Reinforcing The Renaissance
For most of this last decade of the 20th century, HP 9000 and HP NetServer users havebenefited immeasurably from HP's technological investments and marketing initiatives. Butloyal users of the HP 3000 -- HP's first foray into computing -- have been treated withwhat might politely be called benign neglect. Although the demand for HP 3000s isn'tgrowing at the same double digit rates as HP's UNIX and NT markets, the HP 3000 market isdoing quite well -- thank you very much. In 1998, HP saw the first positive increase in HP3000 sales since 1993.
Impressive enough to warrant this mention from Lew Platt in HP's 1998 annual report:"1998 marked the renaissance of the HP 3000." And to further allay any qualmsand trepidation surrounding the future of the HP 3000 in the installed base, last year atHP World, HP announced that it would support the Intel Architecture (IA-64) for the HP3000 platform.
More importantly, it illustrates how HP plans to incorporate and carry HP 3000customers into its new E-services vision beyond the millennium. "We believe theInternet is and will be a very important medium for conducting business in the future. Andwe would like HP 3000 customers to use Internet computing without having to change theirexisting infrastructure," says Ozlum Ozturk, product manager for Internet andinteroperability technologies for HP's Commercial Systems Division (CSY). "We wouldlike the 3000 to evolve into this Internet space."
Ozturk cites Open Skies, Inc. (Salt Lake City, Utah), a wholly-owned HP subsidiary, asone example of an existing HP 3000 Internet/e-business solution. Roy Breslawski and JimSartain, formerly with the CSY, are now the marketing and R&D manager (respectively)for Open Skies (see "Coffee, Tea And The HP 3000" in the March 1999 edition ofHP Professional). And this month, HP continues its revamping of the HP 3000, demonstratinga commitment to keep the platform competitive.
In early May, HP announced a new series of mid-range HP 3000 servers, support for theApache Web server, a new autoRAID disk array, improved OpenView manageability, support forSun's Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) and Netscape's Lightweight Directory AccessProtocol (LDAP) and several other enhancements.
HP 3000 989KS/x50
The new 989KS/x50 series of servers use a 240MHz PA-RISC 8200 CPU. HP expects a 25%performance increase over existing HP 3000 989KS platforms and 15% over the HP 3000's997/800 systems. "Being successful in the Internet space requires highperformance," notes Ozturk. Users must have MPE/iX 5.5 with Power Patch 6 or MPE/iX6.0. Pricing for minimally configured systems is as follows: 989KS/150 -- $102,900;989KS/250 -- $125,900; 989KS/450 -- $171,900; 989KS/650 -- $217,900.
Support for Apache Web Server, JDBC and LDAP
After two failed attempts to support third-party (OpenMarket and Net-scape) Web serversoftware on the HP 3000, the open source Apache Web Server is being ported to the HP 3000.
Support for the open source Apache Web Server (1.3.4) will be included in MPE/iX 6.0Express 2 Release (expected this fall). Currently, Apache can be downloaded from HP's jazzserver at jazz.external.hp.com. "We are getting some interesting requests forApache," says Ozturk.
The Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) API (version 1.1.7) will be supported in MPE/iX6.0 Express 1 Release. JDBC will allow access to data in Image/SQL (HP 3000) andAllbase/SQL (HP 9000) databases. "We are updating our Java releases based on Sun'srelease schedule," says Ozturk.
Netscape's Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) client services will besupported (also expected this fall). LDAP allows an application's x.500 libraries or x.509directories to be stored on other platforms.
HP Secure Web Console
Already supported on the HP 9000, the Secure Web Console ($590) provides secure accessto multiple HP 3000 server consoles via the Web.
AutoRAID Model 12H
The new Model 12H (already supported on the HP 9000) stores up to 1.3TB in a two meterrack and is now supported on the HP 3000. Since it is an autoRAID technology, says DarenConnor, product manager for system management and high availability in CSY, "It getsthe burden off the administrator in terms of managing the device." Noting the writtenguarantee of 99.95% uptime, "We have a high confidence in the device."
HP 3000-specific scripts included with HP OpenView IT/O
HP's OpenView IT/Operations 5.0 (available as a patch by the end of May) will comebundled with 20 ready-to-manage HP 3000 scripts "that are directly tailored to thekey processes and functionality in managing a HP 3000 server -- like database and volumemanagement and backups," says Connor. "Before you had to write or hire someoneto write a lot of scripts to accomplish the same kinds of functionality."
Data Warehousing, Memory Subsystems, Backup & Fibre Channel Enhancements
According to Connor, the CSY is coming up with a solution (involving Omnidex) that,"allows you to populate a data warehouse out of an Image database then use variousdesktop access products to slice and dice the data. In the past, we only had a betaversion, now we have a full solution."
In the first half of the year 2000, HP 3000 99x servers (now limited to 3.75GB maximumRAM) will benefit from increased performance and lower cost per MB when memory subsystemscapacities expand. Connor speculates that anywhere from 16GB to 32GB is possible."We're waiting to decide to see where the exact limit will be."
And TurboStore/iX, in conjunction with the Legato Storage Node product, will supportDLT-7000 tape arrays. And a "distance solution" using an outside-the-cabinetSCSI-to-FibreChannel bridge is in the works. "It's a bridging solution that we aregetting from an outside vendor," says Connor. "It's a setup for native modeFibreChannel support."