OpenMPE's march to source halfway home
HP to roll out Q4 results this afternoon

Small migration steps shadow resistance

At this year's e3000 Community Meet, a roundtable discussion offered insights into why more migrations aren't completed by now. After all, it's eight years since HP announced its exit from the 3000 business. What's holding up some sensible companies? For the 3000 site accustomed to managing its own development and operations, one barrier seems to be in-house experience.

Goldman Rick Goldman of Spellbinder Systems Group shared a typical tale of resistance. Small steps can soften the blow of change, he said, but moving something task-specific into enterprise-wide design can throw up a hurdle. Spellman is consulting on Speedware implementations as well as migration.

"In some cases people don't want to move because they want to avoid risk -- not realizing the risk they've got in staying on the 3000," he said. "They're afraid of introducing some new mix to their technology." The reluctance to extending a point technology like replication is one example Goldman shared.

The consultant said at the Meet that a company he advised had put together a quick parser for Quiz reporting, and generated equivalent code using Crystal Reports. Now it had a poor man's replication monitor for the data, and periodically offloaded major databases. But up to date replication, where the data was fresh? Too much of a leap.

"The problem was that because they didn't do any formal, true replication, the data was always stale. That was acceptable. But the moment you start introducing something else, you need real time replication. This is where they get scared, because they haven't had to do that before. Even shadowed IMAGE databases, way back when, used to freak people."

Change, to almost nobody's surprise, is the fear that's acting as a counterweight to migrating away from a platform which HP promises to leave in about a year or so. "Doing replication onto another platform, despite the fact that we have much more heterogeneous environments with lots of platforms, there are still emotional limits to what people want to make their jump with," Goldman said. "They don't want to take the leap because it's scary and they don't have the expertise in that area."