HP’s HAVEn Wants to Become a Big Data Contender

Hewlett-Packard wants a big chunk of the Big Data game: the company has announced HAVEn, designed to bring its analytics software and high-performance hardware together on a common platform.

The platform will incorporate technologies from Autonomy, its troubled analytics-software unit, as well as HP ArcSight Logger (which collects machine data for analysis) and HP Business Service Management (which includes operations-analytics tools). Seeking a competitive edge over IBM, SAP and other tech giants in the space, HP is also folding in a Big Data Consulting Practice, with offerings such as IT Strategy and Infrastructure.

HAVEn will support Apache Hadoop, which has become a popular framework for companies with a need to crunch massive amounts of unstructured data stored on large hardware clusters. HP already builds servers, specifically the ProLiant SL4500 series, designed to handle Hadoop and other analytics workloads.

HAVEn technologies from Autonomy include HP Autonomy Legacy Data Cleanup, billed as an “information governance solution” that can help analyze legacy data and dispose of unnecessary datasets.

It’s interesting to see HP trying—however subtly—to revamp Autonomy. Back in November 2012, HP accused Autonomy’s management team of using “accounting improprieties, misrepresentations and disclosure failures to inflate the underlying financial metrics of the company.” Rather than handle things internally, the company alerted the SEC’s Enforcement Division and the United Kingdom’s Serious Fraud Office (Autonomy is based in the U.K.) to the possible transgressions. The cherry atop that particular rotten sundae was HP’s decision to take an $8.8 billion write-down on Autonomy’s value.

In the wake of that little kerfuffle, HP decided to reorient the Autonomy unit to focus on a few core areas, with data analytics the priority. “We think there is going to be huge demand for this kind of capability in a number of applications such as security and insurance fraud,” Robert Youngjohns, senior vice president and General Manager of the Autonomy division, told Slashdot. “We see it as really augmenting domain intelligence in specific areas.”

But even more than scrubbing up Autonomy, HP faces a challenge from its tech-giant rivals, most of which have already devoted considerable time and resources to their own integrated Big Data platforms. Even backed by a firm as large as HP, it’d be easy for HAVEn to get lost amidst the noise of all the offerings out there.


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