Microsoft Tackles 'SQL Server Sprawl'

Hewlett-Packard has partnered with Microsoft to introduce a preconfigured system for companies that want to perform analytics on data spread across many SQL Server databases.

The HP ConvergedSystem 300 for the Microsoft Analytics Platform can draw structured data from SQL Servers and unstructured data from other sources.

Diverse data sets can be brought into Microsoft’s SQL Server Parallel Data Warehouse or the data can be queried from its source.

All of this is handled through Hadoop, an open source framework that lets enterprises store and process Big Data across commodity server clusters.

Once the data is ready, it can be analyzed with applications capable of finding actionable business intelligence (BI). Software tailor made for the configuration includes Microsoft Power BI for Office 365 enterprise subscribers.

The HP product, introduced May 8, is designed for midsize and large companies dealing with “SQL sprawl,” Frances Guida, manager of HP ConvergedSystems, told CruxialCIO.

“They’ve got data in multiple databases deployed across different businesses and it’s very hard to really get that kind of (single) view,” Guida said.

HP ConvergedSystems comprise integrated software and hardware, including storage, networking and servers. It’s all optimized for specific workloads, such as virtualization, cloud computing and, in the case of the latest product, Big Data.

The latter is a term used for a collection of data sets so large and complex that they couldn’t be processed using standard database management tools or traditional data processing applications.

Revenue from software for structured data management and data access, analysis and delivery grew 7.3 percent and 6 percent, respectively in 2013, according to IDC. Both sectors grew faster than the software market as a whole, which grew 5.5 percent year over year.