Feeds

HP goes sweet sixteen with HP-UX 11i update

Serviceguard but no leather boots

Maximizing your infrastructure through virtualization

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.

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in
He walked over the broken glass, killed the thugs... and er... reconnected the cables*
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
SHOCK and AWS: The fall of Amazon's deflationary cloud
Just as Jeff Bezos did to books and CDs, Amazon's rivals are now doing to it
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
The triumph of VVOL: Everyone's jumping into bed with VMware
'Bandwagon'? Yes, we're on it and so what, say big dogs
Carbon tax repeal won't see data centre operators cut prices
Rackspace says electricity isn't a major cost, Equinix promises 'no levy'
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.