Stromasys is careful to tell its prospects for the HPA/3000 software that the emulator will be installed on higher-class PC hardware. But for this morning's demo of the product for the CAMUS user group, the product manager Paul Taffel used a $1,300 desktop system. The price included a solid state disk (SSD) drive.
The costs of 3000 hardware aren't a big factor in homesteading for some customers. One manager we interviewed last week cited the price of 3000 disk devices, however, as a reason to follow QSS onto Linux in a migration of their app. Would that company plan to remain on a 3000 if they could employ rock-bottom components and peripherals?
Put it this way: That's one less reason to need to plan for a different environment. It's a serious enough move off homesteading that some customers are taking two or more years to migrate. The product that Stomasys calls a virtualization engine will be eliminating the need to find HP's 9GB drives and shrink wrap them as spares. During the demo, Taffel accessed a 9 GB file -- yes, a file -- that stands in for the 3000's drive. This instance of the 3000 had an MPE/iX 7.5 installation.
Using an SSD to host LDEV 1, while running MPE applications and even HP's diagonostics on $1,300 of iron, should provide a hard reset of what a 3000 will be in the years to come. It's even possible to run a 3000 without so much as a power cord for awhile. The HPA/3000 will run on a laptop.