News Icon

April 2005

HP seeks outsider to evaluate MPE work

Update also reports progress on MPE enhancements

HP is now working to select an outside contractor to evaluate its inventory work on MPE source code and internal documentation, according to a report from the vendor’s OpenMPE liaison Mike Paivinen.

In a late March message sent to the 3000-L newsgroup and the OpenMPE mailing list, Paivinen said HP is nearing completion of an investigation into “the creation of a standardized inventory of the build, integration, and test processes that are used to create a distribution of MPE/iX.”

HP wants to determine if any outside engineer stands a chance of creating a new build of MPE/iX, in case the company decides it will license the software to a third party. OpenMPE is now assisting HP in choosing the non-HP contractor who will review HP’s findings.

“We have begun working with the OpenMPE Board of Directors to select a non-HP, e3000-knowledgeable contractor to evaluate the process documentation for completeness and sufficiency,” Paivinen said. “The date that the contractor begins work will be somewhat dependent on the recommendations from the investigation.”

Paivinen said HP called this first step the “process inventory investigation. To ensure a successful transition, should we decide to move forward, we are proceeding with an investigation to quantify the work required to transition MPE’s build and test processes to an outside organization.”

HP will also be releasing a patch “in the next few months” to enable the HP 3000 to mount any disk with a capacity of up to 1 terabyte. The patch will only operate with MPE/iX 7.5. HP has been considering how much effort it will commit to back-porting such patches to the 7.0 and 6.5 MPE/iX releases.

The “SCSI pass-thru” enhancement, which would enable the HP 3000 to support more SCSI storage devices, has advanced another step toward engineering. HP said its engineers have reviewed results of the pass-thru investigation “and have added its recommendations to the short list of projects to be prioritized for future staffing.”

PowerPatch 3, but no formal SIB

HP will not participate in a complete poll of the customer base to gather more 3000 enhancement requests. While such SIB requests filtered down to HP’s engineers, the company “in conjunction with SIG MPE and the MPE Forum… decided there is not sufficient customer interest to have a formal SIB ’05.” HP 3000 engineers still working on the system inside HP “will evaluate some targeted enhancements that may have benefit for customers willing to update their systems.”

This is the first year HP is not gathering HP 3000 enhancement requests since the Systems Improvement Ballots first circulated in the 1980s. HP messages cite a declining number of customer requests, but HP partners say the amount of MPE technical resource in the vendor is also ebbing at the same time.

HP said it is targeting an end of April release of PowerPatch 3 for MPE/iX 7.0. Paivinen’s message called the software “a traditional PowerPatch that simply consolidates the existing 7.0 general release patches. Our current release plans call for additional PowerPatch releases on 6.5, 7.0, and 7.5 spanning from the end of 2005 through the first half of 2006.”

Customers can now use an internal HP process to try to find used HP 3000s for “customers who have exhausted all possible channels to buy a used HP e3000.” Since June, 2004, HP has “used this process to support a few customers by identifying potential solutions to their needs for additional e3000 hardware.” Those solutions have not yet included converting HP 9000 hardware to HP 3000 hardware, Paivinen added.


Copyright The 3000 NewsWire. All rights reserved.