HP rolls data analysis tools into the cloud

Online versions of HP Vertica and IDOL will be available as cloud services in 2015

big data in the cloud
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The pool of online data analysis services available for corporate users is about to grow larger, with Hewlett-Packard set to offer two of its own products as hosted cloud services by early next year.

The company's high-performance columnar database, Vertica, will be available as a hosted offering starting early in 2015, as HP Vertica OnDemand.

The company will also offer selected functions of its IDOL (Intelligent Data Operating Layer) text processing software as discrete services that can be embedded into mobile and desktop computing applications, in a package called IDOL OnDemand, already available to selected developers.

The new services "are the next significant steps in our big data strategy," said Jeff Veis, HP vice president of marketing for the company's new big data business unit. The company announced the new offerings at its HP Discover Barcelona conference held this week.

Like its on-premises counterpart, HP Vertica OnDemand provides a way to quickly analyze very large tracts of structured data. The service is designed to manage terabytes of data. A Vertica database can be set up online within 30 minutes, and can easily accommodate 10 terabytes in a single implementation, Veis said. "It has a huge focus on simplicity and ease-of-use," he said. "You can get up and running very quickly."

HP Vertica OnDemand comes with a number of built-in analysis tools. Veis noted that the company will offer a range of pricing models, based on either the amount of data stored or the amount of data queries executed, starting at $999 per month. The company will also offer a version of the service that can be accessed as a virtual private cloud service for organizations with highly sensitive data.

While Vertica OnDemand was designed for deep and quick data analysis of structured data, IDOL OnDemand is aimed more at Web developers who may want to harness some of IDOL's text analysis and processing functionality for their own apps. The service is a set of APIs (application programming interfaces) culled from the core IDOL platform that can be called from external applications. IDOL offers services such as image analysis, format conversions, text analysis and search capabilities.

HP started quietly testing IDOL OnDemand earlier this year and thus far has attracted over 5,000 developers.

The data processing and analysis services fall under the company's HP Haven OnDemand line of data processing services. All these cloud offerings run on the company's Helion OpenStack-based portfolio of cloud infrastructure software.

As with IBM, Microsoft and most other large IT companies with a focus on enterprise software, HP has been vigorously setting up cloud services based on its software portfolio, offering customers either the ability to purchase the software to run on premises or to run the software as a service from HP's data centers.

HP's plan to break into two separate companies next year will help its efforts to gain a foothold in the emerging market for enterprise cloud computing services, wrote Technology Business Research (TBR) analyst Cassandra Mooshian in a report on HP's latest quarterly results, issued last week.

With a greater emphasis on the cloud, HP Enterprise is expected to be able to more quickly ramp up new offerings and will be able to work with a wider array of technology partners, which will be essential given the heterogeneous array of technologies that customers prefer for the cloud.

HP faces some stiff competition in the arena of data analysis services. Microsoft is launching a set of machine-learning APIs for its Azure cloud service. IBM continues to aggressively commercialize the technologies built around its Watson cognitive computing technology stack. Google has also commercialized its own software for analyzing terabyte-size data tables, in a service called BigQuery.

HP's new OnDemand services are one of a number of product updates that the company is announcing at its Barcelona conference.

The company is updating the HP ArcSight ESM (Enterprise Security Management) software to handle big data repositories -- the new HP ArcSight ESM 6.8c will be available in January. HP has released a new bundle for content management, one that combines HP StoreAll, HP ControlPoint, HP Records Manager and HP Haven analytics for managing the full lifecycle of corporate information.

HP also announced that it will start incorporating Chef, a popular open source IT automation software, into its HP Datacenter Care line of technology integration services, potentially providing a way for customers to more quickly and reconfigure their IT resources.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com

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