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Still loaning and leading after all these years

By the middle of 2002, HP was offering a loaner program to companies which were migrating away from their HP 3000s. For a term of up to six months, HP ships a second server to any site making its transition. Eligible replacement servers now include Integrity or PA-RISC HP-UX systems, as well as HP's Proliant Windows and Linux servers.

That program is still in service after more than five years, now in the sixth year of the 3000 Transition era.  Jennie Hou, HP's business manager for the 3000, said the vendor's migration offerings are "very consistent" over these years.

HP still provides "no-cost training" for its target operating environments, using a Web-based model. The vendor offers rebates on storage purchases related to a migration, too. Now a new Neoview solution is part of HP's alternatives.

The loaner program can launch a low-cost acquistion of the replacement server. "After half a year you can do a buyout of the server at a huge discount," she said at this summer's HP Technology Forum.

Hou added that despite what might seem to be an obvious choice for loaner buyouts — newer Integrity and Opteron systems — some customers still choose to buy out a PA-RISC HP-UX server.

She also pointed out that HP has a broad line of potential replacement platforms including the new NeoView business intelligence data warehouse solution. HP 3000s have such mission-critical duties that these data marts are more common than ever on the platform. Hewlett-Packard called its Neoview implementation inside the company a gamble, but obviously a risk that paid off. For many years, HP conducted its internal business on HP 3000s.