Windows winning more migration choices
HP-UX meets fewer than one in three needs; other
Unixes close behind in survey
Update: Follow the later
results on the NewsWire's
When the vendor launched 3000 transitions, HP
hoped to steer many of its HP 3000 customers onto other
Hewlett-Packard platforms. But the largest share of migrating sites
have turned to Windows for their 3000 replacement, according to a
NewsWire survey in June.
Almost 50 percent of customers reported their
replacement systems will run Microsofts Windows environment.
The choice follows a trend already established by e-commerce
application provider Ecometry. That supplier offers both Windows and
HP-UX releases to its migrating 3000 customers. Ecometry, which
counts more packaged 3000 software installations than any program but
perhaps MANMAN ERP, continues to report a high level of Windows
replacement for those sites leaving the HP 3000.
The company recently purchased Blue Martini,
another software provider, one whose installed base relies on
Unix-based applications. Up to now, Unix-based Ecometry customers
have been almost entirely limited to new installations.
3000 customers reported their choices during
the first week of June by e-mail. Less than 10 percent were undecided
about their migration targets. Those moving to HP-UX frequently said
they were following their app vendors, such as Amisys.
Larger 3000 sites made up the majority of
early migration adopters, many of whom chose HP-UX to replace MPE/iX.
Now the smaller sites are turning to a migration challenge they hope
to meet on a familiar platform: Microsofts Windows.
While HP-UX has notched its victories among
MPE/iX sites, the typical small-to-midsize 3000 customer is choosing
a more popular platform.
We have never learned Unix or Linux,
only MPE and Windows, and it is a lot easier to hire and train
Windows people, said Dennis Boruck of CMC Software, makers of
the Blackstone judicial application. Blackstones success in the
Clark County, Nevada courts led HP to highlight the MPE/iX
application in a success story.
Some customers express a reluctance to put
mission-critical computing onto Windows platforms. But Windows
familiarity has won it many converts. We are moving to a
Windows 2003 Server environment because it is the easiest to manage
compared to Unix or Linux, said programmer supervisor E. Martin
Gilliam of the Wise County, Va. Data Processing department.
Carter-Pertaine, makers of K-12 software,
said Speedwares migration path to HP-UX is guiding the first
phase of its customer migration strategy. But Quintessential School
Systems, which is the C-P parent, is also working on a Linux
Linux came in for specific praise from a
surprising number of customers, considering how much open source
software must lie at the heart of such a choice. Sierra Telephone
will be moving to the MySQL database and Sybases Adaptive
Server Anywhere, because we needed fast, effective, inexpensive
and easy to maintain databases, said Matt Faulkner at the
The Linux cost-performance advantage is
starting to catch on among 3000 sites which have the technical
experience to handle the choice. The reason for Linux is it has
the best performance/cost of the available options Solaris,
HP-UX, AIX, and Windows, said Richard Gambrell, Director of
Computing Systems and Networks at the University of Tennessee at
Chattanooga. UTC had started using HP Unix systems during the early
phase of its transition, but now Dell hardware running Red Hat Linux
will host a package that will replace its custom 3000 apps.
Costs can outweigh the disadvantages of Linux
when compared to the features of MPE/iX, according to John Korb. The
27-year IT veteran, who saw America Online shift its 3000s to Linux
systems before the vendor eliminated his workgroup, said Linux can
compare favorably if its cost of ownership is factored.
When you look at the costs of MPE/iX
compared to Linux, a company can very easily look past the weaknesses
of Linux and concentrate on the dollar savings, he said.
Linux doesnt have the very stable, robust file system and
transaction manager of MPE/iX with a very friendly command
Linux systems executed the AOL applications
more than 14 times faster than they did on MPE/iX 7.0, he
Suns and IBMs Unix also emerged
as more common alternatives to HPs Unix in this round of our
survey. The non-HP Unix choices often flowed from HPs 3000
migration strategy. A nationwide candy maker is putting Sun systems
to work in place of an MPE/iX application which HP once awarded as a
We didnt go with HPs Unix
because of their failure to create a workable HP 3000 migration
strategy, said Greg Gibbons, IS manager for See Candies.
We didnt select Windows due to issues with security,
scalability and unclear .NET strategy.
Windows choice follows apps
Some customers and other providers in the
3000 market pointed out that many migration targets get selected on
the basis of what an application requires. Companies like Victor S.
Barnes, a furniture supplier, will be waiting for their move to
The hardware decision, for the most
part, will depend on what software we move to, said Tom Hula.
It will be well beyond the end of support date and will likely
be to Windows, since the one package we have found so far that is
closest to what we do runs on Windows NT.
The real story of any computing platform is
applications, said Beechglens Mike Hornsby. The support
company founder said I think that on the high end IBM is taking
more than HP-UX is gaining, and on the low end Windows is by far the
Even where HP-UX is taking a role in 3000
migrations, Windows is rarely far off the platforms heels.
Cornerstone Brands completed a migration off their 3000 version of
Ecometry this spring. But the software vendor said its customer is
using HP-UX as an Oracle database server, while the application runs
on Windows 2003 servers.
This month at Ecometrys World
Conference, Cornerstones senior manager of business systems
will report on the migration away from MPE/iX servers at Ballard
Designs. HP got all of the hardware business at Ballard, with HP-UX
servers and HPs Proliant servers to host the Windows
applications and related services.
We knew we might have slight glitches
along the way, she said, but thats nothing when you
consider the enormity of what we have replaced. The company had
to find a replacement scheduler and spooler, choosing Appworx for a
scheduler and Report2web as their spooler. Ballard also mapped its
Ecometry financial interface into an existing Lawson accounting
system during the two years of transition.
Applications led some 3000 customers onto
more novel alternatives. Cliff Keen Athletic, an apparel company that
specializes in wrestling uniforms, has moved from its HP 3000 to a
Mac running OS X Server with RAID storage. And IBMs iSeries, a
kindred spirit to the 3000s integration, is gaining more
converts from the 3000 ranks, the result of having a wide array of
applications. At one company, a new iSeries customer still expressed
confidence in the 3000 he was forced to leave behind.
We actually found the software package
that best fit our needs first, said IS Manager Bob Knuerr of
Midland Paper, and that determined what platform we went to.
Id like to keep the 3000, but unfortunately thats not an