Monday, 9 November 2009

Does HP-UX provide historic roots to take on VCE?

You might be wondering why I have mentioned HP-UX and VCE in the same topic for this post and come to think of it your right, firstly though you maybe wondering what HP-UX is? Well its HP's Unix OS which ships and runs on their Integrity line of Server's a rock solid Unix platform and runs as the big Iron in a lot of companies that I know of, it has built in partitioning (or more Containerised Virtual capability), it provides comparative performance to other alternative RISC based processors, has ported to Itanium, has integration, high availability and management layer etc. So cutting to the chase the reason I've posted is this....With the recent VCE announcements VMware/Cisco/EMC have put the wind up most big vendors in the last week I am sure by finally sh%ting and getting of the proverbial pot and creating an alliance, and fair play to them its a dog eat dog world look at how HP acquiring EDS shook the world of Services...

So to date HP in its armoury has the Storage, has the Server, has the Services and Integration with EDS but one main important ingredient missing in this equation to offer customers that alternate and what is it???? Yes the Hypervisor....

With HP having previous experience of running a development program Internally with HP-UX it is quite possible they could quite potentially release a Hypervisor themselves with the capability to build a commodity converged solution to completely compete and go it against something like VCE. Think Xen based hypervisor with openness naturally built in to provide customers with the portability and flexibility to move Images between other Xen based Hypervisors and dare I say it hybrid clouds with EC2....? HP have the internal resources I am sure to do this, they have done it for years with HP-UX already.

So this maybe a zany thought but when you look at Oracle having Sun/and Virtual Iron portfolios under its belt, and now VCE being fully announced isn't HP seriously going to suffer if it wants to concur all like so many of the vendors at the moment in the Datacentre space? Somehow I don't think pushing the Hyper-V and Xen OEM deals more agressively in spite of VMware being part of the VCE alliance will be enough to not lose at least some larger customers....

I think this boat was missed when they jumped off of PA-RISC. Had they adopted x86 instead of Itanium I think this would be easier but they'd have been in a worse position Vs Linux.

Instead they decided to avoid a showdown entirely and push HP-UX upwards and that was the right choice at the time. Look at Solaris on x86 it's only attractive to Sun worshippers while RedHat posts quarter after quarter of subscription growth and that ain't coming from Microsoft takeouts.

The issue with the hypervisor market is that as a market it's pretty mature now. You're never competing just against ESX or Hyper-V, you're competing against XEN and KVM and whatever fork a bunch of Linux folks decide to jump on and Linux users decide to follow this week. That's XEN's issue as well, they went one way and then the Linux Kernel dev folks jumped on KVM and went off in the other.

I see two places where the money is now, ESX and Hyper-V. The biggest XEN shops in the world don't pay anyone a cent besides whoever they buy motherboards, drives, RAM and CPUs from so rolling your own hypervisor or chasing XEN/KVM doesn't seem like time well spent.

And would HP really want to go head to head against VMware and Microsoft in the same market at the same time? That doesn't strike me as their business model.

Thanks for your comments, its a great pleasure, I'm sure you realise I'm not one to not be controversial, this post was stating the fact HP "have" had an OS in there armourey is certainly something that gives them a better shot at competing against VCE and other such initiatives. Put it this way, the tin shifters like Dell/Fujitsu haven't got a chance in hell to compete....

Your right and there is no money in the hypervisor but what about a software ecosystem that VMware and Microsoft are building around it? And additionally when you look at Oracle why are they buying Virtualisation companies and building there own hypervisor offering?

A lot of questions being brought up with recent announcements and this post was just a thought that crossed my mind when you look at the history of HP and what potential brains they have internally to compete with someone like VCE with every option being available to provide a commodity based virtualised datacentre in a rack.
Oracle's initial play was and still is XEN. That could change if/when they end up with Solaris and Solaris Containers but right now we can keep them firmly in the XEN camp.

At least until they get around to declaring how Solaris is the fairest of them all and when they advised everyone move to Linux as they themselves did they didn't actually mean it.

As a *NIX Admin (Solaris,HP-UX, AIX and Linux) I know you're right about it's virtualisation capabilities on the same hand we have AIX LPARs + VIO on the POWER platform but unlike, IBM and as you've pointed out HP, have no app stack of their own to speak of.

VMware brought in SpringSource and Cloud Foundry because they wanted access to anywhere upto 2M developers currently using the Spring Framework and to have Cloud Foundry in their pocket for Cloudy deployment of the apps those devs are working on. You'll notice Foundry is now part of all SpringSource's development tools.

Microsoft are Microsoft, Oracle is Oracle, IBM is IBM and even though HP could bring a hypervisor to market one would have to ask "Now what?"

We've talked about MyaaS before but if we assume a hypervisor by itself is to decouple legacy applications one has to wonder what their play would be for net new applications?

Maybe HP don't bring a Hypervisor to market. Maybe they buy SAP first and get into the app stack game?

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