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.

Greener Datacenters Around the World

One of the fun parts of my job is that I get to meet with IT people from around the world. Last week, we had a group of mid-level telecom managers and regulators from developing countries here in Cupertino to learn about some of the latest IT trends and technologies. I was asked to discuss Greener data centers.

HP Tech @ Work: Scalable and Mission Critical Windows Solutions

Well, it is
Thursday morning, and the last day of Tech @ Work. I'm catching one last
session before heading to the airport. While I often blog about HP-UX, this
time I'm trying to learn a little more about Windows, especially for mission
critical environments.


Grizaud, the speaker, started out covering some of the trends in the industry:
things like pressure to reduce underutilized servers, reducing physical servers
using virtualization, and things like that.


Laurence  talked about the needs to be scalable,
reliable, and operationally efficient. While scale out is one way to increasing
resources, she focused on scale up solutions. Windows runs on  everything from a 2 socket server to a
Superdome with 64 sockets and 128 cores and 256 threads. Windows 2008 R2 now
supports up to 128 cores, up to 2 Tb of memory, and up to 192 I/O slots that
are available on the Superdome. This provides a stable platform for large OLTP,
Business Intelligence, and Data warehouse workloads, for server consolidation
using VMware, Hyper-V, or database instance stacking, or for I/O or memory
constrained applications that require the added scalability.


At the end of
the day, the scaling requirements of your application will usually determine
whether you use a scale up or scale out model. For instance, SQL 2008 R2 will
be able to balance its workload across all 256 logical processors (threads) on
a current Superdome. HP offers servers that can work in either scenario.


If you are going
to add a whole bunch of workloads to a single server, the impact of an outage
is much more serious since it impacts more workloads. That usually requires a
more reliable and resilient infrastructure. A more reliable system means less
problems. A more resilient server means that if there is a problem, the server
doesn't fail and bring down the workloads. This extends to extended distance
clusters to provide availability even if a server, or datacenter, goes down.


Finally, there
is a requirement for operational efficiency. Most customers have Window servers
running somewhere in their environment. If you are looking for a scale up,
mission critical Windows server, it should use the same tools and processes as
you already use on smaller systems. HP includes the HP Insight Foundation, and
offers the HP Insight Control and HP Insight Dynamics across all of our servers
that offer Windows support.


HP mission
critical Windows servers - offering scalability, resiliency, and operational
efficiency. Do you use scale up Windows servers? If so, what applications do
you run, and what hardware do you utilize.


Well, this is
just about it for me at Tech @ Work this year. It has been a great time with
the new product introductions, meeting customers and colleagues, and listening
to some great speakers. I'm on the road for a few weeks in the APJ region, so
blog updates might be a little more sparse. Hopefully you have found the team
coverage of Tech @ Work interesting.




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.



Linux vs. UNIX – shouldn’t they be equals?

From Brian Cox, the director of Software Product Management and Marketing in HP Business Critical Systems...

I frequently am asked the question by customers which operating system should they use for their mission-critical environment.  My HP field colleagues, who see customers on a daily basis, also get this same inquiry.  I will attempt to provide my perspective on this important question.  However, like most things in life, the answer is not “one size fits all”.

First, a bit of background on me.  I manage the HP team responsible for the product management and marketing for the system software on the Integrity brand of servers.  The Integrity servers have been designed for customers’ most demanding applications, and my team helps to plan and to deliver the operating systems HP-UX, Linux, Windows and OpenVMS, along with closely associated software such as compilers, file systems and clustering that run on these servers.  These four operating systems are my “family” at work.  I love them all. 

Coincidentally, I happen to have four children at home.  And they are all different, which is a good analogy for how I view the four operating systems. Like my children, each has developed its own set of strengths, set of followers, and is at a different stage of maturity.

Without stretching the family analogy too far, let me tell you about my two oldest sons, Jonathan and Alex, ages 16 and 13, respectively.  Both are highly competitive basketball players.  In fact, my 16-year-old was MVP of his Junior Varsity High School basketball team last year.  They play one-on-one basketball against each other all the time.  However, my 16-year-old Jonathan always beats my 13-year-old Alex.  Jonathan is simply bigger, stronger, and has more years of skilled coaching and practice drills.  Similarly, when I am asked which is better, HP-UX or Linux, I view my response as I view comparisons to my sons.  I love them both, but for the most demanding basketball games, I will usually  recommend Jonathan as my starter.  However, in games against other players in their early teens, I am very comfortable putting Alex into the starting line-up.

Here’s the additional rub.  Though Alex is shorter at 5 feet 8 inches, his older brother Jonathan is about topped out at 5 feet 11 inches.  However, based on growth charts, Alex will likely end up being about 6 feet 4 inches.  Therefore, if you asked me today, who would I start in the most demanding basketball games, I would still say Jonathan.  However, if you asked me that same question in five years, then I would seriously have to consider Alex as my starter.

Similarly, if you asked me to choose between HP-UX and Linux for a customer’s most demanding workload,  I would typically recommend HP-UX.  However, if my customers’ time horizon is five years from now, then I would seriously consider Linux (by the way, you could replace OpenVMS for HP-UX and Windows for Linux in the above comparison and I would give you a similar answer).

There will always be exceptions to these general recommendation based on a customer’s unique situation.  For example, the customer might have a deep history with Linux and is able and willing to do the integration themselves that already exists within HP-UX .  In that case, I would be quite confident  to recommend Linux.  On the other hand, if the customer needs proven 99.999% uptime, one-stop serviceability and proven scalability to millions of transactions per minute or 10s of terabytes of data warehouse size, then HP-UX would be the safer bet today.

On a feature-by-feature basis, Linux more closely matches HP-UX and the other enterprise UNIX offerings with each passing day.  However, the open source community is still building out the breadth of manageability toolsets, and most importantly the proven case studies where the system regularly delivers flawlessly under the most demanding workloads.  A good description of this Linux evolution is a white paper written by Ideas International that can be found at: http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise/w1/en/os/hpux11i-v3-and-linux.html

As I was  writing this blog, a manager on my staff named MJ was at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas..  She kept me updated with text messages about highlights of the conference.  During a session entitled “Is the Luster Off Linux?,” hosted by Gartner analyst George Weiss (its OS and server expert), George polled the audience of about 150 people and asked how many were actively moving from Unix to Linux/Windows, and just a few hands went up.  This is consistent with findings I saw earlier this year from another industry analyst firm called Gabriel Consulting Group on the current state and future for UNIX.  For background on these findings see www.hp.com/go/gabrielonunix.

In addition to the poll taken during the Gartner session, here were some of the key points:

* A New Reality Has Set In: Linux Is Not Inexpensive

* Big users are committed to Linux but believe they're paying too much.

* Linux should be synonymous with ease of application portability and zero switching costs, but is not.

* What should be a leader in virtualization is not yet.

* Virtualization market presence — missing in action

* Escalating contract costs and restrictions

* Large nonpaying population: Equated with lower value?

* TCO evaporating up the food chain

* One-vendor dominance, despite dozens of distributors

* "The stand-alone OS is dead." (Nat Friedman, vice president, Novell )

* "Linux is bloated" comment by Linus Torvalds, Linux creator; (A forewarning?)

* Difficulty growing beyond 1- to 2-socket servers

In summary, Gartner did not recommend that customers not move to Linux, but they did state the issues and risks.  Most vulnerable are systems in the $5-25K range.  They acknowledged that systems in the $25-500K range are UNIX strongholds and require stability, strong management capabilities and virtualization.

So when customers ask me, whether they should to choose between Linux and HP-UX for running most demanding workloads for deployment today, I will honestly have to recommend HP-UX in most situations.  However, Linux development will continue for years to come.  Thus if a customer’s time horizon is five years from now, then I think it would be time for a serious comparison, just as I will do with my two oldest sons in playing one-on-one basketball a few years from now. 

In closing, and to wrap up  my family analogy, I love all my children just as I love all the operating systems for which my team has responsibility.  They are simply at different stages in their development.

Brian Cox 

Solaris to Windows Migrations

Based on all the news around Oracle and Sun, I know that there are a lot of Sun customers considering their options, especially if they are looking to replace older systems as the economy stabilizes and they are looking towards some growth next year. HP, and most of our competitors, offer a whole host of offerings for Sun customers who are looking to move. One of those options, especially since most people are already running Windows in their environment, is moving some of their mission critical applications to Windows, either in a scale up or a scale out environment.

I got an e-mail from a co-worker, Dan, that I though I'd pass along. It may be of interest for people who are considering application redeployment on Windows.


Hi Jacob,


I know you are aware of the robust program HP has for users of Sun equipment to help them migrate to HP in light of the uncertainties surrounding Sun.   This is the Sun Complete Care program .


But I want you to also know about a special part of this program.  We have teamed up with Microsoft and Intel to help those Sun users who may be thinking about moving to a windows environment.  Windows on HP servers is a wonderfully cost-effective, reliable, and scalable alternative to Sun.  It is also backed by three of the most stable and innovative companies in our industry.  To introduce Sun users to the program we are recording a series of webinars that cover the topic of Sun migration to HP,  Microsoft, and Intel, in general as well as one each focusing on SAP and business intelligence (BI).  They are very informative and cover many of the whys, hows, and cost implications of such a move.


The webinars can be found at  http://www.bitpipe.com/detail/RES/1256737022_263.html


In addition you can check out the joint HP/Microsoft/Intel web site established for this program at http://www.SecureFutureNow.com.



Best regards,


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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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