HP re-opened its registration on Friday for the first HP Technology Forum, a conference whose content is certain to serve the vendor's recommendation of migration from HP 3000s. (The conference is moved to Orlando, where HP CEO Mark Hurd is still set to deliver the opening keynote.) HP has never been bashful about the path it's plotting for 3000 sites. Even though the erosion of the system's ecosystem is not taking place as quickly as HP predicted, HP's model still assumes there's more risk in staying than homesteading.
The Forum includes at least one MPE-specific session that promises to be more about technology than strategy. Jim Hawkins, one of the engineers still dedicated to MPE development inside HP, will give a talk entitled Migrating Your HP e3000 Peripheral and High Availability Environment. The high-detail abstract of the presentation on the Tech Forum's Web site says the talk
"is geared to those who must migrate their HP e3000 peripheral and high availability environment to other HP platforms and need an understanding of which products will map over to the other HP platforms.
• Hear about the capacity and performance concerns when migrating from MPE/iX.
• Explore the portfolio of peripheral and high availability products available for the HP e3000 and similar or like products available on other HP platforms.
• Examine the use of DTCs on a network with an HP e3000, and review the issues that need to be covered when migrating network connectivity to another platform.
This is a subject that's been presented in years past as a tutorial on understanding HP 3000 storage options; we heard Hawkins talk on the topic at the final Solutions Symposium in California in 2004. Expecting a migration audience at the Tech Forum, HP is customizing its messages. It will be refreshing to hear HP talk at all about DTCs, MPE-specific technology still at work in lots of sites running 3000s.
Another migration that has taken place from the HP 3000 world will be in evidence at the Technology Forum. Chris Koppe, marketing director for Speedware, has moved from the Interex HP users group board of directors to the board of Encompass, the user group founded by Digital customers and assimilated into HP's environment during the Compaq merger. Koppe now has a non-voting post on the Encompass board, according to a note from the Encompass newsletter:
Former Interex board member Chris Koppe has joined as a non-voting member of the Encompass Board of Directors. Encompass welcomes Chris and his many years of experience and looks forward to working with him in the coming year.
Koppe joined the Interex board at the beginning of 2004, and spoke with us in our Q&A that year about the future of the HP user group as well as Speedware's plans for migration assistance. At the time he said that "one of the main goals of Interex is to work better with Encompass and HP."
The user group behind the Tech Forum looks to be organized quite differently from Interex. Encompass has 13,000 members, according to exective director Mary Ellen Smith — significantly less than the 100,000 claimed by Interex, but active members, according to Smith. Many of those Interex memberships existed more in the minds of the Interex staff than anywhere else; thousands were added to the rolls on the basis of interest in Interex free publications. Encompass is co-producing the Technology Forum along with HP. The user group is professionally managed by Smith Bucklin, a Chicago-based exposition and user association company that took on the job in 2000.