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Intel Itanium HP-UX RISC Emulation?

I have 2 HP Unix servers, 9000 series, model rp5405. They are very big, old, and running low on space. I would like to replace them with HP Integrity servers, probably the model rx2660 from http://h20341.www2.hp.com/integrity/us/en/entry-class/integrity-entry-class-servers.html

My concern is that while the current servers run HP-UX 11.11 (which I assume will run on the new box), i'm going from a RISC to an Itanium chip. We run some pretty old apps on there, including Oracle7. I don't want to buy a new Oracle license, new compilers, etc...

Is there a way I can run in RISC emulation mode on the new server? Even if it means a performance hit, i can probably live with that, as my current boxes have 650 MHz processors (dual in one, quad in the other).


Thanks!
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tabush
Asked:
tabush
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2 Solutions
 
dfkeCommented:
Consider migrating to IBM Power7. Why? First of all it's RISC.

Itanium chip development is basically on a dead end and all major software companies INCLUDING Oracle have announced that they will or allready have stopped support for Itanium!
As for the Oracle licences you can define a virtual cpu pool inside an overal shared memory pool on IBM Power7. So you don't need to buy additional Oracle licenses if you are migrating to a system that has more cores. IBM Power7 is an 8 core chip capable of running 4 threads (SMT4) per core. So thats 32 threads per Power cpu and it has an on chip L3 cache. Where itanium only handles 2 threads per core and has no on chip L3 cache. IBM is the only manufacturer that sticks to their roadmap so product support now and in the future will not be an issue.  With the Power8 coming soon they are tough competition to beat.
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tabushAuthor Commented:
ok but you're not answering my question... right now i have a RISC chip (motorola 650 mhz). i need to replace with a new HP Integrity server and they all have itanium. i don't want to buy new software licenses, i would prefer to stay with the old versions as "they work fine".

is emulation possible to avoid upgrading/recompiling everything?
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tabushAuthor Commented:
DFKE - i'm sorry i missed the first line of your response.

what machines have this chip?
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gheistCommented:
Oracle license covers any version
Support aka metalink is more expensive for old versions.
To run Oracle you would suffice with RedHat/Centos or SLES/Opensuse or Oracle Enterprise Linux or Oracle Solaris on a common PC server, it will consume 1/100 of electricity of previous setup and performance wise jump around it in circles.
I do not see anything preventing you from allocating a spare workstation, installing openSUSE or CentOS and trying to migrate database to a new platform.... Less hassle than to migrate to non-popular systems.

Itanium is a dead end. It does not run i386 code well, PA-RISC emulator is clumsy.
Normal servers have amd64 aka x86_64 processors and are supported by all major OS-es and applications.
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tabushAuthor Commented:
i hear you, but we run HP-UX now and a bunch of custom apps all written for that. i don't know if they will run properly on RedHat or any other common linux platform.
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gheistCommented:
nobody dies trying to recompile.
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dfkeCommented:
To check out IBM Power Systems take a look here:  http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/power.
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gheistCommented:
ibm calls powerpc processors RISC
hp calls PA-RISC processors RISC.

actually your mobil phone is likely to have RISC processor....
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tabushAuthor Commented:
would my HP-UX stuff run fine on linux?
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gheistCommented:
while it is perl or java there is no problem, you need to recompile rest on Linux, it may involve some program adjustments.
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tfewsterCommented:
If you're only short of space (I assume you mean disk space), why not just connect them to an external drive array?

To answer your question, HP-UX for Itanium includes the Aries "emulator", which allows binaries compiled on a PA-RISC system to run on an Itanium system without recompilation. There is a performance hit for CPU intensive apps (I've heard up to 70%), but you're moving from CPUs that do 10,000 TPM/core to ones that do 40,000+ TPM/core, (TPC-C scores for database work show a similar 4 x improvement), so worst-case performance should be similar. I'm not aware of a current "try before you buy" or porting resource from HP, so I'd suggest hassling your supplier for a loan/rental system to try your porting on.

You _will_ need to upgrade the Oracle licences for the faster CPUs, whether you move to Itanium, IBM Power* or x86. I hope you still have your Oracle installation media, as Oracle won't supply the media for old products.

HP-UX 11i v1 and v2 are no longer sold, so it would need to be 11i v3 - Which at least will get you some support for your porting exercise.

Normally I'd strongly recommend upgrading to the latest OS and application software, but if your systems are stable and security isn't an issue, this may be a relatively simple way forward.

Google "aries emulator" and "hp-ux 11.31 aries" for further reading on practical experiences and some discussion of performance
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gheistCommented:
I read through technical information and - it is what workstations did in 2005, now it is 10..20x better.
You can by 2x 6-core computer with 32GB RAM and 4 3TB disks in any computer store.

rp5405 features at-a-glance
• 2-way or 4-way PA-8700 processors
• 650 MHz CPU speed
•        High-performance “stretch” core electronics complex
(leveraged from HP midrange servers)
• Intel® Itanium® 2 processor upgradable
• Up to 16 GB of memory

• 10 PCI I/O slots (8 hot-plug, 2 non-hot-plug; all are 66 MHz × 64-bit)

• 9 independent PCI buses for I/O slots

• N+1 power and cooling

• 4 hot-plug disk drives

• Removable media bay: DVD-ROM or DDS-3

• 4.3 GB/s system bus bandwidth

• 3.2 GB/s I/O bus bandwidth

• 4.3 GB/s memory bus bandwidth

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gheistCommented:
Best part:
The rp5405 is upgradable to the Itanium 2-based HP Server rx5670

i think it is time to call HP
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tfewsterCommented:
gheist, I understand what you're saying about value for money by porting to Linux/x86, or what dfke was saying about the future of Itanium, but I wanted to show an alternative strategy with minimal effort for porting the software stack as-is  (In particular, Oracle 7 media will not be available for any OS)


P.S. LOL, I hadn't noticed the rp5405 was upgradeable. I can't think of why anyone would WANT to do that - Saving the cost of a rackmount kit?! It would still need an OS reinstall  anyway.
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gheistCommented:
The very basic itanium machine has 2x faster IO 6GB/s  and dual-core itanium2 1.5GHZ which covers performance concern by dfke

Oracle clients are compatible at least two versions off. So you can resort to running Oracle 9 on Linux ( and use reasonably priced disk space) and slowly move rest...

For business it boils down to expense, not sweat and blood. In long term linux amd64 solution incurs very little extra costs - you buy another couple of standard servers in 5 years... Going redhat would be expensive, so choose between the rest.

PS i had a good laugh about "upgrade" too
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tabushAuthor Commented:
Wow - tfewster and gheist - thank you both for all of your help!
I'm going to discuss with my boss and get back to you.
In short, we are moving soon and our RP5405's are physically HUGE and consume a ton of power. it's probably cheaper for us to replace them than to install specialized power for them (and their disk arrays). Would either of you be available to hire for some remote consulting work to assist with migrating data/systems to new HP boxes? I don't think my boss will go for Linux right now. I like the Aries Emulation mode, that solves the issue... do you still think we need new Oracle licenses if we go with that?
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gheistCommented:
You need continued oracle support to get additional licences.
If your licence (with proof of payment) says 8 processors you are rich.
Nowadays they sell seat licences and processor unit licences.
Seat licences do not allow you to run public website.
Processor unit is one processor, HT is 1,2u 2-ore is 1,5 (i might be a bit off, but they have licencing page on their site)
For migration attempts you can use developer Oracle to asses if you really need anything more than standard for 20 seats or one CPU.
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