HP-UX (Hewlett-Packard UniX) is Hewlett-Packard‘s proprietary implementation of the Unix operating system, based on UNIX System V (initially System III) and first released in 1984. Recent versions support the HP 9000 series of computer systems, based on the PA-RISC processor architecture, and HP Integrity systems, based on Intel‘s Itanium architecture.
Earlier versions of HP-UX supported the HP Integral PC and HP 9000 Series 200, 300, and 400 computer systems based on the Motorola 68000 series of processors, as well as the HP 9000 Series 500 computers based on HP’s proprietary FOCUS processor architecture.
HP-UX was the first Unix to offer access control lists for file access permissions as an alternative to the standard Unix permissions system. HP-UX was also among the first Unix systems to include a built-in logical volume manager. HP has had a long partnership with Veritas Software, and integrates VxFS as the primary file system.
The current shipping release is 11i v3 with the March 2015 update release (the 14th update for HP-UX 11i v3).
Since about 2000, the focus of HP-UX has increasingly been on enhanced reliability, security, workload management, and partitioning. The reliability is provided through single-system quality and self-healing, and in multi-system installations, clustering technology and application failover on a system outage, as well as error monitoring and correction. HP-UX 11i offers a common root disk for its clustered file system. HP Serviceguard is the cluster solution for HP-UX. HP Global Workload Management adjusts workloads to optimize performance, and integrates with Instant Capacity on Demand so installed resources can be paid for in 30-minute increments as needed for peak workload demands.
System partitioning (virtualization) ranges from hardware partitions to isolated OS virtual partitions on cell-based servers, and HP Virtual Machines (VMs) on all Integrity servers. HP VMs support guests running on HP-UX 11i v3 hosts – guests can run Linux, Windows, OpenVMS 8.4 or HP-UX. HP supports online VM guest migration, where encryption can secure the guest contents during migration.
HP-UX 11i v3 scales as follows (on a SuperDome 2 with 32 Intel Itanium 9560 processors):
- 256 processor cores
- 8 TB main memory
- 32 TB maximum file system
- 16 TB maximum file size
- 100 million ZB storage
With the acquisition of Compaq in 2001, HP obtained another Unix-based system, Tru64 Unix for AlphaServer hardware platform. HP continues to sell Tru64 UNIX, together with TruCluster software, but discontinued AlphaServer manufacturing in 2007.
Security is integrated in HP-UX, with full "trusted mode" shipping with v3. Features significantly increased with 11i v2, with the addition of kernel-based intrusion detection, strong random number generation, stack buffer overflow protection, security partitioning, role-based access management, and various open-source security tools.
Security protection on HP-UX can be divided into three categories: Data, System and Identity:
Supported hardware platforms
Since the introduction of the PA-RISC architecture, HP-UX operating systems supported a variety of systems based on it. But with the introduction of HP-UX Release 11.0 it added support to Integrity based servers for the transition from PA-RISC to Itanium based machines. HP-UX 11i v1.5 (B.11.20) is the first version of the operating system that supported Intel Itanium based processor architecture. On the introduction of HP-UX 11i v2 (B.11.23) the operating system supported both of these architectures simultaneously triggering the smooth transition.
HP-UX 11i version has support on HP Integrity Servers of HP BL server blade family (BL60p, BL860c, BL870c, BL860c i2, BL870c i2, BL890c i2). All these servers are based on Intel Itanium processors. Except for BL60p, all current BL blades need to be installed in HP C-class blade chassis (C7000 or C3000)
Latest BL series the BL8x0 i4 products are based on Itanium 9500 series with up to 8 CPU cores per socket. BL860c i4 has 2 CPU sockets up to 16 cores, BL870c i4 has 4 CPU sockets up to 32 cores, BL890c i4 has 8 CPU sockets up to 64 cores. All three BL8xo i4 models are based on the same 2-sockets blade module. It is possible to upgrade BL860c i4 or BL870c i4 to higher BL model by combining more 2-socket blades with Blade Link interconnect module.
HP has supported its CX series servers (cx2600 and cx2620) with HP-UX operating system 11i v2 (B.11.23) and 11i v3 (B.11.31). CX stands for carrier grade server series, and is used mainly for telco industry with -48V DC support and is NEBS certified. Both of these systems were based on Itanium Mad6M processors. But these servers are no longer available for purchase.
RX series have the long history of support for the HP-UX operating system as most of the servers in RX family have the full support for the HP-UX.