Feeds

HP opens Big Data front with Oracle

Gets analytical with Vertica acquisition

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

With all of the attention focused on the war raging between Oracle and Hewlett-Packard, a significant HP announcement in late June seemed to slip under the radar of the industry press.

On June 20, the company announced general availability of Vertica 5.0, the newest version of the Vertica Analytics Platform, along with some integrated appliance-like bundles combining Vertica with HP hardware.

HP bought the company earlier this year and it looks like Vertica is to be HP’s key play in the burgeoning ‘Big Data’ market.

The foundation of the Vertica platform is a columnar database which, as the name implies, handles data in columns. This column-centric design can yield huge advantages vs. traditional row-oriented databases in certain situations – primarily read-centric data warehouses.

Query performance can be hundreds of times faster with a columnar database, since you only read the columns that you actually need for the query. The Vertica guys see their performance advantage vs. other databases ranging between 50-1,000x - which is quite a wide range indeed.

The Vertica reps repeatedly make the point that their product is designed from the ground up with high performance and high availability in mind. The database was designed to be columnar from the start, not just a column façade grafted onto an existing row-based DB.

Vertica also took the MPP (massively parallel processing) route to provide granularity, scaling, and availability advantages. Each node is completely self-contained and shares nothing with any of the others.

Each node independently runs queries, but can enlist help from other nodes so that a query can use the power of the entire assembled system. It sounds a bit grid-like, but with every node a head node.

With this architecture, adding more nodes adds more capacity and performance in a near-linear manner. Plus a failure in one node won’t take the entire system down; other nodes can pick up the jobs on the failed node and complete them.

The Vertica DB uses standard SQL and supports all of the typical database-y stuff you’d expect. HP- Vertica has also added some advanced functions and a Hadoop connector to round out the big analytics story.

The best place to get the technical ins and outs is at the Vertica website. Clicking around yields a trove of info and a customer list that includes an interesting mix of the new (Groupon, Twitter, Zynga) and the old (Verizon, Comcast, Sprint, AT&T).

You can get Vertica as a software-only package or in an appliance-like bundle on quarter-rack (96-core), half-rack (192-core), or full-rack (384-core) HP blade systems.

Vertica didn’t talk prices in my briefing, but they say they aim to be half the cost of competitive systems while offering several times the performance. Looks like Oracle and its flagship Exadata systems is the main competition.

Vertica isn’t the right choice to replace the OLTP functions in Oracle’s Exadata box but , it could potentially run rings around Exadata when it comes to data warehousing and hardcore analysis. Vertica’s software-only option automatically makes it more granular and flexible than Exadata – and probably significantly cheaper to acquire and maintain.

Channel flannel

HP is mounting a multi-front sales push with Vertica, using the sales forces from the Business Critical and Industry Standard server/storage units along with Vertica’s existing sales personnel.

Just as Oracle used a full-court sales press when it introduced Exadata2, I’d expect to see HP doing the same with Vertica. As an independent company, Vertica landed 300 paying customers ranging from small to damned big. Combined with HP’s reach and range, Vertica could end up in thousands more data centers.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
Disaster Recovery upstart joins DR 'as a service' gang
Quorum joins the aaS crowd with DRaaS offering
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.