HP today unveiled a new Big Data platform called HAVEn that brings together a number of its software, hardware and IT services assets under a single computing and analytics framework. HAVEn itself stands for Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica, Enterprise Security and the “number” of Big Data applications that can be built atop the new platform.
While most of the technologies that make up HAVEn are not new, HP is putting forth a unified framework that improves the ability of the products to connect and interoperate. The framework includes over 700 connectors to feed structured, multi-structured and unstructured data into the platform. Data can be sourced from traditional enterprise sources, including enterprise data warehouses, as well as machine-generated data created by IT infrastructure, social and Web-based data, and unstructured text from corporate documents and emails.
The goal, of course, is to enable HP’s enterprise and government customers to make sense of the flood of data being generated inside and outside corporate firewalls. That requires Big Data platforms to possess the ability to ingest, store, process, manage, secure, analyze and productionize data of any type, size and speed.
From an infrastructure perspective, HAVEn is well positioned among competing Big Data platforms. HP is the second largest provider of Big Data hardware (Big Data hardware revenue of $225.76m in 2012), including its ProLiant x86 servers and converged Big Data systems for Vertica and Hadoop.
HAVEn also includes data management capabilities in the form of the ArcSight Logger engine. Vertica is a well-established MPP database for high-speed data ingestion and real-time analytics against structured data, while Autonomy brings unstructured text analytics capabilities to the platform.
On the applications front, HP announced a new application built on HAVEn called HP Operations Analytics. It is built on top of HAVEn and collects, stores and analyzes IT events, incident, performance metrics, application topology and log data generated by IT infrastructure. It includes real-time analytics capabilities via Vertica and a natural language-based interface for IT administers to troubleshoot infrastructure problems, presumably based on Autonomy’s technology.
HP’s services organization also outlined a handful of new business-focused Big Data applications aimed at “offer optimization, procurement optimization, inventory optimization and field force optimization.”
HP said its services organization will work with customers to architect optimal HAVEn deployments depending on use case.
Big Data Opportunities and Challenges for HP
HP clearly has the majority of technology needed to build a comprehensive Big Data platform. It’s converged infrastructure offerings provide cost-effective hardware deployment options.
HP also embraces an open ecosystem approach, including partnerships with the three major Hadoop vendors – Cloudera, Hortonworks and MapR – providing peace-of-mind to customers vis-à-vis vendor lock-in. This is in direct contrast to the platform being built by Pivotal, which steers customers to its proprietary flavor of Hadoop, PivotalHD.
The challenges for HP regarding HAVEn are three-fold:
- Execution. HP needs to deliver customer proof-points that establish HAVEn as a true platform and not simply a collection of disparate technologies with a new name. This requires orchestration and workload management capabilities that govern the flow of data through the platform to the appropriate sub-components (i.e. Vertica for real-time workloads, Autonomy for unstructured data analysis, etc.)
- Cloud. Big Data workloads are increasingly moving to the cloud, where Wikibon expects industry vertical-specific “mega-datacenters” to develop over the next five to ten years. HAVEn must be optimized for cloud deployments and provide customers flexible deployment options.
- Applications. While HP is well positioned to develop IT-facing Big Data applications, it has significantly less experience developing business-focused applications (Big Data or otherwise), which is where the bulk of value from Big Data will be generated. HP must embrace its partner ecosystem, namely business intelligence and ISV partners, to build compelling business-facing application atop HAVEn.
Action Item: Wikibon recommends CIOs include HAVEn when evaluating Big Data platform options, focusing on the challenges outlined above. Take advantage of Vertica’s free community edition, which includes the ability to analyze up to a terabyte of data at no charge, where real-time analytics capabilities are at the forefront. Press HP to outline its strategy for developing compelling Big Data applications for specific business challenges.