HP Revises Cluster Plans

The company drops Compaq cluster technology for Veritas Storage Foundation lineup.

HP is dropping its efforts to port some Tru64 Unix products to HP-UX with the help of storage player Veritas .

The two companies announced a multi-year agreement Thursday that finds HP's sales teams offering Veritas Storage Foundation products as HP's preferred file system and volume management solutions for HP-UX 11i environments. Previously, HP had planned to port Compaq's TruCluster technology and Advanced File System to HP-UX 11i v3.

HP said it plans to offer the Veritas platform in the form of software bundles on HP-UX 11i v2 sometime after June 2005. The companies said the revised plan shaves about a year off of the transition. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Our collaboration with Veritas helps us to deliver on our Adaptive Enterprise strategy and assists our Unix customers in their evolution to next-generation platforms," Rich Marcello, senior vice president and general manager of HP's Business Critical Servers group, said in a statement. "The thousands of customers running HP Serviceguard on HP-UX 11i today will gain access to Veritas software directly from HP and close integration, a simplified purchasing process and cooperative support."

The goal now is to resell such Veritas products as Veritas Storage Foundation Cluster File System and Storage Foundation for Oracle RAC with HP Serviceguard as the company continues its drive to transfer customers to its Itanium-based Integrity and PA-RISC-based HP 9000 servers.

The partnership will also be a key element of the HP Virtual Server Environment (VSE) for HP-UX 11i, the company said. The two companies have a history of working together that stretches back to January 2002.

HP's shift in plans does not seem to have fazed customers. Gene Batan, head of Systems and Information Technology at Commerzbank USA, said the strategic alignment with Veritas for clustering file services is a welcome change in HP's roadmap.

"There is no need to re-invent the wheel," Batan said. "Veritas has a proven track record in developing highly available software solutions, and we believe that this partnership serves HP customers well."

Like HP and Veritas, leading vendors, such as IBM , Sun Microsystems , Microsoft and Computer Associates , have all adopted some sort of utility computing strategy. The approach in which companies call up computing properties as a metered service is becoming a major force on the IT scene. Vendors say they are addressing a need for cash-strapped companies looking to lash together their multi-vendor systems.

"HP's decision to make Veritas the preferred file system and volume management offering for highly available HP-UX 11i environments opens up exciting new capabilities for our joint customers, and is a strong validation of Veritas' ability to deliver industry-leading infrastructure solutions that support customers' heterogeneous environments, including HP-UX 11i and other leading platforms," Kris Hagerman, executive vice president at Veritas, said in a statement.

But don't count HP's Tru64 out just yet. HP said it is expanding its Alpha RetainTrust program for Tru64 Unix customers. The program will now give customers technical assistance to help mix HP Serviceguard with Veritas bundles as part of customers' transition to HP-UX 11i v2 on HP Integrity and HP 9000 servers.

The company also said its HP 9000 Evolution Program is still in full swing, as the company continues to lead customers to its Intel Itanium-powered HP Integrity servers.






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