HP Looks to Avert Disaster

Vendor bets new DR technologies will boost popularity of its Integrity servers

March 21, 2006

3 Min Read
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HP added disaster recovery features today to its server, storage, and virtualization offerings to try and breathe new life into its Integrity server product line and the HP-UX operating system.

The hardware giant unveiled several upgrades, including intercontinental failover for Oracle 10g, and support for Sonet technology on HP-UX 11i. The vendor has also added new Microsoft Windows failover, application stacking, and high-availability features to its Component Cluster Service and Cluster extension software. (See HP Upgrades Integrity Servers.)

John Owen, chairman of the U.K-based HP User Group, said that the enhancements to the clustering software, which links HP's Integrity servers with the vendor's StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA) midrange SAN devices and XP disk arrays, are much needed. "One of the reasons why some people have held off buying Integrity servers is the limited application base. The fact that they have upped their Microsoft Windows capabilities makes it more attractive for application vendors," he says.

With application vendors concentrating on AMD and Intel's new 64-bit extension technology, the Integrity platform, which is based on traditional 64-bit Intel Itanium processors, is at risk of being left behind, according to Owen. "[64-bit] Itanium has to have that [extended] application base, otherwise it will be relegated to a specialist chip for things like database applications and specific number-crunching applications."

HP has also added new encryption features to HP-UX 11i, which is the vendor's version of Unix, specifically aimed at protecting sensitive data such as credit-card numbers and healthcare records.The hardware giant's decision to boost HP-UX 11i security is hardly surprising. Over the last couple years a growing number of firms have made headlines after suffering high-profile security breaches involving customer data, raising the profile of enterprise security to new levels. (See Financial Security: Priceless, Don't Be a Data Privacy Dunce, CardSystems Responds to Security Incident, and IT Managers Sweat Security.)

Additionally, states such as California and New York have raised the stakes even further by implementing stiff penalties for firms that lose sensitive information. (See NY Data Law Takes Effect.)

But Owen, who welcomes the new encryption features, feels that this is also a strategic move by HP to counter the growing popularity of the Linux operating system. "Linux is becoming more and more mainstream," he says, adding that much of this momentum is thanks to the platform's reputation for strong security. (See Storage Loves Linux.)

On the virtualization side, HP unveiled new toolkits for its Virtual Server Environment (VSE) product, which it claims will let users slash the time spent on virtualization projects involving software from BEA, Oracle, SAP, and IBM. According to HP execs, a typical VSE implementation with BEA's WebLogic offering, that would have previously taken up to 34 weeks to complete, can now be deployed in seven weeks or less.

But HP's rivals are also hard at work improving their own disaster recovery stories. IBM, for example, recently enhanced features on its midrange SAN and teamed up with healthcare technology specialist i3 Archive to target the medical sector. (See IBM Upgrades Midrange SAN, i3archive, IBM Join Forces, and Medical Archive Grows Its Own Grid.)Sun, for its part, has joined forces with VMWare to boost the disaster recovery story on its SunFire servers and StorEdge storage systems. (See Sun Allies With VMware.)

But a number of users have already told Byte and Switch that they face a major challenge before they even deploy these technologies. Last week, users at a New York event expressed their concern about classifying the mountains of data within their organizations, citing resistance from other parts of their businesses, and the sheer complexity of sifting through Tbytes of information. (See Users Face Classification Crisis.)

HP told Byte and Switch that its new software features are available today, although the firm was unable to confirm the pricing models associated with its upgrades.

James Rogers, Senior Editor, Byte and Switch

Organizations mentioned in this article:

  • Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE: AMD)

  • BEA Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: BEAS)

  • Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ)

  • IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)

  • Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)

  • Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)

  • Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL)

  • SAP AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: SAP)

  • VMware Inc.0

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