HP Gets Virtual

Changes software licensing model to support virualization on its Integrity and HP 9000 servers

September 13, 2005

2 Min Read
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Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) today overhauled the pricing strategy for server virtualization software running on its HP-UX operating system in an attempt to lure more customers over to its Adaptive Enterprise strategy (see HP Drives Adoption ).

Virtualization, which splits a physical server into a number of different partitions for different workloads, is now being touted by HP as a major element of its Adaptive Enterprise strategy.

Adaptive Enterprise is a somewhat loosely defined campaign meant to serve as a launchpad for a range of products and services similar to those offered by IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM). Among Adaptive Enterprise catchphrases are business continuity, information lifecycle management (ILM), and of course, the "V" word.

As part of this effort, HP today announced its HP-UX 11i Virtualization Licensing Program for the its Integrity and HP 9000 servers. Previously, users needed to license software for the entire server, whereas now they only need to license the software for the virtual partitions within the machine they are working on.

The idea is that users can be charged on a per-processor basis, rather than charging for the servers overall processor capacity. This strategy is viewed as a better way to deal with constantly fluctuating workloads. ”You may only be running the software for a quarter of that machine, so you can license it for a quarter of that machine,” says Nick van der Zweep, HP’s director of virtualization and utility computing.With the virtualization market heating up, HP is not the only vendor reappraising its server pricing structures. Last month VMware Inc. also announced plans to price its products on a per-CPU basis (see Dual-Core Processors From VMware). This, in turn, followed some aggressive price cuts on its GSX Server product (see VMware Reprices GSX Server).

HP also revealed today that its Integrity Virtual Machines software, which allows multiple instances of an operating system to share a single CPU and its I/O resources, will be available later this year for HP-UX 11i. Support for Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) Windows Server 2003 and Linux will be available next year, according to the vendor.

HP is also keen to cozy up with VMware, which is regarded as something of a trailblazer in the virtualization space. The two firms announced today that they are working to combine VMWare’s virtual infrastructure software with server management from HP. This, according to HP, will help reduce time and costs implementing and managing virtual machines.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-Gen Data Center Forum

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