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Microsoft has dipped into Yahoo!’s diminishing employee pool to land a big-data expert working across server and tools and the web.

The company has hired Raghu Ramakrishnan, who will work as a technical fellow in the server and tools business (STB) and focus on big-data integration between that unit’s cloud offerings and assets in the Online Services Division.

STB is home to the Windows Azure and server software that Microsoft has been tuning to work with cloud and big data: Windows Server, Hyper-V and SQL Server.

Microsoft is working on integration between SQL Server and Azure and Hadoop, the MapReduce-inspired, open-source data processing framework.

Online Services is home to Bing, Microsoft’s answer to Google search, and headed by fellow former Yahoo!er Qi Lu, who was snagged by Microsoft in 2008. Lu was with Yahoo! for 10 years and had served as vice president of engineering, overseeing the web giant's search and e-commerce work.

It was Yahoo! that initially funded and provided much of the development for the initial Hadoop. Since that early work, the team has dispersed to Cloudera and Hortonworks – the latter a venture-funded spin-out from Yahoo!.

Ramakrishnan, who joined Yahoo! in 2006, was chief scientist for three divisions – audience, cloud platforms and search – and a Yahoo! fellow who led applied science and research work in Yahoo! Labs. He also led work on CORE personalisation, PNUTS (Platform for Nimble Universal Table Storage) geo-replicated cloud service platform and Yahoo!’s Web of Objects.

Ramakrishnan has more than 25 years of experience in the fields of database systems, data mining, search and cloud computing. ®

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