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Premature obituaries for HP environments

Google scours the Web as well as many tools, and even better than most. Today our search-bot turned up an early obituary for an HP operating environment. Well, two such notices, if you know much about the HP 3000 market's current status.

Over on, Google found us a story about HP server customer Aearo Technologies. This HP 3000 and HP 9000 shop had little faith in HP's Integrity offerings just last spring, according to Mark Fontecchio's report. But now the customer stands to save up to $80,000 a year in HP support by replacing its PA-RISC servers with Integrity units.

That's replacing both the HP 9000 as well as HP 3000 servers, according to the story. After 20 years on the 3000 — and who knows how long on the HP 9000 — neither environment looks like it's got long to live. At least according to, Aearo

is considering getting away from the HP 3000 or HP 9000 platforms because the support end of life is either near, as in the first case, or they fear it's near, as in the second.

Whispers of HP curtailing HP-UX support have been with us a good while now. It's probably safe to say the rumors of HP's Unix death are exaggerated. We could make an argument that MPE/iX support is not near death, either.

HP has been candid about its HP-UX future — well, at least as plain as the vendor was about its MPE/iX forecast just one year before it announced its pullout from the 3000 market. See the HP slideshow from last year to find HP-UX plans until 2016. See our recent rememberance to find HP's strong position on 3000s in 2000.

End of support doesn't always equal end of life. Support is a flexible term. In your market it goes beyond what HP provides. Stellar, seasoned third parties carry the load for 3000 shops all over the world. The only life that's ending soon is HP's 3000 lifetime.

And perhaps not even that is destined for a rapid demise. It's that "or later" statement in HP's 3000 support extension message that continues to puzzle some of this market. Like the segment that is still working on HP 3000 gear while they migrate toward HP-UX.

HP-UX might not deserve the doubt of Fontecchio's report, He only reflects what Aearo told him, of course. But customers can believe nearly anything, as we have learned over 22 years of talking to them. Especially if an $80,000 savings in support gets promised.

We do have to wonder just how old those PA-RISC servers are at the Aearo site. There's savings a-plenty when you upgrade from 1998 systems to 2007 boxes. HP has ensured this kind of discount will be available for a long time. At least until the HP-UX and MPE/iX end of life, whenever that might roll around.