Summary:

The greater Boston area may not be the hub of the big data universe that some recent research suggests, but it got a leg up this week with news that tech giant Hewlett-Packard is moving some of its big data operations to Cambridge.

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The Boston-Cambridge area may not be the hub of the big data universe as some recent research suggests, but it got a leg up this week with news that Hewlett-Packard is moving some of its big data operations to Cambridge.

“Big data” refers to the proliferation of data types that are too large and unwieldy for traditional database tools to handle efficiently, and it is also a business opportunity that IT vendors — including HP, IBM, Oracle, EMC and Microsoft — are all attacking.

Now, before the locals hyperventilate over this HP item, let’s be clear that the jobs are moving about 20 miles from Billerica, Mass., southeast to Cambridge. Billerica is the hometown of Vertica, a big data analytics player bought by HP just over a year ago.

Xconomy Boston reported that Vertica is relocating 150 employees to Cambridge. Vertica also plans to add staff when it moves into its new digs, near the Alewife MBTA station — a couple of miles from Kendall Square, the local home of Google, Microsoft and IBM.

Chris Lynch, who was CEO of Vertica and is now a VP and GM for HP, referred to the new venue as “HP’s big data center of excellence,” according to Xconomy.

The good news for the local tech scene is that Vertica jobs are hanging around and that other companies, including cloud kingpin Amazon, are also reportedly looking to locate operations in the area.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user frankh

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