Hewlett-Packard (HP) is readying the next version of its Unix operating system with new features designed to automate workload movement in virtual environments, the company said Thursday.With version 3.0 of HP-UX 11i, set to ship later this year, HP has re-engineered the I\/O subsystem to improve performance, integration with storage environments and load balancing. HP plans to further refine the operating system\u2019s automation capabilities with version 4.0, which it plans to ship by 2009. Version 4.0 will add more policy-based automation functionality."So, you could define service levels, and the system figures out the resources, how to move things around to match service levels, with little operator intervention," said Don Jenkins, vice president of business critical servers for HP in Palo Alto, Calif.HP acknowledges that the overall Unix market is not growing, but says it is seeing healthy growth for Unix servers for mission-critical applications in such areas as business processing and decision support. Unix servers are facing increasing competition from Linux servers in big companies.Research firm IDC reported this week that worldwide revenue for Unix servers dropped about 7 percent in the first quarter of 2006 from a year ago, while revenue for both Windows and Linux servers increased.Also on Thursday, HP said that IBM in the next few months will port more of its WebSphere, Rational, Tivoli and Lotus middleware onto HP Integrity servers running HP-UX.-Shelley Solheim, IDG News ServiceCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.