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HP's Fiorina stresses grid challenges

Hewlett-Packard chairman and chief executive officer Carly Fiorina has stressed that challenges must be met for computing grids to fulfill their promise.

Grid fits in with HP's Adaptive Enterprise computing strategy for aligning business strategies and processes with an enterprise's IT infrastructure, said Fiorina at the OracleWorld conference in San Fransico. But grids must not become proprietary islands of technology, she added.

"HP's goal for the grid is to do for IT resources what the web did for documents - provide ubiquitous and easy access," Fiorina said. "Now we are, of course, many years away from that vision."

Oracle has introduced the grid-enabled 10g versions of the Oracle Application Server and Oracle Database this week, touting grids of low-cost Intel systems as the way to provide for computing power. Fiorina presented a list of what she called five basic challenges for grid computing:

  • Grid software is complex. The existing Globus Toolkit for building grids has a scientific applications bent and the upcoming Version 3 of the kit, while being geared towards web services and commercial applications, has a large volume of code.
  • Trust and security of data in the datacentre.
  • Heterogeneity and interoperability of systems.
  • Open standards are needed.
  • Robustness is required. "Globus Version 3 is bound to have bugs, and those bugs have to be addressed," Fiorina said. Developers are working on the problems, but an automated system of fixes is needed.

HP is focused on the management and execution of grid services, Fiorina said. "This is where we intend to make a major contribution."

The HP Openview fits in with grid by serving as the platform for managing enterprise services and resources.

HP has demonstrated a grid topology designer, which features an interface for pulling together multiple datacentres into an enterprise grid. HP also has developed a system for programming grids called Smart Frog, for Framework for Object Groupings. 

HP has also contributed a web services management framework to Oasis (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) that will be fitted for grids, she said. "

Paul Krill writes for InfoWorld


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