The Case for Migrating from Itanium/HP-UX to x86/SUSE ... HP-UX. Staying with Itanium/HP-UX limits...

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  • Table of Contents page Modernize Your Data Center by Migrating from Itanium/HP-UX to x86/SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 Data Center Modernization—Why and How . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 The Decline of Itanium/HP-UX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Innovation Fuels the Rise of Linux . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 SUSE Linux Enterprise Server versus HP-UX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Summary and Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .7

    The Case for Migrating from Itanium/HP-UX to x86/SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server

    White Paper Data Center Modernization

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    Data Center Modernization White Paper The Case for Migrating from Itanium/HP-UX to x86/SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

    Data Center Modernization—Why and How Staying competitive in today’s market requires modernizing your data centers. Why? “Modern” data center infrastruc- tures allow you to:

    Easily take advantage of new innovation Reduce data center costs by decreasing software licensing,

    maintenance and hardware acquisition costs Increase data center resource utilization by consolidat-

    ing assets, implementing cloud computing and supporting application portability

    Improve workload performance and lower operating expenses by using newer, more powerful yet energy efficient hardware

    Increase business agility by helping you address technology and market changes more rapidly

    Improve employee productivity by supporting strategies such as BYOD (bring your own device)

    Improve security and management by addressing any gaps caused by an ever-changing IT landscape

    Support a new wave of applications including new solutions for mobile devices, cloud computing, Big Data, and social media

    Where do you start? Perhaps the two most important areas to consider when modernizing your data center are imple- menting virtualization and choosing the “right” operating sys- tem/hardware server platforms. Virtualization enables you to consolidate multiple workloads, often running on individual servers, onto significantly fewer virtualization host servers, reducing data center expenditures substantially. Virtualization also leads to flexible networks and enables you to move compute resources, whatever they are, to better respond to changes in demand. Without virtualization your speed in pro- visioning and de-provisioning resources is greatly constrained.

    Selecting an operating system/hardware server platform for your data center has long-term consequences. The selection process must take into account not only features of both

    Modernize Your Data Center by Migrating from Itanium/HP-UX to x86/SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server Discover how migrating from Itanium/HP-UX to x86/ SUSE® Linux Enterprise Server can provide you with greater roadmap certainty, a high rate of innovation and ISV enthusiasm, and lower software licensing and maintenance costs in your data center—now and in the future.

    Today, the price, performance, and reliability of industry-standard x86 servers running Linux have increased to the point where they can meet or exceed the capabilities of Itanium/HP-UX.


    the operating system and the hardware platform on which it runs, but the ability of the platform to enable and support your future business requirements.

    The Decline of Itanium/HP-UX Historically, Itanium/HP-UX has been a competitive UNIX platform even though Itanium’s original performance was disappointing compared to other RISC processors. However, in recent years, uncertainty around Intel’s support for Itanium processors—as well as the uncertainty about Oracle and Red Hat’s continuing support for Itanium with their offerings—has generated questions about the viability of Itanium long term and helped draw HP-UX’s market share down sharply.

    Specifically, in March 2011, Oracle announced that it would dis- continue development on Itanium. Prior to this, Red Hat and Microsoft had announced plans to drop support for Itanium. An HP lawsuit against Oracle in the latter half of 2011 resulted in Oracle being ordered to maintain support for Itanium/ HP-UX. By this time, however, market interest in Itanium/HP-UX had waned, and orders for Itanium/HP-UX were either delayed or canceled. HP ended up paying Intel several hundred million dollars to keep Itanium afloat. Today HP has about 95 percent of the Itanium server market share, primarily running HP-UX. As the use of Itanium diminishes, HP-UX has experienced an annual double-digit market share decline from 10 percent to more than 20 percent per year,1 beginning in 2008.2

    Other issues also dog the platform. Support and mainte- nance contracts for Itanium/HP-UX platforms continue to be much more expensive than for x86-64/Linux.3 Itanium server performance has suffered greatly, especially on a per-core basis.4 In addition, ISVs are dropping support for applica- tions on Itanium/HP-UX. Lack of innovation around Itanium/ HP-UX limits your ability to take advantage of many new technologies, such as virtualization, cloud computing and

    new storage technologies that reduce data center costs and help you be more responsive to changing business needs.

    Innovation Fuels the Rise of Linux What is the alternative? Until recently, x86 servers running Linux lacked the performance, RAS (reliability, availability and serviceability), scale-up capabilities and workload man- agement of Itanium/HP-UX platforms used to run mission- critical, back-end database applications. Now, that is no longer the case.

    Intel has incorporated (and continues to add) RAS and scale- up features from its Itanium processors into its x86 Xeon processors. In addition, HP has incorporated many of the RAS features from its Itanium-based Superdome 2 hardware running HP-UX into its ProLiant computers such as the DL 980, which uses multi-core Xeon processors. These features include improved interprocessor communication, higher in- terconnect bandwidth, machine check architecture recovery, double device correction and more.

    These types of enhancements have made SUSE Linux Enter- prise Server running on HP’s x86-based servers very compe- titive with its Itanium/HP-UX platforms in terms of RAS, I/O speed, processor performance, resiliency and more. In other words, today, the price, performance and reliability of x86/ SUSE Linux Enterprise Server platforms now meet or exceed the capabilities of Itanium/HP-UX.5

    Just as important, many of the innovative technologies used to modernize data centers are built for Linux and x86 serv- ers, and virtually none of them are associated with Itanium/ HP-UX. Staying with Itanium/HP-UX limits your ability to modernize your data center and effectively locks you in.

    Itanium/HP-UX is viewed as having an extremely uncertain roadmap, even for the next few years, due to lack of market interest in both Itanium and HP-UX and, most important, lack of interest in Itanium by Intel.


    1 IDC Worldwide Server Operating Environments Shipments and Installed Base, 1996–2016, August 2012.

    2 oracle-resumes-hp-itanium-support-for-n/240006723

    3 4

    4194 5

    TT 12-188 HP Unix to Linux Migration revised.pdf 12-188 HP Unix to Linux Migration revised.pdf

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    Data Center Modernization White Paper The Case for Migrating from Itanium/HP-UX to x86/SUSE Linux Enterprise Server

    SUSE Linux Enterprise Server versus HP-UX Table 1 provides a detailed comparison of the features and technologies available in x86/SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and Itanium/HP-UX.

    Table 1: Comparison of Features/Technologies Available in SUSE Linux Enterprise Server and HP-UX

    Technologies SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (for x86) HP-UX (for Itanium)

    File system

    Ships with several different file systems, including btrfs, ext3 (default for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server), ext2, ReiserFS, XFS (open source version) and OCFS2. Each has advantages and disadvantages.6 A file system comparison table is located at: www.suse.com7

    Includes the VERITAS File System (VxFS), sometimes called “JFS” and “Online JFS” in HP-UX. Originally developed by VERITAS Software, VxFS is an extent-based file system. VxFS is also supported on AIX, Linux, Solaris and OpenSolaris. It is comparable to other UNIX file systems such as Oracle Sun ZFS.

    Predictive self-healing

    Requires hardware support to be fully effective. SUSE is working with all major hardware vendors, especially IBM and Intel, to optimize integration of hardware and operating system in this area. Supports proactive notifications. Technologies such as MCELog help administrators with early warning about upcoming hardware issues that might impact the stability of the operat