The company's previous operating environments included Foundation, Enterprise, and Mission Critical. Each came with the HP-UX operating system kernel, plus some HP middleware to accompany it, and were built like Russian matryoshkas , the dolls that fit inside one another. Foundation was the smallest, Enterprise had all of Foundation's features and a bit more, and Mission Critical included all components of Enterprise and even more.Users don't have to buy the pre-packaged deals; they can just buy the OS and then add on middleware products à la carte. But HP claims customers can save thousands by buying the packaged deals as well as time by not having to buy and install each separate feature they want. . With the new update, the operating environments are a bit more like different-looking dolls sitting next to each other. They include Base, High Availability, Virtual Server, and Data Center. Both High Availability and Virtual Server include everything in Base but each has unique features. High Availability, for example, has HP Serviceguard, software that helps clustered server environments prevent downtime. Meanwhile, Virtual Server OE has Virtual Server Environment, HP's virtualization environment for its Unix servers. And Data Center OE encapsulates everything.
"It's about as good a direction I can think of as any," said Tony Iams, an analyst at Ideas International Inc.. "Virtualization is clearly an important development in the industry, but not everyone is ready to fully embrace that yet. So for users that just want to keep running the same workloads in the way they have in the past, the High Availability operating environment makes a lot of sense." . The update is one of a regular string of updates (about every six months) that HP plans to make between major versions of HP-UX. This fall, an update made it easier for users to add and subtract resources to hardware partitions using HP-UX. Along with the most recent update, it's clear that HP has focused its Unix operating system on virtualization, which is pretty much what every Unix operating system vendor -- actually, every OS vendor, Unix or not -- is doing.