HP Autonomy: The Big Data Arabesque

June 5, 2012

Hewlett Packard has big plans for Autonomy. HP paid $10 billion for the search and content processing company last year. HP faces a number of challenges in its printer and ink business. The personal computer business is okay, but HP is without a strong revenue stream from mobile devices.

HP Rolls Out Hadoop AppSystem Stack” provided some interesting information about Autonomy and big data. The write up focuses on the big data trend. In order to make sense out of large volumes of information, HP wants to build management software, integrate the “Vertica column oriented distributed database and the Autonomy Intelligent Data Operating Layer (IDOL) 10 stack.” The article reports:

On the Autonomy front, HP has announced the capability to put the IDOL 10 engine, which supports over 1,000 file types and connects to over 400 different kinds of data repositories, onto each node in a Hadoop cluster. So you can MapReduce the data and let Autonomy make use of it. For instance, you can use it to feed the Optimost Clickstream Analytics module for the Autonomy software, which also uses the Vertica data store for some parts of the data stream. HP is also rolling out its Vertica 6 data store, and the big new feature is the ability to run the open source R statistical analysis programming language in parallel on the nodes where Vertica is storing data in columnar format. More details on the new Vertica release were not available at press time, but Miller says that the idea is to provider connectors between Vertica, Hadoop, and Autonomy so all of the different platforms can share information.

HP’s idea blends a hot trend, HP’s range of hardware, HP’s system management software, a database, and Autonomy IDOL. In order to make this ensemble play in tune, HP will offer professional services.

InfoWorld’s “HP Extends Autonomy’s Big Data Chops to Hadoop Cloud” added some additional insight. I learned that former Autonomy boss Michael Lynch will leave HP “along with Autonomy’s entire original management team and 20 percent of its staff.”

The story then explained that Autonomy, which combines with Vertica:

can now be embedded in Hadoop nodes. From there, users can combine Idol’s 500-plus functions — including automatic categorization, clustering, and hyperlinking — to scour various sources of structured and unstructured data to glean deeper meanings and trends. Sources run the gamut, too, from structured data such as purchase history, services issues, and inventory records to unstructured Twitter streams, and even audio files. IDOL includes 400 connectors, which companies can use to get at external data.

Autonomy moved beyond search many years ago. This current transformation of Autonomy makes marketing sense. I am interested in monitoring this big data approach. IBM had a similar idea when it presented the Vivisimo clustering and deduplication system as a “big data” system. The challenge will be applying text centric technology to ensembles which generate insights from “big data.”

Will the shift earn back the purchase price of $10 billion and have enough horsepower to pull HP into robust top line growth? Big data and analytics have promise but I don’t know of any single analytics company that has multi-billion dollar product lines. Big data is a hot button, but does it hard wire into the pocketbooks of chief financial officers?

Stephen E Arnold, June 5, 2012

Sponsored by IKANOW


One Response to “HP Autonomy: The Big Data Arabesque”

  1. 17 June 2012: Cloud Times | Tap the 90 on June 18th, 2012 10:01 am

    […] HP Autonomy: The Big Data Arabesque (arnoldit.com) […]

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