HP Updates HP-UX And NonStop With More Virtualisation

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

The HP-UX Unix version and NonStop systems could go on for ever, as RISC and fault-tolerand systems share tech with the mainstream, says HP

Hewlett-Packard has updated its HP-UX Unix software and servers, as well as its NonStop fault-tolerant systems, aiming to keep legacy users on board with better performance and modern features.

For the last couple of years, HP’s Project Odyssey has been trying to reassure users that the older mission-critical Unix and NonStop environments have a future, by sharing technology developments from the mainstream x86 servers. The new version of HP-UX increases availability by booting quicker and adds virtualisation to HP-UX in the CloudSystem Matrix product. Meanwhile, new entry-level NonStop systems bring total reliability within the reach of smaller businesses.

HP serversBe risk-averse, not RISC-averse?

“HP-UX customers are risk-averse, and many have frozen their systems,” said Ken Surplice, category manager for HP servers in EMEA. “But now the least-risky path is to keep with HP UX and refresh the hardware.”

HP-UX only runs on the Itanium RISC processors, and in 2012 HP launched new HP UX servers built around Intel’s “Poulson” Itanium 9500 version.

Workloads can now be migrated across to the new hardware without interrupting them, and upgrades to the processors, memory and network mean they will run in a smaller physical space using less power – with double the number of virtual machines on a single processor.

Improvements that reduced the boot time of the HP flagship Superdome server have been added to the blade systems, so smaller users can reduce their downtime, Surplice promised.

Meanwhile HP’s CloudSystem Matrix, which ships a whole cloud system to customers, packaged in a rack, has been improved for HP-UX loads. Before, it only handled bare metal HP-UX, but now it handles virtual Unix machines.

NonStop? Apparently it’s not stopping

Meanwhile, the NonStop system, which HP inherited through multiple mergers, after the Tandem company was bought by Compaq, has been upgraded again.

“NonStop has undergone the most amazing tarnsformation,” said Surplice, “moving from highly proprietary hardware and software to a world where everything is based on standards. It’s been made available on Intel hardware and on blades, and is now offered in a 19-inch rackmount server for smaller orgnisations who don’t need a whole shelf of blades.

“We continue to invest in NonStop because its role is crystal clear, especially in the telecoms and finance sectors,” he added.

The new NonStop and HP-UX announcements have already been presented to large customers – Surplice says they are pleased, and welcome the fact that HP tech from other ranges gets deployed in these systems which might otherwise be neglected.

“The ranges are closely locked together. The future of HP UX users is shared by volume Linux and Windows users,” he said. “This is another proof point of our dual strategy.”

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