ORACLEWORLD - HP's Fiorina stresses grid challenges

Continuing the conference's theme of grid computing, Hewlett-Packard Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina at the OracleWorld conference here Thursday stressed that challenges must be met in order 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, according to Fiorina. But grids must not become proprietary islands of technology, she said.

"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," she added.

Oracle 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 current Globus Toolkit for building grids has a scientific applications bent and the upcoming Version 3 of the kit, while being more geared toward 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, she said.

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

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

The company has demonstrated a grid topology designer, which features an interface for pulling together multiple datacenters into an enterprise grid, she said. HP also has developed a system for programming grids called Smart FROG, for Framework for Object Groupings, Fiorina said.

Additionally, HP has contributed a Web services management framework to OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) that will be fitted for grids, she said. "We are grid-enabling it to make it a grid services management framework," said Fiorina.

Prior to discussing grid computing, Fiorina, noting today's second anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, said the terrorists used basic freedoms against the United States, including freedom of movement and open borders. Technology also was a weapon in the terrorists' arsenal, she noted.

The terrorist attacks revealed a race of the forces of construction and destruction, "those who exist to build things and those who exist to tear things down," Fiorina said.

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