Stephen Swoyer at TDWI wrote an interesting article giving some insight into what is happening at the new HP Vertica.  He talks about how with the Vertica Analytics Platform "customers aren’t purchasing an appliance but an infrastructure solution".  Stephen also explains how Vertica's new SDK "permits a programmer to write code in the procedural language(s) of his/her choice" – something similar to what companies like Aster Data are already doing.  You can read the full article at: Analytics, DBMS News Offer Fresh Insight into Vertica.