and turning it into a multi-use platform that enables batch, interactive, online and stream processing. Spinning a New YARNYARN acts as the primary resource manager and mediator of access to data stored in Hadoop distributed file system (HDFS), giving organizations the capability to store data in a single place and then interact with it in multiple ways, simultaneously, with consistent levels of service. "HDP 2.0 for Windows is a leap forward, as it brings the power of Apache Hadoop YARN to Windows," says Rohit Bakhshi, product manager at Hortonworks. "YARN enables a user to interact with all data in multiple ways simultaneously\u2014for instance making use of both real-time and batch processing\u2014 making Hadoop a true multi-use data platform and allowing it to take its place in a modern data architecture." "Windows data centers can now depend on a highly available NameNode to automatically detect and recover from any hardware, operating system or JVM faults and deliver reliable access to data to all HDP processing components," he adds. Hortonworks Collaborating Closely with MicrosoftHortonworks' engineers have been working closely with Microsoft's engineers to bring HDP 2.0 to Windows data centers. "They're a great partner," Walker says. "We really couldn't ask for a better partner. They understand the importance of Hadoop in the datacenter. It's a bit of a game changer, and they're right there in the forefront making it happen." Whether you operate a Linux shop or a Windows shop, you now have access to the latest and greatest version of Hadoop, Walker says. "There's no difference," Walker says. "It just comes down to if you're a Windows shop or a Linux shop. There's this whole world of Windows shops and they want this, too. This is a huge benefit to them. Microsoft wants to make this available on-prem, in the cloud, and allow you to seamlessly move workloads back and forth between the two. The whole portability side of this is critical." And beyond that, Walker says, HDP 2.0 for Windows is about making sure that organizations that depend on Excel can connect that tool to Hadoop 2.0 data sources to drive their business. "This is really about bringing the power of Hadoop to one of the premier business analytics tools on the planet," Walker adds. "I would argue that Excel is the largest analytics tool on the planet. Putting the power of Hadoop behind that, integrated with Power BI, it's going to light up the world of data analysts, developers and ops guys."Thor Olavsrud covers IT Security, Big Data, Open Source, Microsoft Tools and Servers for CIO.com. Follow Thor on Twitter @ThorOlavsrud. Follow everything from CIO.com on Twitter @CIOonline, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn.