Hewlett-Packard's big data strategy is still in its early stages, but HP channel partners are already finding what they describe as promising business opportunities within the portfolio.
For example, Vertica's high-performance columnar database is the sort of thing that could help HP dispel the cloud of negativity that's hanging over the company, partners told CRN. Vertica has attracted high-profile customers such as Verizon, Comcast, Twitter, Zynga and Bank of America, among others.
Vertica doesn't yet have a formal channel program, but partners that moved early into big data say the technology is a straightforward sell.
Bret Osborn, president of Lilien Systems, a Larkspur, Calif.-based HP partner, is "seeing a ton of demand" for Vertica at the moment. "With Vertica, the time to close deals is short, so it is valuable to our business," Osborn told CRN. "If you're looking for something more general-purpose, Vertica is not the right call. But if you are looking for a [speedy performance], no one else out there can do what Vertica does."
Vertica's advantages were highly touted even before HP acquired it in March 2011 in a deal reportedly in the $350 million range. Forrester Research Analyst James Kobielus, in a February 2011 report on enterprise data warehousing platforms, earmarked Vertica as a company to watch. "Vertica's customer momentum, coupled with its focus on enhancing its columnar-based [enterprise data warehousing] architecture, gives it a competitive advantage," Kobielus said in the report.
Joe Heinzen, senior vice president of sales at MicroTech, a Vienna, Va.-based solution provider that does app development and design engineering for federal government customers, says Vertica's main strengths are the access speeds and capacity of its columnar database.
"We installed a trillion-row Vertica database for one customer and had it up and running in a week and a half," Heinzen told CRN. "I can take a Vertica database with a million rows and put it on your laptop. This is due to the efficient way Vertica stores and accesses data, and the compression algorithms involved."
Heinzen is also seeing growing customer interest in the base Autonomy IDOL search engine, as well as Autonomy Virage, a video and audio analysis technology.
Outside Vertica and Autonomy, some HP partners are seeing traction with the combination of HP and SAP HANA, an in-memory database that powers big data analytics apps. Bill Loupakos, senior vice president of professional services at American Digital Corporation, has seen promising results from working with SAP and HP's Business Critical Systems server group on SAP HANA opportunities.
"As SAP opens up to the channel, it is looking for partners to resell Sybase IQ and HANA," Loupakos told CRN. "For HP, exposure to clustering and blade server opportunities, particularly with the ProLiant DL380 G7 server, is a good thing. We have four wins under our belt so far, all global customers, and are getting funding from HP and moving the practice forward."