By Gilles Schipper
Attention all homesteaders!
In previous articles, I have mentioned various ways of enhancing the capabilities of your HP 3000 systems with very modest expenditures. They included the upgrading of your DDS2 or DDS3 tape drive to a DDS4 (DAT40) or even DDS5 (DAT72) to significantly reduce system backup times and improve reliability.
Also, I documented potential problems associated with seemingly innocuous DTCs, as well as methods for identifying such problems and corresponding solutions.
I have also delivered the details associated with the installation of a Secure Web Console (SWC). Costs for these very effective system enhancement solutions are either trivial or non-existent.
So now that you have all this spare cash burning a hole in your pocket, you should be in a position to spend a few of those dollars - and I do mean just a few - on a more elaborate project that further enhances the reliability and performance of your "obsolete" system.
Best of all, this project won’t require any fees for license upgrades.
Before suggesting how you could spend those spare funds, consider the options you have to improve your 3000.
Surely the most dramatic and effective way is to upgrade your box to a faster CPU - assuming you are not already at that high level.
Unfortunately, the costs associated with such an upgrade do not simply involve your new hardware acquisition costs. Expensive software license upgrades could be required - especially if Cognos or Speedware licenses are involved.
Unless you are running home-grown COBOL applications, you could be facing serious license upgrade costs. And even if not beholden to the 4GL license owners, your third-party utilities could be costly to conform to the new hardware from a licensing viewpoint.
The options described following do not require any license upgrades whatsoever.
For those of you that have not already done so, I refer to the replacement of your disk storage hardware with a corresponding disk sub-system that offers the superb protection of hardware RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks).
I would also recommend this replacement for those that are utilizing HP 3000 Mirror/iX software - since Mirror/iX does not protect the MPEXL_SYSTEM_VOLUME_SET volume set and forces one to utilize user volume sets even if the situation does not otherwise warrant it.
(As an aside, I believe there is a place for user volume sets - but only in very specific and limited circumstances).
The main advantage of hardware RAID is that it offers excellent protection from disk failures and resulting data loss and time lost due to data recovery requirements. Chances are good that you are if you are a candidate to benefit from hardware RAID, your existing disk technology is relatively old and prone to failure as a result of years of use.
Let's face it, unlike a good wine, older HP 3000 hardware and its associated peripherals do not get better with age. Quite the contrary.
However, even if choosing a RAID technology that is also relatively old or obsolete, the nature of the technology itself affords you a great measure of protection from disk failures and corresponding data loss and downtime.
The choices you have that are quite inexpensive include the Nike Mod10 or Mod20, and the HP Autoraid 12H.
A higher-end RAID solution would be in the VA7000 family of products. A still more expensive solution would be one of the options from EMC.
Stay tuned for more details on specific implementation of many of these options in another article, soon.
Please visit www.gsainc.com for information on support options for your HP 3000 or 9000 systems.