The HP Partitioning Continuum provides a range of hard, virtual, and resource partitioning tools that offer resource virtualization at the server or partition level, improve overall system and subsystem utilization, and lower costs in consolidated environments. Partitions are physical or logical mechanisms for isolating operational environments within single or multiple servers. Partitioning provides IT managers with the flexibility to dynamically resize an application’s resource usage while making sure that all applications enjoy protection from disruptive events that could cause service interruption or performance degradation.
Figure 11. The HP Partitioning Continuum for HP-UX 11i combines high isolation with excellent flexibility
HP offers four different types of partitioning solutions that work in the VSE, each designed to support a different balance of application isolation and resource optimization.
Hard partitions—Hard partitions within a node are designed to isolate application environments from single points of failure. This means that applications running within hard partitions are not affected by hardware or software events occurring in other partitions. On the Integrity Superdome servers, hard partitions are within the node and are called nPartitions, or nPars. An HP Integrity Superdome can support anywhere from one to 16 nPartitions, each supporting its own operating system, applications, peripherals, and networks. Each nPartition can host HP-UX, Linux, and Windows operating environments. Within HP Integrity Superdome servers, cell boards are grouped into physical structures. An nPartition consists of one or more cells that communicate coherently over a high-bandwidth, low- latency crossbar fabric. Special programmable hardware in the cell boards defines the boundaries of an nPartition in such a way that isolation from the actions of other nPartitions is enforced. Each nPartition runs its own independent operating system, and different nPartitions can be executing the same or different versions of an OS. In an Integrity Superdome, they can even be executing different operating systems altogether (such as HP-UX, Linux, and Windows).