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6/12/2013
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HP Gets Its Big Data Act Together

Hewlett-Packard's 'HAVEn' ecosystem unites Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica and enterprise security, backed by management software and consulting services.

5 Big Wishes For Big Data Deployments
5 Big Wishes For Big Data Deployments
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Sometimes one plus one can equal three. That's the kind of math that Hewlett-Packard is betting on with HAVEn, a big data ecosystem announced Tuesday at the company's Discover event in Las Vegas.

HAVEn loosely stands for Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica, HP Enterprise Security and "n" number of applications being brought together in a framework. HP already had the component parts. The Hadoop distribution is from Hortonworks, but it's shipped and ready to run on a preconfigured HP appliance.

Autonomy is HP's software for unstructured data search and analysis. Vertica is HP's columnar, massively parallel processing analytical database, which is also available on a ready-to-run, expand-as-needed HP appliance. The Enterprise Security assets include ArcSight software for security monitoring and risk management.

What's new with HAVEn is deeper technical connections and integrations among these products and, more importantly, a much more well-developed collection of "solutions" and supporting management software and services for making it all work together in the real world.

[ Want more on Hewlett-Packard's budding recovery? Read HP CEO Whitman Keeps Calm, Carries On. ]

"The connectivity portions of HAVEn are hidden behind services, so from a user standpoint, you can focus on what data you're managing through a single administrative interface," said Luis Maldonado, director of product management for HP Vertica.

New connections between Autonomy and Hadoop, for example, enable customers to bring unstructured data stored on Hadoop, such as social network feeds, to the Autonomy platform so they can explore the context, sentiment and intent expressed in that information. But the idea with HAVEn is to support all data types and a breadth of analysis approaches that can be applied across a range of industries.

"We're bringing these technologies together so that it's becoming a platform that HP and systems integrators can support with solutions and service practices," said June Manley, HP's director of big data solutions. "We're enabling customers to look at analytics top down and bottom up by giving them all the core technologies that they need."

IT managers are specifically being catered to with HP operations analytics that deliver cross-platform insight with data on a variety of HP products. HP says this enables customers to efficiently consume, manage and analyze the big data of IT operations, including data streaming from HP ArcSight Logger, the HP Business Service Management portfolio and third-party IT management tools.

The HP Technology Services business unit has expanded its big data consulting practice to ensure optimal hardware performance across the HAVEn platform. The new consulting services address IT strategy and architecture with a special emphasis on implementing Hadoop; system infrastructure; and data-protection services, including not only backup and recovery but also risk management.

In two more offerings announced Tuesday, HP introduced HP Vertica Community Edition, a free download of the database that lets would-be customers test a three-node deployment analyzing up to 1 terabyte of data before licensing and unlocking higher-scale capabilities. The second offering is HP Autonomy Legacy Data Cleanup, an application that analyzes a customer's legacy data and spots opportunities to eliminate redundancies and reduce risk while also spotting possible big data analysis opportunities.

"This makes sure that your legacy data is not duplicated and that if it has value that it's being managed and acted upon," Manley said.

The cleanup analysis requires input from the customer, of course, as "business value" is in the eye of the beholder, but the technology determines the nature of the information, the system it belongs to and who owns the management of that data. Only then can managers understand whether that data can be deleted, potentially saving money on storage and administrative overhead, or whether it might fuel valuable big data insights.

The depth and breadth of what HP is putting forward with HAVEn is matched and, in some areas, surpassed by competitors including Oracle and IBM, with the latter offering a broader trove of software and services. But for HP customers, this is a step forward in turning a collection of assets into a cohesive approach to big data.

Yesterday’s innovative data center may be today’s money pit. Is it time for a new plan? Also in the new, all-digital Data Center Decision Time issue of InformationWeek: Data center consolidation is tough, as the government's experience shows. (Free registration required.)

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