HP announced plans to further enable its enterprise infrastructure technologies for grid computing. By leveraging open grid standards, HP plans to help customers simplify the use and management of distributed IT (information technology) resources. The initiative will integrate industry grid standards, including the Globus Toolkit and Open Grid Services Architecture (OGSA), across HP's enterprise product lines.

HP also announced enterprise consulting within HP Services for grid-based platforms. HP Services will provide management, deployment and lifecycle support of grid architectures. HP's product and service plans extend the company's Adaptive Enterprise strategy to perfectly synchronize business and IT. Grid computing will enable enterprises to draw on IT resources anywhere in the world to meet their dynamic needs for computing resources.

Analysts have estimated grid software and services will become a $4 billion market by 2008, but HP expects the opportunity to be significantly larger as corporate IT departments embrace the grid.

"HP started developing grid-like infrastructures more than five years ago. Grid is an important piece of the HP Adaptive Enterprise strategy, where today, we see the shared computing vision soon turning into reality as commercial enterprises more aggressively seek the agility and cost benefits the grid affords," said Shane Robison, chief strategy and technology officer, HP. "The grid has the potential to solve real business problems by simplifying global access to enterprise computing services.

"For CIOs, the grid can help better synchronize business and technology demands in real time. To help realize that potential, HP has committed to grid-enable our IT systems. Over the next few years, this means products ranging from HP's smallest handhelds, printers and PCs to our most powerful storage arrays and supercomputers, will be able to connect with and serve as resources on the grid," said Robison.

HP and the Grid

The "grid" concept was formally developed in the mid-1990s as a shared computing approach that coordinates decentralized resources and uses open, general-purpose protocols and interfaces to deliver high-quality service levels. The grid is designed to render almost anything in IT – computers, processing power, data, Web services, storage space, software applications, data files or devices – as a "grid service."

Today, HP delivers grid-enabled services, solutions and products to help enterprises better manage and capitalize on change. Taking advantage of and promoting heterogeneous environments and interoperability across devices, the offerings include:

  • Enterprise Grid Consulting from HP Services: This new offering will allow customers to benefit from the expertise of HP Services when applying the concepts of grid computing to commercial environments.
  • Grid Software Infrastructure: Building on the HP OpenView platform, HP is extending the capabilities of the software up through the management of Web services to deliver comprehensive real-time business process intelligence and enable immediate IT resource response in the context of Web services or grid services.
  • HP Utility Data Center (UDC): The HP UDC delivers many grid capabilities to commercial customers today and is compatible with OGSA standards.
  • Grid Resource Topology Designer: An innovation from HP Labs, this graphical user interface allows users to simply and easily "draw" resource needs, then submit the requirements to the grid for fulfillment. The Grid Resource Topology Designer, working with the HP UDC, automatically decides on the appropriate resources to deploy to fulfill the service-level request.
  • Web Services Management Framework (WSMF): HP and its partners are formalizing this framework – a logical architecture for the management of resources, including grid and Web services. WSMF was recently submitted to the OASIS Web services Distributed Management Technical Committee as input into creating a standard management interface for all IT resources and services.
  • SmartFrog: A technology developed by HP Labs, Smart Framework for Object Groups (SmartFrog) enables administrators to easily configure resources on the distributed computers that make up the grid.

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