I had extensive contact with the HP9000 RISC based family during the early years of my career.
Initially, we received one half of a cluster of two machines that was to be loaded up with an application that the company I worked for was writing. At the time a 4GL called PRO-IV was used, which provided runtimes for a number of UNIX systems, including HP-UX, SCO UNIX/XENIX and IBM AIX.
The half of the cluster we had was the best part of a full rack of kit, running HP-UX 8.0 or 9.0 and was a fairly beefy box to support quite a high number of users and some Radio Data terminals. I think this was a G-Series chassis. Certainly it was difficult to move!
Once delivered to the customer site, the cluster was configured to work properly by HP Engineers using Switchover-UX, an add-on for HP-UX, but we discovered one oversight to the clustered resilience; that was the fact that someone had to physically move the RS232 cable linking the radio data terminal hardware from one box to the other.
This was the first time we’d attempted an implementation of the software platform using Informix CISAM as a file storage back-end, and an ODBC interface layer. I spent many hours writing Informix SQL Schemas to create headers that matched the data layout of the CISAM files produced by PRO-IV. After a bit of creative smoke and mirrors at the UNIX filesystem level we would have a working copy of our application’s database accessible to windows using an Informix SQL ODBC driver produced by SCO called “SQL Retriever”.
In later years I deployed three other HP9000 machines for customers in Germany, France, and the UK using a smaller HP9000, think it may have been an E-Series chassis.
Interestingly, I can’t seem to find any decent pictures on the web that resemble the systems I remember;