Where is the greatest potential for legacy growth? Rising numbers of users of OpenVMS or Solaris are unlikely to appear. There is, however, a clutch of legacy sites today. A vendor can call it Total Addressable Market (TAM). You get TAM when you multiply the number of legacy systems that a vendor’s solution can help by the number of systems that survive.
Software, support, storage: all are prospective vendor offerings.
Alpha and the PA-RISC HP 3000 markets are the smallest, mostly because there’s only a 10 percent survival rate. VAX is modest, too. That’s modest to the tune of 40,000 servers, perhaps. It’s hard to get recent numbers; a Gartner report from 2014 does not include either VAX or PA-RISC HP 3000.
SPARC is complicated by the fact that unlike Compaq-DEC Alpha, or PA-RISC, Solaris isn’t abandoned by Oracle yet. Used SPARCstations are still easy to find. That was once the drag on the HP 3000 prospects, and it may be true of Alpha. The 3000 hardware is the oldest, of the three: SPARC, PA-RISC, and Alpha.
There are wider prospects for legacy targets, just in the wings. First, there is HP-UX based PA-RISC servers. More than a half-million such servers are on the Gartner 2014 census. Even if only 50 percent have survived over the next five years, it’s a quarter-million chunk of opportunities.
Finally, there’s Itanium. The processor is under HP’s support for now. Nothing new is forthcoming using Itanium. As that processor ages in systems from just a few years ago, it steps into the legacy realm.HP-UX is a legacy market for sure by now.
By Gartner’s count in 2014, more than 270,000 Itanium (Integrity) servers ran in 2014. Five more years of sales do not bring that platform many new customers. The sales prop up the health of the installed base, though. It’s possible that the coming legacy of Itanium makes the biggest TAM, other than SPARC.
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