Re: HP-UX and other o.s.

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Honored Contributor

Re: HP-UX and other o.s.


First, the basic difference among the dialects is its scalability. The big Unices (Solaris, AIX, HPUX) has far more scalability that where Linux currently is (rarely can you see more than 4-way Linux systems.... although Linux kernel 2.6 is supposed to go more than that..). If you're an admin - basic administration is practically the same... Differences will be encountered in volume management, disk subsystems management, monitoring tools, etc.. which should be easy to adjust and adapt to if you want to be a "multi-dialect" administrator. I would agree though that HP-UX is the easiest to administer with more tools to boot that the rest.. I would also call it more "conservative" compared to the others.

As to which I would pick from a "future-proofing" perspective - I would pick in the order:

1.) Solaris
2.) AIX/Linux
3.) HP-UX

I pick Solaris because it is the only remaining true UNIX shop, true to its roots and have concrete roadmaps. And with its "commoditization" move (aka Solaris on Opteron/IA64/IA32) - they are on their way to further lowering the costs of systems -- true to the evolving thinking of "IT Does Not Matter"...

As far as NOW (or deployment time frames of 18-36 months), I will choose HP-UX on the PARISC platform still. Why? because of their Complete Partitioning Continuum - nPars, vPars, PSETS -- with emphasis on vPars (virtual partitioning) which is so rock solid and stable and which have allowed enterprises to lower costs somehow...

Hakuna Matata.
Chris Vail
Honored Contributor

Re: HP-UX and other o.s.

I'll concur pretty much with the others evaluation of the other unices.
HP-UX, like AIX and Sparc Solaris, is propeitary and runs only on the hardware sold by the vendor. This is convenient in large commercial environments: it gives you only one "neck to choke" when something breaks (and it always will).
Solaris X86, the various Linuxes, FreeBSD and OpenBSD are all non-propeitary. If you are NOT skilled in Systems Administration, and don't want to be, then stick with one of the propeitary versions. Support for these is highly dependant upon YOU, the sysadmin. You have to be a lot more resourceful to solve problems. The exception to this is the Linux sold and serviced by IBM--they'll sell you hardware, software and all the services you need to make a large commercial system work, and again you have only a single neck to squeeze when it breaks. However, this is pricey and gets away from the low-cost nature of Linux.
So, like everything else in life: "There's an easy way, a cheap way, but there is no easy cheap way to do it". Easy is to get one of the propeitary versions. Its cheapest to get Linux or one of the BSD variants.
My favorite OS is AIX, but I haven't done serious work on this in 3 years. I love smit. I wish IBM would port AIX to the X86 environment. In any case, IBM has the reputation of providing mediocre performance for premium pricing.
HP-UX running on PA-RISC is probably the fastest. I really think HP is behind the technology curve in developing the OS: both Sun and IBM have better implementations of a 64 bit OS. But HP is a good all-round player.
Sun/Solaris on Sparc also has some advantages, but I don't know how long Sun as a company is going to be viable. Further, even their fastest machines are not as fast as HP's in the same price range (although they'll dispute this). Sun products are the most popular, so they maintain a better value on the used market. There was a time when Sun was synonymous with unix, so there is a huge emotional committment from sysadmins and corporations to Sun. I think that is this more than anything else that helped Sun survive the last few years.
Dishonorable mention goes to HP/Compaq/Dec for Tru64. It is true that these machines have the fastest floating point speed out there. And clustering for this is the very state of the art. But nothing runs on it, and no one has ever heard of it. I must've looked through 1000 resumes looking for a senior T64 admin, and then had to pay a premium for him when I did make him an offer. Its very expensive and nearly unsupportable now--never ever don't have a support contract. If you have an app running on T64, you will be very wise to port it over to ANYTHING else as soon as possible.

Sridhar Bhaskarla
Honored Contributor

Re: HP-UX and other o.s.

Hi Manfred,

Well it depends. There are performance metrics at

Note that all the software vendors may not participate.

From an SA perspective, I would like to get hands-on atleast two proprietory OSes and Linux. As Linux is real cheap and does seem to have good future and it has been under consideration by many companies due to it's cost.

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don't try
Robert Kerr

Re: HP-UX and other o.s.

Same kinda thought here, AIX has done an excellent job with volume management but HPUX has a myriad of excellent utilities and I like the feel of their command set. Linux is definitely one to watch, especially with a tighter budget. It all comes down to the server's purpose. I've only used Solaris and Linux for smaller, more dedicated purposes thus far, and find both of them rock solid to a point that I almost forget they exist.

On mid-sized and larger operations I really favor HPUX.

My order of preference with future perspective in mind:

0) HPUX all the way! (biased maybe?)
1) AIX - Simply great now and likely for many years to come.
2) Linux - Good bet down the road as everyone is embracing it or on thier way to.
3) Solaris - Sun as a company seems to have some issues but is ambitiously bustling about to stay above the fray - and they will(no profits in some time but available cash).

Just my opinion

Geoff Wild
Honored Contributor

Re: HP-UX and other o.s.

I have(and are) worked with - HP-UX, AIX, Solaris, Linux, Irix, BSDI, SCO, Utrix.

I like HP-UX the best. The support is excellent. O/S is easy to navigate.

IRIX has/had a cool GUI, and a great text editor - jot.

Solaris - I can't stand - non posix root shell just sucks....though I havn't looked at Solaris 9.....

AIX is all right....

For the most part, it depends on what you are comfortable with and what you want to servers to do.

Here's a link to the Sysadmin's Unixersal Translator (ROSETTA STONE):

Proverbs 3:5,6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make all your paths straight.
Ian Kidd_1
Trusted Contributor

Re: HP-UX and other o.s.

I personally like working with HP the best, although the more familiar I'm getting with Linux, the more I'm liking it.

(1) HP - if you want a bullet-proof sytem, HP is the way to go. I've hade uptimes in excess of 500 days. The hardware is extremely reliable and the customer service sets the standard. If you need guaranteed uptime and reliability, this is the way to go. Of course, you'll have to have a budget big enough, 'cause it ain't cheap!

(2) Linux - cheap and flexible. If you have Internet connectivity, patching is a breeze. Customer support may be an issue. Not with software - you can find all sorts of forums with members willing to help with any questions - but with hardware. Since one of the more common HW platforms for linux is intel-based servers, you may have to deal with vendors who require you to reset cables, jiggle hardware, etc. before sending a field engineer (this is what I'm going through right now - jerks!).

(3) AIX - any SA tool (SMIT) that has a running man that either raises his arms when the task is successful, or falls on his face when the task bombs is pretty cool. AIX also has great customer service and pretty reliable hardware. I find it harder to use though. There's a lot of logic to their command names, but it's DIFFERENT (ex: mkuser, chuser,rmuser)

(4) Solaris - the benefit of Solaris is more in resume-building. Since they have the market-share, if you can put Solaris on you're resume, you're almost guaranteed not to be out of work for long. As an OS it's not bad, but I've had some nightmares dealing with SUN hardware. Support has been spotty. Sometimes it was great, sometimes they came up with dumb ideas, like waiting until 3 panic reboots associated with a CPU before coming out to replace it. I hope they stopped that policy!

As far as the future? Both HP and IBM have invested heavily in the Linux effort. One has to wonder a little about the future of HP-UX and AIX. Linux on HP hardware! That's the future I'm seeing!
If at first you don't succeed, go to the ITRC

Re: HP-UX and other o.s.


Thanks you all for partecipating to this thread.
I have appreciated it very much and I think my mind is clearer now.
But if anyone else wanted to add his point of view, I will be glad to read it!