HP Autonomy (HPA) has just unveiled a new version of its Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) platform. With this morning’s v10.5 release, HPA takes a further step toward integration of Autonomy technology into the wider HP portfolio. This release provides connectors to elements of HP’s HAVEn big data platform including ArcSight, HP Vertica and Hadoop.

HP Autonomy's IDOL

IDOL is a scalable platform used for analyzing and contextualizing structured and unstructured content, giving users actionable insights. It enables users to extract meaning and act on virtually all forms of information — including audio, video, images, social media, email and web content, as well as structured data such as customer transaction logs.

The release is not exactly a surprise given the work HPA has done over the past year to put the deal behind it and move into the wide HP family.

This only moves IDOL of half a point to 10.5. But there is a lot under the hood here that will catapult IDOL firmly into the center of the big data fray.

To find out what was behind the release, we asked Jeff Veis, vice president of Solutions Marketing at HP Autonomy. What makes it special? His answer: How long is a piece of string.

Many new elements to the release will make HAVEn and HP’s big data effort a lot more accessible to business users. However, this is about development at the IDOL end of the business rather than a development around HAVEn. There are two things in this upgrade that enterprises should keep in mind:

  1. This is the (long awaited) launch of IDOL for big data
  2. From a user perspective, the focus has been on reliability and easy administration.

ArcSight and Vertica

The ArcSight integration should create considerable interest around enterprises that are concerned about information security and data loss.

By offering connectors from IDOL to ArcSight, Veis says, it will be possible to analyze both email and social media and to identify patterns in usage of both, and red flag any activity that may be damaging to the enterprise.

HP Autonomy IDOL 10.5 monitoring console.jpg

HP Autonomy IDOL 10.5 monitoring console

There are other products that do this, Veis says, but this connector will enable enterprises to see not just usage patterns in social media or email, but also to analyze the content that is contained in those emails, or social media messages, giving enterprises a much deeper understanding of the risks they face.

However, the connector for Vertica is the real star of this release. The connector will effectively enable Vertica use IDOL for the analysis of unstructured information that it cannot do itself.

Simply put, and according to Veis, when Vertica is confronted with unstructured data that it cannot analyze itself, it contacts IDOL. IDOL then carries out the analysis, derives the insights that Vertica is looking for, sends those insights back to Vertica, which then incorporates the findings into its analysis.

In doing so and using connectors, then, this release turns Vertica into something that can carry out big data analytics not just on structured information, but on unstructured information too.

Finally, for Hadoop, HPA has built connectors to the Hadoop repository that allows users to proactively index the content, without having to move the content outside of the enterprise.

We have built connectors to the Hadoop repository that allows us to proactively index the content without moving the data outside.
That’s the big difference with us and out competitors. We can analyze and manage in place. A lot of our competitors that do big data analytics will do it for clients, but first oblige clients to move into our data warehouse. This can be costly and disruptive.

IDOL Administration

Finally, the other major set of changes here is in the redesign of some of some of the administration functions around IDOL. The focus this time, Veis says, is on making it accessible to business users:

I would emphasize a key strategic change, in the past when we have added to IDOL it has really been about additional capabilities, or additional features, or different functions to do different kinds of analytics. Here we have very consciously rebalanced our focus. So we have added key capabilities — things like sentiment scoring, new connectors with a big emphasis on connecting to cloud based data — but the focus this time around was on making IDOL a far more reliable system, faster, better reporting, better supporting, better resource management and security — and more manageable form an administration point of view."

These are the main sets of upgrades in this new release. Within each, there is a list of possibilities that are accessible to enterprises of all sizes.

HP Autonomy IDOL 10.5 administration.jpg

HP Autonomy IDOL 10.5 administration

In fact, according to HPA, the integration of HP Autonomy IDOL with the key HP HAVEn components enables even small organizations to tap into big data for competitive advantage. With IDOL on demand, which was announced at Discover in Barcelona at the end of last year, the price of using it should also become an incentive.


There is much more to be done here, and HPA is working away to put the acquisition behind it. Speaking to CMSWire yesterday, HPA CEO Robert Youngjohns (pictured, left) said market confidence in HPA has returned and that the focus for the future will be development of the products and company.

Tomorrow, in a more extensive look at the Youngjohns interview, we will see what shape that development is likely to take over the coming 12 months.