Experts inject value into eBay bargain
3000 enters advent of a unique season

Newer networks spark reason to migrate

HP 3000 customers begin migrations for many reasons, ranging from a fear of being left out of a vendor's strategy to the loss of expertise required to keep an MPE/iX system running 24x7. One value that's falling behind, due to HP's decision to halt 3000 development, is a path to upcoming network standards.

Over the summertime in Las Vegas HP bolted through dozens of slides to outline the Networking Technology Roadmap for 2009. These net technologies might only be available to 3000s if OpenMPE or another entity is allowed to enhance the system; what's more, some of the needed hardware will have to come from an emulated system. That's a long road of waiting, although a good deal of what HP outlined won't be available for years.

Still, network advances promise much that the 3000 cannot offer. HP said that it's reasonable for a network to be expected to do the following

  • Virtualize everything, to use "Stuff as a Service"
  • Put compute anywhere, to "Use the data center to coordinate disaster recovery"
  • Take everything with me, including "All employees, all the data, all the time"
  • Leave everything at home, so "Nothing confidential leaves the vault"
  • Simplify an IT expert's life, to manage a datacenter from a handheld; use a single cable (or no cable) to the desk for all content / communications; and a single method for server connectivity within the datacenter

As one example at this year's HP Technology Forum, HP outlined what a 10 gigabit Ethernet, wired, could do for an enterprise.

HP is still tinkering with getting this faster Ethernet working on a value basis. 802.3an is 10GBASE-T
and defines 10GbE over twisted-pair copper cabling. Although HP says the advanced network still faces a "difficult problem – still working to reach price / performance / power goals," 802.3an will operate at lengths up to 55 meters over Cat6 and 100 meters over Cat6a UTP or Cat7 STP.

10GBit networking is so many times faster than the HP 3000's Ethernet it might make a case for migration all by itself. HP would not even bring 1GBit networking to MPE/iX. 10GBASE-T also has“Short Reach Mode” for Low Power, 4W max.

The 10GBit standard was completed more than two years ago, and HP's goal to support auto negotiation to 100/1000BASE-T. Early products shipped or demonstrated in the second half of last year.

Then there are Wired Ethernet Standards supporting the 802.3az Energy Efficient Ethernet. This standard

  • Provides 80 percent power savings for idle links
  • Uses a Low Power Idle, which negotiates idles using PHY/MAC/logic/queue quiescence. The link signal remains on with a rapid wakeup (max 3-4us)

802.3az will also have Base-T (Twisted Pair) and Base-K (Backplane) PHYs of 10Mb-10Gb. HP expects the standard and the first products will be ready by the time HP is ending its HP 3000 support operations. The vendor hopes for broad adoption potential by 2012-2013.

There was much more to process, more than 55 slides in less than 50 minutes, presented by Fred Worley , an HP Networking Technology Architect.