When a system goes into its legacy status, things change beyond the age of the hardware. HP, for example, has pushed three environments into the realm of legacy: OpenVMS, Tru64, and MPE/iX. All were created to serve companies who don’t ever plan to power down well-crafted applications and business systems.
But not all three have license renewal capabilities today. To be fair, the environments are at different points of HP’s life cycle. Tru64 drifted off HP’s support radar, and OpenVMS just slipped into new independent support status, with VMS Software Inc. able to handle HP OpenVMS support renewals. Both are considered more active legacy environments in HP’s lineup than MPE/iX.
The difference is that users can still purchase new licenses for OpenVMS and Tru64 via HP. The OpenVMS licenses will even be available from VMS Software, Inc. By 2022, VSI says it will sell licenses for OpenVMS running on x86 hardware. VSI has licensed OpenVMS to create new versions of the OS.
In contrast, licenses for MPE/iX are strictly an independent market item. When an HP 3000 user needs a new license, they’ve got to locate and purchase an HP-branded hardware configuration that includes a license. Then comes the only point where Hewlett Packard Enterprise will interact with an MPE/iX customer: the vendor transfers the OS license from the old HP 3000 to the newer HP 3000 for a nominal fee.
Tru64 users have a third party option that feeds through HP’s system to get new base licenses for AlphaServers. Out at the Island Computers website, companies can simply drop a $1,495 license into a cart for an OS. Brand New from Island serves up the OS software directly off the HP Enterprise software repository.
MPE/iX users wanted this capablity to add licenses. For more than six years, purchasing a new edition of the OS was on the HP price list. All it required was the existence of an emulator to mimic the PA-RISC hardware. HP put a time clock on the offer, though. It would expire at the end of 2010, for some reason. That was the date HP closed up its MPE/iX lab, but that lab had little to do with making a license available for sale.
The emulator for the PA-RISC processors arrived in 2012 from Stromasys. If HP’s arbitrary time clock hadn’t been set for the end of 2010, new instances of MPE/iX could have emerged. Give thanks for being able to add licenses, if yours is a legacy environment where they’re still for sale through the vendor. It’s not automatic. Give thanks for the indie options, too, if you’re moving into the roads where HP doesn’t drive anymore.