Rich Friedrich

Rich Friedrich
Director, Strategic Innovation and Research Services
Palo Alto


Rich Friedrich is the director of Strategic Innovation and Research Services (SIRS) at HP Labs. The SIRS organization is responsible for the strategy and portfolio management of HP’s central research organization, applying Open Innovation to amplify and accelerate research results, and technology transfer to effectively monetize these technologies. In this strategic role, he is responsible for research investments in nano-technology, exascale computing, cyber security, information management, cloud computing, immersive interaction, sustainability, social computing and commercial digital printing. HP’s Open Innovation Program is recognized for being the only global, open, competitive innovation program that has established deep and impactful research collaborations between HP and academia. Recent successes include awards to 61 professors in 46 institutions in 12 countries. Additionally, Friedrich’s team has developed ground-breaking Open Innovation programs, such as the Open Cirrus™ cloud computing research tested, which is a unique collaboration between major industrial partners such as Intel and Yahoo and 6 universities and government institutes.

Previously, in his role as the director of the Enterprise Systems and Software Lab (ESSL), Friedrich led the research agenda that focused on ambitious next-generation enterprise computing and management systems and on inventing distinctive cloud/utility computing mechanisms to provide IT infrastructure and enterprise services on demand.

Friedrich’s sustained record of innovative accomplishments spans his 20+ year career in HP research and product engineering positions. He led the system performance team that optimized the first commercial PA-RISC based systems in the mid-1980s and the first multiprocessor, online transaction processing RISC systems in the late 1980s. He led the architecture and design of a large scale, distributed measurement system for the Open Systems Foundation Distributed Computing Environment in the early 1990s. More recently, he led the teams that invented WebQoS, the novel technology for providing predictable and stable performance for Internet based applications, re-architected Linux for Intel’s Itanium architecture, and provided key technologies to HP’s Utility Data Center, Open View automation products and StorageWorks data grid products. His team has demonstrated the power of utility services by working with DreamWorks to provide a remote 1000-processor Utility Rendering Service that was critical to the production of the feature films Shrek II and Madagascar. Recently, his team has made important contributions in reducing the power consumption of data centers. Current results demonstrate a 50% reduction in power required to cool the computers in a data center. The new business launched in November 2006 to deliver these capabilities to the market received enthusiastic reviews from the world’s press.

A member of HP’s Customer Technical Advisory Board, he regularly meets with CIOs and CTOs from the Global 1000 to discuss the future of IT. He has delivered keynote addresses at several major technical conferences and was an invited panel member for the Gartner Group’s Technology Investor Summit, Interop’s Data Center Summit and Gartner’s Future of IT summit. He is on the board of advisors to USC Marshall Business School Center for Global Innovation and the UC Berkeley Innovation Forum. He meets regularly with the press and industry analysts. He is an active participant in government-industry-university partnerships through such groups as the US National Academies Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable. He is a graduate of Northwestern University.


Research interests

Automated IT resource management and control, economical end-to-end designs that deliver differentiated QoS for Internet business and consumer applications, the science of large-scale computing that compute probabilistic behavior for hundreds of thousands of systems, utility computing that brings on-demand computing benefits to consumers and small companies in emerging and third world economies, the consumerization of enterprise IT and how Web 2.0 technologies are fundamentally altering the way humans collaborate and learn within the enterprise


  • Rich has co-authored over two dozen papers including :

    J. Rolia, L. Cherkasova, R. Friedrich, “Performance Engineering for ERP Systems in Next Generation Data Centers,” Workshop on Software Performance, Feb  2007, Buenos Aires, Argentina. 

    R. Sharma, C. Bash, C. Patel, R. Friedrich, J. Chase, “Balance of Power: Dynamic Thermal Management for Internet Data Centers”, IEEE Internet Computing Jan/Feb 2005.

    C. Patel, C. Bash, R. Sharma, R. Friedrich, “Smart Cooling of Data Centers”, 2003, ASME IPACK 2003, Maui, Hawaii.

Professional Activities

  • Rich has participated in many scientific program committees including Technical co-chair for the International Workshop on Quality of Service, Napa, CA, May 1998.
    University Boards of Advisors:

      • University of San Diego, Center for Networked Systems
      • University of Illinois, Information Trust Institute, and Industrial Advisory Board
      • Georgia Tech, Center for Experimental Research in Computer Systems