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OpenMPE assists HP with end of life process

At this summer's HP Technology Forum & Expo, only two meetings covered the life cycle of the HP 3000. Hewlett-Packard showed up in a room with three customers to confirm its migration campaign was unchanged. Meanwhile, the other side of the 3000's lifespan was discussed at an OpenMPE meeting in the conference in Las Vegas.

While HP continues to call its 2010 support exit "the HP e3000 end of life," OpenMPE's homesteading advocacy sees a very different future for the system in 2011. OpenMPE chair Birket Foster said that some customers are still hoping for an HP reversal of its "quit the 3000 business" edit of 2001.

"We're in a funny phase where people are still hoping for a miracle that HP would do something different" than exit the market, he said. "And HP's not going to." Since neither the migration or homestead camps came to Las Vegas with new wagers, what would constitute news from the show? Foster said the Connect user group directors attended the OpenMPE meeting to learn how HP was treating an "end-of-life" mission with HP customers. Foster said there are lessons to be learned for customers who might move from other HP-proprietary environments.

Part of the reason the user group directors attended the meeting, Foster says, "is because they recognize that we're pioneering a process. This process assists HP so it can define a framework for managing the end of life of an operating system/product line."

OpenMPE has given HP suggestions about preservation of 3000 documentation and other resources the community is accustomed to using. The directors came to learn about how to do such things, in part because the OpenVMS community is vigilant about any HP retreat from OpenVMS development. The OpenVMS environment runs on Itanium blade servers, for example.

Alandick Foster said that Connect director Alan Dick (at left), Director of Advocacy and SIGs, "got it" when the discussions examined HP's response to an end of life strategy. "He wants to be sure they do advocacy to HP on behalf of OpenMPE, to remind HP there's an issue if the vendor doesn't manage it properly. Done properly at the next end of life, "HP might just keep people in the fold."