When Hewlett-Packard announced its $10.3 billion acquisition of software company Autonomy last month, it was already obvious where HP is heading. The Palo Alto, California-based company is dipping its toes in “big data” and “cloud computing” waters. CEO Leo Apotheker takes HP to directly compete with long-time rival Oracle Corp.
Hearkening back to his two-decade career at SAP AG (SAP), Apotheker plans to spin off Hewlett Packard’s personal-computer business and dive deeper into business software with the $10.3 billion purchase of Autonomy Corp.
According to Pund-IT Inc principal analyst Charles King, HP’s move in acquiring Autonomy is to strengthen its software arsenal in its war against the likes of IBM and EMC.
“At this point big data is what most people would call an emerging market but it’s a market that companies like IBM and EMC are spending billions of dollars on,” King says.
HP also acquired data management solutions provider Vertica Systems, Mulesoft and Soasta–all part of the company’s goal of becoming a dominating force in the cloud industry.
“Big data,” or unstructured data like emails, images, videos, etc., needs to be sorted and stored. It is rendered useless when it can’t be analyzed and used. For this reason, a lot of IT companies are racing towards providing solutions for these problems.
EMC’s acquisition of data warehousing technology provider Greenplum and IBM’s acquisition of Netezza, indicates these companies are seriously trying to provide the best services in this emerging market.
“The next couple of years will prove a major inflection point in the data warehouse market primarily due to the growing need for diverse types of information used in business decisions,” according to Donald Feinberg.
“An indication of this major shift are the five major acquisitions over the past 12 months: Aster Data, Greenplum, Netezza, Sybase and Vertica by Teradata, EMC, IBM, SAP and HP respectively.
The database management system (DBMS) world is changing and will drastically affect the way we think about, create and use the data warehouse.”
Last month, Dell officially entered the “big data” market with its partnership with Cloudera. Both companies are joining forces in providing the Dell|Cloudera Hadoop Solution; a cluster that combines Dell’s PowerEdge C2100 servers, PowerConnect switches and Crowbar software with Cloudera’s Distribution of Apache Hadoop.
Big data is rapidly gaining traction as information gradually shifts to the “cloud.” Maybe HP’s Apotheker is on to something when he decided to take the risk of overhauling the giant tech company. We’ll find out soon enough.