Locating the eldest running 3000
IT pros prefer serving own software

Migrations net lower cost, even performance

HP 3000 migration supplier UNICON Conversion Technologies compared the HP 3000 to a few target platforms recently. These performance comparisons show the server holds its own against newer and more popular technology on transaction processing. But UNICON, while praising the 3000's speed, takes a sharper look at cost of acquisition.

"Here are two interesting observations from our conversion work regarding the HP 3000," said Mike Howard of UNICON, which is migrating the Medford, Ore. school district off a 3000. "First, when we migrate applications from a late-model HP 3000 to a Windows SQL Server platform, we are happy to achieve equivalent performance statistics. When we migrate applications from an IBM Z Mainframe to a Windows SQL Server platform, we are unhappy if we don’t see a gain of at least times times performance statistics.

"The migrated systems in both cases use only pure native Windows components, with no emulation layers to affect performance, so it is a true comparison. That HP 3000 sure was some kind of machine."

But Howard also reports that migrating to the industry-standard servers promoted by HP and Dell delivers a massive savings over the cost of purchasing those late-model HP 3000s from Hewlett-Packard.

"One of our migration clients purchased a HP 3000 N4000 2-CPU system just two weeks before HP announced the end of life for the HP 3000," Howard said. "The client is migrating to a Windows .NET SQL Server platform using two Dell servers, one application server and one database server -- each 4 quad (16 CPUs) with 32 GB of main memory.

"That N4000 cost the customer $200,000. At today's price, the two Dell servers cost $25,000 total. That’s almost one-tenth the cost." The cost of this refreshed hardware might only be as much as re-licensing some sets of 3000 software in an upgrade.

UNICON performs what it calls "a true conversion, not an emulation." During the project the 3000's complete environment, including JCL and third-party utilities, are replaced with software written for platforms including Unix, Windows and Linux. Job Control Language is handled with Windows batch jobs, or scripting in Unix or Perl.