HP to users: No need to worry about future of systems

HP execs challenge customers to transform data centers, cut costs

The ears of attendees at Hewlett-Packard's annual technical conference seemed to perk up last week when HP CIO Randy Mott said that many companies are spending too much to keep aging systems running.

"More and more of our resources are going to support old technology," Mott said at the HP Technology Forum & Expo 2008 in Las Vegas. He didn't specify what he considers old. But talking about the cost of legacy systems tends to get the attention of users who in recent years have seen HP discontinue technologies such as its Alpha processor, Tru64 Unix operating system and HP e3000 midrange server line.

With that history, it perhaps was no surprise that Ann Livermore, executive vice president of HP's technology solutions group and the speaker who followed Mott, made a point of reassuring attendees about the future of other enterprise technologies.

"You should not be worried about HP's commitment to HP-UX or the Integrity architecture," she said, referring to the vendor's lead Unix operating system and its Itanium-based server line, which runs HP-UX and other operating systems.

As part of HP's product-line stability message, CEO Mark Hurd even brought his Intel Corp. counterpart, Paul Otellini, onstage to reaffirm the chip maker's support for the 64-bit Itanium family. Otellini said that early next year, Intel will double performance by releasing a quad-core chip.

In 2006, Samsung Life Insurance in Seoul, South Korea, moved its core applications from three IBM z990 mainframes to an equal number of Integrity systems, each with 64 processors.

San Ho Yoon, who heads the information strategy team at Samsung Life, said the US$25 million migration paid for itself in 18 months through reduced hardware, software and support costs. He added that he's pleased with the performance of Integrity and HP-UX, although he would have used Linux if it had scaled to 64 processors and been more reliable two years ago.

Livermore didn't mention the 30-year-old OpenVMS operating system. But at a session on OpenVMS, HP officials said an upgrade with virtualization support is due next year.

In addition, HP updated another older technology, announcing a blade version of its Integrity NonStop fault-tolerant system.

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