HP's documents for 3000s are in the open
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Patches remain a revenue producer at HP

HP issued a reminder for the HP 3000 users today that the computer remains special in a significant, cost-saving way. Several years ago, the customers using HP's enterprise computers found that free patches had ceased to be a goodwill item. You had to pay to patch, HP said. But since the MPE/iX patches were written for a discontinued line, HP had no support mechanism to charge for them.

HP-UX, OpenVMS and Tru64 (Digital's Unix) customers are not so fortunate. In an email from today:

HP has made significant investments in its intellectual capital to provide the best value and experience for our customers.  We continue to offer a differentiated customer experience with our comprehensive support portfolio. HP, as an industry leader, is well positioned to provide reliable support services across the globe with proprietary tools, HP trained engineers, and genuine certified HP parts.  Only HP customers and authorized channel partners may download and use support materials.

It's not the first time HP has told its enterprise customers that vendor support is not an optional part of their ownership budget. Hewlett-Packard's labs are still turning out patches for it Unix and VMS systems. Patches are free for many other computer systems, but enterprise servers are becoming an exception.

Beginning October 2013, Hewlett-Packard Company will change the way operating system patches on HP-UX, OpenVMS and Tru64 are accessed. Patches for these operating systems will only be accessible on HP Support Center to customers with an active support agreement  linked to their HP Support Center User ID and for the specific products being updated. We encourage you to review your current support coverage to ensure you have the appropriate coverage to maintain uninterrupted patch access for these operating systems.

The support agreement must have a relevant software product number belonging to one of the following product series:

  • HP-UX Operating Systems

  • HP OpenVMS Operating Systems

  • Tru64 UNIX Operating Systems

In addition, the support agreement must have one of the following Software Update or Previous Version Support offers:

  • HP Software Updates Service

  • HP License Subscription Service

  • HP SW Media and Documentation Updates Service

  • PVS with sustaining engineering

  • PVS without sustaining engineering

  • MPS with sustaining engineering

  • MPS without sustaining engineering

However, IT managers for 3000s might consider themselves lucky to have a guide from an independent support provider, one to be able to locate the MPE/iX patches that remain a free service for 3000 sites. Plenty has moved around on HP's support servers, from manuals to so much more.