Feeds

HP goes sweet sixteen with HP-UX 11i update

Serviceguard but no leather boots

The essential guide to IT transformation

The established Unix operating systems change at a glacial pace these days, but they do get tweaked from time to time. In the case of Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX 11i v3 operating system for the company's current Itanium and legacy PA-RISC servers, HP-UX gets an update every six months or so, with Update 4 debuting tomorrow.

The changes are not huge in Update 4, but they will nonetheless prove useful to HP-UX shops. Most of the useful changes come in an add-on for HP-UX called Serviceguard, which provides high availability clustering for up to 16 server nodes. But regardless of where the tweaks have been made, HP has focused on improving uptime and cutting down on the work admins have to do.

HP-UX 11i v3 Update 4 also includes an online download option, which doesn't seem so radical if you are used to using Linux, but old school operating system providers have been hung up on media distribution for some strange reason. Anyway, customers can now get an HP-UX license in a few hours from HP's replicated servers instead of waiting a few days for it to arrive by mail.

To further make the life of administrators easier, HP has extended the online patching and updating features of its Unix operating system with a new feature called dynamic root disk, which allows for an admin to spawn a new partition on an HP-UX box, plunk a copy of the operating system there, and point updates at this secondary partition.

Once the patches are applied, admins can do testing to make sure it is working, leaving end users banging away on the old partition until the techies are satisfied that the new partition is solid. When they want to move customers over to the new partition, they just reboot the box and start the machine on the new partition, and if something has gone awry, they can reboot and be back on the old partition. HP says that this dynamic root disk can cut the time downtime associated with an HP-UX upgrade in half.

Update 4 includes a disk scrubbing feature that allows information to be truly scrubbed off disk drives, with the data being randomised, rather than simply having pointers to the data removed, which is what operating systems normally do when you delete files.

According to Brian Cox, director of Business Critical Servers software planning and marketing at HP, companies like to repurpose their Unix boxes as they add new machines, but there are all kinds of compliance issues regarding data scrubbing. With it costing as much as $150 per drive to have a disk drive scrubbed, this can add up to money in a heavily configured system. HP-UX now has its own data scrub feature, which is free to anyone with an HP-UX 11i v3 support contract, and because customers tend to have a set of disks for the HP-UX operating system and another set for data, the data disks can be scrubbed while the OS disks are left alone, which means admins do not need to reinstall the operating system - also a pain in the neck.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.