When Hewlett-Packard moved to acquire Vertica last year, the company essentially acquired a dedicated columnar database for analytics that was interesting as long as someone was willing to build an application for that specific environment.
This week, however, HP opened up the Vertica environment with a 5.0 release that not only includes standard interfaces for accessing multiple data sources, it also provides a software development kit to move their existing data models into the Vertica analytics database.
Scott Howser, VP of product marketing for Vertica, an HP company, says the Vertica database differs in that it was built specifically to run analytic applications, as opposed to other analytic applications that run on top of legacy SQL databases or cumbersome Hadoop frameworks. By opening up the Vertica environment, Howser says the end goal is to make a state-of-the-art database environment that can quickly process analytics queries in parallel and make them more accessible to a broader number of IT organizations.
With the increased business interest in all-things analytics, Howser says trying to leverage legacy database technologies to run analytics applications simply doesn't make much sense when there are databases that have been specifically optimized to handle pattern matching.
There is a massive amount of activity in the analytics space these days, so sorting out what's the best approach to analytics will clearly depend on your organization's appetite for new technologies. But if history is any guide, it's usually best to use the right tools for the specific job at hand, versus trying to force a general-purpose tool into whatever square hole presents itself.