MPE/iX is the operating system created by Hewlett-Packard to drive its HP 3000 computer systems. The original OS design, for Classic 3000s, was first sold in 1974. MPE was updated to work with newer PA-RISC processors in 1987 and renamed MPE/XL. By 1992 the operating environment was named MPE/iX, to reflect HP’s desire to consider the 3000’s OS an environment that could be integrated with Unix systems.
HP stepped away from developing and selling its MPE/iX servers in 2003. The company closed its OS lab in 2010. In 2012, Stromasys introduced a lineup of emulated servers, virtualizing the PA-RISC hardware on Intel systems and employing Linux as the cradle for the HP 3000 emulators. Charon HPA continues to extend the life of MPE/iX applications and datacenter investments.
The Motherload: Jazz papers and software
Hewlett-Packard built up HP 3000 lore and software at a website known as Jazz. It was named after Jerri Ann Smith (JAS) the lab member who created the first web-based MPE/iX resource from the vendor. This resource of papers and programs written for the MPE/iX manager is at a web address at Fresche Solutions’ website.
Security of MPE/iX
The magic of SM privileges for system security is explored by 3000 legend Bob Green in a 3000 Newswire column.
Legacy 3000 managers will do well to make a place in their datacenter budgets for support of the 3000. Security is built-in for MPE/iX, but understanding how it works might be a lost art at some sites.
The fundamentals of securing an MPE/iX system go way back. A wayback server of sorts at the 3k Ranger website provides HP’s security advice from 1994. It’s still valid for anyone. A direct link to the Ranger webpage can be a refresher course for any new generation of 3000 minders.
In the era that led to the end of 3000 operations at HP, the vendor warned its software updates for MPE/iX were going to be limited to security repairs after 2008. They weren’t kidding. The very last archived HP 3000 security bulletin on the HP Enterprise website had stern advice for a DNS network poisoning risk.
A Powerpoint slide deck from Jeff Bandle, an HP MPE/iX engineer, is a presentation of MPE/iX Network Security: An Overview It appears to represent HP’s final word on securing HP 3000 networks. If there’s ever any need at a homesteading site to show a network manager which MPE/iX networking services are controlled by configuration files, Bandle’s slides have a complehensive list on pages 29-35.
Scripting and command file wisdom, along with sample UDCs for managing a 3000, are at the 3K Associates website.