RealTime IT News

HP Gets a Handle on Its World

HP is taking some time this week to patch up some loose ends with its organically built hardware and software lineups.

Famous for its relationships with Microsoft and Linux distribution vendors like Red Hat and SUSE Linux , HP is revamping its Integrity and HP 9000 high-end servers with new virtualization software based on its HP-UX 11i operating system.

In a slew of announcements Monday, HP unveiled a multi-OS support system of its HP Virtual Server Environment, new HP-UX 11i v2 software for its HP 9000 servers and enhancements to its AlphaServer systems. The changes help optimize server utilization by letting multiple HP-UX 11i and 2.6 kernel Linux operating system instances share a single CPU, as well as I/O resources.

"We're getting excellent uptake on our Integrity servers, but HP at the same time is a very multi-OS company," Nick van der Zweep, HP director of virtualization and utility computing, told internetnews.com.

The revamp comes at a critical time. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer and printer maker is still reeling from last week's financial news. CEO Carly Fiorina fired three executives and informed Wall Street that it would offer lower revenue expectations for its third quarter. The company is expected to file its quarterly financial statement Wednesday.

Despite the shakeup, HP said its server virtualization and provisioning strategy, also known as Adaptive Enterprise, will now include HP-UX 11i version 2. The software scales up to 128-way systems and includes data center enhancements, such as virtualization, high availability and disaster tolerance.

At its HP World 2004 tradeshow in Chicago, the company announced that its new Global Workload Manager is on tap for this year with support for HP-UX 11i and Linux operating systems.

HP said it would now let customers use its HP Integrity servers as a pay-per-use system for Windows on Integrity servers. In addition, Instant Capacity capabilities for Windows and Linux will be made available through the integration with HP Integrity Virtual Machines.

The company said its Virtual Server Environment for HP-UX 11i is also getting spruced up with a Serviceguard extension for RAC (SGeRAC); Secure Resource Partitions to secure processes and files via compartments; and HP-UX Virtual Partitions (vPars) for HP Integrity servers.

The company said HP-UX 11i paves an even smoother path for HP 9000 customers to evolve to Integrity systems by providing common administrative functions. HP-UX 11i maintains source and data compatibility when moving from HP 9000 to Integrity servers. In addition, the company said its HP Serviceguard now allows support for both HP 9000 and Integrity servers within a single cluster.

HP also has added performance enhancements to the AlphaServer product line with higher speed EV7 processors for the midrange and the new higher speed EV7z processor for the high end, providing Tru64 Unix and OpenVMS customers a cost-competitive platform.

"HP was one of the first companies to recognize the importance of virtualization," said Vernon Turner, IDC group vice president and general manager, Enterprise Computing. "The power of HP's virtualization strategy lies with its integrated approach, including hardware, management software and services, to offer a complete and flexible solution."

In storage news, HP announced the general availability of its Fibre Attached Technology Adapted SATA drive family. The drive is a low-cost mechanism with a two-gigabit, dual-ported fibre channel interface to allow customers to shift less frequently accessed data around.

Kyle Fitze, director of marketing for HP's online storage division, also unveiled the StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) 3000 Starter Kit, a 2-gigabit fibre channel SAN array bundle that integrates hardware, management software and specialized services.

With the product, customers can deploy an EVA at a 25 percent savings of the sum of the individually listed products. Available Sept. 1, the HP StorageWorks EVA 3000 Starter Kit is priced just less than $42,000.

HP also announced customer momentum Monday with a partnership targeted at the telecommunications industry. The company said it will supply wireless giant Motorola with some customized Itanium-based servers running a carrier-grade version of the Debian Linux distribution to power its OpenCall carrier software.

The goal is to provide all major carriers with a path to upgrade to its partnered 64-bit systems to run next-generation systems.