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June 2011

MBF Scheduler adds MPE-like features

A good sign that a transition software tool keeps improving? When customer requests generate new features, and soon. That's what's happening with MBF Scheduler from MB Foster. A pair of HP 3000 schedule lynchpins, HIPRI and RUN NOW, have been added in the 3.1 version of the software.

MB Foster built Scheduler from scratch last year when its customers needed to replicate the advanced scheduling in MPE/iX. It's been a field-proven tool and the newest version adds more of what made the 3000's OS an enterprise standout.

"Over the past 3 months," said CEO Birket Foster, "we have seen IT projects within manufacturing, e-tailers and other industry segments that needed these types of capabilities. We wanted to be sure that we were meeting our customers’ evolving needs to deliver a solution that fits their batch job scheduling requirements."

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Unix vendors have some explaining to do

The HP partner just mentioned, off-hand, the mess for HP's reps. The ones selling Unix-based Integrity servers have a lot more explaining to do, now that HP is suing Oracle over non-support of the Itanium chips in the Integrity boxes.

"Every sales call now starts with why Itanium is still a viable option," the partner said. "Both Oracle and IBM have made HP-UX a target market." But the latest numbers from Oracle show that not even throwing mud at HP's Unix in March made a difference in hardware sales for that quarter.

HP's old CEO Mark Hurd had some explaining to do in the call to analysts covering Oracle's stock. He said that Oracle could sell lots of systems at no profit, just to get the hardware in the door. While that's pretty much the game-plan for every vendor of Unix iron today -- new customers are once-in-a-year events for many Integrity resellers -- Oracle wants to sell much bigger iron. Well, iron with bigger profits, anyway. Try to tease apart Hurd's answer in the last analyst call.

We are now selling fewer systems, at a higher price, that are of more value to the customer, that stay installed longer. And also we're doing that at higher margins. So these are the fundamentals of a solid hardware business, and then of course to the point we have to eventually grow that business on a top line, and you have a very, very attractive business model.

But growing the gross top-line business is the sketchy part today. It's had an impact on share price; Oracle and HP both have stock trading in the low-to-mid 30s, and nobody is happy about that turn of events. So when a pair of Unix vendors can't scratch up new customers to grow that top line, it's not a vote of value for the environment. HP 3000 sites are not just leaning hard toward Windows when replacing systems. They're even looking close at Linux by now. Linux, which runs on just about every chip, isn't tied to a single-vendor business model, and costs less to operate than ever. Choosing HP-UX is turning out to be a matter of following apps, and little else.

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Will telephones deliver patches on time?

This year HP has opened a door for its HP 3000 users to get patches without a support contract. This month's changes in the HP support operations may require that door to be pushed open wider.

Late in 2010, HP announced that the 3000 community was getting an exception to the current pay-for-patch edict. Hewlett-Packard remembered that it told you those MPE/iX patches were going to be free once HP left the support marketplace. So any 3000 shop can order a patch, including some fixes that didn't even get through HP's test process, with a phone call. Yes, a phone call, in an era when a lot of support contact doesn't get anywhere near the phone.

Some users are wondering if the telephone conduit is wide enough to serve in times of collective need. HP's got extensive hoops to jump through for all non-3000 patches online: "Patch access through the ITRC support portal requires a valid ITRC user ID and password. Additionally, an active HP support agreement including Software Updates service must be linked to the customer’s ITRC profile to access patch content and services."

Donna Hoffmeister, who served as an OpenMPE director for years and is now part of the Allegro Consultants support team, said OpenMPE negotiated for the open access to these patches. But "you have to call (that ancient 20th Century communication method). They shut down the [ITRC] FTP site when they cut off [free] access to all patches."

Craig Lalley of EchoTech wondered if a telephone is the most effective way of distributing patches. "Maybe, if we all called the response center at the same time, or on the same day and requested a patch, HP might see a flaw in this system. Granted at best, I think we could only get 40-60 people to call. How about July 5th?"

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Must-have firmware, patches for 7.5 install?

We have just started up a new A-class 2-way running 7.5 PP5. This system is configured with 4GB RAM, a VA7410 running off two PCI FC Host Bus Adapters, one DTC 16, and two SureStore DDS-2 tape drives running off the LVD SCSI interface. SUBSYS products consist of NS, COBOL, and FORTRAN. We do use FTP, incoming and outgoing. We will probably start using Sendmail for a few things (as an old Unix admin, I respect Sendmail, but do not fear it!) Our primary use for this system is MANMAN with around 170 users.

Our third party portfolio is the usual: Suprtool, MPEX, Minisoft ODBC, and Adager, plus some other odds and ends. So, for this kind of system, what are the “must have” patches that we should install on top of PP5?

After Gilles Schipper assured the manager that "PowerPatch 5 should be all you need," Jack Connor replied:

You may want to check the PDC firmware level. I believe the Fiber Channel patches found in 43.43 for the N class are in 43.50 for the A. You can see the PDC level at the boot menu.

Do you have an HP-UX or Windows box with Command View set up to monitor the VA? It's very advisable, as you can do a lot of drill down if you have problems and all can be remote to the system. Did you configure High Availability Fail Over (HAFO)? You may want to offload the CIO network interface card with a standalone 100Bt card and leave your DTC on the CIO.

Craig Lalley added:

Yes, MPE can do HAFO. What I do is configure all the odd LUNs down one path and all the even LUNs down the second path. Then SYSGEN IO HA , and then create the secondary path. It works on the VAs because all the LUNs are seen down both paths.

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Microsoft grapples with .NET's lifespan

Users like the San Bernadino County Schools are already hearing rumors that the .NET environment might be losing Microsoft's support. The district is moving its apps to .NET from MPE/iX, a project that's scheduled to be complete by 2015. But that deadline might be long after Microsoft's plans to keep .NET a strategic choice for IT.

For the HP 3000 customer, this is familiar territory. In the 1980s and 1990s, HP dev environments such as Allbase 4GL and Transact fell from grace at Hewlett-Packard. The same fate fell to the 3000 and MPE as well. By the end of the '90s, HP statements that a product was "strategic" were processed like a kiss of death; a product would get that label a few years before dropping off the price list.

A similar conflict over the fate of .NET is taking place at Microsoft, by some accounts. The vendor gave a technology preview this week and failed to mention either Silverlight, its Flash-like tool, or .NET. Reports from the IT blog The Register suggest that the Windows development team considers both Silverlight and .NET to be legacy technology.

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3000 is 4 years from graduation at district

The HP 3000 has four more years of service to give to the San Bernadino County Schools, but the server's apps are being migrated to make room for fresher hardware. Dave Evans, manager of the 3000s at the school district, said that availability of more current hardware started pushing the apps onto Dell's Windows-based servers.

The Human Resources app has been turned over to virtual servers running on a Dell system, Evans said. When HP stepped away from delivering service and products to the district -- Evans said the schools couldn't get a call returned from the vendor -- it started the shift to Dell for new systems. The HP 3000s, however, continued to enter the IT shop. The district bought latest-model N-Class servers in 2002 and 2007, both off the reseller market from Ideal Computer.

Evans said that Ideal assured the district that it could get whatever hardware was need to keep the production running through 2015.

Of the nine major systems at the district, four have been migrated, including the all-important human resources apps that are crucial to any school employing thousands of teachers and staff. Still to complete are the big general ledger, payroll and retirement systems. San Bernadino, which is doing the migration itself, expects to be completely migrated in 2015. That's 31 years since the 3000s started working at the school district, right along with Evans in May, 1984.

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UDA Central adds top source open database

MB Foster has announced a new version of its database transfer and migration tool UDACentral, one which works with the most popular open source database, PostgreSQL.

UDACentral Open source databases are among the hottest choices in re-architecting from HP 3000 installations. Customers don't want to get pinned down with a single-vendor choice if they see their database is controlled by a systems vendor. Products like IMAGE get abandoned by vendors like HP. Several 3000 app developers who've gone to open source versions for their products swear they'll never use anything but open source database choices.

UDACentral, which just added a raft of databases to its exchange and migration services last year, is bringing the most widely used database to the roster in PostgreSQL. Ingres, one of the original enterprise database providers, spawned PostgreSQL, which evolved from the Ingres project at the University of California. PostgreSQL is the most popular alternative to the MySQL database.

It's an important addition considering where control of MySQL has reverted: to Oracle, which bought Sun's rights to MySQL along with the company last year. Support fees have now been tied to licensing since the purchase. The MySQL users are weathering a hard time in using software which was supposed to play outside of a system vendor's control.

MB Foster, which also added the Progress database to the UDACentral roster with the new version, is reaching the widest array of database support with the additions. The two new databases join MySQL, Ingres, Sybase and Cache, as well as Eloquence, Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server, DB2, and TurboIMAGE. The software can move any of these databases' data between one another, using a Java-based facility.

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Customers debate definition of licensed 3000

As soon as an independent vendor offers a 3000 for sale today, some buyers in the market judge the server's license pedigree. An offer of an HP 3000 N-Class server, hawked as "rolling and running," came up this spring. The server was offered no-license -- a status which can mean the prior owner never bothered to register the sale of the server to the independent reseller.

But can such a rolling and running system, this one sold by Brett Forsyth, require an MPE/iX license? Mark Ranft of Pro3K says a license doesn't define a 3000's status as a running server.

Who says it doesn’t have an OS? By “no license,” Brett surely means that the previous owner didn’t pay to have the license transferred.  

There are many valid reasons for this.  For instance, imagine the server wasn’t under HP support contract up until the minute they decommissioned it. As a result, trying to get HP to transfer the license would be so much work that you may as well pull your own teeth with a dull set of needle-nosed pliers by entering your mouth through your ear canal.

Forsyth reminded customers that HP always sold a 3000 with the MPE/iX OS included. People who are buying servers with no license paperwork. he says, are still running systems which can roll and run with the last version of MPE/iX HP licensed to the servers.

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3000 Reunion snares MANMAN support

Members of the MANMAN ERP community will be adding their numbers to this September's HP3000 Reunion. Terry Floyd, founder of the MANMAN and ERP support company the Support Group, said that the CAMUS user group will be meeting alongside the Sept. 22-24 reunion. Floyd, one of the CAMUS officers, said he's been in touch with the ASK Computer founders and the group will be helping to sponsor the event.

I hope we attract some real users, but I think there could be a large contingency of former ASK employees for Friday night Sept. 23. Founder Sandy Kurtzig can’t come, but Marty Browne is interested.

Some real users have signed up to be subscribers to the Reunion's blog, where they get a notice when news is posted about the fall event at the Computer History Museum. Supported by Speedware, Marxmeier Software, ScreenJet and the Support Group (so far), the event will be almost free -- the organizers plan to charge only a minimal fee to cover the cost of food and beverages at the Saturday night party.

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HP's other OS gets lawsuit defense v. Oracle

This time around, HP is not taking any chances with the market in its business operating systems. Hewlett-Packard filed a suit this week asking the courts to make Oracle continue to support the Integrity/Itanium servers -- the only home for HP-UX. Oracle is laughing off the lawsuit, but the move is a serious extra step to keep a proprietary OS viable for HP's customers. The battle isn't being reported as a vote on HP-UX, because a few other OS's run on Itanium. However, Itanium is the only platform that runs HP's Unix. If you manage with an eye on the OS, Oracle wants fewer HP-UX servers to compete with its Sun systems.

HPUXGlory The fortunes of HP-UX have taken a slide among customers since Windows gained enterprise status. Compared to the likes of MPE/iX, Windows Server still can't match included features such as batch job services. But Windows has become the popular choice among migration-bound 3000 companies. The reports of the past -- from an Open Systems Today article (left, click for detail) that I wrote in 1994 -- described "brisk sales providing market momentum, so HP can count on getting its technology approved in a way it couldn't five years ago, when it introduced NewWave architecture."

My, how 17 years can change things for a rising star like Unix. This spring's Oracle promise of no further HP-UX support for the flagship database or Oracle apps will chill the OS futures, something HP is addressing with its lawsuit.

HP said that it believes "Oracle’s March 22 statement to discontinue all future software development on the Itanium platform violates legally binding commitments Oracle has made to HP and the more than 140,000 shared HP-Oracle customers. Further, we believe that this is an unlawful attempt to force customers from HP Itanium platforms to Oracle’s own platforms."

HP 3000 users could point to legally binding commitments at the end of 2001, too. But any lawsuit would have met a tough defense from HP, and the customers really didn't want to force a relationship to continue. As a last resort, HP has abandoned the idea of working out something with the partner selling the majority of HP-UX databases. The problem is those robust HP-UX sales are a thing of the past -- and Oracle wants its own Sun servers selling instead of the Integrity boxes. Like NewWave, Itanium is an architecture that Oracle says never caught on.

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Six Years of 3000 News by Blog

DSC_0533 Six years ago this week the 3000 NewsWire's blog opened up on the Web. We've posted almost 1,600 stories since that day in June, when we started to report on the upcoming 2006 end of HP support for the server. Just like our ongoing 3000 NewsWire print edition, we worked to report what homesteaders and migrators were doing to accept or prepare for the changes.

It's hard to describe how much the world of the Internet has also changed since 2005, except to note that we don't even see the word Internet used much these days. There's also the accepted fact that everyone has a blog these days, if they're interested in sharing their news, or their lives, via computer. Some call Facebook their blog, and others use Twitter. But regular updates on what's changed are part of the fabric of our social network.

DSC_0534What were we talking about in that summer of 2005? Some in the community were hopeful that the new CEO Mark Hurd might revitalize the HP 3000 business. The same kind of enthusiasm had mounted when Carly Fiorina took that job in 1999, a year when the vitality of HP's 3000 operations was slowing but not curtailed. Hurd did no revitalization, of course. And by today, six years later, the community has stopped hoping for any change in HP's heart. Its new CEO Leo Apotheker has his heart in software (a good thing for a platform like MPE). But the only HP-driven software platform turning heads on Leo's team is WebOS -- facing the same kind of stiff competition that MPE/iX faced in 1999 against Windows and Linux.

A lot has changed for the HP 3000 -- HP has stopped selling everything but support, a hardware emulator has been booted, migration's pace slowed and homesteaders stabilized. But much has not changed, too. During this week in 2005, Quest Software was using Taurus Software's Bridgeware for migrations. More than 100 of them, Quest boasted. The same link we used to Bridgeware-cum-Quest in '05 is operating today. (Taurus is planning some fresh 3000 products, we've heard.)

Just as in 2005, HP still isn't out of the 3000 support business altogether. Its appetite continues for collecting support money when a 3000 site is willing, a sort of on-paper insurance that gets tested once in awhile. That 2006 end of support that we anticipated became 2008, then 2010. HP's 3000 activities aren't part of our coverage today, but we always reached beyond the vendor for the 3000's stories.

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N-Class price, storage advice points at value

While we were trolling our files for news about the HP 3000, we found a note about this year's cost of the N-Class HP 3000 servers. The ultimate HP 3000 ever built by the vendor, used as a spare parts unit or a hot backup for a production machine, sells for $3,000-$8,000 from one supplier. That's the price for a server that's got a pre-loaded version of MPE/iX, but the license is up to you to arrange. The $8,000 N-Class was listed as the most powerful (750 MhZ), sporting three processors.

On the other end of the useful 3000 power scale, the Series 927LX -- almost the smallest PA-RISC HP 3000 ever built by HP -- is still in use in the field. Chuck Trites asked this week if a DLT tape drive could be installed in this server that was designed in the early 1990s.

"This is not a problem as long as you have a free slot, or an open 28696A fast-wide card," says Jack Connor of Abtech. "I believe you need to be on MPE/iX 6.0 or 6.5 to go with a DLT8000. I'm sure a DLT4000 and probably a DLT7000 are okay." Larry Kaufman of legal firm Weltman, Weinberg and Reis reports that the 28696A IO card is easily obtained, a double-high interface device that permits the 927 to use HVD SCSI DLTs of 4000, 7000 or 8000 models.

HP 3000 managers trade this kind of configuration experience often, usually bolstered by independent support companies like Gilles Schipper's GSA. Schipper adds that some DLT4000s have a Single-Ended SCSI interface if that 927 doesn't have a spare full-height slot.

You might miss one point of this set of exchanges. At one end there's a 20-year-old server still working in a production setting. At the other end, the most powerful 3000s sold by HP are now less than $10,000, at least in a spare-parts or hot DR offering with your own licenses. There's value available for a server HP hasn't built in more than seven years, if you know where to ask for help.

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CEO Leo ends earnest Livermore's duties

Ann Livermore, who has been leading close to half of HP's business, has been sent to the board of directors after 29 years of day-to-day duties. The executive vice president of HP's enterprise and services operations, Livermore was an earnest team player for a franchise that changed captains four times during her tenure. The executive rollover will matter to companies making a migration to HP's other enterprise products. Livermore was at the top of the org chart for that part of HP's business.

Livermore, 52, began her work just out of graduate school in 1982 while John Young was CEO at HP, and three times over the last 12 years she made the short list for becoming CEO. She was closest to the job in 1999 when HP decided to choose Carly Fiorina, the first outsider, as its CEO and board chair. Although Livermore was favored among the 3000 customers and partners who valued the HP Way -- and still could count the 3000 among HP's best products -- the board decided to start an era of high revenue growth, sparked by technology bought or borrowed from outside instead of built from the inside.

It's fun to imagine what might have become of the HP 3000 if Livermore's first shot at CEO would have been a success. She came from the Classic HP management team that featured Marc Hoff, her boss at HP Support, where I first interviewed her rolling out a fresh version of HP LaserROM -- the industry's first product-support on a CD, built for a company with computers ranging from desktops to enterprise servers. Before there was a Web, there was LaserROM. I left that interview suite in 1989 feeling Livermore had leadership spark. She was 30 years old at that Interex conference in San Francisco.

But Livermore was everything that Fiorina was not. Livermore was not steeped in sales and climbing over backs at a corporation like Lucent. Not flashy and outspoken, not an executive unwedded to the HP Way. Livermore is remembered today by your community as an HP executive who represented the old style of management, the one where even a VP would write a home phone number on the back of a business card for a customer. But she should also be regarded as HP's ultimate team player, a survivor who promoted the HP 3000 as a conference keynoter just three months before HP's exit announcement. Like so much of what she did at HP, that duty was what top management called for, or the customers demanded.

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No Waiting for Replacing HP3000 CPUs

Jack Connor, a volunteer for OpenMPE and a support expert at Abtech, has written software which can throw a lifeline to a stranded 3000. The software, which is offered through Conner's independent company InfoWorks, provides access to the HPSUSAN naming for fresh CPU boards on 3000s.

Connor is not selling a permanent alternative to calling the HP support team to get a fresh CPU up and running with your existing HPSUSAN number. (Your existing third party apps and tools will insist on the old HPSUSAN, unless you get a fresh code from the software vendor. In some cases that's not possible, because the vendor's gone out of business.)

The software is called NoWait/iX. Connor says the name describes the tool's intention -- eliminating the wait for the HP technician to arrive, on a rush-charge time and materials call, to transfer your old HPSUSAN to the new CPU board.

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HP airs its cloud-speak at higher levels

Over and over during HP's Web-delivered messages this week, buzzwords ruled the airwaves. Apple's Steve Jobs, talking to people with deep technical chops, still knew how to direct messages to the mass consumer, plus the smaller IT manager. HP spent more than 90 minutes in one set of speeches about clouds. We figure that's worth about 11 minutes of our podcast (11MB, MP3 file).

“We're talking about being PC-free,” said Steve Jobs at the Apple developer conference, held at the same time as HP Discover. In contrast, HP talked about the best technology to serve the companies who operate clouds for corporate customers. And those companies will then sell cloud service to the masses.

It sounded like the masses got two messages this week, one aimed at a higher level of executive, the other at a higher level of computing. Jobs may not be the rock star that Sir Paul McCartney is -- but at least he sang the lead to people who want to lift their data needs into a cloud.

HP demands developer justice from Oracle

HP has sent Oracle a "formal legal demand" that Oracle reverse its decision about abandoning Itanium development. It's the kind of protest that some HP 3000 customers dreamed about during the prior decade.

The Hewlett-Packard letter said that the Oracle decision, announced in March, "violates legally binding commitments Oracle has made to HP and the more than 140,000 shared HP-Oracle customers. Further, we believe that this is an unlawful attempt to force customers from HP Itanium platforms to Oracle's own platforms."

Support for Oracle didn't materialize for the HP 3000 while Hewlett-Packard was selling the servers. A strong IMAGE database platform, included with every 3000, made selling Oracle a proposition which had to compete with a bundled, well-tuned alternative. Oracle focused on the dozens of Unix platforms instead, including the one it's about to drop, Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX.

When the 3000 announcement came down from HP, customers talked about mounting a legal challenge to the business decision. The court of last resort never saw such a suit, even though 3000 advocate and developer Wirt Atmar hired a Chicago legal firm to research grounds for a class-action suit to reverse HP's plans. Angry customers who'd been told the 3000 was healthy, only months before the pullout, believed such a suit would be justified.

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Another migration looms for HP's users

Hewlett-Packard has put its enterprise users on the migration road in several ways over the past decade. HP 3000 customers saw the platform lose its place in HP's lineup. HP-UX users have weathered a change from PA-RISC servers to the Itanium-based Integrity line. Now the HP support team is migrating the company's entire computing customer base by the end of next week.

Bill Hassell, the HP-UX guru who tracks support for Source Direct now, reports that HP's June 18 migration from the ITRC is so profound that customers better get their critical patches and analysis done before next weekend. On the HP-UX Users forum of Linked In, Hassell -- who once worked support for Unix at HP -- said next weekend will be a watershed, but maybe not all gloom and doom.

The migration of the ITRC -- not just Forums, but patches, firmware, patch analysis, call tracking -- is still scheduled for June 18. I would not recommend doing and patch analysis or other critical tasks for a couple of weeks after June 18 -- this is a big move. The good news is that a separate company (Lithium) which specializes in social media will be maintaining the UI, search engine and other major components for the Forums.

Veteran managers on the forum say that HP's search engine keeps losing steam with the changes up to now. "Every time a new version of the ITRC search engines was released, it provided less and less," said Simon Elias Brito. HP 3000 support companies in the independent market are usually serving HP-UX system users as well -- and probably better than the vendor's Web resources.

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Big Data drives HP Storage at Discover

At this week's HP Discover conference, Hewlett-Packard is saying that your storage architecture is probably rigid and outdated. (If you're unsure what a storage architecture is, then HP's probably correct.) The vendor is talking about a plan to keep up with "explosive data growth." The briefings this week have often referred to Big Data, nothing at all like Large Files on MPE/iX or Jumbo datasets in IMAGE.

Big Data is defined, according to our friend Wikipedia as:

Datasets whose size is beyond the ability of commonly used software tools to capture, manage, and process the data within a tolerable elapsed time. Big data sizes are a constantly moving target currently ranging from a few dozen terabytes to many petabytes of data in a single dataset.

A few other terms might be new to the HP 3000 manager who's migrating, and so stepping up to larger enterprise issues in a new environment. Multi-tenancy, an element that enables data consolidation from many different users. Scalability is a storage term as well, an HP keeps unveiling "scale-out" storage, devices that can add nodes to increase capacity.

How different are things in modern, Network Attached Storage? HP never talks about which platform controls its latest NAS storage devices that were announced here. The controlling computer is a "storage appliance," but mentioned only when you ask. (It's usually driven by Linux, sometimes Windows, occassionally by HP-UX.) What's more important is how fast storage capacity can grow, in HP's view. There's a gap in storage that the vendor says it is bridging with Converged Storage.

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HP rolls out agile IT solutions at Discover

At the HP Discover conference today, HP announced Converged Infrastructure solutions that the vendor says are industry firsts, designed to "improve enterprise agility by simplifying deployment and speeding IT delivery." These Converged Infrastructure solutions are key to the company’s Instant-On Enterprise journey for customers. HP says the offerings "break through IT sprawl and turn technology assets into interoperable, shared pools of resources with a common management platform." HP calls the announcement package Agility IT.

Dave Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager of HP's Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking group, said the new solutions "extend the benefits of convergence to deliver new levels of speed, simplicity and efficiency that enable clients to capitalize and anticipate change. In a world where enterprises must instantly react to changing markets, clients are turning to HP Converged Infrastructure to dramatically improve their agility."

HP's Discover announcements from Las Vegas today include:

A Converged Storage architecture and portfolio, which integrates HP Store360 scale-out software with HP BladeSystem and HP ProLiant hardware. HP says the solution can reduce storage administration, speed time to service delivery, increase energy efficiency, and improve access for any data type or application workload. The offerings are complemented by new Storage Consulting services.

The Converged Data Center, a new class of HP Performance Optimized Data Centers (PODs), can be deployed faster than any competitive offering – 12 weeks – at what HP says is a quarter of the cost of a traditional brick-and-mortar data center. For example, the HP POD 240a, which the company calls the "HP EcoPOD," uses 95 percent less facilities energy.

Converged Systems, a new portfolio of turnkey, optimized and converged hardware, software, tailored consulting and HP Solution Support services that enable clients to be up and running with new applications in hours instead of months.

HP Server Automation 9.1, software which provisions physical and virtual application instances across the entire life cycle.

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What OpenMPE might be left doing, for now

More than two weeks have passed since the latest lawsuit against OpenMPE was dismissed in a Texas courtroom. The legal hijinks might continue. Matthew Perdue, the ousted treasurer from the group of volunteers, warned us last week that his failed suit didn't clear the group of future challenges.

Using his own reading of our headline "Dismissal clears OpenMPE lawsuit's hurdles," Perdue believes we were announcing the era of lawsuits against OpenMPE has ended. Although we were only stating that existing lawsuit's hurdle was cleared, well, not so fast, he warned us. "You should check your facts before publishing such drivel." On May 25 he wrote us.

Dismissal does not clear OpenMPE’s path. You forget, or do not know, I have time to file various motions (which I will be doing) plus additional claims that were filed [that] have not been dismissed. I will also be taking action in Federal District Court against OpenMPE.

It's now been one year since Perdue's dispute with his co-location vendor first arose. It was an event that triggered a fight he's taken to court employing himself as legal counsel -- four times -- and since spilled over to Perdue's relations with the OpenMPE board, which had paid him for rackspace on one server at the co-lo site. On the anniversary of Perdue's dispute, it might be a fair time to look at what the remaining five people and some 3000 users have at hand to call OpenMPE, and whether any call from last year to disband makes any difference.

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World of Web links blasts beyond pranks

They say you can get anything you want off the Web, but there are some experiences you find by accident as ugly as those who create them. Instead of prowling around for opinions and schoolyard humor about decommissioning HP 3000s with cannon-fire, many genuine resources are well within reach of a click or tap on your browser.

HP’s storage choices can be confounding these days, with parts of three product lines all being merged and offered for managers of enterprise systems tracking SureStore, XP, 3PAR and more. A lunchtime talk from HP, via the Connect user group, sets the complex choices in order. You can track down the link by looking at our blog article from March 29.

OpenMPE may be scrambling to stay relevant, but the group of volunteers has mounted a server that offers classic technical papers, a collection of HP subsystem software for use in developing and maintaining code, plus links to the Contributed Software Library. The Invent3K server is the most tangible item from a group that’s been hunting for a mission. delivers these goods.

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3000 Reunion to be a meeting made by users

Reunion on September 24 at Computer History Museum seeks party-goers, volunteer organizers; also open to allied events; details at

By Alan Yeo
Second of two parts; read Part 1

In these times of fiscal realities, the HP3000 Reunion needs seed corn (money) as well as a good set of ideas to get things off the ground. Up to now, a few companies have chipped in on the basics for a meeting space, but there are others who have enough commercial reasons to be at the Bay Area around the same time as the Sept. 24 meeting -- so that in turn these companies might have their arms twisted to prime the pump.

However, the rest of you: don’t think you have got off Scott-free. If you have been earning a living from supplying the HP 3000 user base over the years, it’s time to put something back!

We of course are hoping that some of you will help sponsor the event, but we’d also appreciate your promoting the event, plus organizing prospective meetings. So beware, before long you may well get that call or email from an old colleague or friend, suggesting that if you haven’t already, wouldn’t you like to help? Of course you could save embarrassment all-round and just volunteer.

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