RealTime IT News

New HP-UX To Debut

As part of its announced product road map, Hewlett-Packard said it will unveil the newest version of its HP-UX operating environment (OE) next week.

The current version, HP-UX 11i, is the UNIX operating environment that powers e-services and HP-UX servers on both PA-RISC and Intel Itanium processor families. The new unnamed version will debut Monday.

Because of HP-UX's larger market share and installed customer base of customers, as well as its broader ISV support, HP said it picked HP-UX over Compaq's Tru64 (formally DEC Unix) as the UNIX flavor it will support long term.

For example, the new AlphaServer series including its HP AlphaServer DS20L server and HP AlphaServer SC20 supercomputer were optimized for HP-UX.

Last year HP tweaked its TCP/IP stack and the network drivers for various supported network cards on its HP 9000 Unix server product line so that network device drivers could work closer with the operating system kernel. The change helped remove severe latencies. HP-UX 11i supports both the IPv4 and IPv6 protocols.

However, the biggest changes will come from folding in Tru64 Unix's more-advanced features, such as clustering and file systems.

The Tru64 operating system is a 64-bit advanced kernel architecture based on Carnegie-Mellon University's Mach V2.5 kernel design, with components from Berkeley Software Distribution (BSD) 4.3 and 4.4, UNIX System V, and other sources. Proponents say that Tru64 is better because its kernel has a modular design. HP said it expects to keep much of the base qualities of Tru64 and use the technology to its advantage.

"Integrating HP-UX with Tru64 gives us a strong market share," said Rich Marcello, vice president and general manager of Compaq's High Performance Systems unit before the merger. "Tru64 clustering technology will be merged on top of HP-UX. You will be running on industry-standard platforms and every ISV (independent software vendor) will want to come to that."

With a new OE in tow, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker is also expected to make more headway the UNIX marketplace. IDC numbers released last month show that HP again claimed the No. 1 spot for the first quarter of 2002 with a commanding 35 percent share of midrange UNIX server revenues. Currently, HP-UX has a 25 per cent market share to Tru64's 10 per cent.

Combined, HP and Compaq had more UNIX server revenue in the first quarter than any other vendor. Looking beyond UNIX to the total server market, HP and Compaq together sold more servers in the first quarter than any other company - 80 percent more than the nearest competitor, IBM or Sun .