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HP gets into business intelligence with Neoview data warehouse

Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) has officially entered the business intelligence market. Today marked the official launch of the HP Neoview data warehouse platform, an integrated hardware, software and services platform.

What specific business intelligence data warehouse products and services is HP launching?
HP Neoview is an integrated hardware and software platform that has been optimized for decision support workloads. It's not a general-purpose database, but optimized for complex queries in terabytes of data. It's also very scalable, so you can scale up to hundreds of terabytes in the initial configurations [of] up to 256 processors. It's built on industry standard components and runs our Integrity server platform, so it's not a specifically designed hardware device. It uses an optimized relational database that is built from the SQL NonStop platform and uses a version of the operating system from the NonStop family.

There are also four services that we're announcing: strategy and planning, information quality, information integration and information delivery. You refer to HP Neoview as a business intelligence data warehouse hardware/software bundle. Is this an appliance?
It's an appliance in that it is a bundle. In other words, it's a special purpose device. Even though it runs on industry standard servers, it's designed with this operating system and this database to do enterprise data warehousing. So, from that perspective, it is appliance like. The real differentiation is we have also built into the product all the capabilities that you would need to have for an enterprise data warehouse, where you might need to tune the database, create indexes, materialize views, aggregations, etc. to deal with the fact that you may have hundreds, maybe thousands of people querying the system with very complex queries. You don't do that with a simple appliance approach. So, we have a capability to start as an appliance and move up the spectrum to be a full-blown enterprise data warehouse. How is the HP Neoview business intelligence data warehouse priced?
The initial configuration of a 16-processor machine with about four terabytes of storage, would be about $645,000, list price. Does HP have designs on developing front-end business intelligence software?
[No.] We like to give customers choice. So, we have certified and in many cases are working with other vendors to optimize their products for the Neoview platform. We've entered into partnerships with all the major players in the BI/data warehousing space. We want to be the Switzerland of the data warehousing world. The official HP Neoview announcement happened today, but we've learned that you initially released this product last fall. Why the "stealth" release?
All we did in October [2006] was put some information out on the Website and that was really just for us to begin to seek out some early customers, which we've secured since then. It was a unique way to pre-broadcast the fact that we were getting into the BI space.

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 And, I hear the company is using HP Neoview internally?
What we're doing in HP is decommissioning over 762 individual data marts and moving onto a very large multi-hundred terabyte Neoview system. It's going to be a true enterprise data warehouse that will have the more traditional information about customers, sales, products and supply chain -- but also will have financials, human resource information, etc. We think it will be one of the only -- and we could even argue, the only true -- enterprise data warehouse ever built, certainly for a company that's $100 billion in size. Can you give us some insight into HP's roadmap and strategy for future business intelligence data warehouse products?
It's a big investment for us. Hundreds of millions of dollars are being put into this because we think it's a major growth initiative at HP. And so you'll see Neoview evolve over time. We're going to continue to evolve the hardware platform to take advantage of the latest technologies and industry standards. You'll see changes in the hardware configuration to more industry-standard and low cost hardware server and storage products. From a software aspect, we'll continue to mature the database, so a lot of performance and scalability refinements will take place over time.

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