"Here's a tall order: Reinvent the computer, both hardware and software architecture. That's what Hewlett-Packard is trying to do."
Rising data volumes from "cloud computing, the Internet of things, mobile networks, machine to machine computing" are generating unfathomable and unmanageable amounts of data and a new computing architecture is necessary to deal with it, Whitman said.
"We've been using the same architecture and been doing it the same way for decades," said HP CTO Martin Fink, who also spoke at the conference.
Ninety percent of what the operating system and processors are doing "is just shuffling data between different storage tiers," he said. For example, getting data from pokey hard drives to speedier memory.
HP's answer is The Machine -- a new compute design built from the ground up. Processors specialized for a particular task or "workload" connect to a fabric based on light for communication. In turn, all of this is connected to a large single pool of "universal memory," which obviates the need for separate memory and storage tiers.
start about 15:00