We work in an industry with a rich history and a deep forgetfulness of that history. So when old things return to the spotlight, they seem new, again. Who remembers, for example, that open source virtualization is more than a decade old? Who cares? Rhetorical questions aside, the resurgence of interest in open source virtualization can be traced back easily to the unabated hype around cloud computing. Hype notwithstanding, for those Infrastructure-as-a-Service deployment models that need to run hundreds of virtual machines with Linux as the guest OS, an open source hypervisor is a great fit. If that open source hypervisor were to be none other than a standard Linux kernel loaded with a virtualization module, the benefits are easy to see. The kernel-based virtualization module inherits the performance, scalability, and security characteristics of the kernel. Enter KVM. Wrap it with the best practices of enterprise support for the leading commercial Linux distribution and you have RHEV. Deliver it with rock solid hardware platforms, flexible management interfaces, application deployment tools for the cloud, and pretty soon we have a vibrant ecosystem. Where does HP stand in this ecosystem?
You're an enterprise on the verge of a discovery. You already know it's easy to deploy Linux applications with virtualized servers, storage, and networking when you have it all under unified management. And you know that it's quicker to deploy this converged infrastructure when you have a little help from your friends at HP. Because you're reading this, you've probably wondered what it takes to deliver this Linux infrastructure as a service out of your own private cloud. Turns out, it's just become a whole lot easier with RHEL 6 and HP converged infrastructure.
I love traveling by train. As I write this in the ICE train speeding out of Berlin across a countryside bathed in the light of dawn, I'm struck by the fact that a train journey is quite unlike other forms of travel. Even as you ride in the fastest train, you can see the panoramic landscape changing gradually. Even as you travel with a few chosen companions, you share the journey with many strangers. And perhaps most importantly, even though you choose your points of departure and arrival, your journey is determined by straight tracks and standard times. Yet you can control the cost, manage the risk, and change the duration of your trip -- entirely shaping your experience of the journey.
Without stretching the analogy too far, we can think of businesses migrating their IT infrastructure from legacy systems to Linux servers as being on a journey of this kind. Early adopters of Linux servers had many basic questions about their destination -- whether Linux was ready for "prime-time", what workloads to run on Linux, what Linux distribution to standardize for each workload, what hardware to deploy under each distribution, how to manage the entire operating environment, and what level of vendor support to maintain for the complete lifecycle of the project.
For the past decade, HP has answered these questions with a broad and consistent response. HP has encouraged the use of Linux by businesses as diverse as ISPs, investment banks, stock exchanges, telecommunications carriers, hospitals, and automobile manufacturers for workloads ranging from the conventional (file, web, and network services) to the core (line of business and database applications). As early adopters laid tracks for the majority that followed, HP provided robust platforms -- reliable and scalable servers, OS vendor and industry certifications, leading
performance benchmarks, validated reference architectures, technical support, and legal indemnification -- for travelers boarding the Linux train.
And as demand grew for Linux in high-performance cluster computing, supercomputing, extreme scale-out computing, and cloud computing configurations for demanding applications such as animation rendering, seismic exploration, and computational fluid dynamics, HP developed the infrastructure -- people, processes, and technology -- to transport new passengers from monolithic legacy systems to more cost-effective, energy-efficient distributed architectures.
And all along, HP made key contributions to the Linux kernel, collaborated with Linux distribution vendors to deliver joint solutions, offered essential management software (such as the ProLiant Support Pack and Insight Control) for Linux, and delivered comprehensive services ranging from design, migration, and implementation to mission-critical support for customers deploying core business applications on Linux servers. This quiet leadership has not gone unrecognized -- our customers have made HP the leading Linux server vendor every year of the past decade.
With these many miles and many stations behind us, we now hear far fewer questions from customers about Linux servers as the destination of their enterprise applications. The question is no longer "why" or even "when". Instead, we see enterprises focusing on "how". Businesses today are looking for maps, tools, and help to reduce the cost, time, and risk of the journey from legacy to Linux, regardless of their specific points of departure and arrival -- be it RISC to x64, physical servers to virtual servers, or cluster to cloud.
But that's a topic for a future post. Until then... All aboard!
My colleague Mark Jones is HP's Partner Business Manager for our Red Hat relationship. He asked me to pass on to you that this year marks the 10-year anniversary of the relationship between HP and Red Hat. What began as enabling Red Hat Enterprise Linux on ProLiant servers in the late 1990s has evolved into a strategic relationship that combines the services and support capabilities of both companies to offer customers a solid enterprise class computing platform.
Our leadership in the Linux and open source market is the result of a long and committed relationship that combines joint development and world-class global support and services. Red Hat is a primary supported operating system that runs on HP server and workstation platforms including the ProLiant and Integrity server lines. Similarly, HP is a Red Hat Premier partner for delivery of single-point fulfillment and service of the complete Red Hat Enterprise Linux product line. For more information, see www.hp.com/go/redhat.
Every part of HP is involved with Linux in one way or another. We're using this blog to bring you the freshest news of Linux from HP and talk with you openly about topics that interest you. Whether you're running Linux on ProLiant and Integrity servers in a Converged Infrastructure or running Linux on an HP client; whether you're looking for information about Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, or community Linux from HP; whether you manage your Linux environment with HP Insight Control for Linux or HP Operations Manager; whether you run applications such as Oracle, SAP, a computational fluid dynamics simulation, or just a LAMP stack on HP servers -- we'll talk about that and more on this blog.
HP also has a long and proud history of involvement far beyond Linux with the free and open source software (FOSS) community (e.g. FOSSology and FOSSbazaar). If you’re into open source governance and licensing, we'll talk about that, too.
Our linux.helpcustomers program focuses on addressing questions and feedback from you that relate to Linux and FOSS on HP products. When you visit www.hp.com/go/linux, click on the "Contact HP" link, and fill out the form, your message lands in our team mailbox. When we get questions that are of general interest, we'll relay the answers here.
So what's my role? I'm HP's program manager for Linux solutions and the community manager representing our Linux social media team. I also manage the linux.helpcustomers program. Finally, I'm the HP liaison to the Linux Special Interest Group (SIG) at Connect Worldwide, your Independent HP Business Technology Community. I look forward to your comments.
What do you want to talk about?