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12/2/2014
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HP Cloud Adds Big Data Options

HP's Haven big data analytics platform, including Autonomy search and HP Vertica database software, will soon be available on demand.

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InformationWeek Chiefs Of The Year: Where Are They Now?
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HP announced Tuesday that its entire Haven big data analytics platform will soon be available through the HP Helion cloud as Haven OnDemand.

It was the next, logical step, as HP had already made its Autonomy Idol analytics software available as a service (in limited release) in January. Tuesday's announcement signaled the first-ever availability of the popular HP Vertica database management system (DBMS) as a cloud service, expected in the first quarter of 2015.

"We're trying to change the way that people interact with these applications to an API model," said Colin Mahony, senior VP and general manager of Big Data, HP Software. "If you want a database in the sky with an SQL prompt, we can give you that, but we've also enriched it with APIs as well as the analytics that our Idol platform provides for semi-structured and unstructured data."

[Want more on HP's latest option for big data analysis? Read HP Taps Vertica For SQL On Hadoop.]

Cloud-based database services have proven to be popular, with Amazon's fast-growing Redshift service being an obvious point of comparison. Both HP Vertica and Redshift are distributed, columnar databases that are ideally suited to high-scale data-mart and data-warehouse use cases. IBM recently responded to this interest by adding a DashDB service based on the Netezza DBMS.

HP isn't just hosting software private-cloud style (although that is one consumption option). It has exposed APIs so developers can call on public cloud services as needed. Idol, for example, has more than 50 cloud APIs for handing contextual search, speech recognition, face detection, and other analyses. Idol has been available on-demand in limited release for nearly a year, and it has more than 4,500 registered developers. Vertica OnDemand has been available in private beta, and the community has more than 1,100 developers, according to HP.

HP is tying its own operations-management and security software into Haven OnDemand capabilities so customers can take advantage of big-data insights. A new IT Operations Management product, for example, uses Haven analytics against high-scale fault and performance-monitoring data to help automate and optimize IT application and system management.

A new release of HP ArcSight ESM security information and event-management software correlates and analyzes "billions of events per day" to detect and protect against security threats, according to HP. In addition, the company says HP Application Defender, a cloud-managed application protection service, uses Haven analytics to provide immediate visibility and active defense against attacks.

HP Haven OnDemand isn't quite as fleshed out as some other big-data analytics clouds. For example, HP has yet to offer Hadoop OnDemand, a service that would also enable it to store truly high-scale and variable data while adding its recently announced HP Vertica for SQL on Hadoop capabilities as a service. What's more, HP has marketplace partners that offer ETL, BI, and analytics software and HP-hosted software (including Pentaho, MicroStrategy, and Logi Analytics), but HP has yet to offer services that run alongside HP Haven OnDemand.

"Vertica has always supported an ecosystem of ETL, BI, and analytics vendors, and we will continue to support that in the cloud," said Mahony. "We're not 100% there yet, but with our enterprise services organization we do have some partners running in our cloud, and we'll get there [with ETL, BI, and Hadoop services]."

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Doug Henschen is Executive Editor of InformationWeek, where he covers the intersection of enterprise applications with information management, business intelligence, big data and analytics. He previously served as editor in chief of Intelligent Enterprise, editor in chief of ... View Full Bio

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D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2014 | 10:13:12 PM
Clue me in...
What's the difference between Lambda and Kinesis and what's "EBS" (is that Elastic Beam Stalk and what does it do)? I think I get the techical description, but what's a typical use-case scenario (in business terms)?
Charlie Babcock
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Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2014 | 9:45:27 PM
Automated services do what IT can't necessarily do by itself
Big data processing is good, but event processing based on big data is better, and that's Amazon's potential upcoming move with its the Lambda service, currently in preview. In response to a softwrare event, Lamba deploys your preloaded code onto the appropriate infrastructure, links it to EBS and S3 and initiates a planned response -- all without human intervention. I am just beginning to see how the strength of linked, automated services is going to offset what IT depts. can do on their own in-house. As IT starts to look to the cloud for these services, it will find itself creating next generation applications in the cloud as well. To be proficient at creating automated services is to be in the driver's seat for the future. Every tme competitors seem to be catching up, Amazon moves a couple more steps out front.
D. Henschen
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D. Henschen,
User Rank: Author
12/2/2014 | 12:40:51 PM
It's a start, but more services are needed.
If HP's really going to do big data in the cloud, particularly with semi-structured and unstructured data, something akin to Elastic Map Reduce is really a must. Without that you have to assume that developers with on-premises data stores will be calling IDOL analytics services. Once Vertica is available on demand HP will have structured data covered, but here, too, it would be nice to have ETL, BI, and structured-data analytics options that could be called as services to load and analyze data in Vertica OnDemand.
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