Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
LAS VEGAS – There was a big push at this year’s HP Technology Forum to convince end users to migrate off other systems to HP servers. This was my first year at the event, so I’m not sure if it was something new or not, but it was readily apparent.
For example, on all the computers at the event where attendees could check the conference agenda and make a schedule for themselves, the screen saver was migration savings numbers. The average savings for moving off the mainframe is $22.1 million, it claimed. Moving of Sun was 8.1 million. Take these claim numbers for what they’re worth, coming from a company who could benefit from those numbers being larger. The point is that HP has its scope sight on, aimed at migration.
One of the big services HP was offering was for users to take the “TCO Challenge,” which provides an assessment of your current environment and how much you could presumably save by moving to HP. The TCO Challenge is built off a calculator built by Alinean, and HP is working with them.
IBM is the biggest target in HP’s crosshairs. At one of the booths inside, I snagged a wheel-like device that allows one to see alleged savings in various categories for migrating from the mainframe to HP Integrity servers. Administration costs: $4.6 million. Hardware costs: $7.1 million. Software costs: $14.2 million.
I looked at the fine print on the wheel to see if there were more details on the migration. It said the scenario was a migration of SAP applications on an IBM z9 EC 2094 Model 720 mainframe to two HP Integrity rx8640s and two HP Integrity rx7640s running Microsoft Windows Server 2003. I’m not sure myself if that’s an apples-to-apples comparison. Maybe some of my mainframe friends out there can chime in, in the comment section.
Lastly, I met up with Cameron Jenkins, the chief operating officer for Clerity, at the show. Clerity provides software to help users migrate off the mainframe and do application rehosting on other platforms. The small company made a name for itself when the New York Stock Exchange migrated off the mainframe to Unix and Linux, and tapped Clerity to help them do it.
Now, Jenkins said, a lot of other companies are interested in their software. The company just announced that it will be able to run its solution on Windows in addition to Unix and Linux. Thus far, Jenkins said most of the interest in Clerity’s software has been migration toward Unix (rather than Linux). In the past, he said, interest was huge in migrating from the mainframe to IBM AIX, presumably because it’s a smaller step. Now he’s seeing customers more willing to look at other platforms such as HP-UX. It will be interesting to see if the company gets any serious traction on encouraging users to migrate from the mainframe to Windows.