Fiorina Pledges HPs Grid Commitment

Hewlett-Packard's CEO told OracleWorld attendees her company will continue its drive for grid computing-and took some thinly veiled shots at rival Dell.

SAN FRANCISCO—Taking jabs at top competitor Dell Inc., Hewlett-Packard Co. CEO Carly Fiorina on Wednesday promised OracleWorld attendees here an aggressive push into grid computing based on adding grid capabilities to more products, supporting open standards, and focusing on research and development.


Fiorina, never mentioning Dell by name, referred repeatedly to Dell CEO Michael Dells Monday keynote address. Dell had come on stage with a cast on one ankle, which he said was caused after a horse fell on it.

"Some are trying to ride this horse before theyre ready, and as you heard earlier this week thats a good way to hurt your foot," Fiorina said during her address.

While agreeing that standards are at the heart of grid, she also blasted competitors—namely, Dell—for claiming that research and development doesnt matter. Achieving enterprise-level grid computing requires technological innovation to help companies tie together far-flung data centers running multiple operating systems and platforms, Fiorina said.

"You have to talk to a real technology company," she said. "Grid is about a whole lot more than a single rack and a lot of servers."

Fiorina said that HP plans in the next year to 18 months to extend the grid support it has begun incorporating into its server line, as eWEEK previously reported. HP already has grid-enabled its PA-RISC, Integrity, Alpha and ProLiant server lines with the Globus Toolkit and Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA) 2.0 and will add similar support for its entire consumer and commercial product lines, Fiorina said.

The move to grid computing, however, will take enterprises between three and five years as they evolve their data centers, Fiorina said. Thats because significant challenges remain. These include the complexity of the grid software itself, such as the Globus Toolkit; the security issues of sharing applications across data centers; the interoperating of heterogeneous systems; and the development of open standards.

"We are focused squarely on the management and execution of grid services," Fiorina said.

The ultimate goal of grid computing in the enterprises isnt for high-end scientific research but for moving all of IT to become a service to users, a strategy HP is calling the "Adaptive Enterprise," Fiorina said.

"Business priorities drive IT," Fiorina said of the grid promise. "IT has to become a platform for the efficient and effective operation of the business."

Fiorinas keynote kicked off the final day of OracleWorld, which was interrupted on Wednesday after a bomb scare led to the evacuation of the Moscone Center. In opening todays sessions, Oracle Executive Vice President Charles Phillips addressed the disruption that occurred on the eve of todays anniversary of the Sept. 11 tragedy.

"Its unfortunate that these things happen," he told attendees. "We opted on the side of caution."

Phillips said an extra security sweep of the show was conducted Thursday morning and more security was added. Attendees also observed a moment of silence to remember the Sept. 11 victims.

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