The NewsWire will take January 2 off to celebrate the New Year, the start of our 18th calendar year of publishing and spreading 3000 news. We'll be back to our reports on January 3.
There's not much that you can count upon in the shifting world of enterprise IT. Costs are declining for many expenditures, of course. Even original HP 3000 hardware has dipped in price and continues to do so. What to spend your budget on during 2012 is going to be a shifting target. We'll talk here about three ideas that seem pretty clear for a forecast.
Emulation and virtualization: The coming year will feature new hardware-software combinations all designed to eliminate old concepts of servers. We expect to report a sale of the Stromasys Charon HPA/3000 emulator by the end of February, if not before. It will be a custom project with plenty of consulting, but this will open the door to references and polishing for the broad-scope market of software-only emulators. If you're already looking at a new style of iron to move 3000 apps onto, unless you want to stick to simple and certain operations on used 3000s, there's little reason to cast an eye beyond an Intel processor. HP's been using the x86 Zeon family for a long while in ProLiants for Windows and Linux. The i7 Core PCs drive the HPA/3000 and MPE/iX. HP cannot emulate processors that drive HP-UX; you'll need Itanium for that. But at least there's virtualization still soaring for the HP Unix customer via Integrity blades.
Analysts say that if you don't plan to virtualize the majority of your servers by the end of 2012, you'll be in the minority. Some companies are being even more aggressive. In one study, 25 percent of IT managers say they'll virtualize 75 to 90 percent of servers during 2012. Consolidation, high availability, better disaster recovery, plus improved flexibility and agility are making people serious about virtualizing during the next year. What's more, there's no better way to give specialized hardware (like PA-RISC) the freedom that it deserves from vendor exits. Once HP drops new Itanium designs, it won't have the impact that ending support for MPE/iX did in 2001.
Decommissioning: Some HP 3000 hardware will get turned off during 2012, so the full-bore decommission is going to be commonplace -- but not numerous in its reach. By now, HP's gotten just about all the switchover business it can expect. Homesteaders of today will look in greater measures for a way to decommission data -- the tasks that drive a migration of an app or data off a 3000, even while the server remains an available asset in IT. That data decommission will drive you to find great Extract, Change, Transform and Load software with superior reporting. Or you'll look for the turnkey database transfer solution, like the one that Abtect, Quest Software and Taurus put together. Nobody was promising a lot of hardware shutdowns in that solution. Finding a reseller to accept a 3000 server that's 10-15 years old will involve pitching it as a spare parts resource.
Rising to the cloud: When a 3000's data is decommissioned, or the hardware becomes something that can be virtualized, offsite servers connected through secure networks will do the service far more often in 2012. That means that a homesteader can use cloud services to put an HPA/3000 server in place of in-house hardware. Or in some cases, a classic MRP or ERP system can be moved to something like the Kenandy Social MRP service from force.com. Cloud is another way to virtualize a server, regardless of the OS that must be supported. But in 2012, for the first time, there's a legitimate way to make that cloud server run MPE/iX, or the apps that have had their data moved off of old-school iron.