Mission Critical Computing Blog
Your source for the latest insights on HP Integrity, mission critical computing, and other relevant server and technology topics from the BCS team.

Displaying articles for: November 2010

Private or public cloud computing - which one is best for your enterprise?

If you would like to consider cloud computing for your enterprise but aren't sure about public versus private cloud, this may get you started.

OpenVMS saves lives, one test at a time!

Quest Diagnostics, an HP OpenVMS customer on Integrity speaks about how they rely on HP OpenVMS running on HP systems to ensure that diagnostic tests are completed correctly, around the clock, and get into the hands of awaiting physicians—all while patient information and test results remain secure.


Quest Diagnostics relies on HP OpenVMS as the foundation for most of its mission-critical applications, including its standard Laboratory Information System (LIS), the core software that manages receipt and processing of blood, tissue, and other specimens, as well as the distribution and storage of test results—securely and without fail. “We’ve customized our LIS over the years, but the underlying code is based on the proven InterSystems DSM and Caché, and was written from the start for HP OpenVMS because of the operating system’s stability and reliability,” says Jim Diorio, executive director, IT Infrastructure, Quest Diagnostics Incorporated.


Diorio also notes that LIS on HP OpenVMS runs for years at a time without downtime—and even if a planned service outage occurs, bringing portions of the company’s HP OpenVMS clustered systems down and back up is transparent to users. “We’ve rebooted nodes and replaced CPUs without affecting the availability of the laboratory systems, due to the resiliency of HP OpenVMS running on clustered HP hardware,” he says.


“To save on power, cooling, and floor space, our primary goal was to consolidate multiple HP AlphaServer ES80 clusters onto more powerful, compact HP machines,” Dioro said. For every disaster recovery test they conducted, the OpenVMS platform passed with flying colors.


“At Quest Diagnostics, we are carefully following technological advances in OpenVMS, even trying to influence the direction by providing feedback to HP Engineering and meticulously testing all new solutions and evaluating their value for our business,” Diorio says. “For instance, with the introduction of TCP/IP clustering in VMS 8.4, we plan to explore the possibilities of long-distance clusters and their value for total fault tolerance.”


For more on the Quest OpenVMS experience visit our website


Do share with us if you have any such similar success stories with OpenVMS!





Black Friday Midnight Lines? Who needs 'em in an Instant-On World

I love to find a good deal as much as the next person, but I just can't bring myself to join the midnight crowds lining up in front of stores on Black Friday.  Smart retailers know this trend is increasing and have acted accordingly....

Influence a Product: HP Integrity Virtual Machines

One of the joys I have in working as part of HP is that I am given the opportunity to influence product priorities and directions from time to time. When those opportunities arise, it is culmination of what I've heard from various sales reps and customers I've spoken with. At best, it is second hand knowledge.


Now, however, you have a chance to provide direct input to a product engineering team. The team behind HP Integrity Virtual Machines, part of the partitioning and virtualization environment on HP Integrity Servers, is soliciting customer input on the current usage and future requirements. If you, or someone you know, would like to provide input to the team, there is a survey posted at http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/WEB22BFZ9A4VP3 . It should take about 5 minutes. I know that the development team would be grateful for any feedback.


Finally,  if you are in the US, have a great Thanksgiving!


Jacob Van Ewyk

Good, Better, Best - HP four-node Integrity BL860c i2 cluster!!

This is an interesting reference to a article by Chris Mellor of The Register, who I got the opportunity of meeting and had dinner with, when I attended a HP product launch in Barcelona, Spain earlier in October. If you read any of Chris Mellor’s work, you will note that they are always heavily focused on everything storage. In his recent article “NFS smackdown: NetApp knocks EMC out - Flash Cache as good as SSD tier”,  is no exception.

Mission Critical Computing without the labels

Have you ever walked past a server in a data center with one of those old plastic labels with the hand punched white letters?  Did you ever consider what's stuck behind that label?  Especially when it's a critical part of your infrastructure, you may have a lot of your IT capacity stuck behind that label.

Itanium Microarchitecture Update

When I visit potential HP Integrity customers, I often get questions around the Itanium processor, and the related roadmap. In fact, many non-HP customers seem to have heard the FUD from our competitors, and are surprised that Itanium isn't dead.


Intel has offered a public Itanium roadmap that includes the current Itanium 9300 processor series, a follow up processor called Poulson, and even a future Itanium processor called Kittson. Their public roadmap is available as a PDF and is one of the longer public roadmaps availablefor mission critical systems.


Now, we know that more details about the Poulson microarchitecture will be discussed at the International Solid State Circuits Conference in 2011 according to the advanced program release [PDF]. I am personally looking forward to reading about the conference and getting more details next year. David Kanter has an article on real world technologies that discusses what Poulson might look like if you are interested in more details.


Jacob Van Ewyk

Why Linux vs. UNIX isn’t always the right question to ask

I frequently get asked the question by customers which operating system they should use to run their mission-critical servers. My HP colleagues in the field who see customers on a daily basis are also getting similar inquiries. As with most things in life, it is not “one size fits all”.

The Real Story in Server Share Trends: HP Wins Big over IBM

HP has several migration programs across the globe, all using a single HP Migration Center that leverages best practices, resources and technologies to speed customer migration.  Our IBM POWER alternative program is clearly working - The proof is in the IDC server share numbers which shows HP wins BIG over IBM.  Bottom line success in the competitive migration game is total server revenue and the latest IDC YoY server tracker results are fairly stunning.  Here's why.....  



Did you miss it? The HP Integrity rx2800 i2 server just arrived

I hope this server did not get lost in the shuffle, it may only have a 2U footprint, but it packs quite a punch. If you have been following the new mission critical Integrity servers, you would know that the new lineup of Integrity blades was added to the Integrity family back in March. Although the rx2800 i2 server was announced at that time, it made its own debut earlier this week.

Integrity NonStop Self-management: From November 29th, 1974 to today and beyond

November 29th, 1974 was an important day not only in the history of astronomy and in the history of entertainment, but it was an important day in the history of computers too. NonStop systems with the industry's best availability, linear scalability and self-management came into existence that day.

Upgrading Integrity server blades is a snap

Integrity server blade upgrade kits are now orderable! Expand existing Integrity blades from a two-socket BL860c i2 to a four-socket BL870c i2 and from a BL870c i2 to an eight-socket BL890c i2.

Credit to Your Bottom Line: HP Integrity rx2800 i2 Server is ENERGY STAR Certified

Right now, as winter looms, I’m thinking about the ENERGY STAR® HVAC unit I purchased recently for my home. This summer I was surprised that the electric bill dropped over 30% per month, as promised in the system literature.


These savings got my attention! So, what about the power & cooling costs in IT datacenters? Can they be similarly impacted by ENERGY STAR systems?


Maximize your ROI and minimize your implementation risk

The launch of RHEL 6 provides a great opportunity for Solaris customers to migrate from their costly, proprietary infrastructure to the performance, scalability and cost advantages of Red Hat Linux. Customers can decrease their Solaris costs by up to 75% achieve server consolidation ratios of 20:1 by migrating to RHEL 6. Many customers do not have the in house IT expertise to perform a Solaris-RHEL migration, and need to carefully consider the experience and capabilities of a consulting provider.

Scaling up just got easier with HP and Red Hat

Written by: Naga Chumbalkar and Eden Cardenas


With the introduction of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 on HP ProLiant servers, scaling up just got a lot easier. With the HP ProLiant - RHEL 6 combination, you have a platform optimized for highly scalable deployments.


RHEL 6 with system-level enhancements from industry collaborations makes the most of Intel Nehalem-EX hardware RAS capabilities. RHEL 6 scales to the largest systems on the market today with plenty of expansion capabilities to accommodate growth and support for physical, virtual and cloud deployments.

Tags: Red Hat

Could you migrate your Sybase data quickly and easily?

There are a plethora of databases and infrastructures available today. However, once you've chosen a database and infrastructure, it is difficult to move data to a different one. This locks you into the infrastructure for many years, even if there are better fitting systems available for your organization. One of the databases that has been getting a little more attention recently is Sybase, especially since they've be purchased by SAP.

Have you heard about the new Instant-On Enterprise?

If you have been keeping up with HP news this past week you might have come across articles talking about HP unveiling its vision for the Instant-On Enterprise. Within the HP’s Enterprise Business we have been pushing hard for the past year on the Converged Infrastructure strategy and I think with the recent announcement it might have caused confusion around which strategy to follow. Duncan Campbell’s recently posted blog “Instant-On Enterprise - Changing how enterprises work art“ provides some great perspective around the Instant-On Enterprise and where it fits into the bigger picture.

A New ‘Gold Standard’ for Clusters set by OpenVMS V8.4

HP OpenVMS cluster software provides a highly integrated computing environment distributed over multiple servers — delivering high availability, scalability, and flexibility. A cluster allows you to connect systems of all sizes and capacities to achieve a single, easy-to-manage virtual system, enabling an application to operate across multiple nodes simultaneously. If one node fails, another node can seamlessly assume the workload.


HP OpenVMS cluster software has always set the ‘gold standard’ when it comes to disaster tolerance. With OpenVMS V8.4, we raise the bar further.


Advances in OpenVMS V8.4 cluster technology deliver these benefits:

  • Cost-effective clustering: Clustering over TCP/IP for all cluster communications
  • Improved scalability
  • Improved performance


OpenVMS V8.4 was extensively field tested by 230+ customers worldwide prior to launch. Cluster over TCP/IP was the most used feature of OpenVMS V8.4 by field test customers


2 key benefits were reported by customers:


Improved Performance: Test customers have been reporting a 50% improvement in the performance of their backup jobs due to enhancements in the cluster communication modules. PEdriver provides software link aggregation for higher bandwidth and performance. OpenVMS 8.4 has an improved software link aggregation mechanism that uses all the eligible links and ensures higher throughput. This results in overall improvement in application performance.


Simple yet cost effective: As all cluster communication is over TCP/IP , expensive Layer 2 services can be done away with. OpenVMS V8.4 has simplified the deployment of multi site disaster tolerant clusters


Encouraged by the results in their test environment, customers are now planning to use Cluster over TCP/IP in production.


Experience the benefits of HP OpenVMS Cluster Software .




HP Mission-Critical Customers Innovate in an Instant-On World

Technology increasingly keeps us connected with each other and with the businesses and governments we interact with. There are ways we haven't even begun to imagine yet that this convergence of people and technology will impact our day to day lives, how we run our businesses and expectations we have for immediacy of response. Are we becoming more impatient? Does instant gratification now trump 'worth the wait'? .....

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About the Author(s)
  • • Responsible for product management and marketing of NonStop Database, Business Continuity, and Cloud portfolios. Define product line strategy, positioning, branding, and messaging for all products in my portfolio. • Lead the Business Development efforts to build strategic partnerships to strengthen the eco-system. • Lead the GTM around Big Data with new innovative Analytics solutions resulting in incremental revenue opportunities. • Lead product marketing efforts including strategic positioning, Go-to-Market strategy, Sales Enablement and Analyst Briefing.
  • Joe Androlowicz is a Technical Communications and Marketing manager in HP’s NonStop Product Division. Joe is a 25 year journeyman in information systems design, instructional technologies and multimedia development. He left Apple Computer for Tandem Computers to help launch G03 and hasn’t looked back yet. He previously managed the program management team for the NonStop Education and Training Center and drove the development and growth of the NonStop Certification programs.
  • I work as a Master Architect in HP Servers R & D group. I work with teams spread across the lab and outside to build solutions which are highly available on HP-UX, OpenVMS and Mission Critical Linux platforms. In particular I contribute to develop HP Serviceguard clusters, HP-UX Security and Middleware products. I have been with HP for last 17 years and have exposure to HA/DR field from both R & D and customer perspectives.
  • Kirk Bresniker is the Vice President/Chief Technologist for HP Business Critical Systems where he has technical responsibility for all things Mission Critical, including HP-UX, NonStop and scalable x86 platforms. He joined HP in 1989 after graduating from Santa Clara University and has been an HP Fellow since 2008.
  • I’m the worldwide marketing manager for HP NonStop. I’ll be blogging and tweeting out news as it relates to NonStop solutions – you can find me here and on twitter at @CarolynatHP
  • Cynthia is part of the HP ExpertOne team. ExpertOne offers professional IT training and certifications from infrastructure refresh to areas that span across the datacenter like Cloud and Converged Infrastructure.
  • Hi, I´m part of the HP Servers team and work as Product Marketing Manager with a focus on mission-critical offerings. I´m interested in the business value our technology brings to customers and I'll be blogging about their stories and how our portfolio evolves to help them succeed in today´s market.
  • I am a member of the Enterprise Group Global Marketing team blogging on topics of interest for HP Servers. Check out blog posts on all four Server blog sites-Reality Check, The Eye on Blades, Mission Critical Computing and Hyperscale Computing- for exciting news on the future of compute.
  • I have worked with NonStop systems since 1982. I am a Master Technologist for HP and am part of the IT SWAT organization, the Cloud SWAT and work with HP Labs. I report into the Enterprise Solutions and Architecture organization.
  • HP Servers, Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and ExpertOne
  • Luke Oda is a member of the HP's BCS Marketing team. With a primary focus on marketing programs that support HP's BCS portfolio. His interests include all things mission-critical and the continuing innovation that HP demonstrates across the globe.
  • I am the Superdome 2 Product Manager. My interest is to learn how mission critical platform helps customers and would also like to share my thoughts on how Superdome has been helping customers and will continue to do so.
  • I work in the HP Servers marketing group, managing a marketing team responsible for marketing solutions for enterprise customers who run mission-critical workloads and depend on HP to keep their business continuously running.
  • Mohan Parthasarathy is a Technical Architect in the HP-UX lab. His primary focus currently is in the core kernel, platform enablement and virtualization areas of HP-UX. Mohan has worked on various modules of HP-UX, including networking protocol stacks, drivers, core kernel and virtualization
  • I am a Senior Manager managing external content & social media for HP Servers Awareness. Stay tuned for topics on Mission Critical Solutions, Core Enterprise & SMB Solutions, Next Gen Workload Solutions, Big Data & HPC, Cloudline and HPS Options! Follow me @RubyDatHP
  • Greetings! I am on the HP Enterprise Group marketing team. Topics I am interested in include Converged Infrastructure, Converged Systems and Management, and HP BladeSystem.
  • As a Managing Consultant for HP’s Enterprise Solution & Architecture group, I collaborate with client business and IT senior management to understand, prioritize and architect advanced use of data and information, drawing insights required to make informed business decisions. My current focus leverages event-driven business intelligence design techniques and technologies to identify patterns, anticipate outcomes and proactively optimize business response creating a differentiated position in the marketplace for the client.
  • Serviceguard for Linux, HP-UX, OpenVMS
  • Wendy Bartlett is a Distinguished Technologist in HP’s NonStop Enterprise Division, and focuses on dependability – security and availability - for the NonStop server line. She joined Tandem in 1978. Her other main area of interest is system architecture evolution. She has an M.S. degree in computer science from Stanford University.
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