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Big Data, Information Optimization, and Bulldozers at HP Discover

Nearly 10,000 HP customers, partners, prospects, and employees met in Frankfurt, Germany for HP Discover, which was abuzz with major announcements (including “Bulldozer” or HP Vertica Analytics Platform 6.1) and spirited discussions around Big Data and Information Optimization.

The blogosphere, news feeds, and headlines are dominated by the challenges and perceived virtues of Big Data. But is it all just hype and how can companies really monetize, and avoid getting swallowed up by, all this Big Data? And what does Information Optimization mean and how is Big Data and Information Optimization related, if at all?

The HP Vertica team played a central role in answering these very questions throughout the conference in sessions, press and media briefings, CIO tours, blogging sessions, news video interviews, and even livestream Twitter chats.

Opening Session on Information Optimization

 

To kick off the conference, Colin Mahony joined panelists Professor Andrew McAfee of the MIT Sloan School of Management, John Sontag of HP Labs, and Paul Miller of HP Enterprise Group to offer their perspectives on the potential impact of Big Data on every organization — even going so far as to propose that those businesses who avoid Big Data (or, at a minimum, do not implement a strategy) risk becoming extinct to more nimble competitors.

June Manley of HP Software also shared some interesting results from an independent study conducted by Coleman Parkes in October 2012 with senior business executives and senior technology executives:

  • 84% of executives said that they DO NOT have the right information at the point of need that enables them to obtain actionable insight that drives the right business outcome
  • Only 10% of executives said their organization currently incorporates unstructured data into their enterprise insights, processes, and strategy

Enter Information Optimization, enabling enterprises to harness the power of Big Data by storing, managing, understanding and acting upon the variety, velocity, and volume of organizational data to drive maximum Return on Information. In summary, it’s the HP solution that enables enterprises to monetize all of their Big Data.

Professor McAfee concluded this session by challenging the audience to avoid listening to HIPPOs (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion) and learn from how companies and organizations are using Big Data to accelerate drug discovery, optimize airline seat and scheduling, and even accurately predict the 2012 presidential election.

Livestream Twitter Chat on Big Data

HP also piloted its first livestream Twitter chat on Big Data. Led by Paul Muller of HP Software, the leading question was: How can you harness the true power of business data to stay competitive while remaining compliant?

I joined Randy Cairns and Brian Weiss of HP Autonomy in providing our insights and answering a steady flow of questions from bloggers and Twitter followers (#infoopt). Topics covered how organizations can stay compliant and derive value from the unfathomable amount of unstructured data, the security concerns introduced with such broad access to Big Data, and which data (structured, unstructured, semistructued) to retain and use and which data to confidently discard.

 

For our responses and perspectives, see the archived video chat.

 

Announcing “Bulldozer” HP Vertica Analytics Platform 6.1

We rolled out our “Bulldozer” HP Vertica Analytics Platform 6.1 at the show to much fanfare and interest from companies in need of maximum speed, performance, and scale to power their Big Data analytics initiatives. For an overview, see Luis Maldonado’s blog post as well as Colin Mahony’s video interview with Yahoo!

Those are our perspectives, but we always learn the most from you, our community. So, we welcome your thoughts and feedback.

Now Shipping: HP Vertica Analytics Platform 6.1 “Bulldozer” Release

We’re pleased to announce that the “Bulldozer” (v6.1) release of the HP Vertica Analytics Platform is now shipping! The 6.1 release extends v6 of the HP Vertica Analytics Platform with exciting new enhancements that are sure to delight cloud computing and Hadoop fans alike, while giving data scientists and administrators more features and functionality to get the most out of their HP Vertica investment.

Tighter Hadoop Integration

With a name like “Bulldozer,” you’d expect the release to provide some heavy, big data lifting, and this release delivers. Many of our customers use Hadoop in early stages of their data pipeline, especially for storing loads of raw data. But after they’ve MapReduce-massaged the data, users want to load it into HP Vertica as fast as possible so they can start their true analytics processing. HP Vertica 6.1 provides a new HDFS connector that allows you to do just that: pull data straight from HDFS with optimal parallelism without any additional MapReduce coding. Furthermore, for users who are still deciding whether or not to bring some of their Hadoop data into their primary analytics window, they can use HP Vertica’s external tables feature with the HDFS connector to run rich analytics queries and functions in situ in HDFS. They may even choose to plug in a custom parser using the User Defined Load framework and let HP Vertica do some of the ETL lifting for them. Flexibility is what it’s all about, and to learn how to use the HP Vertica Analytics Platform with Hadoop, see our newly released white paper: Make All Your Information Matter — Hadoop and HP Vetica Analytics Platform.

Simplified Cloud Deployments

We also have many customers who run HP Vertica in the cloud, and know that more and more enterprises are making the cloud their deployment model of choice. To simplify and improve the cloud deployment experience, we now have an officially qualified Amazon EC2 AMI for HP Vertica. This AMI eliminates the guesswork and manual effort involved in rolling your own AMI. And to make these AMIs even easier to administer, we’ve provided cloud scripts that simplify the installation, configuration, and deployment of HP Vertica clusters. Now creating, expanding, and contracting your HP Vertica deployments is easier than ever, enabling a more agile and elastic cloud experience.

Killer Features for Big Data Analytics

In addition to the above, there are dozens of new features and improvements in this release that address the needs of Big Data analytics deployments. From a new R language pack that gets data scientists up and running quickly to enhanced storage tiering and archiving features that will help optimize storage media spend to new validation tools that assist administrators with hardware deployment planning and tuning, this new release provides the platform needed to create an enterprise-grade Big Data environment.  And, as with every release, we’ve made HP Vertica’s already incredibly fast performance even faster.

It’s easy for me to be excited about all the great new improvements in this release, but I challenge you to come see for yourself. Test drive HP Vertica 6.1 and find out how its new features can help you tackle your biggest Big Data challenges. Interested in learning more? Attend our upcoming Introduction to HP Vertica 6.1 webinar, where we’ll provide even more details about this exciting new release. We’re constantly striving to make the HP Vertica Analytics Platform the best solution for our customers’ Big Data analytics needs, and with our “Bulldozer” now out, the door we’re looking forward to helping more enterprises pave the way to data-driven business success.

 

Luis Maldonado

Director, HP Vertica

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