Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has moved to make big data analysis and exploration easier—and to strengthen its relationship with major Hadoop vendors Hortonworks, MapR and Cloudera—with the release this week of HP Vertica for SQL on Hadoop, which aims to simplify queries on HDFS data.

The offering seeks to solve what has been, to date, a significant challenge for organizations that have adopted Hadoop for their big data needs: Efficiently interacting with unstructured data that lives in Hadoop's native HDFS data storage system. The extension of HP's Vertica tools to Hadoop will make it possible to use the company's data visualization and exploration software—along with ANSI SQL queries, which the platform supports and which data scientists already know well—with Hadoop data without modifying or moving it.

"With HP Vertica for SQL on Hadoop, we're combining the best of both worlds—the industry's enterprise-proven HP Vertica Analytics Platform with the broadly accessible Hadoop ecosystem," said Shilpa Lawande, general manager of Platform, HP Software Big Data Business Unit. "Now, organizations can store data in HP Vertica or any Hadoop distribution, explore data in place using HP Vertica for SQL for Hadoop, and serve the highest-performance analytic needs for mixed workloads with HP Vertica Enterprise."

The product is "fully distribution agnostic," according to HP, meaning it will run on any Hadoop distribution. But in announcing the news, HP mentioned Hortonworks, MapR and Cloudera in particular, reflecting its commitment to bolstering what Hortonworks Vice President of Partner Panagement Bob Page called "strategic engineering activity" between HP and Hadoop vendors.

HP Vertica for SQL on Hadoop is available now and will be featured by HP and its Hadoop partners at HP Discover in Barcelona next month, the company reports.