Using VMware to bring along legacy environments

HP’s Unix isn’t ever going to the x86 family. HP-UX slipped as an enterprise choice because it was built upon the wrong processor.

Even though HP remains saddled up for its Unix version for commercial sites, its inability to get HP-UX onto the Xeon class of processors is an oversight. The good news: there are competent and experienced vendors who should be able to virtualize the HP Itanium hardware. In that, OpenVMS, MPE, and Alpha environments are far ahead of HP-UX’s prospects.

HP’s manager Doug Strain discussed choosing the right processor as a key point in a VMworld talk about HP’s Superdome X. “The only problem was that it didn’t have x86 processors,” he said of the machine that can use up to 12TB of memory. “Well, we fixed that.” So the right chipset — based on Intel’s Xeon, not Itanium — makes Superdome X as useful and fully-featured as a server virtualization. Don’t be confused: a Superdome X has to be fitted with an x86 processor blade to do this.

No HP Unix on that x86 blade, though. It’s just one more way to see how Itanium and HP-UX dropped from HP’s futures.

Linux is taking the place of HP-UX in HP’s ERP futures. It’s not news that VMware and HP’s Unix are not a match. What seems new is the way Linux and Windows are being positioned as HP’s VMware tools.

In a meaningful minute-plus, Strain sums up how the Integrity line has become a real VM player, now that it’s got Xeon capability. It paints the HP hardware as a powerhouse for ERP. Does it virtualize? Integrity used to mean Itanium chips, which remain the only ones that host HP-UX. HP says that Integrity, “if you’re familiar with it, going back,” is now so much more. It’s true if you’re running VMware on that biggest of Integrity servers, to an application can run in the x86 space. Of course, if the application is in HP-UX, VMware isn’t going to help. Since Itanium is now frozen, virtualization is actually a choice with a better future for growth.

Replacing MPE/iX as an ERP solution remains a challenge on the migration front. There are still major manufacturers using 3000s, and looking to what’s next. Virtualization is shaping an advanced strategy that wrings the best use from IT investments.

How important? Here’s what VMware had to say about its partnership with HP Enterprise.

“The software-defined data center enables companies to evolve beyond hardware-centric architectures to create an automated, easy to manage hybrid cloud platform that can meet the demands of both traditional and emerging cloud-native applications,” said Carl Eschenbach, who was once president and CEO of VMware. “VMware and HP continue to help our mutual customers drive innovation with greater speed and scale.”

Linux won a victory by evolution. HP decided the best of HP-UX would go into Linux. It’s a hotbed of virtualization, that Linux environment. It plays well with Xeon. Linux acts as the cradle for several emulation and virtualization solutions, too.

Photo credit: Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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