It may be at the end of another challenging business year, but Hewlett-Packard isn't looking back.
Instead, the iconic IT hardware and software supplier is focusing ahead at its enterprise cloud-services future, and an announcement it made Dec. 2 at its Barcelona customers and partners conference underscores much of what that future implies.
HP introduced Haven OnDemand, a cloud-based platform which it positions as "the future of big data analytics." Haven OnDemand will become a key component in the company's big data strategy because it is a catch-all package that provides an enterprise of any size cloud-based access to key components of HP's analytics platform.
In the future, HP Enterprise will depend greatly on sales of this cloud service next year and beyond as the mothership splits off its Personal Systems and HP Printing divisions into a separate entity, HP Inc. No more will the software-producing section of HP need to lean upon sales of laptops, tablets, printers -- and ink, one of the company's best profit centers -- to help repair the overall bottom line.
Naturally, Haven OnDemand runs in HP's Helion cloud. It enables the batch analysis of all forms of data, including business data, machine data, and unstructured, human information. Developers can also use this web service to work in HP's community to create next-generation applications and services.
Haven (originally HAVEn, but the marketers finally realized that treatment looks strange to the eye) is a true mashup of IT specialists. The name is an acronym derived from Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica and other pieces, including ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager and ArcSight Logger.
Hadoop's Distributed File System, Autonomy's IDOL, Vertica's Analytics and the others make up the bulk of HP Haven. Now that the cloud service works on-demand and in real time, the company ostensibly has a new product that can be more competitive with EMC Greenplum, IBM, SAP, Oracle and Dell, among others.
"Part of what we've done is create a list of robust, RESTful APIs for developers who want to call in analytics capabilities, and this makes it really easy for them to do," said Colin Mahony, senior vice president and general manager of Big Data at HP Software.
"Every company, to a certain extent, is becoming an analytics -- and even a big data company. But the ability to consume the types of analytics they need has to team up with their applications. This requires new and more efficient tools."
Using Haven OnDemand, users can tap into key components of the HP Haven Enterprise platform, such as the existing HP Vertica OnDemand and HP IDOL OnDemand.
HP Vertica OnDemand offers enterprise-class big data analytics. IDOL OnDemand is a set of big data web services that developers, partners, and customers can use to build those next-gen apps. Functions in the package include contextual search, sentiment analysis and facial recognition. HP said that more than 5,000 developers have already signed up for the service.