"We are absolutely the leaders in virtualization," said Mel Lewandowski, HP's guru for HP-UX. We were chatting back at this fall's HP Technology Forum, and Lewandowski said HP's designs have gone after the high availability sector of the enterprise market. That's a sector that should sound familiar to the 3000 owner, often running a server where failure is not an option.
Virtualization is HP's solution to creating a system that will never fail to deliver at least some part of your processing needs. The Gartner Group says HP has reached mainframe levels with its ServiceGuard product for HP-UX. Unix installations have long been associated with multiple instances of servers, unlike the HP 3000s driving many apps from a single host. The virtualization at the heart of the 11i v3 release lets that consolidation of UX servers take place in a single box.
HP's Unix, of course, is the vendor's first choice to capture migrating HP 3000 customers. Yes, the application is always the first consideration. But the customer who chooses Windows or Linux rather than HP-UX to host a migrated or new app is just as likely to climb onto a platform not manufactured by HP. HP's Unix keeps the hardware in the HP ledger, which keeps the even-more-profitable support revenues rolling into HP.
Lewandowski delivered solid reasons why an investment in HP-UX is a purchase for the long haul. "We're investing to outgrown the Unix market," she said, meaning that HP wants more Unix business than just the new customers coming over to Unix systems. HP believes that with the new virtualization and HP-UX 11i.v3, it's got a product that can pull market share away from IBM and Sun.
"This is actually the first forum where we've rolled out the word vision," Lewandowski said, describing the company's strategy for the HP-UX future. "I get asked, 'Is HP serious about HP-UX? Are you going to Linux?' The answer is that it's a fair question. We did analysis on this. It's a big, $18 billion market that's roughly flat in the aggregate, but it's actually pretty stable."
For the things that Unix is uniquely good at — business processing, decision support — people are confident in that and expect to continue to go there, Lewandowski said. HP-UX will continue to play from the low-end to the high-end, "because the low end is getting more powerful."
Low-end customers using HP-UX, which will include a lot of the HP 3000 migrating customers, are using a deeper portion of the stack of features for the OS, Lewandowski said. "People used to need a giant machine, and they still need some of those, but they need some of the same attributes in a cheaper machine," she said.
HP's become big on cheaper for UX hosts, now that the Montecito CPUs are driving the new 3600 Series of Integrity servers.