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.

IBM - Welcome to the Converged Infrastructure (Mainframe Customers Only)

Is imitation the sincerest form of flattery? If so, what do you make of IBM's recent mainframe announcement when compared to HP's Converged Infrastructure? If you missed it, IBM announced a mainframe upgrade, now called the IBM zEnterprise 196. Like most server upgrades, it has more processing power, more memory, and does so with similar or less power consumption and floor space - likely still at prices that make Superdome 2 servers with similar capabilities look really inexpensive.

UNIX in the UK

There has been an e-mail string going around HP in the last week, trying to figure out how, as one writer put it ,“Oracle Solaris is the number one choice for mission-critical systems finds a Coleman Parkes Research survey, which was conducted on behalf of HP.” A better quote would have been that Oracle Solaris WAS the number one choice, something that anyone who reviews the IDC or Gartner shipment data for the last number of years would not be surprised to know.

Server Design: Solving Real-World Customer Problems

Late last week,
I had the opportunity to spend some time on the phone with a customer who had a
large UNIX install base, but was considering HP and HP-UX 11i v3 for the first
time. The account team was on site, and obviously covered many more topics than
I did during my 45 minutes on the phone. However, I found the customer's
response to what I had to say quite interesting, and it got me thinking about
server design, and real-world customer problems.


While I covered
the whole software portfolio, the customer really had questions about two areas
- our high availability and disaster recovery portfolio, and our orchestration
. In fact, I ended up going back to our orchestration products multiple
times, just to answer all of their questions. The customer was amazed that HP
Insight Orchestration, as part of our Converged Infrastructure, could automate
such a big part of their day to day provisioning process. To them, this would
help solve a huge operational problem - reducing the ongoing maintenance costs
as part of their overall it budget. This is something HP experienced - reducing
maintenance and operations from 70% of the IT budget and reducing it to around
30% of the IT budget. The first model was making IT unsustainable.


This got me
thinking about the what our customers ask for in new servers. Everyone expects
that the new servers will offer more performance than the previous generation.
Everyone expects that power consumption will drop. These are good
characteristics, but is that all the innovation you want from your server
vendor? A faster chip, but in the same old box - what comes to my mind when I see the new POWER 7 servers.? With the same old maintenance
issues? A vendor who makes great hardware, but looks at customers as support
annunities? A vendor who isn't invested in reducing maintenance as percentage
of your IT budget - solving the big IT problem?


Intel has
released their new Itanium 9300 processor, and HP will announce its new systems
within 90 days. My question: will they just be the same old servers, just with
a faster processor? Or will they be something more for mission critical
environments? Will HP take steps to help our customers dig out from their
maintenance costs? What are you looking for in these new servers?




Transitioning Applications from HP 9000 to HP Integrity Servers


Since I often speak with customers in my role, I tend to run into some scenarios on a regular basis. As part of the worldwide team, I also get to spend time with people who understand certain areas of our business at great depth, and learn about offerings we have that can help our customers. This was the case the other day when I was speaking with Swaroop, a co-worker who works on compilers, Java, and transition tools.


We were speaking about a common scenario that we often come across - lots of HP 9000 PA-RISC servers functioning perfectly well at a customer site. The customer would like to get rid of the old servers and consolidate on something more efficient, but their code runs on PA-RISC and they don't want to upgrade or re-write their code to work on HP Integrity servers. I've known about the Aries translator, but Swaroop gave me an in-depth view of the "Over Easy" portfolio.


As I've heard for years, the Aries translator runs HP 9000 PA-RISC binaries on HP Integrity servers. It works well, but like any translation, it isn't as efficient are recompiling the code to a native mode, although the translator gets more efficient the longer that it runs. Naturally, if you take an old server, the performance per core of a new server is so much higher that even with the translator the performance might improve compared to the old environment.


The next tool is for Java environments. It is called HP Mixed Mode Translator (MITR). Essentially, this runs the HP Integrity Java Virtual Machine instead of the HP 9000 JVM. However, if the Integrity Java JVM calls a HP 9000 library, MITR automatically makes sure that the library runs under the Aries translator. This gives you the benefit of a native JVM (such as performance improvements), but still using the rest of your HP 9000 libraries.


Third, for developers, there is the HP XPADE - namely the HP 9000 Cross Development Environment for Integrity. This allows you to develop your HP 9000 code on newer HP Integrity servers. HP XPADE provides a self-contained and fully functional HP 9000 HP-UX C/C++ development environment on HP-UX 11i for HP Integrity servers.


Finally, if you are at the point that you want to move code from HP 9000 to HP Integrity servers, HP offers a number of HP Software Transition Kits. There is a Software Transition Kit from HP 9000 and HP-UX  to HP HP-UX on Integrity. There are other software transition kits as well - Linux, Solaris, Tru64, and AIX. There are other tools as well. And naturally, HP is has a lot of upgrade, transition, and migration expertise, including Migration Competency Centers. If you need help, HP is happy to help provide it.


As I mentioned, I learned a lot about how to get HP 9000 code onto newer HP Integrity servers, which often reduces maintenance activities, support costs, power, cooling, and floor space costs, and more. Hopefully you find this information useful as well.



UNIX and Linux in the Datacenter


A number of years ago, I was working booth duty at Linux World in San Francisco. I believe that I was showing off the HP Virtual Server Environment for Integrity servers running Linux, now Insight-Dynamics - VSE for Integrity servers


At one point during the day, after a customer demo, one of the two people watching the demo started asking about HP-UX 11i, and UNIX in general. We talked about server virtualization for HP-UX for a bit, and then came the big question. Does UNIX have a future? Isn't Linux on x86 going to wipe it out?


My answer then, much as it is now, was that UNIX is a large, mature market, and that the existing vendors were going to keep innovating in that market for years to come. The revenues on non-x86 servers, at least back then, were roughly the same as for x86 servers, although the x86 server market was and is growing faster. Linux is going to grow, especially for new workloads.  However, UNIX will still deliver mission critical environments, especially for existing workloads, better than many of the operating systems typically found on x86 servers. I used server virtualization as a proof point: the UNIX environments were offering a variety of mission critical virtualization technologies that were not available on Linux at that time (such as dynamic hard partitions and instant capacity), and indeed, are still not available today. In other words, Linux was small and growing, but UNIX was big and stable, and would be around for years to come.


After the customer walked away, satisfied with the answer, the other person watching the demo spoke up. She worked on AIX, and commented that she was glad I got to answer that question, since she also had to answer it many times! We shared a laugh, and went our separate ways.


Now, years later, I still get the question on a regular basis, and my answer is still much the same. I keep speaking with sales reps, who are still making a living selling UNIX. I keep speaking with customers, who definitely want more UNIX servers, and are often wondering not whether or not to keep UNIX, but which UNIX vendor they should buy from (HP of course, since that is where I draw a paycheck <grin>).


In addition, we have the Gabriel Consulting Group reports on UNIX preference . Their report on UNIX is title UNIX: Alive, Well, and Strategic . In short, the report states something that many of us already know: In the datacenter, UNIX is still a go to choice for mission critical workloads, especially for large enterprise customers.


I look forward to working with those customers and sales reps for years to come.



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  • • 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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