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Thursday, July 3, 2014

HP HAVEn: Big Data/Analytics Platform enabling enterprise advantages

By Rich Ptak

About a year ago, HP introduced HAVEn to the market as capability to be used to work with HADOOP to gain insight and information from analyzing structured and unstructured data. This spring, HP launched HAVEn as an extended, true data analysis platform and available as a cloud-based service. We spent some time with HP to get greater insight into HP’s positioning of HAVEn as a platform for Big Data/Analytics that works across multiple data formats.
 
The HAVEn name comes from the multiple analytics engines – Hadoop, Autonomy, Vertica, Enterprise Security and any number of HP and the customer’s own applications used to gain more customer-relevant information and insight. Help is available to determine which of the engines is needed, as we’ll see.  

As announced, HAVEn per se is a collection of data handling and analytics engines that combined with an enterprise’s own applications can used to tease information and insight from virtually any conceivable data set the user can access. HP offers HAVEn engines for use by the customer. It takes a pretty impressive service to allow virtually any enterprise or organization get useful insight and information from their available data. It is even more so, if it is targeted for use by an audience that includes data processing/IT (even business) professionals, but who are specifically not required to be professional data ANALYSTS to quickly realize value. And, HP has customers who will testify to their successes with HAVEn. However, to help the first-time user faced with figuring out where and how to get the most benefit from their data, HP has skilled service experts available for projects.
 
HP also previewed the HAVEn workbench at Discover. The workbench is a unifying layer on top of the engines. It allows developers to access the functionality of any of the underlying engines through a common interface. It also allows access to a library of services which expose the functions of the engines. Developers, data scientists and the like can add new services to the library. or “mash-up” two existing services to create a new service. Over time, as more services are added, the ability to explore your data or rapidly prototype new applications will increase exponentially.

One of our major themes with our clients (vendors as well as end-users) for the last decade or so has been that it is a major responsibility of vendors to make the full power of all technologies (existing and emerging) accessible and useful to their customers. The is increasingly critical as those customers are increasingly non-technical in nature – they have no idea, and less interest in how a Monte Carlo Simulation works, what a regression analysis is or accomplishes, nor any of the benefits revealed by the use of Chebyshev’s inequality. They just want to get any and all information and insight from their data that they can use to achieve their goals. Satisfying that need and demand appears to be one of the driving forces behind HAVEn.

HAVEn is also part of HP’s efforts to speed and spread the adoption of Big Data/Analytics to the widest possible audience. Having spent between $10 and $20 billion (between organic R&D and acquisitions) on HAVEn, HP believes it and its associated services can be effectively leveraged by customers. HP sees broad market potential for HAVEn. At this time, it has identified several broad market segments of specific interest including:

  1. Business Analysts – enterprise IT, data analytics specialists and experts who can use HAVEn as a tool to operate more effectively and efficiently to speed results and improve quality of their analysis.
  2. Developers – looking to build a business or service around analytics - including entrepreneurs, ISVs, partners, startups – interested in developing analysis-based solutions and services.
  3. Solution Buyers – those looking to get more insight from the data they have; such as marketing/sales executives, product managers, inventory and resource managers and suppliers - for example, those who want to learn more about buying patterns as it relates to various environmental factors such as time, weather, events, etc.

HP offers two free trials to encourage potential customers to experiment with HAVEn. The free downloads are for the Vertica Community edition and a free trial of ArcSight Logger. Learn more by going to:  http://www8.hp.com/us/en/software-solutions/big-data-platform-haven/try-now.html

Conclusion
HP clearly has invested a lot of time and effort into the HAVEn platform. The single significant drawback we found was the lack of an integrated, ‘single pane of glass’ UI. Integration packs are available among the engines which do help.

HP is continuing an aggressive development program as it encourages customers and partners to enhance and extend the reach of the product with connectors. We think that HP is definitely enabling and easing the move of Big Data analytics into the larger marketplace. Customers can learn more about HAVEn and how it is being used by visiting hp.com/haven. We think anyone with any significant data available to them would be wise to investigate what HAVEn might be able to do for them.