Diggin' technology every day

May 20, 2013

When a server is a converged solution

Filed under: General — Tags: — Nate @ 3:56 pm

Thought this was kind of funny/odd/ironic/etc…

I got an email a few minutes ago which is talking about HP App System for Vertica. Which, among other things HP describes as being able to

This solution delivers system performance and reduces implementation from months to hours.

I imagine they are referring to competing solutions and not comparing to running Vertica on bare metal. In fact it may be kind of misleading as Vertica is very open – you can run it on physical hardware (any hardware really), virtual hardware, and even some cloud services (it is supported in *shudder*Amazon even..). So you can get implementation of a basic Vertica system without buying anything new.

But if you are past the evaluation stage, and perhaps outgrew your initial deployment and want to grow into something more formal/dedicated, then you may need some new hardware.

HP pitches this as a Converged Solution. So I was sort of curious what HP solutions are they converging here?

Basically it’s just a couple base configurations of HP DL380G8s with internal storage (these 2U servers support up to 25 2.5″ disks).  They don’t even install Vertica for you

HP Vertica Analytics Platform software installation is well documented and can be installed by customers.

They are kind enough to install the operating system though (no mention of any special tuning, other than they say it is “Standard” so I guess no tuning).

No networking included(outside of the servers as far as I can tell), the only storage is the internal DAS. Minimum of three servers is required so some sort of 10GbE switches are required (since the severs are 10GbE, you can run Vertica fine on 1GbE too for smaller data sets).

I would of expected the system to come with Vertica pre-installed, or automatically installed as part of setup and have a trial license built into the system.

Vertica is very easy to install and configure the basics, so in the grand scheme of things this AppSystem might save the average Vertica customer a few minutes.

Vertica is licensed normally by the amount of data stored in the cluster (pre-compression / encoding).  The node count, CPU count, memory, spindles doesn’t matter. There is a community edition that goes up to 3 nodes, and 3TB (it has some other software limitations – and as far as I know there is no direct migration path from community to enterprise without data export/import).

Don’t get me wrong I think this is a great solution, very solid server, with a lot of memory and plenty of I/O to provide a very powerful Vertica experience. Vertica’s design reduces I/O requirements by up to ~90% in some cases, so you’d be probably shocked the amount of performance you’d get out of just one of these 3 node clusters, even without any tuning at the Vertica level.

Vertica does not require a fancy storage system, it’s really built with DAS in mind. Though I know there are bunches of customers out there that run it on big fancy storage because they like the extra level of reliability/availability.

I just thought it was kind of strange some of the marketing behind it, saving months of time, being converged infrastructure and what not..

It makes me think(if I had not installed Vertica clusters before) that if I want Vertica and don’t get this AppSystem then I am in a world of hurt when it comes to setting Vertica up. Which is not the right message to send.

Here is this wonderful AppSystem that is in fact — just a server with RHEL installed.

For some reason I expected more.


  1. Devils always in the details. HP has their earnings report coming soon, I don’t think it will be pretty, especially with both Dell and IBM dropping big this last quarter.

    Slapping “converged” on it pretty much is all they apparently did. Why not just brand it as “Vertica Ready” instead of misleading with the converged marketecture speak. No confusion there.

    Comment by gchapman — May 20, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

  2. Hey Gabe!

    Yeah most likely their PC stuff is not going to look very pretty.. though Dell seemed to do fine in most of their enterprise areas (except storage I think). There just hasn’t been any compelling reason to go with an upgrade cycles on PCs probably since XP came out, people just replace them as they break for the most part. Still a massive industry from a revenue perspective, I think Dell’s “End user computing” business was still $9 billion for the quarter.

    Though I am expecting strong results for 3PAR, as they continue to upgrade EVA customers and stuff. The 7000 series seems to have been very successful (not that I expected it not to be!). The only issue I have heard of is keeping up with demand, which is what I expected as well.

    Proliant probably near flat since it’s already really well established of course.

    Comment by Nate — May 22, 2013 @ 10:24 am

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