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Open VMS Server

We are thinking about replacing our old old ALPHA server which operates our Open VMS software package.

Any suggestions on what servers are good to operate an Open VMS package?
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clydeturtle
Asked:
clydeturtle
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5 Solutions
 
BarthaxCommented:
I have no experience of it directly, but I have heard good things about Charon-VAX.  It is an emulator which runs on top of MS Windows Server OS which then essentially appears as two seperate machines to the network.
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Jim Dettman (Microsoft MVP/ EE MVE)PresidentCommented:
A hardware emulator such as Charon-VAX is it.  No other servers besides ones based on the Alpha chip will run Open VMS natively.

JimD.
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nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
You could look into Itanium based systems from HP.
They should be able to run your VMS software. For the Programs you are using with your system either an Itanium version is needed or an you need to convert your programs to itanium.
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draguljCommented:
I agree with noci.

CharonVAX is emulating VAX hardware, not Alpha. OpenVMS on Itanium has binary translator for Alpha code but it is not capable to translate every application. I recommend you to try this translator on some Itanium before purchase or even try contacting HP. Sometimes they are willing to support clients :))

This is just a clarification what noci already said.
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nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
You can try your application on the HP testdrive systems.
see   http://www.testdrive.hp.com/  for more info.
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RLGSCCommented:
clydeturtle,

The first questions are:
- What system (configuration) are you currently running?
- What is the utilization of that system?

I have been sizing OpenVMS systems since very close to the initial release of VAX/VMS in 1978. These two questions are the bottom line of every evaluation that I have ever done or been involved in. I have GS-class systems purchased when a small departmental server would have done the job quite adequately, and I have seen the opposite.Picking the correct system depends on the details.

There is an extensive used-equipment market of Alpha systems. Switching to a newer Alpha system would likely be a minimal disruption project. Of course, the "devil is in the details", but I have often been able to switch systems with zero or no disruptions to the user community. This ability is one of the pleasures of OpenVMS when it is compared to other platforms.

Depending on your situation, a switch to the newer, Itanium-based Integrity systems is also an option, as I detailed in my recent article "Strategies for Migrating from Alpha and VAX systems to HP Integrity Servers on OpenVMS" that was published in the OpenVMS Technical Journal (a link to the journal can be found at http://www.rlgsc.com/publications/vmstechjournal/migrationstrategies.html ).

It would be also helpful to know which version of OpenVMS is being used.

- Bob Gezelter (aka RLGSC)
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RLGSCCommented:
Venabili,

First, the comment about Charon-VAX is correct, it is the wrong architecture and NOT a suitable replacement for an existing Alpha server. I would therefore not consider Barthax's answer an answer.

- Bob Gezelter (RLGSC)
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BarthaxCommented:
Sorry, been a little busy of late & would have responded earlier. :(

Note that the original question did not stipulate the Alpha machine had to be replaced with an Alpha machine, only that the OpenVMS needed replacing & happened to be on an Alpha machine - a matter of wording, I guess.  Note that where CHARON-VAX comes from there is also CHARON-AXP: emulate the whole Alpha machine, including the VMS: http://www.stanq.com/charon-alpha.html
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RLGSCCommented:
Barthax,

With all due respect, restoring an Alpha system disk to a VAX and attempting to boot it would be unsuccessful. While both support OpenVMS, the binaries are completely different. Had the questioner followed the advice as given, they would have been in an inoperable situation.

Yes, there is an Alpha emulator available, but that is not what was recommended until I took exception to the advice.

- Bob Gezelter (RLGSC)
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BarthaxCommented:
As far as I read, you are adding more weight to the question at hand than is necessary: "Any suggestions on what servers are good to operate an Open VMS package?"

At no stage has the request to migrate the existing binaries been made.  It is the same as "Any suggestions on what servers are good to operate a Linux package?" - the binaries would not be compatible across the huge variety of hardware Linux can run on, but the answer remains that a great deal of hardware is capable.
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RLGSCCommented:
Barthax,

Once again, with all due respect, I must disagree. The request was "...about replacing our old old ALPHA server which operates our Open VMS software package". The posting explicitly states that the old package is currently running on the ALPHA architecture. While OpenVMS itself is presently available for three architectures (VAX, Alpha, Itanium), the same cannot be said for many applications.

Some older applications were never made available by their owners for Alpha; some applications have not yet been made available by their respective owners for Itanium. Going forward, there is a strong reason to transition to Itanium, but Alpha will be supported for quite a while (and there is good availability of Alpha hardware on the secondary market).

Since the poster is currently operating on Alpha hardware, a VAX emulation is of little utility. For that matter, depending on the release of the OS, they may be limited as to what newer hardware they can change to. While it is true that a full answer is not feasible from the information given, in the overwhelming majority of cases, changing architectures in this case would not be a sound idea.

- Bob Gezelter (RLGSC)
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BarthaxCommented:
Bob, the fact we have a disagreement and are not flaming each other is respect enough.  Thank you for the explicit statement anyway.

Of the two sentences in the original, the first is merely background information of their current situation.  There are no qualifying statements to indicate the boundaries of answering the actual statement.  So while your statements are consistent with the additional parameters you have interpreted, they simply are not there in the original and the author has not returned with additional limitations/adjustments based on the replies.  The only dependency the original indicates is that of a "package" - no indication of the package and therefore nothing to base your otherwise excellent notes.  For all we know the package in question could be one they have written in-house and are willing and able to port to whichever architecture they choose.

Now, with all due respect in return, this isn't worth 125 points and I believe we have both given sufficient qualifying statements to our individual interpretations.
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BarthaxCommented:
Venabili, could you get some consistency to your suggestion please: JDettman simply confirmed my suggestion, so either we're both in or both out...
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nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
There actualy is some usful information above therefore I don't think a delete is the right resolution.
The discussion doesn't really add value.
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BillPedersenCommented:
This question, started over a year ago has not been closed.  Should it be?  What sort of information is still necessary for the author to make a decision, or has one been made?

Just wondering.

Bill.
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VenabiliCommented:
Barthax,

I had just missed you by incident last time - I was going for the same recommendation as the first time :)
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