One-vendor solution emulates '80s devotion
Taking the Console at Your History

App replacement may spur emulator evals

The 3000 community continues to examine the Stromasys HPA/3000 emulator from a capital cost perspective. It sounds like a costly investment for a customer who's already working on a limited budget. But there's some evidence from migration prospects that the $50-$100K price tag for the software and Intel hardware may be a price that can bridge the timeline to app replacement.

Users and managers in the Powerhouse community have been studying the future of remaining with HP 3000s, some 16 months into a period where Hewlett-Packard stopped providing support for the OS and hardware it created. While the debate included one "get off, anyway" opinion -- a consultant said Powerhouse users should "put a bullet in this OS and IMAGE database and move on" -- another view is that the emulator might be a stopgap for replacements.

Anne Quirke of the Dublin, Ireland consultancy Uturn Ltd. said that one client prefers to replace an app now on the 3000, instead of migrating it. Replacement is a different set of costs and efforts than lift and shifting business apps. But it still might spur some attention during plans to sustain computing resources.

Migration is not an option for a long, long list of reasons; replacement to a new application is preferred. The time-line to these new applications is not directly in our control, so in the meantime we are looking at options to reduce the risk associated to the hardware.

Reducing these risks around the PA-RISC iron is a reason cited for the move away from the 3000 platform and MPE/iX. Quirke said the company considers the Stromasys product "one option we are considering looking into." That's language which suggests months may pass before that 3000 could be replaced with an emulator. But hardware issues rise up during the examinations of 3000 futures.

"We are have been in situations where we have to wait and pray that replacement parts can be found," Quirke said, "or we rob parts from test boxes. As hardware availability and support is a key factor which brings the migration discussion to the fore, virtualization, on paper, offers some solution."