Opening Resources for a Long 3000 Future
Emulator Promise, 3000's Security, Invent3K

Stromasys unveils emulator's price points


Colorizing the Future: In the chart above (click for details), the versions of the Charon HPA/3000 emulator are priced by color. The initial release of the virtualized server solution that puts MPE/iX on Intel chips will be sold as projects until mid-2012, with prices running between $25,000 and $100,000. A software-only version, sold without an Intel i7 Core PC, hits the market in July, priced below $25,000. N-Class sized emulators will be sold for more than $100,000.

Stromasys has unveiled a product pricing and rollout plan for its HPA/3000 emulator, a strategy that is designed to give the vendor a six-month period to polish the product by working closely with early adopters. These companies will be spending between $25,000 to $50,000 to create A-Class caliber servers with performance from two to 10 times that of a rock-bottom A400-100-110 server.

Hardware as well as installation services are included in these 3410, 3510 and 3520 models. By April, according to the released plan, one- and two-processor A500-class servers can be emulated using 8GB of RAM. The larger of these configurations will provide 10 times the performance of the two-CPU A500s on the market today. CEO Jean-Paul Bergmans of Stromasys said that the emulator is running with FiberChannel connectivity in the labs today, a key element in replacing the N-Class 3000s where FC is almost universally used.

Bergmans said that the "Son of Zelus" package running under $25,000 can have adopters who want a 3000 they can operate in archival mode.

"There's a different opportunity for everybody, which is to provide them HP 3000 archival services based on a cloud implementation," Bergmans said. "It's something for people who want to store off the data and just access it occasionally. They probably don't even want to keep a live system anymore."

Stromasys products all run with VMware, he added, and the company releases "appliances" which come fully packaged and come with the supporting operating system -- in this case Linux. "We would prefer not to run on VMware before July" with the HPA/3000 Charon, he added. "But there is no technical reason why you couldn't do this with the very first release of these products."

The initial release months for the product give Stromasys the chance "to be very closely in touch with our customers directly," he said. Starting in mid-year some kind of reseller channel will be available, probably focused on the software-only implementation at first.

Until July it's quality, rather than quantity that's the goal of the rollout. "We don't expect to have hundreds of customers by the middle of the year," Bergmans said. "We're really looking at working hand-in-hand on the reasonably-sized systems, probably multi-systems. We'll have our engineers on site and do this in an in-depth, fully controlled way."

"The last thing you want to do is pre-release a product prematurely, and then have negative feedback," he added. "To be able to afford to give such close and intensive support, it needs to be worthwhile for both the customer and for ourselves." He said this is how Stromasys started marketing its VAX and Alpha emulators, which have been available for six and three years respectively, and now emulate the work of more than 4,000 of those Digital servers.