HP probably isn’t the first name that comes to mind when you think “big data” or “analytics,” but if the company has its way, all of that changes starting today.

Among the many announcements that the computing and peripheral giant will be making at its HP Discover Conference in Barcelona this week is the unveiling of the HP Converged System for Vertica. It’s an “open” appliance that is meant to augment existing enterprise data warehouses and, if it delivers and is as “blazing fast” as promised, it could offer other appliance vendors such as Teradata, Oracle, Pivotal, IBM and the like some competition (in the appliance area).

Recap on HP Converged Systems

For anyone who hasn’t been closely following HP over the last six months, the company has introduced a new organization, HP Converged Systems, that focuses on accelerating the next generation of Converged Infrastructure. It brings together the servers, storage, networking, software and services that companies need to power their IT infrastructure in a way that makes them easy to procure, manage and support.

This unit holds within it a portfolio of converged application appliances that fuse infrastructure, applications and productivity tools into a single system, meaning that companies won’t have to spend the time and resources that would otherwise be required to go from purchase to productivity.

This includes appliance systems for Apache™ Hadoop®, HP Vertica, SAP HANA and HP CloudSystem.

Introducing HP ConvergedSystem 300 for Vertica

Today HP unveils its ConvergedSystem 300 for Vertica which promises to help companies to turn big data into business insights in record time. Like other appliances of its kind, it works with structured, semi-structured and unstructured data as well as “dark data” that’s too hard to classify.

The appliance is optimized for HP Vertica Analytics Platform version 7 aka “Vertica Crane” that was announced in November, with its open “SQL-on-Hadoop” capabilities, meaning that it works with any of the three main flavors of enterprise grade Apache Hadoop (Cloudera, Hortonworks, MapR).

It enables users to quickly and easily load, explore, analyze and monetize structured, unstructured and semi-structured data from a single system. According to HP it provides the following benefits:

  • Faster access to business insights with real-time and advanced analytics capabilities that process data 50 - 1,000 times faster than legacy products.
  • Increased responsiveness to business needs with a modular architecture that allows organizations to take an iterative approach to big data analytics business cases, as well as to capitalize on HP Vertica’s massive scalability, which helps organizations reduce costs and quickly turn data into business insight by augmenting existing enterprise data warehouse environments to scale analytics at high speed.
  • An Open Architecture, meaning that clients are not “locked” in to specific solutions.
  • A single point of accountability for hardware, software and support -- everyone’s looking through "a single pane of glass."
  • A future strategy which will allow for easy, subsequent integration with SAP HANA, Autonomy and the like.

Will HP’s Converged Solutions Establish It as a Leader in the Big Data Age?

HP has clearly had some image problems over the past several years -- be it its overpayment for Autonomy, or its revolving door of CEOs and, perhaps, they overshadow its merits, like leading the market in server sales and its innovative HAVEn proposition.

The company’s overall Converged Systems and Storage strategy introduced today (we wrote about only a tiny corner of it here) may be compelling enough to prompt the market to finally turn the page and see it as a formidable foe in the Big Data Analytics age.

HP ConvergedSystem 300 for Vertica will be available in Q2 of 2014.