My job has changed somewhat in the last month and everything IBM Power is not my only focus, at the same time I need to improve my understanding of other UNIX platforms. In the case of my current assignment I’ve had to take a crash course in HP-UX Virtualisation, admin I can cope with as that doesn’t change that much. Virtualisation of HP-UX is something that is new to me. So here are my findings in what is a crash course:
nPars – are the electrically isolated physical hardware components of a HP-UX server, these are organised into cells of processor, I/O and memory units. As they are electrically isolated this means if a nPar partition were to fail due to hardware failure, then the other nPar partitions would continue to work. nPars can be expanded with more cells to increase the power of a system and offer further physical redundancy.
vPars - or “Virtual partitions” are firmware-controlled partitions of a server or nPar granular to a single processor core and single PCI slot. So far the only way I can compare this is to the old IBM Power 4 servers, Regatta as they were known where each virtual machine would have dedicated Storage/Network adapters.
HP Integrity Virtual Machines (IVM) – are virtual servers abstracted from the physical devices allowing shared I/O and sub-core processor partitioning. A virtual machine runs within a host server and still has its own operating system kernel which can be tuned for a specific application. IVMs are more flexible than vPars. This seems to be a similar technology as virtual machines for VMWare or IBM LPARs, there are some different limitations and requirements between the platforms.
Each virtual machine can host its own “client” OS, applications, and users. HP Integrity Virtual Machines runs on any HP Integrity server (including blades), and supports a number of different clients:
- HP-UX 11i
- Windows Server
I’ve not included the versions supported as this is constantly changing, but I’m sure you can find out what is current.
HP-UX Containers - Formerly HP-UX Secure Resources Partitions (SRP), resources are allocated to specific applications and/or users within an single HP-UX 11i operating system; dynamic resource allocation is permissible with processor or sub-processor granularity.
HP 9000 System Containers are specific container types that permit HP-UX 11iv1 or HP-UX 11iv2 operating systems images to run on HP itanium servers.
HP Integrity Virtual Server Manager (VSM) – Formally known as HP Integrity Virtual Machines Manager is the graphical user interface for management of HP Integrity Virtual Machines (Integrity VM) or virtual partitions (vPars) resources.
Please feel free to highlight any mistake I might have made or clarify anything I've written.