Even though the old-world UNIX operating systems, like IRIX and HP-UX, have been steadily losing ground to Linux for a long time now, they do still get updated and improved. HP-UX 11i v3 is supposed to get update 4 tomorrow, with a host of new features that won’t excite you if you’re used to Linux, but they’re still pretty useful for HP-UX users.
For instance, the update includes a feature called dynamic root disk, which makes patching the operating system a little faster, reducing overall downtime by 50% (according to HP). This feature allows you to create a new root partition, make a copy of the operating system there, and apply the updates to this new copy. End users can continue to use the “old” partition, while the admins test the new partition with the new updates applied, and if it’s ready to go, they can just reboot into the new partition. The old partition remains intact in case the new partition doesn’t boot or otherwise fails.
This new update will also introduce an online distribution model for HP-UX, which before was distributed old-world style. Now you can get a license within a few hours and download the operating system online. It also comes with its own disk scrubbing feature, meaning you no longer have to pay someone else to do it. There are also numerous improvements in the clustering extensions of HP-UX.
HP-UX 11i v3 Update 4 will be released tomorrow, April 17th.