There is a lot of excitement around NoSQL approaches for research applications across many different domains. The advantages of simplicity, scalability, and flexibility are extremely tempting, but it's not always easy to figure out how to deploy such approaches. So we're really excited that Azure has a new NoSQL service designed from the ground-up to be easy to use for everyone. It's called DocumentDB and you can get up and running with just a few mouse clicks.
So if you have lots of data to organise and need a system somewhere between a bunch of files and a full-blown relational database, then DocumentDB might be what you are looking for. To find out more, check out the DocumentDB blog at http://blogs.msdn.com/b/documentdb/archive/2014/08/22/introducing-azure-documentdb-microsoft-s-fully-managed-nosql-document-database-service.aspx
If you want to try it out for your research then please consider applying for an Azure for Research Award. This open call is evaluated every two months, so please do consider applying at http://research.microsoft.com/en-US/projects/azure/awards.aspx