AVTware at OpenVMS and Tru64 events

AVTware supports and joins the various OpenVMS en HPE related events across the globe.

We have been sponsoring the OpenVMS Bootcamp in Westford, Massachussetts:

OpenVMS_BootCamp_2017

participated in Oracle Tech Forums throughout USA, Europe and Australia;

as well as HPE Discover in Madrid:

HPE_Discover_2017

Here we meet with Alpha and VAX owners, to help them protect their valuable OpenVMS and Tru64 applications.

When you like to hear more about the options we provide to prolong the life-time of your openVMS and Tru64 software, contact one of our local vtAlpha and vtVAX representatives close to you.

VMware Certified

From the early beginning vtAlpha and vtVAX were installable directly on the X86 hardware (Bare Metal), which was a great benefit of this product set. Using the included hypervisor vtServer it was possible to run multiple virtual Alphas and VAXes in parallel on that X86 host.

Support for Virtual Machine installations was also available. VMware, Hyper-V, KVM and Xen are the most popular ones. Our virtual Alpha and VAX products run well on these virtual host infrastructures.

One of our prospects asked if we were VMware certified. Since we didn’t even know such a thing existed we weren’t. So we applied, went through the procedures VMware has in place for this and obtained this certification without a problem.

VMware CertifiedSo from now on we can proudly say: vtAlpha, vtVAX and vtServer are all VMware certified. We made no changes to the products, we only got the certification.

Find more about this here: OpenVMS and Tru64 on X86

OpenVMS and Tru64 Live Host Migration

vtAlpha Alpha virtualization runs Bare Metal (directly on top of the host computer) and on a Virtual Machine (VMware, KVM, Xen, Hyper-V) delivering the broadest choice in host environments.  We even deliver the vtAlpha product as a VM appliance that you can easily import in your VM so you can start using vtAlpha without going through installation and configuration.  Easy does it.

Virtual Machine products can offer live host migration (e.g. VMware vMotion). It allows to migrate a running Virtual Machine from one host computer to another. This is a feature that we like to support and offer to our (virtual) OpenVMS and Tru64 customers for improved resilience. We were pretty sure we could make vtAlpha survive such a live host transition, but what about OpenVMS and Tru64? These were not designed with such functionality in mind, so how would they survive the time lapse that is involved with such a host transition?

We can report that we managed to mask such an event from these older operating systems so any running vtAlpha can be transitioned from one host to another using this VMware capability. We have posted a short video showing such a transition here: vtAlpha host migration.

This capability enables you to build virtual Alpha installations with a disaster resiliency that can be better than with the original Alpha equipment. OpenVMS and Tru64 enthousiasts thought things couldn’t get better than with these operating systems. Guess what: they just did!

Proof is good, but customer confirmation is better. We have multiple customers using this capability and JCC, USA recently reported their positive experience on Twitter,

Check it out and let us know when you want to hear more about this capability.

Springtime, the birth of a new vtAlpha version

On April 3, 2013 AVTware gave birth to vtAlpha v2.7.

Additional characteristics of this brand new vtAlpha family member:

  • Support for legacy storage types (MSCP, DSSI, IDE and RAID).
  • Network File Storage (NFS) included. Interesting for “on the fly” off-host backups.
  • vtAlpha full system partition backup and restore.
  • Email alerts to notify system management of critical issues.
  • Virtual PBXDA (Serial Line Adapter) enhancements.
  • Full VMware Vmotion support (migrate a running OpenVMS/Tru64 system from one host to another)
  • Various improvements in the management tool.

With this new version vtAlpha shows its constant growth in functionality, again including many requests we receive from our customers.

We encourage you to keep us on the edge, improving the product by telling our local representatives about your desires and requirements for vtAlpha.

Let us know what you like to see in the next version.

 

6 Tips for a smooth vtAlpha installation on VMware

Installing vtAlpha on a Virtual Machine host (VMware, KVM, Hyper-V, Xen) requires some extra attention. You have to deal with VM defaults and organizational procedures that are in place. This list helps you to plan ahead and clear obstacles prior to the installation day.

  1. Define sufficient memory. VMware’s default for the virtual machine is 384 MB. vtAlpha requires the size of the virtual Alpha memory +25% + 1 GB.
  2. Virtual CPU definition. Every virtual Alpha CPU needs one host CPU + some overhead. As a rule of thumb we recommend to multiply the number of virtual Alpha CPU’s by 1.5 (and round upwards).
  3. Use DVD for installation. vtAlpha can be installed from DVD or USB stick, but not all virtual machine products or versions support USB. Booting a virtual machine from a USB-stick is often prohibited at all. Therefore we recommend to use DVD or an .iso image of that DVD to connect to the virtual machine and boot from that virtual DVD device. When using an iso-image make sure to deactivate the “connect to DVD at power on” or switch the VM settings back to physical DVD connect after installation, otherwise it will start the installation cycle again at next boot
  4. Ensure you have N+1 Ethernet adapters available in your virtual machine.  N for the number of adapters you need in your virtual Alpha(s) and 1 extra to manage the vtAlpha host.
  5. Preparation meetings. Other than installing on a physical machine where you are in more direct control of the host system and have direct access to it, virtual machine environments require more careful planning and preparation. You have likely no access to the physical host of the virtual machine and you have to honor the (sometimes very strict) policies and procedures regarding network access and authorizations. We recommend to discuss the vtAlpha installation and requirements with the virtual machine managers before installation.
  6. Ensure you have defined sufficient storage space: 20 GB + amount of GB for the data from the physical Alpha(s). Create a separate 20 GB disk wherein you install vtAlpha and keep it separate from your data disks. This way you can always upgrade or reinstall vtAlpha without affecting the Alpha data storage.

These suggestions also apply for vtAlpha installations on other Virtual Machine products.

We welcome other recommendations that make life easier.

The AVTware team.