Dimming of databases precedes one 3000 shutdown

A major manufacturer of connectivity products and sensors for harsh environments is working through gradual departure from MPE computing. Inside of manufacturing IT, changes are often held back, then implemented in parts.

For a long time, TE Connectivity has been one of the biggest users of MANMAN software running on HP 3000s. Using MPE there might be on the way to a permanent quieting — sometime next year.

It’s not an indictment of legacy computing when a corporation shifts to commodity platforms. Sometimes, it’s in service of getting every operation on the same page. SAP is a standard at public-traded firms. Terry Simpkins at TE was patching a Series 918 not long ago. It gave him a chance to check in with the remaining 317 subscribers to the 3000 mailing list, once he got the know-how he needed to patch.

“The force is once again calm,” he said. Simpkins found a converter that allowed him to replace his old single-ended 2 Gb disk drives with the newer 36 Gb LVD drives. “I now have more disk space than my little 918 will ever need, plus a few spare drives to ensure I’ll never have a disk fail. Now to dust off the old CSL tapes and see what I want to restore.”

TE measures its 3000 footprint by the number of databases online. “We’re down to four active MANMAN databases, from a high of 22. Three will convert to SAP at the end of June, so the last five-plus months will be a single MANMAN DB in Germany. I suspect we are going to be extremely bored at that point.”

SAP is the target for the largest manufacturing and ERP installations, especially for multinational companies. SAP is as massive as any app suite can get. Kenandy, a cloud-based solution from Salesforce, is also replacing MANMAN at some sites.

As to the shutdown date of TE’s 3000 operations, Simpkins said, “Right now that looks like somewhere between November 2020 and March 2021.”

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