HP and Neoview
Discussion of computer giant HP, especially its efforts in data warehousing and business intelligence. Covered are both HP’s own data warehouse appliance Neoview and its partnerships with other software vendors. Related subjects include:
When I drafted a list of key analytics-sector issues in honor of look-ahead season, the first item was “execution of various big vendors’ ambitious initiatives”. By “execute” I mean mainly:
- “Deliver products that really meet customers’ desires and needs.”
- “Successfully convince them that you’re doing so …”
- “… at an attractive overall cost.”
Vendors mentioned here are Oracle, SAP, HP, and IBM. Anybody smaller got left out due to the length of this post. Among the bigger omissions were:
As a new year approaches, it’s the season for lists, forecasts and general look-ahead. Press interviews of that nature have already begun. And so I’m working on a trilogy of related posts, all based on an inquiry about hot analytic trends for 2012.
This post is a moderately edited form of an actual interview. Two other posts cover analytic trends to watch (planned) and analytic vendor execution challenges to watch (already up).
|Categories: Business intelligence, Cloud computing, Data warehouse appliances, Data warehousing, EMC, Greenplum, HP and Neoview, QlikTech and QlikView, SAP AG, Software as a Service (SaaS), Tableau Software, Vertica Systems||4 Comments|
It is widely rumored that there will be a leadership change at HP (Meg Whitman in, Leo Apotheker out). In connection with that, I found myself holding forth on points such as:
- HP needs to make outstanding enterprise systems again.
- They fell away from that target under Mark Hurd, but they surely can hit it again, based on the remnants of DEC (Digital Equipment Corporation), Tandem, the higher-end part of Compaq, and of course the original HP systems group.
- In particular:
- Rumors say that Oracle Exadata 1 boxes, made by HP, were much lower quality than Exadata 2 boxes made by Sun.
- HP Neoview was a waste of good engineering talent.
- I’d like to see a few excellent Vertica appliances.
- I hope the SAP HANA appliances go well, whenever HANA finally becomes a serious product.
- The general move from disk to solid-state memory should offer some opportunities.
HP has announced that:
- HP is buying Autonomy.
- HP is pulling back from WebOS.
- HP may spin off its PC business altogether.
On a high level, this means:
- HP is doubling down on enterprise IT.
- HP is taking a more software-centric approach to the enterprise IT business.
- HP is backing away from the consumer electronics business.
- HP in particular is backing away from the generic desktop/laptop PC business, which may with only moderate exaggeration be regarded as:
- The intersection of the enterprise IT and consumer electronics businesses.
- The least attractive sector of each.
My coverage of Autonomy isn’t exactly current, but I don’t know of anything that contradicts long-time competitor* Dave Kellogg’s skeptical view of Autonomy. Autonomy is a collection of businesses involved in the management, search, and retrieval of poly-structured data, in some cases with strong market share, but even so not necessarily with the strongest of reputations for technology or technology momentum. Autonomy started from a text search engine and a Bayesian search algorithm on top of that, which did a decent job for many customers. But if there’s been much in the way of impressive enhancement over the past 8-10 years, I’ve missed the news.
*Dave, of course, was CEO of MarkLogic.
Questions obviously arise about how the Autonomy acquisition relates to other HP businesses. My early thoughts include: Read more
|Categories: HP and Neoview, Market share and customer counts, Structured documents, Text, Vertica Systems||10 Comments|
Communicating with Vertica has been tricky recently. But HP is now announced to be buying Vertica, which pretty much forces me to comment about Vertica. So I’ll indulge in a little bit of explanation as to what I know about Vertica, whether for publication or under NDA. My analysis of the HP/Vertica combination, and expectations for same, will go into another post. Read more
|Categories: Analytic technologies, Data warehousing, HP and Neoview, Market share and customer counts, Michael Stonebraker, Vertica Systems||10 Comments|
HP and Microsoft put out a press release. Three new appliances are being announced, and we’re being reminded of at least one past announcement. I wasn’t briefed, and wouldn’t want to comment on, say, price/performance or feature particulars. That said:
- HP Neoview seems pretty dead.
- I haven’t heard a single favorable reference to HP Neoview since I remarked in March, 2010 that “HP Neoview is reeling.”
- A reporter asked me “What went wrong?” Well, almost any new analytic DBMS/appliance product will compete mainly on two things in its early days — price/performance (or absolute performance), and just how (im)mature it initially is. (Aster Data may be the only prominent exception to that rule.) Presumably, HP Neoview did badly by those metrics.
- HP Neoview was widely conjectured to be a pet project of ousted former HP CEO Mark Hurd.
- Nobody tells me of competing with Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Parallel Data Warehouse either (i.e. Madison/DATallegro). Thus, in particular, I haven’t heard any reason to believe there’s anything good about the technology, especially now that the ever-upbeat Stuart Frost has left Microsoft. I’m conjecturing that Parallel Data Warehouse is focused heavily on the existing Microsoft installed base.
- Speaking of Aster — even under NDA, they won’t tell me or give me any useful hints as to who their undisclosed strategic investor is. Well, HP has a long history of investing in sometimes-competing DBMS vendors (back to Oracle and Informix), and a good reason to keep quiet (reluctance to admit the end of Neoview). Hmm …
- The consolidation appliance in the HP/Microsoft announcement is a clear response to Oracle’s Exadata strategy, or (which is probably more accurate) to the same market opportunity Oracle identified.
- I couldn’t quite figure out whether the cheap data warehouse appliance included Microsoft PowerPivot support, but that would make sense if it did.
|Categories: Aster Data, Data warehouse appliances, Data warehousing, HP and Neoview, Microsoft and SQL*Server||3 Comments|
Some notes, follow-up, and links before I head out to California: Read more
|Categories: GIS and geospatial, Google, HP and Neoview, Humor, Kickfire, Netezza, Solid-state memory, Teradata, Web analytics||3 Comments|
Leo Apotheker is taking over as CEO of HP, and Ray Lane as chairman. I don’t know Leo, but I did talk a lot with Ray when he was at Oracle in the 1990s. Quick observations include: Read more
I’m on “vacation”, so I don’t know how timely I’ll be in getting back to reporters with quotes on Mark Hurd’s new job at Oracle. I put “vacation” in quotes because my father has been in a coma for over a week back in Ohio; I’m getting stonewalled for information about his and especially about my senile mother’s condition (while there’s a support structure making sure nothing too ridiculous happens, the whole thing has been even harder to block out for a while than if a full set of medical ethics were being used); Linda arrived here with an injury that has largely wrecked the vacation for her (if we had confidence in the local doctors we’d be seeing them for sure, and may yet see them anyway); and the mix of lesser factors is otherwise normal — great place, I took way too much work with me and had clients demanding more, connectivity was deplorable and is still unreliable (this post has been spread out over several hours by yet another connectivity outage), and weather has been a pleasant surprise to date (but clearly I’m benefiting from it a lot less than usual).
My thoughts on Mark Hurd (who I’ve never met) joining Oracle include:
- Mark Hurd is one of the least successful leaders in the modern history of the DBMS industry.
- Mark Hurd presided over Teradata while Teradata allowed a bunch of smaller competitors to grow up.
- Mark Hurd was said to be the prime mover behind HP Neoview, which has been an epic failure.
- Mark Hurd was in charge of HP when HP lost the Exadata business to Sun, and it’s not clear that the loss was just because Oracle bought Sun.
- Mark Hurd seems to have done poorly running services businesses at HP as well, at least in terms of their reputations.
- None of this means that Mark Hurd can’t do a good job on the volume-hardware side of Oracle. Nor does it seem likely that Hurd would get the power to gut Oracle’s R&D the way he is reputed to have gutted HP’s. And by the way, the investment in the HP Neoview fiasco shows that Hurd didn’t COMPLETELY gut R&D at HP either.
- The Mark Hurd hire is a signal that Oracle is very serious about hardware/software integration. Notwithstanding any of the foregoing, Hurd can surely talk the hardware/software integration game. And one can reasonably spin Hurd’s HP Neoview failure as a high-desire, low-odds attempt to get into the database software/hardware stack business.
- The time to assess whether Oracle will continue with the hardware/software integration emphasis will be when Mark Hurd leaves. Just as Ray Lane’s departure coincided with a reversal of the software/services integration strategy he so successfully championed, Hurd’s eventual departure could signal a backing off from emphasizing a software/hardware stack.
- Mark Hurd’s sexual harassment problems sound similar to Al Gore’s:
- He got services of the sort that are often a euphemism (massage in Gore’s case, escort in Hurd’s).
- The provider(s) just wanted to provide the real thing, not the euphemistic part as well.
- Unpleasantness ensued.
I’m back from a trip to the SF Bay area, with a lot of writing ahead of me. I’ll dive in with some quick comments here, then write at greater length about some of these points when I can. From my trip: Read more
|Categories: Analytic technologies, Aster Data, Calpont, Cassandra, Couchbase, Data warehouse appliances, Data warehousing, EMC, Exadata, Facebook, Greenplum, HP and Neoview, Kickfire, NoSQL, OLTP, ParAccel, Sybase, XtremeData||1 Comment|