The vendor will continue to sell and develop enhancements for the e3000 through October 2003. Support services will be offered through December 2006.
Originally launched in 1972, the hp e3000 server line has seen its customer base decline in the past five to ten years, Jim Murphy, general manager for HP Server Support, told ServerWatch.
The five-year advance notice this announcement brings is designed to serve as a head's up to customers so they can begin planning a gradual transition to other HP offerings.
Christine Martino, worldwide marketing manager for HP's Commercial Systems Division, told ServerWatch that HP first contemplated phasing out the server line after releasing the A- and N-class servers earlier this year. On evaluation, the vendor noted that customers seemed to be moving away from proprietary platforms. With that, there seemed to be an "erosion of the ecosystem surrounding the hp e3000" whereas the ecosystems of the HP-UX- and Intel-based servers were growing stronger. HP also noticed a decline in the support and skill sets available to e3000 users, and found that new customers were coming in mostly through applications associated with the servers.
Martino emphasizes that the next two years will be "business as usual" as HP continues selling the product line and rolls out a limited number of products and operating systems. In the long term, however, the vendor wants to encourage customers to focus on transitioning away from the servers, not on increasing the stability of their current ones.
With this in mind, HP is offering a variety of transition programs to take effect early next year. These programs are designed to make the changeover less costly and more seamless.
Enterprises that purchased the recently released A- and N-Class servers can pick up a hardware conversion kit starting Feb. 1, 2002 that will allow them to migrate to an unlimited user license on the HP UX.
Enterprises that have older hp e3000 systems can trade in their systems and receive an additional 35 percent to 50 percent discount, should they wish to migrate to HP UX. If they wish to switch to an Intel or Linux environment, a trade-in option along with a 30 percent discount is available.
HP will also offer a variety of mostly fee-based services that include analysis and planning, porting and migration, testing and deployment, support and outsourcing, and education services.
A variety of free Webinars and white papers will also be available.