The move is similar to other moves by IBM, with its on-demand computing initiative, and Sun Microsystem Inc.s N1 strategy. All are designed to ease the management and deployment of data center resources. HPs strategy is a combination of new and current products and services.
The key is what HP is calling the Darwin Reference Architecture, a framework designed to help enterprises build an adaptive infrastructure. Shane Robison, executive vice president and chief strategy and technology officer for HP, defined the architecture as a standard-based framework that uses best-of-breed technology and components that "creates a new level of integration between business and IT."
The industry-based standards include the three operating systems HP supports—Linux, Unix and Microsoft Corp.s Windows—and an Intel Corp.-based platform, Robison said. The best-of-breed technology includes products from both HP and other vendors, including such software partners as BEA Systems Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc.
Some industry observers have said that HPs decision to work with partners rather than flesh out more of its own software offerings beyond its OpenView management suite could hinder it in the future. However, Blackmore disagreed. "Working with partners has always been part of HPs DNA," he said.