HP has added new capabilities to its virtual server management system, so clustered servers running Oracle on HP-UX 11i can automatically use more or fewer resources, depending on workload.

HP said its Virtual Server Environment (VSE) for Integrity servers now allows admins to automatically adjust resources within a pooled server environment via the new VSE Reference Architecture for Oracle Real Application Clusters for HP-UX 11i.

It dynamically scales the Integrity server infrastructure when Oracle database workloads fluctuate. For example, enterprises can allocate additional server capacity to financial applications during the month-end close, capacity that's automatically used as required.

HP has also developed software that it said helps guard against failure by automatically moving the virtual machines between servers in a VSE, effectively providing disaster recovery capability.

This feature is available now with the latest release of HP Serviceguard for HP-UX 11i and enables easy manual migration of virtual machines, accelerating application qualification and deployment, according to HP.

Available since 2003, the HP VSE is part of the foundations of HP's so-called Adaptive Infrastructure framework, which enables customers to move toward an automated "lights-out" computing environment that can be remotely managed 24 hours a day. Other services for VSE include planning and assessment, design and implementation, and various types of IT support.

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"No other vendor can offer the level of virtualisation capability for Oracle customers that HP now can," said product director Nick van der Zweep.

"HP leads the way in mission-critical server virtualisation with HP-UX 11i, now enabling customers to automatically flex, add and move server resources in support of constantly changing business demands."

"By consolidating our HP infrastructure via HP virtualisation technologies, we are now able to nimbly respond to changing workloads while saving almost $200,000 in the process," said Clive Cranshaw, technical administrator, Royal London, an HP customer.

"We have benefited enormously from our IT staff being able to focus on adding value to the business, while the HP Integrity Virtual Machines allocate and manage server resources automatically and keep our users productive."

Like all other enterprise server vendors, HP is seeing an expansion of customer demand for virtualisation with a claimed 70 percent shipment growth for virtualisation technologies in the past year.