Vertica Systems is an analytic database management software company. Vertica was founded in 2005 by database researcher Michael Stonebraker, and Andrew Palmer. Former CEOs include Ralph Breslauer and Christopher P. Lynch.Vertica was acquired by Hewlett Packard on March 22, 2011. The acquisition expanded the HP Software software portfolio for enterprise companies and the public sector. Wikipedia.
Vertica Systems | Date: 2010-06-16
Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on a computer storage medium, for a database designer and a database storage designer. In one aspect, a method includes creating a set of candidate projections and progressively narrowing the set of candidate projections and a set of queries by eliminating candidate projections that do not satisfy a performance improvement criterion for remaining queries based on the properties associated with the candidate projections.
Vertica Systems | Date: 2010-06-16
Methods, systems, and apparatus, including computer programs encoded on a computer storage medium, for operating on time sequences of data. In one aspect, a method includes a database management system storing and updating information in records in a table of a database, the records being associated with respective times that are spaced apart by time intervals, the database management system responding to a query that is phrased to imply a putative record with respect to a time interval that is not among the time intervals with which the records of the table are associated, and the response of the database management system to the query including a computation of a value of an attribute of the putative record from at least one non-null value of the attribute for one of the records of the table, the computation being based on an interpolation policy.
Vertica Systems | Date: 2011-06-07
Methods, systems and program products for query optimization using sideways information passing. In one implementation, a join clause in a query is identified that specifies an outer table of tuples to be joined with an inner table, the outer table having one or more attributes, and each of the attributes of the outer table having values stored in an attribute file that is distinct from attribute files in which the values of other attributes are stored. A plan for the query is created which, when executed, causes selection of a subset of tuples of the outer table to serve as input to the join clause in place of the outer table based on one or more predicates applied to the inner table.
News Article | May 6, 2014
Nobody is watching HBO’s new hit series “Silicon Valley” more closely than the Valley and the tech community itself. Though my company and I are not officially based in the Valley, it’s hard not to chuckle at the dramatized situations the characters face, infused with developer lingo and geeky humor. We’ve all seen and heard it. I’m no Peter Gregory (a billionaire VC character on the show), but as CEO of a company that was just acquired, I’d like to humbly think I know a thing or two about navigating the challenging, exciting and often unpredictable tech world. I’m enjoying watching developer-turned-entrepreneur Richard jump through hoops to get his compression algorithm startup Pied Piper off the ground. Though I must admit that the real tech industry isn’t always so glamorous (sorry to break it to you, but toga parties with performances from Flo Rida and billionaires vying for the algorithm you developed aren’t everyday occurrences), I still can’t help but want to lend Richard and his buddies some advice. Some of the decisions they’ve made have been cringe-worthy, to say the least, but there are some real-world lessons to be learned from the young CEO’s missteps. The first thing you should do, even before expanding your corporate ranks, is create a technological- and culture-based vision that will guide everything you do. Make it compelling. And whatever you do, don’t define your vision in terms of: “We’re the Airbnb for X,” or “We’re the Spotify of Y.” Richard and his incubator buddy Erlich Bachmann nearly fall into that trap. If your elevator pitch can’t be original, then your product or service might not be, either. “Today’s user wants access to all of their files from all of their devices instantly. That’s why ‘cloud-based’ is the holy grail. Now, Dropbox is winning. But when it comes to audio and video files, they might as well be called ‘Dripbox.’ Using our platform, Pied Piper users would be able to compress all of their files to the point where they truly can access them instantly. We control the pipe, they just use it. That’s the vision in Richard Hendricks’ head.” — Erlich Bachmann, Senior Minority Owner, Pied Piper Whether you’re looking for funding, IPO or acquisition, in the midst of financial conversations, your credibility goes through the roof if you have everything in order. Richard knew nothing about business planning, so he did the right thing by bringing in a business-development expert. And it’s not just finances that should be in order. The way you run your business, even down to the code, should be in tip-top shape. This organizational hygiene will show precision and forethought. The guys at Pied Piper got into a few awkward situations after telling a reporter that their new company would make them billions. Likewise, competitor Hooli released a video about what its own product would do for the world, even as they were still trying to reverse-engineer the algorithm. Be realistic, and don’t put marketing or public roadmap details ahead of where you are. This applies not just to external discussions, but also to conversations with potential partners. You can be optimistic, but it needs to track back to the business. Align yourself with someone who can support you and offer the stability needed to grow and go to market. Though Richard made the tough decision to turn down an immediate $10 million payday and buyout for his startup, he may have made a more sound choice in taking less funding from a VC who offered guidance while allowing him to retain majority control of the company. There will always be people or partners in the industry who have more experience in some aspect of running a business than you do. Don’t shy away from pragmatically bringing them into the fold. Don’t outsource legal advice to a shotgun service like LegalZoom or RocketLawyer — just don’t do it. Many young entrepreneurs also make the mistake of trying to do everything (including legal) themselves, but cutting corners will add up in the long run. Instead of downloading legal paperwork off the Web, hire general counsel and do things right the first time. VCs won’t want to get involved if they see the mess they’ll be getting into. Luckily for Richard, his VC put him in touch with a lawyer from the start. Cultural integrity is key to running a successful company and retaining engineers. Richard should have thought twice and hired the best employees possible, rather than just hiring his friends. I won’t be surprised if his friendships get in the way of smart hiring/firing decisions down the road. Whether you’re a young entrepreneur looking to fund the launch of your compression-algorithm company or just trying to open your own cheese-themed food truck, “Silicon Valley” and the Pied Piper crew present some perfect learning experiences that can help keep you out of similarly dire situations. Best of luck. Derek Schoettle, CEO of Cloudant, has more than 15 years of experience bringing new and disruptive technologies to market and achieving commercial success. Prior to Cloudant, he was VP, CME Sales, at Vertica Systems, which was acquired by HP in 2011. Reach him @cloudant.
News Article | October 9, 2012
Boston’s new hack/reduce collaborative is looking for big data hackers. The goal of this non-profit organization is to foster a bigger, um, big data community in the Cambridge-Boston nexus. Applications to join are due Oct. 14. “We want to build a community and innovation around big data to make Boston a leader there,” founding executive director Abby Fichtner told me. Hackers with expertise in biotech, medical devices, consumer web, energy, IT, telecommunications, music and art are all welcome to apply. Boston locals see big data as a way to recapture some the high-tech glory that faded after the minicomputer era, as the center of gravity moved to Silicon Valley and Seattle. Now the plan is to capitalize both on experienced veterans left from Boston’s booming minicomputer years and young talent from area colleges to rebuild that high-tech hub in a big data mold. Hack/reduce was founded this summer with some state funding and support from Chris Lynch, former president of Vertica Systems, a local big data company now owned by by HP. The group just moved into a historic building in Cambridge’s Kendall Square. Fichtner, formerly startup evangelist for Microsoft’s New England Research & Development (NERD) center, came aboard as the hacker space launched in August.
News Article | November 2, 2013
Chris Lynch has been watching the database industry closely for decades as both the CEO of Vertica Systems and now as a partner with Boston-based venture capital firm Atlas Venture. And, as he told us on this week’s Structure Show podcast, the database industry is under some serious fire from open source technologies like Hadoop. Here are some highlights from an insightful 15-minute conversation that you’ll probably want to hear in its entirety. “We’re starting to see the finical impact that Hadoop can have on the ecosystem of database vendors,” he said, referring to the latest earnings numbers from analytic-database pioneer Teradata. But Teradata isn’t alone in feeling the pinch. “In my tenure, we were charging $100,000-$150,000 a terabyte,” Lynch said of his days at Vertica, which is now part of HP. “… Those now-generation companies like Vertica, like Greenplum, have, in fact, their own set of pressures now with Hadoop, as Hadoop becomes commercially viable, more robust,” he added. The pressure is coming from everywhere. Cloudera is now positioning itself as a data-management platform more than a Hadoop distribution, and even SQL-on-Hadoop startup Hadapt (one of Lynch’s investments) is “going gangbusters,” Lynch said. The problem for legacy vendors, he noted, isn’t always about vision — they see big data happening — but about economic pressures. “How do you embrace a new business and a new market that sub-optimizes what you’ve worked so hard to build?” Lynch asked. “That’s hard to embrace. It’s certainly hard to embrace because of the pressures of public companies to make quarterly numbers.” It’s especially challenging considering the reasons Hadoop is becoming so popular. “The reason [Hadoop] allows you to aggregate [all your data] is less about the technology and more about the economics,” Lynch said. “Because they’ve made it affordable to put all that data in one place.” Asked which legacy vendor is best poised to ride the Hadoop and greater big data wave, Lynch was quick to point to IBM. “I think that the best-positioned company is, in my opinion, by far IBM, because of the breadth of their offers and the ways that they can make money as this big data marketplace develops,” he said, noting its product range from databases up to BI applications and the billions it has spent acquiring and building new technologies. “If you look at the investments someone like IBM has made compared to Oracle, that tells the story,” he said. Lynch also talked about the hard work it can involve to take great technology — like that from his latest investment, machine learning startup Nutonian — and turn it from literally a science project into enterprise software. “That’s what we do at Atlas — we invest very early-stage in companies ’cause we like to build them,” he said. “We’re not financial engineers, we don’t have a billion-dollar fund and we’re not buying lottery tickets. We’re actually building companies.”
News Article | March 16, 2012
“I’m a fighter. I’m only happy when I’m in some kind of battle.” That would be Chris Lynch, the former CEO of Vertica Systems, the Cambridge, MA-based data analytics firm acquired by Hewlett-Packard for some $300 million a year ago. Lynch is looking for his next battle right now, since he left HP and Vertica as of today. Reached by phone, Lynch says that as part of the acquisition, he committed to stay for a minimum of one year. In that year, he says, the Vertica team expanded the business, kept all of its key talent, rolled out three new software releases, and moved its headquarters from Billerica to Cambridge, all while operating independently of HP. “We’re where we want to be,” Lynch says. And that’s why he feels it’s a good time to step out and do something new. Taking over for Lynch at Vertica will be longtime employee and vice president of products and business development Colin Mahony, who is taking on the role of VP and general manager at HP. Mahony was at Bessemer Venture Partners when the firm made its investment in Vertica. From what I can tell, HP’s and Vertica’s plan to create a “center of excellence” around big data at its Cambridge headquarters (near Alewife) will continue as planned. Lynch isn’t quite ready to talk about what he’s doing next, except to say he has a few projects in the works. For one thing, he is an angel investor in a number of Boston-area startups, including Mortar Data (Hadoop in the cloud), Kinvey (back-end as a service for mobile apps), PowerInbox (e-mail as a social software platform), and Azuki Systems (multi-screen video delivery). About Mortar Data, which is currently in the TechStars Boston accelerator program, Lynch says, “they’re stripping away all the complexity” of using the Hadoop data-analytics framework. “If you really want to deliver analytics everywhere, you’ve got to simplify it. And put it in the hands of knowledge workers, not just database consultants and IT people.” He draws an analogy to centralized mainframes and mini-computers giving way to client-server architectures that opened up access to IT. Now, with the explosion of mobile devices, he says, “not only can you have [access to data] in the local office, you can have it in your back pocket.” Would he consider becoming a venture capitalist, like many entrepreneurs before him? “After spending years with [VCs] I like, it’s not for me,” he says. “I like working with young people, I like to start things, build things, and be part of a team. At Vertica I could feel myself getting reinvigorated. I give a lot of credit to the people at Vertica. The young people were so passionate, so bright. I’m going to miss them terribly. They really put a spring in my step.” So it sounds like he wants a more hands-on role with Boston-area entrepreneurs—and to help start new companies if the right opportunities arise. “I’ll deliver more value by going and doing it elsewhere [outside HP]. In my bones, this is the spring of 1998, there’s so much that can be done,” he says. “I want to get back out there and try to be as prolific as possible.” I asked if HP could have done more to keep him. “I don’t think so,” he says. “My history is I build things, I sell them, I stay for a certain amount of time. It’s less about the company. It’s more about me. Big companies are successful because they figure out how to do everything at scale. I’m about taking special people and getting them to do things they didn’t even know they could do. It takes a different mindset about rules and accountability. But of all the acquisitions I’ve been involved in, this is probably the best one.” Lynch, who’s 49, adds: “I’m at a point in my life where I can do what I like to do. If it’s not 100 percent what I want, I’m not going to do it. If this was 2008 or 2001, maybe I’d be more patient. But I think the time is now. I don’t think I could create enough change fast enough to satisfy me. This is the time to be super aggressive.” Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @gthuang
News Article | June 20, 2013
As demand for personal computers continues to slump, Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) is trying to make itself more attractive to businesses. On June 11 the company unveiled HAVEn, a software package that knits together technology from its data analysis units. The move pits HP against IBM (IBM), a leader in mining corporate data. While HP long succeeded with consumer-friendly design and printing features, it now aims to offer corporate clients a more complete package, says Chief Operating Officer Bill Veghte. “Customers want solutions,” Veghte says. “They don’t want simply a piece of hardware or a piece of software.” HAVEn combines tools from recent HP acquisitions Autonomy, Vertica Systems, and ArcSight to help customers sift through vast amounts of data, the company says. The Big Data analytics strategy is Chief Executive Officer Meg Whitman’s attempt to avoid an eighth straight quarter of declining sales and wring some value from those deals, made before she took over in 2011. HP spent about $12 billion on the acquisitions, according to figures compiled by Bloomberg. It’s facing a shareholder lawsuit over its $10.3 billion purchase of British software maker Autonomy. In November, HP took an $8.8 billion writedown on the deal, of which it attributed $5 billion to Autonomy’s accounting practices. HP says the company’s financial reports were manipulated. Autonomy denies any wrongdoing. Enterprise Applications Consulting analyst Joshua Greenbaum says, “HP is under a lot of pressure to make a mark in the crowded enterprise analytics market. And Whitman needs to justify a lavish and troubled acquisition history and make good on a multiyear commitment to software that has yet to produce any big wins. The next step would be to find a niche where HP can differentiate, and the one software sector where HP has credibility is in systems management and analytics.” Total revenue from Big Data hardware, software, and services is projected to rise to $23.8 billion in 2016, from $11 billion this year, according to market researcher IDC. IBM, the world’s largest computer services provider—which has seen its earnings stumble amid struggles at its mainframe business—has set a goal of more than $20 billion in revenue from Big Data and analytics by 2020, double the 2010 figure. Other Big Data contenders include Oracle (ORCL), SAP (SAP), Teradata (TDC), and closely held SAS Institute. For HP, which in September disclosed plans to cut 29,000 jobs through fiscal 2014, breaking into the market requires a greater emphasis on software, which currently accounts for less than 4 percent of revenue. The company announced a deal on June 11 to bundle PCs and printers with e-mail, word processing, and calendar software from Google (GOOG), to compensate for its weakness in that area. HP’s PC sales fell 10 percent last year to $35.7 billion, and printing group sales fell 5 percent to $24.5 billion. That’s better than it had done recently, though, as Whitman pointed out in her June 11 keynote address at HP’s customer conference in Las Vegas. “We have stabilized our business,” she said. Still, Wall Street expects to see HP’s sales and profits decline through 2015. The company has been slow to capitalize on consumer and business trends like tablets and cloud computing, for which it’s developing new software. EAC analyst Greenbaum says it has a long way to go before it can compete. “Lining up to be the leading commodity vendor in a rapidly commoditizing market is not a leading position,” says Greenbaum. “This doesn’t allow them to go into a company and have a strategic conversation like IBM or SAP.”
News Article | March 19, 2013
One of the Boston area’s most intriguing tech startups has hired a new CEO, and he’s from a big company. The startup is Cambridge, MA-based Sqrrl, and the CEO is Mark Terenzoni, formerly senior vice president of global manufacturing at Seattle-based F5 Networks (NASDAQ: FFIV). Terenzoni, a longtime Boston techie, came to F5 in the firm’s 2007 acquisition of Acopia Networks, a file virtualization company where he was vice president of operations. Sqrrl was founded last year by ex-National Security Agency computer scientists. It makes secure database software that helps companies and institutions in finance, healthcare, and other sectors manage huge amounts of data and build applications on top of that data. The company moved to Boston from the DC area and raised $2 million from Atlas Venture and Matrix Partners. Sqrrl has been located at hack/reduce, the big-data community space near Kendall Square. But it sounds like the company has outgrown that space and will be moving soon (if it hasn’t already). Earlier this month I heard the startup was building out its engineering, sales, and management teams, including more executives from Acopia and Vertica Systems (now part of HP). Chris Lynch, who previously led both Acopia and Vertica as CEO, is the VC who led the Atlas investment, along with Antonio Rodriguez from Matrix. Terenzoni replaces Oren Falkowitz, the co-founder and former CEO of Sqrrl, who has left the company. The other two founders, Ely Kahn and Adam Fuchs, are still with the firm. I exchanged e-mail with Terenzoni (pictured) about his new role: Xconomy: Given your experience at F5 and Acopia, what attracted you to Sqrrl and the startup CEO life? Mark Terenzoni: For the last 20 years of my career I have gravitated to startups and early stage companies including Acopia, where I was the first executive hired by Chris Lynch after his appointment as Acopia’s CEO. My recent experience at F5 (after the Acopia acquisition) was running a business unit based on a software acquisition. That experience in taking that small company to market and growing the business is a natural progression to my new role as CEO at Sqrrl. My attraction to Sqrrl is based on a number of factors: First and foremost the team is amazing, from the quality of investors (Atlas/Matrix) to the engineering talent Sqrrl has attracted. Secondly the big data market in general and Sqrrl’s specific ability to power big applications on top of big data is expected to grow at a rate greater than 30 percent [compound annual growth rate] through 2017. Last but not least, our product, “sqrrl enterprise” based on Apache Accumulo, has significant differentiation in terms of enterprise scale, security, and unique analytics. X: What are your goals at the company for this year, and what is the biggest challenge? MT: Our goals for this year are to expand the product and early customer traction to broader footprints in financial, federal, healthcare, and telco. Currently there is a land grab in the space, and our challenge will be to make sure our significant differentiation on security, scale, and flexibility continues to rise to the forefront of the key decision makers. X: How do you see the “big data” ecosystem evolving in Boston and beyond? What are the new trends we should be watching? MT: It is clear that Boston is starting to be recognized as the epicenter of Big Data, the Boston Big Data community has adopted a “coopetition” model which is extremely refreshing to see. Many of the companies join forces at Big Data meet-ups at hack/reduce where they collaborate on solving real-world customer challenges. I think the next wave of trends will be around Big Applications that harness the power of Big Data and allow customers to realize the value of real-time applications that provide the competitive advantage in the marketplace. Gregory T. Huang is Xconomy's Deputy Editor, National IT Editor, and the Editor of Xconomy Boston. You can e-mail him at email@example.com. Follow @gthuang
News Article | February 6, 2013
Cloudant, the start up that puts its NoSQL database service on your choice of clouds, is getting an undisclosed investment from Samsung Ventures, the investment arm of the gigantic Korean electronics conglomerate. The new funding comes after a similar undisclosed investment from In-Q-Tel, an investment company tied to the US intelligence sector, and before that about $4 million in capital from Avalon Ventures and Y Combinator. Cloudant’s DBaaS is a managed service helps developers focus on their applications, not the underlying cloud infrastructure, which in Cloudant’s case can be Rackspace, Amazon Web Services, Joyent, Microsoft Azure and SoftLayer. Samsung obviously sees that appeal. In a statement, Samsung Ventures America’s senior investment manager Hyuk-Jeen Suh, said his company: “believes a globally distributed data layer and management of that data is especially critical for large enterprise businesses … We felt that this is the right time to strategically invest in Cloudant to support the company’s vision to manage the proliferation of data to be created by, for example, mobile devices, machine-to-machine (M2M) technologies, and the ‘Internet of things’ in the future.” Cloudant’s appeal is that it can place its processing and aggregation power where it’s needed, CEO Derek Schoettle told me last year. The Boston-based company was founded by three MIT physicists. Schoettle, a former VP at Vertica Systems, came aboard as CEO two years ago. Indeed as more people carry more mobile devices and as the use of sensors explodes, the amount of data that needs to be aggregated and processed will only keep growing. That creates a need for a widely distributed database (or database service) that can be placed close to that data. That’s a big opportunity for the companies that can capitalize on it.