(Update of Volume 10, Issue 8)
Denial of Service flaw hits HP
alternatives to 3000
HP floated a Security Bulletin that affects the most recent
generation of HP-UX releases, a notice that warns of TCP/IP packets
causing a Denial of Service on HP-UX servers running release 11.0 or
later. HPs report said that Receiving a certain packet on
any open TCP/IP connection can result in a Denial of Service (DoS)
condition which can only be corrected by a reboot of the affected
system. Until patches are available to resolve the issue, the Denial
of Service (DoS) can be avoided by setting the ip_pmtu_strategy
parameter to either 0 or 3.
HP has issued Denial of Service security bulletins regularly
for its Unix-based systems. Details on the SSRT5954 rev.1 security
breach which didnt yet have a patch as of May 27
are on the HP IT Response Center Web site:
3000s LargeFile Datasets remain
without an HP fix
The corruption bug which keeps HP 3000 users from deploying
LargeFile Datasets (LFDS) remains without a fix this month, the 12th
in a row with no repair for the TurboIMAGE feature. LFDS was supposed
to replace Jumbo datasets as a means to store data in chunks greater
than 4GB, but the flaw we reported in our March NewsWire doesnt
have a fix yet.
After it created a utility to translate the Jumbo datasets
into LFDS, Adagers customers who did test conversions for
performance discovered the data corruption problem. The vendor
documented the problem and reported it to HPs database labs.
Adager has been warning customers to stay away from the LargeFiles
capability until HP finishes a fix.
Our recommendation is the same as HPs said
Adagers CEO Rene Woc. TurboIMAGE LFDS should not be used
until a fix is generated.
Woc explained that Adagers complimentary utility
converts databases using jumbo datasets to using LFDS. Any database
using LFDS is exposed to corruption.
However, some of our users have converted test
databases to benchmark their performance, Woc added, even
though no one is going to use it in production until a fix is
developed, tested and released. Reduced database performance is
a potential issue when using LFDS, according to HPs Kevin
Cooper, whos become the vendors authority on benchmarking
Even when HP completes its fix for LFDS, getting testers for
the patch could be very difficult in these days of locked-down 3000
installations. Users considering LFDS can submit an explicit request
for the fix to the HP Response Center if they are under HP support,
or to HP Response Center engineer Cathlene McRae
(firstname.lastname@example.org) or to Adager Support (email@example.com) if
they are not under HP support. HP needs help to identify the early
adopters and possible beta testers.
Volokh empire adds another heir
Eugene Volokh, the co-founder of HP 3000utility software
vendor VEsoft, added another member to his family with the birth of
his son Samuel. Volokh, who has added the career of constitutional
law professor to his roots programming for HP 3000s, now has two sons
by his wife Leslie Periera. Proud grandpa Vladimir, who heads up the
VEsoft empire, reports that Benjamin was born at 10.5 pounds, bigger
than Eugenes 9-pound birth weight.
While Eugenes technical legend remains fixed in the
minds of HP 3000 customers who cut their teeth during the 1980s
the son of Russian immigrant Vladimir, he worked at HP as a
teenager and created MPEX with his father before graduating high
school his later life illustrates even broader interests. His
writings on law and society are profound; his Volokh Conspiracy blog
(http://volokh.org) bristles with a
wide scope of commentary. Now the father of two, Eugene might have
even more drive to accomplish one of his more nascent desires: to
write childrens fiction. In an interview with blogger Norman
Geras last fall while Samuel was already on the way, Eugene admitted
a wish to entertain:
Q. What talent would you most like to have?
A. Being able to write memorable and entertaining fiction,
especially childrens fiction.
Ecometry to serve faux fur
Ecometry Corp., which still counts more than two thirds of
its installed base among HP 3000 platforms, has made a sale of a
multi-channel retail solution to Fabulous-Furs, a family owned and
operated retailer that sells a luxurious alternative to animal
furs. Fabulous-Furs selected the Ecometry Commerce Suite to
power its multi-channel operations, a choice that skipped over
HPs Unix platform.
As we reported in our January and March issues, Ecometry
recently extended the support life of its MPE/iX version of the
application and then purchased Blue Martini Software in a $45 million
transaction. The company is working with Paymentech to add PayPal
payment support for the MPE/iX release of Ecometry.
Donna Salyers, President and founder of Fabulous-Furs, create
her company over a decade ago after she was on her way to purchase a
mink coat and overheard a sordid description of the animals being
skinned for their pelts. The companys faux fur coats, throws,
pillows and other apparel have become a alternative choice for animal
lovers worldwide and have been featured in movies and on several TV
shows. Fabulous-Furs has been profiled in People magazine,
The Wall Street Journal and on CNN.
The retailer chose Windows to power its Ecometry platform,
following a consistent pattern for the ISVs non-3000 sales.
Fabulous-Furs sells retail, over its Web site and by catalog, with 90
percent of its business going to consumers. The company saw the need
to integrate all of its channels and has installed Ecometry on
Windows 2003 with a SQL Server database.
Ecometry reported that the first reason for winning the sale
was taking an interest in the customer. Right from the start we
were impressed with the quick response from Ecometry, said
Fabulous-Furs CEO Guy Van Rooyen. Other vendors just
didnt call back. The company outgrew its old system in 18
months when it had to add a significant number of employees. He
noted, Ecometry, like us, is performance-driven and focused on
Before implementing Ecometry, Van Rooyen said the
companys Web site was separate from its other sales. With
Ecometry, customers will benefit from the integration of all
marketing channels. We are able to provide the same excellent
customer service experience, no matter how they buy.
Along with Ecometry Commerce Suite with Point of Sale (POS),
Fabulous-Furs has implemented On-line Credit Card Authorization and
optional Ecometry modules; Assembly, Predictive Response and IFM
(Inventory Forecast Management).
HP invites criticism
Every year HP asks for harsh words from its customers and
gets them, under the auspices of the HP-specific user group Interex.
The tradition which yields in a summarized report at the
Interex user conference has survived for another year, and the
2005 Worldwide Survey of HP Customers sponsored by HPs
User Communities is now live at www.hpcustomersurvey.org
Interex representatives say the survey enables HP customers
to stand together and advocate to HP on important technology topics.
Customers who participate to have your voice heard are eligible for a
drawing to win $3,500 in cash prizes, an iPod, two LCD monitors and
20 USB drives.
HP 3000 customers who might feel the vendors
attention wander from them as HP support for the 3000 wanes next year
often participate. But some want to see more information than
the summarized results. Ive filled those surveys out for
years, said Chris Bartram, a 3000 ISV and consultant at the US
Mint. I submitted more than I can remember, and Ive never
seen real results from them.
HPs 3000 engineers assured customers reading the 3000
newsgroup the raw data finds its way to labs and managers. I,
too filled those surveys out for years back when I was a
customer, said Mark Bixby, and I too wondered where the
results went. Since joining HP, I now know where the results go. The
results DO trickle down to the vCSY rank and file, and are very
While Bixby noted that he wasnt speaking for HP, he
added that Im probably not going too far out on a limb to
say that we really appreciate the effort that customers spend on
filling out these surveys. Tell it like it is and keep em
A more detailed summary that covers customer comments got
another vote from HP engineer and OpenMPE liaison Jeff Vance.
The survey results, good and poor, are taken seriously at
HP he said. Maybe a summary should be made
Windows drives HP's gains on IBM in
When vendors like HP sell servers today, it means placing an
Intel or AMD-based processor 90 percent of the time. The strategy is
putting more HP-labelled systems into service, but the sales trends
are cutting into the market share of Unix-based servers. Even though
HP is pushing its Itanium systems for both Unix and Windows, it
improved its share of the server market at the expense of IBM
and Sun Microsystems by selling far more Windows-driven
While HP grappled with flat sales of its non-Windows-based
solutions the latest quarterly figures showed only a 2 percent
year over year growth in revenue for Business Critical systems
Gartner figures showed overall growth slowed in the first quarter of
2005. HP said that its non-Unix systems revenues it calls the
segment Industry Standard Servers grew 12 percent, compared to
HP-UX revenue growth of 9 percent.
Gartner reported that the overall server market grew only 4.1
percent compared with the year-earlier quarter. Thats slower
growth than every quarter since 2003s Q2.
Though the BCS sales looked nearly flat at HP, the company
managed to carve out market share at IBMs expense. The Gartner
estimates continued to place IBM at the top of the heap with 29.8
percent of the market. But Big Blue saw its server revenue grow only
1.1 percent, outpaced by No. 2 HP with 13.1 percent growth and a 28.1
percent market share. Dells server revenues grew 13 percent by
the Gartner estimates, accounting for 10.8 percent of the
Sun fell behind Dell in Gartners estimates of server
market share during the quarter. Suns server revenue
still built largely around Unix-based Solaris platforms
dropped 4.2 percent, and its market share dipped to 9.5 percent,
Unix-based solution tracks 3000 systems
OpenMPE director Donna Garverick
reports that shes been using Vantage Console Manager from ASP
to aid in network management of HP 3000s. The softwares
developers have HP 3000 background, she added in a report on the 3000
Weve tapped into the console data stream from a
couple of our boxes and route/replicate the console traffic to a
HP-UX system running Vantage, she said. Vantage has been
trained to watch for events different
messages flying across the console and respond however we
Vantage is very well-written and Im quite
impressed, Garverick added. Every time Ive asked
Can it do this? Allen (the guy that writes the code)
says It sure can! including being able to be
on the console from your Unix system. That kinda beats having
to drive in at 2 AM.
Allen (the A in ASP) and Phil (the
P and the company president) are both former HPers
and have MPE backgrounds. So you can say showjob to them, and
theyll know what you mean.
Chris Bartram, Webmaster for HP 3000 site 3kAssociates.com and a
consultant to the US Mint, said Ive used Vantage here for
about four years now. Its been a lifesaver for remote console
access especially since my 3000s here are in another building.
Our installation is a bit dated now (long ago off support, like most
our other 3000 stuff at the Mint). It still helps me baby-sit the
3000s on the rare occasions I need to.
HPs Hurd looks around, walks
During the first two months of his tenure as HPs new
CEO, Mark Hurd listed priorities that included improvements to the
companys enterprise storage and servers business. The chief
executive, who took his job on April 1 after HP ousted Carly Fiorina
in February, said his management style has more in common with the
classic Hewlett-Packard model of management by walking
Even if HP doesnt return to its 3000 business under
Hurds expected reorganization of the company a very long
shot, according to HPs partners still working in the MPE
community Hurd has already shown a profile more in tune with
HPs legacy than the one his predecessor advocated.
When The Wall Street Journal asked Hurd if hed shed any
more HP businesses, he said he needed to get closer to the businesses
before any such changes would be made.
Everybody wants me to talk about shutting this business
down or spinning this business off, he said. But I want
to just start by learning a lot about this company. Youve heard
the term management by walking around. I like to move
through multiple levels of the company and I like my management to do
The WSJ reporter asked Hurd if hed read The HP
Way, Dave Packards book on HPs founding principles.
The new CEO pulled a copy out of his desk and said on April 3 he was
halfway through the book.
He also looked unlikely to go outside the company for
executive management talent. HP employs nearly 150,000, he said in a
WSJ interview, and Im convinced by the sheer math and by
the people Ive met so far that theres great talent in