Linux servers have become pervasive across the data center landscape. It's a reality HP is now embracing with an expansion of its Serviceguard business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities.
Serviceguard has long been available on HP's HP-UX UNIX offerings and is now making the leap to Linux. At its core, Serviceguard is clustering software for high availability (HA) and disaster recovery. It's a software solution that HP supports with professional services.
"We're seeing an increasing demand for critical application workloads on Linux," Kate O'Neill, Director, Global Product Marketing and Programs, Business Critical Systems, at HP, told ServerWatch. "Customers are looking for HP to help fortify Linux and make it more similar to HP-UX in terms of the mission-critical experience."
O'Neill noted that HP's strategy is about bringing the expertise and innovations that have been developed to support HP-UX to help Linux. Serviceguard for Linux is an example of that strategy.
The first release of Serviceguard for Linux debuted in June of 2012 and was updated in December. Serviceguard provides fast failover and protection for Linux servers. The December update extended Serviceguard to support SAP running on Linux and added support for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Serviceguard previously only supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
"The SAP extensions ensure that Linux is integrated with the application, so any specific nuances are integrated with Serviceguard," O'Neil said. "So if there are issues or failures at the application layer, it can be detected seamlessly in Serviceguard."
Serviceguard can also deliver fast failover as low as four seconds for Linux servers. Looking beyond just failover, Serviceguard also includes a feature called "Live Application Detach" that helps enable 24/7 application availability.
Aravindan Gopalakrishnan, Senior Product Manager, Business Critical Systems at HP, explained to ServerWatch that with the Live Application Detach feature, server maintenance can be done while keeping the application up and running.
Gopalakrishnan also noted that server and application processes are protected by Serviceguard, which enables a process to be detached from the clustering software and then be re-attached.
While Serviceguard for Linux is relatively new, it's based on technology HP has had available for years on HP-UX. Gopalakrishnan said that Serviceguard for Linux is essentially the same code base as Serviceguard for HP-UX.
"The differences arise from the operating systems themselves, due to differences in some of the underlying commands," Gopalakrishnan explained.
He also noted there are a few capabilities in the HP-UX version of Serviceguard that are not yet available for Linux. Gopalakrishnan stressed however that all of the foundational capabilities of Serviceguard are now available for Linux servers.