HP Courts Open-Source Community With 'Investments' - InformationWeek

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Software // Information Management

HP Courts Open-Source Community With 'Investments'

The company wants open source partners to help complete its recent management and automation software acquisitions to build data centers of the future.

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Anne Livermore, head of Hewlett-Packard's Technology Solutions Group, laid out for the open source community the areas in which it has to focus to help build the data centers of the future.

In her keynote at the LinuxWorld conference in San Francisco, the executive vice president listed six categories of technology that developers of Linux and other open source software should target: IT systems and services, power and cooling, management, security, virtualization and automation.

In the area of systems and services, Livermore described as "powerful" the open source technology available for building Linux server clusters. HP's Cluster Platform uses the open source XC System Software, which is used to optimize application performance.

Management is an area of particular importance to HP, which sells the OpenView suite of data center management software. HP believes companies need tools for architecting environments in which some components can be outsourced, while others are controlled internally. In addition, companies need software that can give them a holistic picture of their IT operations.

"We think this is a really rich area," Livermore said. "You're going to see us invest like crazy."

Another area of heavy investment for HP is automation, Livermore said. The company has been working quite awhile on technology to create a "self-managing data center." To that end, HP in July said it would buy data center automation specialist Opsware for $1.6 billion.

Virtualization is an area where "innovation has just begun," Livermore said. "This is an area where you'll see whole sets of services, and services companies." The importance of virtualization will be in enabling companies to "scale up and scale out" their data centers.

In the area of security, HP expects to see it built into the "fabric" of products," Livermore said. "We think there's a tremendous amount of work that needs to be done, and a huge role for the open-source community."

Cooling and power is an area in which HP Labs has been working aggressively, particularly in the form of "dynamic job allocation," Livermore said. Dynamic job allocation relates to the distribution of tasks to avoid hotspots in larger server clusters.

In general, HP is looking to provide a much more dynamic data center that "ebbs and flows with the business," Livermore said. "We certainly are looking forward to working with the (open-source) community on this," she said.

Earlier in the week, HP announced that it had contributed its Parallel Compositing Library software to the open-source community. The software enables the visualization of complex data sets within high-performance computing environments.

HP also extended its pay-per-use pricing model for Linux running on HP Integrity servers. The addition rounds out the operating systems available under the flexible pricing program. The other operating systems include HP-UX, Windows and OpenVMS.

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