Volume 8, Number 26 -- July 10, 2008

HP-UX 11i v3 Update 2 Pricing Revealed--Sort Of

Published: July 10, 2008

by Timothy Prickett Morgan

Back in April, when I told you about Hewlett-Packard's delivery of Update 2 of the HP-UX 11i v3 operating system, I explained that HP had tweaked the way that elements of HP-UX and its related systems software for clustering and virtualization was bundled together. At the time, HP decided that it didn't want to give out pricing information for the operating system--a position I never like to see any IT vendor take with any product. Everything should have a list price, and these should be publicly available.

As it turns out, HP has this funny little thing called the Enterprise Configurator, which is available to the public and which you can see here, that allows resellers and potential customers to configure entry and midrange ProLiant and Integrity machinery. I was playing around with this as soon as I found it, and it is very useful. Unfortunately, a little more than halfway through my building a table of HP-UX 11i v3 Update 2 pricing for the new edition bundles, the eCo program, as it is called, flew up its own serial port. So I could only get some of the pricing data out of it, which is detailed below:

HP-UX Edition 11i v3 Update 2--Per Core List Price
Integrity Server Base OE Virtual Server OE High Availability OE Data Center OE
BL860c $455 $4,420 $5,500 $8,120
BL870c $995 $5,100 $6,000 $9,210
rx2660 $455 $4,420 $5,500 $8,120
rx3600 $455 $4,420 $5,500 $8,120
rx6600 $995 $5,100 $6,000 $9,210
rx7640 $1,970 $6,560 $6,950 $10,630
rx8640 $2,370 $7,200 $7,300 $11,130
Note: Items in red are estimated pricing. The HP electronic configurators crashed halfway through building this table.

The configurator was not working for the BL860c and BL870c blade servers and was also not working for the rx3660 entry server, but I could extract information on the pricing for the four different editions of Update 2 for the rx2660, rx6600, rx7640, and rx8640 machines. High-end boxes such as Superdomes are not part of this configurator.

The prices shown in the table above are based on each core, not processor, in the box. These machines all use either "Montecito" or "Montvale" dual-core Itanium 9000 series processors at this point, but technically the older "Madison" single-core Itaniums will work in them, too.

As I explained back in April, seven years ago, HP created three different packages, which it called Operating Environments, or OEs, for HP-UX. These included Foundation OE, which is a base operating system; the Enterprise OE, which included middleware, virtualization, and other systems software; and the Mission Critical OE, which added on high availability clustering. Eventually, HP also created a Technical Computing OE to pursue supercomputing workloads, which had special math libraries. The OEs not only scaled in terms of functionality, but also in price. So you only had to pay for what you use. On new machines, HP-UX 11i v3 Foundation costs $495 per socket on machines with two sockets (unless it is a blade server, in which case it costs $150 per socket). The Enterprise OE edition cost $3,395 per socket on a machine with two or four sockets and $4,770 per socket on a machine with eight or more sockets. The Mission Critical OE costs $6,865 per socket on a box with two or four sockets and $8,240 per socket on a machine with eight or more sockets.

With Update 2, HP now has four different OEs, and they are priced based on the core count, not the socket count. The Base OE is akin to the old Foundation OE, in that it provides the basic functionality of the standalone, single system image HP-UX platform. The Virtual Server OE strips out the nPar and vPar virtualization hypervisors for PA-RISC and Itanium servers and adds those layers to the Base OE. The High Availability OE takes the Base OE and adds the ServiceGuard MC high availability clustering software for HP-UX; what this means is that you can do HA without having to pay for virtualization. (Before, if you wanted the Mission Critical OE, you ended up paying for everything HP sold.) And finally, if you want the whole enchilada like the Mission Critical OE offered, you can now get what is called the Data Center OE, which combines the Virtual Server OE and High Availability OE packages together.

The shift from per socket to per core pricing is significant, and means that HP's Unix pricing now scales with performance, which it did when the HP 9000 and Integrity product lines had only single-core processors. The rejiggering means that end users expecting a price decrease on software as they move to dual-core or future "Tukwila" quad-core Itaniums are going to be disappointed.

One last thing: HP used to charge a lot less for HP-UX licenses on blade servers with the earlier packaging, but it is just a guess on my part that HP-UX will cost the same on blades as it does on rack servers with Update 2. I don't actually know this, but as soon as I find out, I will let you know.

This would all have been easier if HP had just answered my question.


HP Rejiggers HP-UX 11i Packaging as Update 2 Ships

HP Updates HP-UX 11i v3, No Plans for X64 Port

HP Tweaks Home-Grown Virtualization for Integrity Servers

HP Creates Unified Software Unit For Servers and Storage

HP Readies HP-UX 11i v3 For Launch

HP Bolsters Virtual Server Environment for HP-UX

HP Opens Up the HP-UX Roadmap

HP-UX on Itanium Gets a Boost from IBM, TIBCO

HP Tweaks HP-UX 11i v2, Capacity On Demand

Oracle Designates HP-UX on Itanium a Strategic Platform

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Editor: Timothy Prickett Morgan
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HP-UX 11i v3 Update 2 Pricing Revealed--Sort Of

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