Burke Consulting and Technology Solutions


For those considering a transition from the HP e3000 to another platform, the IBM iSeries is the best alternative.   


Learn about the iSeries as a Replacement for the HP e3000

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When Hewlett-Packard announced the demise of the HP e3000 on November 14, 2001, we were immediately struck by the lack of any reasonable solution or strategy for small ISVs and SMB companies. Initially HP recommended a swift migration to HP-UX. It has since realized (most likely because of the overwhelming disinterest by HP e3000 users) that Linux or Windows might be easier to swallow for some customers. However, the fact remains that none of these options provides the kind of system that HP e3000 ISVs and SMBs had come to take almost for granted. The HP e3000 platform has a solid reputation as one of the most reliable and successful platforms in the industry with its near legendary uptime, unparalleled backward compatibility, seamless network integration, and ease-of-use. It just runs, and runs.

With Hewlett-Packard’s migration solutions, especially its HP-UX and Linux solutions, you have to become your own systems integrator. The OS may come from HP, but the database has to come from another company. The spooler has to come from a third company. The batch scheduler has to come from a fourth company. The compiler likely has to come from a fifth company. The backup software has to come from a sixth company. The workload manager likely comes from a seventh company, etc. To top it all off, you have to make sure that everything is on a compatible release. Support also comes from multiple companies, so when the inevitable problems do arise, you can easily end up in a finger pointing situation rather than getting your problem solved. “Ease of use” is a phrase never used in describing Unix or Linux systems. Furthermore, a Unix solution invariably requires more specialized technicians (read more cost and complexity) than MPE.

The techno-geek in me pushed me towards Linux, but the businessperson in me (25-plus years experience as an IT manager) found Linux, HP-UX and Windows all seriously wanting. After a lot of research, one system stood out above all, the IBM iSeries (nee AS/400) as being the most like the HP e3000 in all the good ways. In fact, I frequently comment that the iSeries is what the HP e3000 could have been if HP had continued to invest in it over the last decade.

Everything the small ISV or SMB needs is in one integrated package, including OS, database, scheduler, spooler, backup software, compilers, workload management, etc. In addition to its native commands and file structure, OS/400 supports POSIX through its integrated file system (IFS) and several shells, and supports the running of AIX binaries using the PASE subsystem. The iSeries also has the same legendary uptime and ease of use as the HP e3000. It too just runs. And runs. There is no need to worry about managing releases or support for half a dozen or more software packages. Using logical partitions (LPARs), the iSeries can run multiple independent instances of OS/400, Linux and, later this year, AIX, all on one physical system. For the SMB looking to replace its existing HP e3000 applications, there is a huge stable of application packages available for the iSeries. Both the techno-geek and businessperson are served.

We have established this site specifically for HP e3000 users to learn more about the iSeries from IBM. We will be continually adding content to it. Stop back frequently. Here are two sites to get you started:

Migrating Basic HP 3000 concepts to IBM eServer iSeries

A Technical Introduction to IBM eSever iSeries