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"It offers customers a path to whatever mission-critical solutions they want to run in their environments," she said. "We don't see customers looking to move from HP-UX. But if they do decide to move from Unix, including customers currently running (IBM's) AIX or (Oracle's) Solaris, they will see HP's mission-critical environment as an option."
HP's Odyssey development roadmap includes enhancements to its HP Integrity and HP NonStop server lines and its HP-UX and OpenVMS operating system to gradually integrate Windows and Linux workloads running on Intel Xeon processors into a combined mission-critical architecture.
It includes HP working closely with Microsoft and with the open-source Linux community to improve the ability to harden mission-critical applications in part by transferring some of the vendor's HP-UX intellectual property, O'Neill said.
HP's first productization of its Odyssey strategy, code-named "DragonHawk," will be new Intel Xeon processor-based blades that connect to the current installed base of Integrity Superdome 2 servers, allowing customers to simultaneously run mission-critical Unix, Windows, and Linux applications.
DragonHawk is expected to ship sometime in the next one to two years, O'Neill said.
HP for now is not planning to port Unix to x86-based servers, O'Neill said. "No, that's not a part of this news," she said.
The strategy behind DragonHawk is similar to what IBM has been doing for several years with its mainframe and its Unix-based server platforms.
IBM, which has been supporting Linux in its mainframes for over a decade, earlier this month added Windows support via new x86 processor-based blades that plug into IBM's zEnterprise BladeCenter Extension.
IBM also provides x86-based blades to run Linux applications in its Power7 processor-based servers.
Project Odyssey also includes plans for the introduction of a new scalable c-Class blade servers code named "HydraLynx," O'Neill said. HydraLynx will include two-socket, four-socket, and eight-socket x86 server blades with mission-critical virtualization and availability and packaged in HP's c-Class BladeSystem enclosures.
HP also plans to bring its nPartitions (nPars) technology, which provides electrically isolated partitions for multiple or variable workloads to eliminate potential points of failure, she said.
O'Neill said Odyssey is not HP's first move to bring mission-critical applications to x86 processor-based environments. "Customers are already running pretty significant workloads on our ProLiant DL980 servers," she said. "The DL980 already has scalability and resiliency features from our Integrity servers."