HP’s Got A Hidden Gem in Vertica – But You Might Not Know It


When you’re wrong, it’s best to admit it. So I admit it.

Back in June I said I expected “Vertica to play an increasingly important role in HP’s converged infrastructure push.” I was wrong. In fact, I haven’t heard HP make much noise about Vertica at all, save for a recent announcement of a free community edition of the analytic database.

To a degree, this is understandable. Obviously, HP’s had its hands full dealing with the fallout from the disastrous tenure of Leo Apotheker and the highly criticized Autonomy acquisition. But HP’s got a hidden jewel in the form of Vertica, one that the company should start promoting as an integral part of its push into enterprise software and services. As I wrote in June:

Part of what sets Vertica apart from traditional data warehouses is its data compression capabilities – it offers a dozen unique compression schemas — and its hybrid in-memory/disk-based architecture. The result is fast data loading and query times, like that at Zynga, without overtaxing the server and storage hardware.

Vertica was also designed from the ground-up for cloud deployments, and was among the first data warehouses deployed in Amazon’s EC2. It also added support for and integration with Cloudera’s commercial Hadoop distribution way back in 2009, which is ages ago in Big Data terms. Both make Vertica well suited for converged infrastructures like that offered by HP.

Now, Vertica has been criticized in the past for a number of shortcomings, namely questions about its ability to support large numbers of concurrent users and its workload management capabilities. From what I’ve heard, Vertica has taken steps to address these issues, but I have yet to hear about them directly from HP. HP, if you’re listening, now is the time!

And there’s more. Vertica can also help HP put a more positive spin on its pricey Autonomy acquisition. That is, combining Vertica’s columnar, lightening-fast analytic database with Autonomy’s unstructured text analytics technology would result in a compelling Big Data platform that more and more enterprises are hungry for. Of course, integrating Vertica and Autonomy is no trivial task and will take time, but HP should start articulating this vision – if this is in fact the direction it decides to go – to garner some genuine enthusiasm.


The bottom line is that enterprises are struggling to quickly make sense of the deluge of unstructured data rushing over them – a tailor made opportunity for HP/Vertica/Autonomy! Such a platform, combined with HP’s global services division, will help silence the doubters and put HP on solid footing again.

Check out this interview live inside theCUBE with Colin Mahoney, VP of Products and Business Development at HP Vertica, from HP Discover 2011.