31 October 2003 Sales of Hewlett-Packard’s 3000 series midrange server line will stop today after more than thirty years on the market.
Introduced in 1972, the server runs HP’s proprietary MPE/iX operating system. It became popular across the healthcare, finance and retail industries, and was later re-branded as the e3000. The decision to stop making the machine — broadly equivalent to IBM’s iSeries — angered and saddened many users.
Users on at least three continents will even be holding wakes to mourn its passing. On one web site dedicated to the machine, a ‘mourner’ wrote, “My wife and I will toast the loss of a great operating system, and shed a tear for opportunities lost”.
However, sales of the e3000 had been in decline for some time before HP announced plans to phase it out in November 2001.
To ease the burden of migration for e3000 users, HP will provide selected hardware and software add-ons until the end of December 2004. Support will continue to the end of December 2006 and software patches will be available online after that.
HP is also offering discounts to e3000 customers to persuade them to migrate to servers running HP-UX, the company’s Unix operating system. E3000 users will be able to buy certain HP-UX systems at up to half price. It will also make a final series of storage releases.
Upgrades to processors, add-ons (such as memory, embedded disks, input/output and network cards) for the PCI-based A/N-Class systems will continue to be available until the end of October 2004. For the Series 9xx e3000s, user license upgrades, add-on software and application conversion kits to assist in the migration to HP-UX will be available until the end of December 2006.