Whatever has been said about the way HP runs its business, it’s time to turn the page. CEO Meg Whitman and her team certainly have. Hardware on one side of the street, big data and analytics on the other. There’s no need for one business to stifle the other. Each has the right to think for itself and to act swiftly.

HP’s Vertica team has certainly heard the message, and it hasn’t wasted any time. It's announcing Vertica for SQL on Hadoop today. It’s an analytics platform that enables customers to access and explore data residing in any of the three primary Hadoop distros — Hortonworks, MapR, Cloudera — or any combination thereof.

That’s right, the brand or brands of Hadoop you use doesn’t matter at all. And some fortune 500 companies will find this comforting. Because as one manager at a Fortune 20 company told me last week, "We’re using all three kinds of Hadoop because we don’t know which will be dominant."

Any Way You Want It

HP is one of the first big vendors to say “any flavor of Hadoop will do” by taking action — though to be fair, it has invested $50 million in Hortonworks which is, at present, the flavor of Hadoop inside HAVEn, its analytics stack.

We predict that more mega vendors will become Hadoop agnostic.

HP’s announcement centers not only around its interoperability, but also its power on data stored in a data lake, enterprise data hub, whatever you want to call it. HP now provides a seamless way to explore and exploit value in data that’s stored on the Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS).

The power, speed, and scalability of HP Vertica with the ease with which Hadoop lassos big data might persuade reticent managers to come out from underneath their desks and take big data on.

It’s about time.

Title image by Steffi KMX  (Flickr) via a CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 license.