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.

Avatar, Weta Digital, and HP BladeSystem


I finally got out to see the movie Avatar in 3D last week with a bunch of friends. I enjoyed the movie, and the animation and 3D effects were wonderful.


What is more interesting is the infrastructure behind the movie. A lot of the work was done on HP BL2x220c blades in HP Bladesystem c7000 enclosures. Imagine racks of them - or about 40,000 processors and 104 Tb of memory, according to the Reality Check - Server Insights blog posting at http://www.communities.hp.com/online/blogs/reality-check-server-insights/archive/2010/01/13/the-it-behind-the-big-blockbuster-sci-fi-hit-avatar.aspx.


This is a great example of scaling out to do a huge job. But, the nice thing is that the same infrastructure can also be used for HP Integrity BL860c and BL870c blades . Even the HP Non-Stop servers are available in a bladed architecture, and they have some of the highest levels of uptime in the industry.


Compared to rack-mount servers, our customers save floor space, power and cooling, and even management time and expenses compared to the save compute power in a rack-mount chassis. So, whether you are scaling out to render a new movie, running a mission critical database instance, or helping run a commodities exchange, a HP BladeSystem infrastructure can help run your business today.



HP-UX 11i v3 on YouTube


Well, it is a slow news week in the enterprise space, so I figured that I would send out something fun. We've recently posted a couple of videos about the high level value proposition for HP-UX 11i v3. They are available at:







Of course, there are a number of other videos on YouTube. They include the Disaster Proof video from a few years ago, posted at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMCHpUtJnEI. I actually have a piece from those blown up systems, and I've seen many other pieces, courtesy of one of my former managers who was actually there when they blew up the systems. While the video includes HP-UX 11i, it also includes Windows, Linux, OpenVMS, and NonStop running on HP Integrity servers. Proof, once again, that HP delivers resilient, mission critical environments.



NonStop servers - 35 years and counting


This should be easy for me to remember: some former HP employees started Tandem Computers Inc. in 1974, the same year that I was born.  Years later, it would re-join the HP family when HP merged with Compaq. At HP, you can't talk about mission critical computing without mentioning HP Integrity Non-Stop servers from time to time.


While I spend most of my time working with HP-UX 11i, which provides core mission critical capabilities for many enterprises world wide, there are times that I come across customers who truly need scalability, uptime, and data integrity that not even a leading UNIX operating system can provide. For these customers, HP Integrity NonStop servers are a great, proven solution.


HP Integrity NonStop servers today take advantage of the modularity of HP BladeSystem. It scales to 16 processors in a node, and up to 255 nodes in a real time cluster. Naturally, it offers uptime that gets measured in years, as NonStop servers have done for years. This is a great proof point that blade servers, at least from HP, are ready for the most mission critical workloads!


Needless to say, I'm not an expert on HP Integrity NonStop servers. However, they are something that I find interesting, and for more information on 35 years of NonStop, you can go to http://h20223.www2.hp.com/nonstopcomputing/us/en/messaging/news-systems-35-anniversary.html.



Superdome 10th Anniversary Kick Off - Part 2

We finished a fabulous Superdome Tech Day yesterday with a number of bloggers. I need to go and see what they have written, but I know that at least one site actually covered the event live. There were also a lot of tweets using the tag #HPSuperdome.

There were a couple of questions, thoughts, and interesting things that struck me.

  1. OpenVMS is on HP Integrity servers. A few of the bloggers thought that OpenVMS was dead, and they were glad to hear that it is still alive, well, and being developed.

  2. HP Non-Stop servers are also Integrity servers, using the HP Itanium processor. They aren't Superdomes, but this was also something that a lot of people we not aware of in the room.

  3. I had a great chat with Jean Bozman from IDC after her presentation. It was interesting to note that the UNIX server business has consistantly been 31-32% of the overall server market revenue since they started counting the market in 1996 up until 2008. The overall market goes up and down, and the UNIX business with it. However, this explains to many people why UNIX servers will be around for a long time. The Windows and Linux on x86 markets have definitely grown, but it was mostly at the expense of "Other Servers" while the UNIX business has remained steady.

  4. We had a chance to look at a Superdome. Not just a new Superdome, but an original pre-production Superdome delivered months before the product was announced. It doesn't have any of the skins on it, but has been upgraded over the years with all the new components. It's still used for performance work today, almost 10 years after it was first installed.

  5. We finished the day with a quiz on the benefits of moving from an IBM mainframe to an HP Superdome. The questions were based on facts that come up during things like the Mainframe TCO challenge . We had a lot of fun with that, but some of the TCO savings by moving to a HP Superdome just blew people away.

Are there any of these topics that you want to hear more about? Leave me a comment, and I'll see if I can address them in more detail in a future blog post.

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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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