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Thoughts About HP Vertica for SQL on Hadoop

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Recently, HP has announced HP Vertica for SQL on Hadoop. We’ve leveraged our years of experience in big data analytics and opened up our platform to allow users to tap into the full power of Hadoop. It’s a rich, fast, and enterprise-ready implementation of SQL on Hadoop that we’re very proud to introduce.

We know that you have choice when it comes to SQL-on-Hadoop engines. There are several SQL on Hadoop engines on the market for a reason – they are very powerful way to perform analytics on big data stored in Hadoop by using the familiar SQL language. Users are able to leverage any reporting or analytical tool to analyze and study the data rather than write their own Java and Map/Reduce code.

However, not all SQL-on-Hadoop is created the same. We think HP Vertica for SQL on Hadoop has some very big differences. These include:

  • Platform Agnostic – When you adopt a SQL on Hadoop query engine, it may be stuck to one distribution of Hadoop. Not so with HP Vertica for SQL on Hadoop. Our implementation works with Hortonworks, Cloudera and MapR distributions.
  • SQL Completeness – The richer the SQL engine, the wider the range of analytics that you can perform with extensive coding and data movement. You get a very rich set of analytical functions with HP Vertica for SQL on Hadoop. HP Vertica offers enterprise-ready, advanced analytics that support JOINs, complex data types, and other capabilities only available from our SQL on Hadoop implementation.
  • Manageability – Tools for managing queries and managing the resources of your cluster are fairly scarce and immature in the Hadoop world. However, with some of the tools we include, you can divide resources among different queries and different types of queries. If unplanned and resource-intensive queries have to be cancelled or temporarily interrupted, they can be.
  • Data Source Transparency – It’s important to allow you to query common data standard storage formats such as Parquet, Avro and ORC. When you can use native formats, you avoid having to move the data.
  • Path to Optimization – When you need to boost performance, HP Vertica for SQL on Hadoop offers optimizations like compression, columnar storage, and projections

You can’t really forget the fact that this offering comes from HP Software. Users should be able to take advantage of all the power of our Haven platform for big data. Encompassing proven technologies from HP Software, including Autonomy, Vertica, and ArcSight, Haven enables forward-thinking organizations to make use of virtually all information sources from both inside and outside its four walls to make better, faster decisions.

Download the report here.

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Financial Analytics with HP Vertica and Vichara Technologies

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If you’re an investor on Wall Street you want to know with a good amount of certainty that you aren’t throwing your money into a crapshoot. As it turns out, the government feels the same way. Since the Financial crisis of 2008, the government has added regulations for FSIs (Financial Services Institutions) to follow in order to prevent a repeat scenario. Financial organizations rely on FSIs like Vichara Technologies in order to analyze risk and to provide a comprehensive, aggregated view of a firm’s potential to default at any point of time. As you can imagine, those analyses require looking at a LOT of data.

Take this particular case:

The Monte Carlo method is a common way of producing a VaR (Value at Risk) analysis for the future of FSI’s many accounts by running millions of simulations based on existing data sets. A VaR is essentially a snap shot of the level of risk within a firm at any given point in time. A risk-balance sheet, if you will. The Monte Carlo method of determining a VaR works by running simulations based on past data, say a year’s worth, and then using the results to determine the maximum losses a firm can incur over a year’s time within a percentage of certainty (95% is most common).

In other words, imagine you’re at a poker table with your friends on a Friday night and in the pot is the equivalent to the combined yearly income of everyone at the table. But instead of taking a leap of faith and calling for a raise based on the way your buddy Dave is picking his nose, you get to play the same hand over and over and over again in your head (millions of times) in order to see how the odds are stacked against you with let’s say around 95% accuracy. Imagine being able to do all of that before you decide to fold or go all in with your life’s savings. This type of analysis is used by firms every day to calculate risk effectively and efficiently, so the faster one can run them the more accurate they can be. That’s where HP Vertica and Vichara come into play.

Vichara Technologies deals with these types of risk-modeling calculations every day, and was in need of an upgrade from their Legacy DB. With HP Vertica leading the charge on reinventing RDBMS, it was the obvious choice. In two recent use cases, Vichara was able to leverage its risk assessment software, vLense, on top of the HP Vertica database to totally revolutionize the way these two companies looked at their financial risk analytics. For you engineers out there, V lens is a lot like a Visual studio for C++, but for their own custom language, VQuery, specializing in financial analysis.

Using vLens on top of HP Vertica, the two companies involved in these cases were able to pull from their own data, instead of having to outsource to 3rd parties like Moodys and Fannie Mae. This not only granted them autonomy, but allowed them to create daily reports rather than waiting days, if not weeks, to get the answers they needed. In addition, the data was no longer hidden behind a few programmers running custom scripts to ETL the data. Now even portfolio managers can use the intuitive query builder interface to create ad-hoc queries on the fly. From analyzing the data, they can then easily export the results into SAS or R for further insight. Transparency at its finest.

Wrapping it all up, the folks at Vichara touched on one of the crucial aspects of Vertica during the webinar: the most bang for your buck. Use whatever hardware you want and start small and go big.We aren’t tying you to a multi-million dollar physical ball and chain that might be outdated in a year,we scale when you scale, and we won’t take your arm and leg in the process.

Check out the webinar here to learn more.


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HP Discover: Introducing HP Vertica OnDemand

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Yesterday the sun rose over the beautiful city of Barcelona, and with it, HP Discover. Back in Cambridge MA the excitement is just as high as we finally get to reveal to the world what we’ve all been tirelessly working on. We have some great announcements for you from the HP Vertica platform, one of which is the exciting launch of HP Vertica OnDemand.

So let’s say you’ve got a startup with an awesome product , but you still have a pretty tight budget. We understand, we’ve been there. Small organizations like yours face challenges in Big Data and analytics every day. But now there’s good news—HP Vertica OnDemand!

HP Vertica OnDemand, provides a solution that allows for flexible scaling and pricing, and also provides the same speed and performance our customers have come to expect from our Enterprise Edition of HP Vertica Analytics Platform.

From the start, we designed HP Vertica OnDemand to be easy to set up, hassle-free, and fast. You can get set up in under 30 minutes and be running complex SQL queries in no time, performing geopatial and predictive analytics, advanced timeseries, and much, much more.

Finally there’s the price. Budgets can be tight, and we wanted to provide a service that could fit an organization’s needs without costing an arm and a leg. Starting at $999 a month, HP Vertica OnDemand is the perfect solution to start small, and scale easily to whatever your needs might be in the future. Interested? You can learn more here

You can also follow along with all of the action in Barcelona with the HP DISCOVER Insider

Throwback Thursday: Our Ascent has begun!

Around 5 years ago there was a time where you could fit the names of every Vertica employee on a single poster. Today let’s just say it would take something much bigger, perhaps a tapestry. This particular poster was put together after we launched in 2007. Hats off to Ben Vandiver for hanging onto this piece of Vertica history! Here we are 7 years later, still climbing with no signs of slowing down.


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Throwback Thursday: The Andover Office

We all catch ourselves thinking about the past from time to time. The good ol’ days, the bad ones, the “meh” ones. It’s all part of the adventure that got us here to today. At Vertica, we’ve certainly had quite the journey since our founding in 2005, and there are still many grizzled Vertica veterans in our ranks to this day. Starting this week we’ll be sharing some of our fond memories of the past, both for Vertica, and the Big Data industry in general.


Old Vertica Office

Our first entry is a snapshot from 2008 of the old Andover offices. Ben Vandiver, one of our Senior Engineers, recalled that the conference room heating was so bad, they had to jury-rig a pipe to route the heat exhaust from our data center into the room to stay warm. Ingenuity at it’s finest ladies and gentlemen. Needless to say we’ve come a long way since then, but you gotta love the start up days, and that that mentality still lives on here today.

DbVisualizer Free for HP Vertica

DB Visualizer for HP Vertica

As a special service to Vertica users and the Big Data community, we have released a new version of DbVisualizer, DbVisualizer Free for Vertica, which is now available for free on the HP Vertica Marketplace. This is an optimized version of DB Visualizer that is unique to Vertica, as it is customized specifically for unique Vertica functions, like viewing projections, and some features usually reserved for the pro version such as multiple execution options. Now available for download here.

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