HP promises to spend more on cloud research

The maker of jolly expensive printer ink, HP might be retrenched to the nines, but it is still spending on research into the cloud.

HP Software chief George Kadifa told CRN that as part of HP’s recovery plan it is spending a billion on R&D and a big chunk of that will go into cloud research and its big data software portfolio.

Kadifa said that $800 million of that figure is earmarked for Vertica and Autonomy, with the remainder going to joint projects between HP Software and the storage team in HP’s Enterprise Group.

That is a lot of dosh for cash-strapped HP and is on top of the $11 billion it wasted, er spent writing off Autonomy.

The plan seems to be to turn Autonomy and Vertica into platforms. It is looking for OEM partners to broaden their reach, Kadifa said.

What is odd is given what HP has said about Autonomy it still has a use for it. In addition to IDOL, the unstructured search, HP also sees promise in Aurasma, the “augmented reality” technology Autonomy was using for mobile marketing in the UK.

Vertica has tripled in size last year and now has more than 10 times the revenue it had when HP acquired it in March 2011, Kadifa said.

He thinks it has the potential to become a billion-dollar business, but in the near term, HP is not expecting the unit to match the same level of profitability as the rest of its software unit, Kadifa said.

HP has been showing off its SL4500 ProLiant server which it has designed for big data apps and recently its AppSystem designed for Hadoop clusters.