Legacy computing comes with some unavoidable costs. Running a datacenter on classic equipment and software usually means the IT experts are older. Their senior status can have a countdown affect on preserving legacy choices.
Many a legacy site, though, reserves a connection to experts who will soon retire.
At TE Connectivity, the operations of that major electronics component firm have been driven by ERP software that’s well into its third decade of steady use. MANMAN is giving way to SAP at TE, a process that’s taken years to move forward.
Those years have brought the experts in ERP closer to retirement. Once they depart, though —having led the business software through use in the 1980s, the ’90s, the 2000’s and the just-ended Teens — the experts will be on call.
Semi-retirement is a certainty for the majority of IT professionals leaving regular employment. The extra earning makes the retirement budgets more comfortable for these pros. Meanwhile, corporations like TE can count on expertise no longer on a traditional payroll, but still employable.
It’s smart to be locking in the futures of people who know how to modify MANMAN, understand the array of bill of materials and order entry modules customized for a company, or just perform an archival 3000 boot-up processes. At TE, four HP 3000s are still at work, including one for disaster recovery. The lineup is likely to fall back to a single archival MPE/iX system there. The cutover is 12-24 months away.
That archival system might not even have an HP name badge on it, even though the software will remain MPE-based. “The three of us will semi-retire,” said Al Nizzardini of the datacenter team, “but still be active in some form of hardware and software, be it Linux or Windows.” Those will be useful platforms if TE exercises an option to use an emulated 3000 for its archival system. Linux is the cradle for the Charon software that emulates HP 3000 hardware.
And if there’s a place for such a production legacy system in the years beyond 2021 at TE? “We will be ready for when the Phoenix arises,” Nizzardini quipped.