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Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

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Willy Perez
Occasional Visitor

Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

I have been working with HP-UX for about 15 years and it is a great OS compared with Linux.
I would like your opinion about the future of HP-UX. It is clear that the market is moving towards Linux and vmware. I would like to know how HP-UX will compete with these platform in the future, I know this is a very general statement. It is unfortunate that HP never ported HP-UX to x86 platforms, but that is another story for another time.
80 REPLIES
Andrew Rutter
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

hi,

hpux is very good, and still widely used as im sure you are aware. yes linux and vmware are also very good in there place.

my feel is hpux will be around for still a good few years yet, but how far it will develop only hp can answer truly. it also greatly depends upon how much they are willing to invest on the newer hardware technologies too.

we can now run virtual machines on hpux servers too, and probably do much of what can be achieved on linux and vmware.

it was for me a sad day that hp stopped making and supporting workstation on hpux, but understandable in todays market place.

you may think it is unfortunate that hp never ported it to x86, but for me that is one reason i think its as good as it is, just more a shame they stopped the pa risc's

the latest version 11.31 is as good if not better, than any other os in my opinion for server environments, but means a more specialised sys admin, thats a good thing too in my opinion, but can make support more costly

maybe you should have a look here for more details on the newer versions of hpux

http://h20338.www2.hp.com/enterprise/w1/en/os/hpux11i-v3-overview.html

Andy
Olivier Masse
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

I think that HP-UX still has a few good years in front of it. There are still advantages of running HP-UX in high-end enterprise environments, but it is very dependent on your situation. The licensing cost is very high, and that limits a lot its reach to low-end deployements. So it will remain a niche operating system targeted to enterprise customers.

Brian Cox himself said in December that long-term projects should seriously consider Linux so that pretty much says what HP's long term plan are for HP-UX: keep HP-UX for current high-enterprise deployments, and embrace Linux for future, prospective customers.

Porting HP-UX to x86, and engineering a souped-up Proliant platform to replace the Integrity would indeed be interesting but many customers who have just been through a transition from PA-RISC to IA-64 wouldn't like that. I think this would be a marketing suicide to move to x86-64 in the short term.

Sticking with HP-UX for now makes a lot of sense to me in my situation since we've recently migrated to it in 2007 from another OS. And no matter what it costs, it just plain works. Many things can now be done online, and I didn't have to go explain unplanned downtime to upper management for the simple reason that there hasn't been any.

Olivier.
Benoy Daniel
Trusted Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

HP-UX 11iv4 development is already going on and V5 is in planning phase. And with Blade architecture HP-UX is going to grow further.
Dennis Handly
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

HP-UX 11.31 is continuing to provide new features with its various updates, including one for this March.
http://www.hp.com/go/hpux11i
Kapil Jha
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

see the roadmap for HPUX
http://h20338.www2.hp.com/hpux11i/downloads/HPUX%20Public%20Roadmap.pdf

They have long Road map, but still I think there are industries which may not go for Linux and Vmware they would love to stick with UNIX.
As its for sure more reliable.

I suppose small data centers and small applications may get migrated to Linux (my customers are moving to Linux for all small applications).

BR,
Kapil+

I am in this small bowl, I wane see the real world......
DeafFrog
Valued Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

SUN was bought by Oracle , since then Oracle has alredy found customers for their new "consolidated" products ,brains at HP must be thinking various routes (SOA @ ITRC).No doubt that vmware and Linux are here to stay....though they will have to strive more to make way to production datacenter(ohh...they already are).....just a li'l thought of mine.
FrogIsDeaf
Kapil Jha
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

Well SUN seems to have bright future, i suppose we would come to know about the trend in next 10-12 months.
As oracle have monopoly now they are good to give end-to-end solution, they have DB,UNIX,JAVA and other applications
wooooo whats Larry upto :)

Oracle has already launched the fastest ORACLE server with SUN Hardware which used to be with HP (although its still continued...for how many day??)

BR,
Kapil+

I am in this small bowl, I wane see the real world......
Basheer_2
Trusted Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

Salaams to all.

Here in Middle east especially in Saudi Arabia, HP-UX is growing. I have seen many new HP-UX superdome installations. The banking, oil, and healcare sectors are adopting to HP products.
Wim Rombauts
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

Well, my experience ...

15 years ago, I was already working with HP-UX. Around that time, Microsoft microsoft had released it's Windows NT Server platform.
The talk in our company was then that this Windows NT Server platform was finally THE solution. UNIX was going to disappear, everything would become windows, because it was so easy to use and configure and so cheap compared to UNIX.

Look at where we are today : We (= our company) more hate Microsoft tha love it. It is still widely used (The AD domain, Exchange, ... ) but our UNIX platform hasd never been so big and currently is our mission critical platform, despite the fact that we would stop with this platform and no longer spend money on it 15 years ago.

Now there is Linux. And again people say this is the platform of the future, that it will replace UNIX and seriously compete with windows.
As I see evolvments in Linux, it sometimes goes with big steps, where rolling upgrades and backward compatibility is not allways seen as so important. For new implementations (what currently is over 90% if Linux) and non-critical applications, this is not an issue, but I wonder what will happen when big businesses start upgrading there Linux systems. Maybe by then Linux has evolved enough to support rolloing, compatible upgrades without too much downtime. Maybe it does not, and maybe some companies will return to UNIX because Linux doesn't seem to be the solution for everything as they tought it would be, just like Windows Server 15 years ago.

But it's all a maybe.

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

I have read varying reports of whether HP-UX 11i v4 will be supported on PA-RISC servers.

Does anybody know?
Dennis Handly
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

>Marcus: I have read varying reports of whether HP-UX 11i v4 will be supported on PA-RISC servers

The latest roadmap is here:
http://h21007.www2.hp.com/portal/site/dspp/menuitem.863c3e4cbcdc3f3515b49c108973a801?ciid=2108efed55f02110efed55f02110275d6e10RCRD

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

Thanks Dennis, but useful as that roadmap is, it does not confirm whether RA-RISC will support v4.

I've read various press articles where representatives from HP will not confirm if 11i v4 will run on PA-RISC.
Michael Steele_2
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

Hi

I have actively worked as a UNIX consultant since 1990, most of that time being spent in HP-UX.

Through out this time I have lived via the telephone and email systems from recruiters who respond to me resume posted on the internet. Usually www.dice.com since DICE has been around the longest and specializes in placing techies.

Through the COMPAQ merger in 2001 I received 15 phone calls and emails a day for viable openings. This has been a constant rate through much of my career, until 2009.

During 2009 I got more solaris and linux calls and emails in a ration of approx. 15 to one over hp-ux.

I believe a lot of HP clients tried their best to stay with HP and migrate into Itanium, but are leaving in hordes because they don't believe in large scale Itanium.

My father use to say, "... the first thing to go is maintenance...", and I also see this in the HP corporate world. HP Support is a shadow of what it was before the Compaq merger and for good reason, you can't let tens of thousands of knowledgable people go and expect to replace them with English Second Language Speaking People with no technical background. An experiment that HP has tried now for several years and is not getting better. When you call Costa Rica, the level of knowledge has not changed since it started several years ago, it is still very, very bad.

HP's one niche is in large scale computer environments. In low end linux and Windows dominate.

This leaves AIX and Solaris too take up the slack that HP is giving away in the high end, and this is where I fully expect the market to go in the next ten years, leaving HP to go the way that DEC and NCR and SCO and ATT and Novel and others before them have gone. Into history.
Support Fatherhood - Stop Family Law
Taifur
Respected Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

Hi,

HP-UX (Hewlett Packard UniX) is Hewlett-Packard's proprietary implementation of the UNIX operating system, based on System V (initially System III). It runs on the HP 9000 PA-RISC-based range of processors and HP Integrity Intel's Itanium-based systems, and was also available for later Apollo/Domain systems. Earlier versions also ran on the HP 9000 Series 200, 300, and 400 computer systems based on the Motorola 68000 series of processors, as well as the HP 9000 Series 500 computers based on HP's proprietary FOCUS processor architecture.

In future HP-UX would be ahead more and more.

Cheers,
Taifur
SoorajCleris
HPE Pro

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

I think Taifun didnt read any of the above posts!!!! :)
"UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity" - Dennis Ritchie
SoorajCleris
HPE Pro

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

I am sorry its Taifur*
"UNIX is basically a simple operating system, but you have to be a genius to understand the simplicity" - Dennis Ritchie
Wim Rombauts
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

It would surprise met if HP-UX 11i v4 still suports PA-RISC.
PA-RISC sales have stopped at the end of 2009 (or was that 2008 already), so according to HP's promise, they will provide hardware support and an OS on them for 10 years, being 2018 or 2019.

Itanium processor technology and possibilities are starting to differ too much from the old PA-RISC technology, so it will be increasingly difficult to provide one single OS that uses the latest features of Itanium processors, and still also run efficiently on PA-RISC.

HP-UX 11i v3 is supported until at least 2017, so it sounds reasonable to me that they will extend support vor 11i v3 on PA-RISC for 2 years, and focus 11i v4 on Itanium.
Bob E Campbell
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

As an HP employee I won't comment on futures, but have enjoyed reading your comments.

I will say that if I did not see a future with HP-UX, I would not be here ;-)
Wim Rombauts
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

Well another note about the future of HP-UX.

We currently use HP-UX for our mission critical applications and I have recently enjoyed how I could upgrade our production cluster from HP-UX 11i v2 with SG 11.17 to HP-UX 11i v3 with SG 11.19 without any effective downtime.
First a rolling upgrade from SG.
Then a rolling OS upgrade.

Maybe (or should I say probably ?) because we have much more experience in such procedures with HP-UX compared to Linux, but also recently we had to upgrade (that's another difference, we were forced to upgrade, not choose to upgrade as with HP-UX) our recently build RedHat Linux cluster from 5.3 to 5.4, and we had to bring it down completely for about half an hour before we could safely restart our virtual machines on it.

We still have a lot to learn about mission critical RedHat Linux clusters, but until we can do full rolling upgrades there, I really think there is a sure future for HP-UX.

One disadvantage for which I really hope HP will change it's policy is the maintenance cost compared to Linux. I don't care about the license price for HP-UX, that's a one-time cost, but maintenance can be over 4 times higher and it is very hard to explain that to someone who decides about money and budgets. If only HP would request maintenances fees per socket instead of per core, that would bring a big financial advantage to HP-UX, certainly with the upcoming Itanium 9300.
ketan_5
Valued Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend


Interesting comments and really enjoyed reading it. HPUX is there and will be atleast for the next 12-15 years. Atleast I can see support roadmap for 11iv4 till 2017 and ofcourse 11iV5 will be in pipeline and hope the support will continue till 2020-23!! Not sure abt features it will offer but is going to remain there till HP starts thinking of killing its own kid like what they did with Alpha dn true64

When 'windows' entered in market, everybody was talking that it will replace UNIX boxes completely but till date enterprise segment is still running mainly on UNIX/Linux boxes and among them HPUX is having a lion's share ( any comments ???!!!).

I would really hate to even think HPUX also reaching the garbage where True64, Novell, SCO and many more are lying and if it really happens only HP will be responsible for it . Though things are beyond my reach " I would like HPUX to be alive as long I am :)"
Michael Steele_2
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

Hi Again:

What has not been identified yet and is what is currently on my mind is a) The huge push in virtualization and b) what the next generation of hardware is going to be.

Regarding b), hw has been getting smaller and smaller for decades and I believe will get much, much small, something akin to hand held size servers, in the near future.

And I don't currently see the impact on large scale boxes like superdomes and Sun 35K's except to say, they too will get much smaller.

In my mind this explains the push into virtualization more than the need for cutting organizational expenses.

And it looks like its going to be an Intel world. IBM and Sun / Oracle are the only other HW manufacturers out there now, except for HP and it's very questionable Itanium lineup.

I see all my clients in the North East going away from HP in droves. For the first time in years I've had trouble finding an HP contract and its not getting any better.
Support Fatherhood - Stop Family Law
James R. Ferguson
Acclaimed Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

Hi Willy:

It seems that HP-UX fairs better in large scale configurations than in small niches. The price of Itanium hardware, let alone the price of HP-UX, is large in comparison to commodity Linux offerings. In small configurations, the initial financial outlay for HP-UX hardware and software is often too high for some to justify.

HP ought to reconsider the market continuum. At one time it offered "workstations" as well as "servers". It might do well to rethink offerings to fill both camps again. Make small, starter configurations very price and feature attractive; gain familiarity and loyalty; and scale that upwards.

I think HP could be more aggressive in enhancing the features of the standard UNIX commands. If you compare the richness of GNU/LINUX toolkits to HP-UX's there are omissions begging to be added. HP's "Internet Express" bundles and the HP-UX Porting Centre (at the University of Liverpool in the UK) are admirable in helping to fill the void, but these vehicles are only one way to augment richness. Intrinsically enhancing the code base could be a significant differentiator for HP-UX UNIX.

I'd hate to see HP relegated to only the cash-rich, high-end environments. At times, in some circles, this seems to be the target at which HP aims.

Regards!

...JRF...
dirk dierickx
Honored Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

"UNIX was going to disappear, everything would become windows, because it was so easy to use and configure and so cheap compared to UNIX.
...
Now there is Linux. And again people say this is the platform of the future, that it will replace UNIX and seriously compete with windows."

It is a flawed comparison. I'm a Unix admin for almost 15 years as well, and i've been with linux since kernel 2.0 was released, i've seen it grow to what it is now.

The thing is, you can't replace Unix with something like Windows. It's a different system in every aspect and admins that are great with Unix probaly suck at Windows and the other way around. But Linux is so close to being Unix, that it's only _not_ Unix because it was never certified as such. The difference between, say HPUX and Linux are of the same magnitude as between HPUX and Solaris.

That said, we know Linux is everywhere; embedded, mobile, servers, clients, it rules the top 500 supercomputers etc.

All Solaris & HPUX admins must secretly thank Linux. At one point Linux was advancing so rapidly while the majority of the 'Unixes' stagnated that if they did not advance themself they would have been outdated compared to it by now.

Because Linux has this vast amount of developers behind it, combine those from; RedHat, Suse, Intel, Google, IBM, Oracle (and that is mostly only kernel related) you have this huge pool of people working on it, which top the amount of people HP or Sun have to work on their OS - and they do not combine their workforce.

It's a an unstopable force. Think of Wikipedia, which uses basicly the same model for its articles as Linux for its code, and see how fast it has grown.
Think about some of your favourite sites you use every day (like Google, Wikipedia, facebook, etc) and stop and wonder if they would have been able to pull the same thing of if Linux would not have excisted (because it is free and runs on cheap HW)?
Think about how much longer you can keep claiming to be better then Linux when internets largest sites run on Linux and provide a damn near perfect service 24/7.
S. Ney
Trusted Contributor

Re: Future of HP-UX in the current market trend

Willy,

I work in a large data center and I've seen a very large movement towards Red Hat. Almost all applications being developed are only for the Red Hat platform. I believe this is due to the price of itanium as well as costs of the HPUX OS. x-86 architecture is very inexpensive in comparison.

Even the high availability applications that were formerly on HP-UX Service guard servers are being developed for Red Hat. I still believe that the high end mission critical services run better and are more stable on an HP-UX platform but Red Hat is making strides in clustering. However it's a matter of those in change who make the financial decisions. I believe it is their POV that there isn't enough of a difference in downtime and ROI's to justify the investment in HP-UX compared to Red Hat.