Chasing AIX and Solaris shops, other goodies
The HP-UX 11i v3 Update 7 release coming out today also includes a new application porting tool aimed at making it easier to move AIX workloads running on Power Systems to HP-UX running on Itanium processors. The AIX to HP-UX porting kit (AHPK for short), complements an existing Solaris to HP-UX porting tool.
AHPK helps programmers moving code to HP-UX by automatically changing the AIX API calls in their code to the appropriate ones in HP-UX, to change the flags in their compilers to match whatever settings are needed for HP-UX, and to modify header files and libraries from AIX settings to HP-UX settings. If the AHPK tool can't figure out what to change in some AIX code (very likely C or C++), it flags it for developers, but does not automatically order the pizza and Jolt. The tool can port applications compiled for AIX 5.2 and 5.3, but does not yet support AIX 6.1 from two years ago or the new AIX 7.1, just announced in August.
HP-UX 11i v3 Update 7 is available now, but the HP 9000 containers and AIX to HP-UX porting kit will not be available until October 15.
In conjunction with the HP-UX 11i v3 Update 7 release, HP is pushing out an update of its ServiceGuard clustering software for its home-grown Unix, which is celebrating its 20th birthday and is, according to Curtin-Mestre, "the number one solution for Unix clustering," ahead of IBM's PowerHA for AIX and Oracle's Sun Cluster for Solaris. But perhaps not ahead of the different Oracle Real Application Clusters, which is a different kind of clustering in that it is a shared-nothing cluster while the other three are interested in replicating data around clusters to create a hot backup system in the event the primary fails.
With the ServiceGuard 11.2 release coming out this week, HP is taking the ease-of-use fight to Oracle's home front, and now ServiceGuard has wizards to help cluster administrators to more easily set up a cluster for Oracle's E-Business Suite. This application software stack is comprised of over 200 different modules and it can take over 30 days to set up a ServiceGuard cluster for E-Business Suite. With the Oracle wizards, now you can do it in two days - and without custom script coding.
The update also now allows the Oracle Data Guard data replication feature, which keeps two databases (a primary and a backup) in synch, to be itself mirrored using ServiceGuard. Now, if the Oracle Data Guard feature fails, it has a hot spare and data replication can continue. You can also create a ServiceGuard cluster of an Oracle RAC cluster, and HP has tweaked its clustering software to load all the nodes in a multi-node application (such as RAC or an SAP ERP stack) all at the same time instead of sequentially to boost restart times.
The ServiceGuard 11.2 release also has the typical performance improvements and usability enhancements, and with a new set of wizards, a simple cluster can be set up in under a minute.
In conjunction with the StorageWorks storage division and HP Labs, the Business Critical Systems division is rolling out a new tool called the HP Application Performance Extender, which is used to prioritize server and storage resources in an HP-UX system, but to do so in a dynamic fashion based on service-level goals for particular applications. This feature, called APEX, will be a paid-for feature of the high-end StorageWorks P9500 disk arrays, also announced today, and works with Updates 6 and 7 of HP-UX 11i v3. ®