News tradition calls for a yearly roundup this week, and we're the kind of resource that loves community tradition. Here's a few stories that made 2011 an important year for 3000 managers, migrators and more.
Emulator taxis at Reunion for January take-off: We talked about it ever since the spring: the first and probably only software package that lets MPE/iX boot off Intel's hardware. HP couldn't even do that work while it was developing 3000s. The vendor skipped the migration of the 3000 to the Itanium Intel chips, and the x86 line wasn't even considered. It changes the lifespan of the 3000 from 2012 onward.
HP's Unix systems to get x86 transition path: Hewlett-Packard doesn't like to call the future of HP-UX a migration. But November's announcement that the best enterprise features of the OS will be migrated forward to Linux assured 3000 migrators they'd have a path to better performance, no matter what the future of the their Itanium-Integrity systems in 2016 and beyond. Not that anything like an end of life has been announced for HP-UX by HP, mind you. We're just saying, watch that space for what you might need to replace.
Customers taking support needs to independents: 2011 started the clock on indie-only support for about 98 percent of the 3000 market. There were still HP efforts to sign up some sites to contracts, but what we used to call third-party support became second-party service, now that HP won't establish new business for 3000 sites. What's available is cheaper and in many ways better than the caliber of 3000 support from HP. One consultant and support supplier said there are fewer than 12 people in HP who can still address a support question. Even if he's off by 100 percent, it's a number that's sparking uptake in non-HP service.
HP ousts its CEO, retains its PC line: There seemed no end to bad news from the HP boardroom from mid-2011 onward. Its board lost confidence in Leo Apothker's software vision, even while the new leader expressed nostalgia for an HP Way 2.0, restored profit sharing and unfroze pay raises. After a disastrous August announcement of killing off the new TouchPad tablet and dropping or spinning off the $40 billion PC unit, Apotheker got replaced by Meg Whitman and the PC business was pulled close to HP's enterprise strategy. The stock hasn't recovered yet, but it seems to be out of the range of takeover by the likes of Oracle.
Connect battles Oracle's Integrity cut-off: User group president Chris Koppe led a charge against the makers of the most-installed database in HP's enterprises after Oracle said it will drop Itanium support. Koppe said the members of the enterprise user group view the Oracle pullout as "an active blow to HP, and it's a thoughtless move when it comes to the customers and their hardware stacks and infrastructure costs." Lawsuits followed from both sides while HP said the Oracle move carved away sales from the Business Critical Systems unit that makes Unix servers.
There's another half-dozen stories, some no less important, that shaped the landscape of the community's 2011. We're recapping those tomorrow along with the reasons why they made a difference.