HP Makes Security, Maintenance Upgrades to HP-UX 11i

HP is enhancing the security and maintenance capabilities to its Unix operating system, HP-UX 11i v3. Data center administrators can now add security patches to 100 servers at a time, and HP bulked up its access security through support for Bastille technology. The upgrades come as HP looks to entice Sun customers who may be worried about the Oracle acquisition to come to HP.

Hewlett-Packard is adding security and high-availability enhancements to its HP-UX 11i v3 operating system.

The enhancements-which also extend to HP's Serviceguard high-availability software-are part of regular updates HP brings to the Unix OS every six months or so between major upgrades, which come every three to four years, Brian Cox, worldwide director of business critical system software for HP, said in an interview.

The next major upgrade to the OS-which will be Version 4-is due in 2011, Cox said. HP-UX 11i runs on HP's high-end Itanium-based Integrity and HP 9000 servers.

HP officials have been pushing to expand the customer base of HP-UX as it competes with IBM's AIX and Sun Microsystems' Solaris operating systems. Both HP and IBM have programs in place designed to lure over to their platforms Sun customers that might be unsure about Oracle's proposed $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun.

On the security side, HP is expanding security bulletin analysis and patch maintenance capabilities, Cox said. Before, IT administrators could deal with security bulletins and patches with 10 systems at a time. Now they can do those tasks with 100 systems at one time.

"It's a great productivity enhancement for data center administrators," Cox said.

HP also strengthened HP-UX's intrusion protection by adding Bastille, a technology that meets standards set by the Center for Internet Security. Bastille will scan the OS, find and report vulnerabilities, and then make repairs, Cox said.

Other security enhancements include adding more automation to routine system security tasks and encryption capabilities for data at rest and data in transit.

HP also is improving performance through LORA (locally optimized resource alignment), which enables IT administrators to use local memory to automatically change server performance levels, and LVM (Logical Volume Manager), which reduces the risk of downtime when scaling capacity.

Upgrades to the HP Serviceguard software include the new Online Package Maintenance, which lets IT administrators keep high-availability clusters running while making routine maintenance and upgrades. Before, if administrators needed to do routine work to a node, that node would have to be taken down, Cox said.

In addition, HP has added a GUI through its Cluster Topology Map, eliminating the human errors that can crop up through manual command-line interfaces, he said.

The enhancements also include automatic coordination of traffic between clustered servers and storage arrays and upgrades to the Dynamic Root Disk tool, which will reduce server downtime by 75 percent.

The enhancements are available immediately.