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OpenVMS Technical Journal V5

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OpenVMS Technical Journal - V5 February 2005


It is my pleasure to announce this issue of the OpenVMS Technical Journal. First, I would like to apologize for the delay; however we were otherwise occupied in getting OpenVMS Version 8.2 out.

Your feedback is essential to the growth and development of this journal. Please take a moment to contact us; we want to hear what you have to say.

Once again, we have a number of excellent articles. To highlight just a few, let me start by pointing out "A Survey of Cluster Technologies" by Ken Moreau. You will find this an in-depth and very well researched article. "Porting the Macro-32 Compiler to OpenVMS I64" by John Reagan gives you a firsthand look at what changed and what stayed the same from an engineer on the compiler team.

"Are you Certifiable?" What an interesting question and name for an article! Certification is a big thing in the IT industry these days, and OpenVMS does have certification available. This article was written by John Gillings, who was part of the team that developed some of the certification tests. "Delivering Web Access to OpenVMS" by Tom Bice describes how Southeastern Freight Lines migrated its All-in-1 application to Verastream and added a graphical user interface. This migration preserved all their valuable data, enabled them to keep their OpenVMS systems on which they rely for zero down-time, enhanced customer service, and reduced IT costs. There are four more excellent articles in this issue as well.

As always, I would like to thank all the Authors. As you can see from the bio page, we have an impressive group of Engineers, Ambassadors, and Partners. Key to the publication of this journal is the documentation team that works with the Authors. For this issue, they were Carolyn Crowell, Suzy Kane, Mary Marotta, Sarah Masella, Joseph McMullen, Phil Milgrom, Pat Nelson, and Merle Roesler. Of course, without the core team of Warren Sander, the web master, and Mary Marotta, this project would not be possible at all. I owe them a huge debt of gratitude. Thank you all very much.

I hope you enjoy this issue of the OpenVMS Technical Journal.

Warm Regards,
Sue Skonetski

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Table of Contents

OpenVMS Technical Journal - V5
» Entire Journal in PDF format (2.5MB)
» Entire Journal in PS format (9.3MB) (ZIP 2.9MB)
OpenVMS Engineering and HP employee written articles
A Survey of Cluster Technologies » Abstract » HTML » PDF
Porting the Macro-32 Compiler to OpenVMS I64 » Abstract » HTML » PDF
Introduction to the Performance Data Collector for OpenVMS (TDC) » Abstract » HTML » PDF
Are you Certifiable? » Abstract » HTML » PDF

From the Call Center
Removing the 32-Bit Limit from System Space (OpenVMS V6.1 -- V7.3-2) » Abstract » HTML » PDF
Taking OpenVMS Security One Step Further » Abstract » HTML » PDF

Consultant Written Articles
Delivering Web Access to OpenVMS » Abstract » HTML » PDF
DECnet-Plus Technical Overview » Abstract » HTML » PDF

A Survey of Cluster Technologies

Article Title: A Survey of Cluster Technologies [ » HTML , » PDF ]
Article Author: Ken Moreau
Article Abstract: This paper surveys the cluster technologies for the operating systems available from many vendors, including IBM AIX, HP-UX, Linux, HP NonStop Kernel, HP OpenVMS, PolyServe Matrix Server, Sun Microsystems Solaris, HP Tru64 UNIX and Microsoft Windows 2000/2003. In addition I discuss some technologies which operate on multiple platforms, including MySQL Cluster, Oracle 9i and 10g Real Application Clusters, and Veritas clustering products. I describe the common functions which all of the cluster technologies perform, show where they are the same and where they are different on each platform, and introduce a method of fairly evaluating the technologies to match them to business requirements.

Author Bio: Ken Moreau Ken has been with the combined HP for 25 years, starting with Digital Equipment in 1979 as an Educational Services developer of Computer Based Instructional software. Ken was with the VAX DEBUG group for 4 years, and transferred to a PreSales Solutions Architect position in 1990. Ken has focused on high availability solutions across the industry for the last 10 years. Ken has been an OpenVMS Ambassador since 1992.

Porting the Macro-32 Compiler to OpenVMS I64

Article Title: Porting the Macro-32 Compiler to OpenVMS I64 [ » HTML , » PDF ]
Article Author: John Reagan,
Article Abstract: This paper will describe the porting of the Macro-32 compiler to OpenVMS I64. It will discuss register mapping to accommodate the Itanium hardware register conventions as well as register mapping to accommodate the OpenVMS Calling Standard conventions. It will discuss the changes required to generate Itanium instructions instead of Alpha instructions. It will also discuss compiler enhancements for OpenVMS I64 as well as the effort to ensure that most existing Macro-32 code on OpenVMS Alpha would recompile on OpenVMS I64

Author Bio: John Reagan is the project leader for the Macro-32 and Pascal compilers in the OpenVMS Software Group at Hewlett-Packard. John has been working on OpenVMS compilers since 1983 when he joined the Pascal project. His first task was to answer one of the Pascal SPRs that he submitted as a customer.

Introduction to the Performance Data Collector for OpenVMS (TDC)

Article Title: Introduction to the Performance Data Collector for OpenVMS (TDC) [ » HTML ,  » PDF ]
Article Author: Lee Clark
Article Abstract: The Performance Data Collector (TDC) can be used to collect approximately 1100 system performance metrics from Alpha and Industry Standard systems for analysis by other application software.

A runtime-only variant of the Performance Data Collector (TDC_RT V2.1) is installed with OpenVMS V8.2 and provides a data collector application and support files.

A downloadable kit (TDC V2.1) provides runtime environments for all supported system configurations (Alpha systems: OpenVMS V7.3-2 or V8.2; Industry Standard systems: OpenVMS V8.2) as well as a Software Developers Kit (SDK).

The SDK documents the TDC Application Programming Interface (API) and provides C header files and sample code. The API can be used to develop software to integrate TDC with other applications in various ways including:

  • Extracting data from a TDC data file for analysis;
  • Feeding data "live" to another application as the data is collected by TDC, without first storing the data in a file; or
  • Supplementing the metrics provided by TDC with other metrics of interest, in a fully integrated and supported fashion.
This article provides an overview of software development with the TDC SDK.

Author Bio: Lee Clark - HP OpenVMS Engineering After joining DEC in 1984, Lee worked primarily on VMS- centric applications, including the DECalc and DECdecision spreadsheets, and content-based retrieval software. Since returning from a sabbatical spent working on the TeamLinks for Macintosh email client, he has been working in the system management tools group in OpenVMS Engineering.

Are you Certifiable?

Article Title: Are you Certifiable?  [ » HTML , » PDF ]
Article Author: John Gillings
Article Abstract: The IT industry has embraced certification as a means to determine competency over a specific product. The idea is simple; a candidate takes an exam which tests their knowledge and skills. If they pass, they are then entitled to claim certification over the product.

But how are these exams compiled? Are they "real" or could you cram the night before and pass? Who decides what knowledge is necessary, and how are the results validated?

OpenVMS has three levels of certification. This article describes how those exams were created, who should sit them, and why you can trust the results. It will also provide some general tips on exam technique.

Author Bio: John Gillings is a Systems Software Consultant in HP Customer Services based in the Customer Support Centre in Sydney Australia, a position he has held for the past 16 years. Prior to that he worked as a commercial programmer, and as an academic, teaching Computer Science at Macquarie University in Sydney Australia. His experience with OpenVMS dates back to VMS V1.0, running on the first VAX 11/780 to be commissioned in Australia. He holds a BSc in Human Genetics, a BSc(Hons) in Computer Science and an MSc in Software Engineering. John is an OpenVMS Ambassador, and the Technical lead for the OpenVMS track of the HP OpenVMS certification programme.

Removing the 32-Bit Limit from System Space (OpenVMS V6.1 -- V7.3-2)

Article Title: Removing the 32-Bit Limit from System Space (OpenVMS V6.1 -- V7.3-2)  [ » HTML , » PDF ]
Article Author: Dan Buckley
Article Abstract: With OpenVMS VAX Version 6.0 and earlier systems, 32-bit VAX address space was divided into four 1-GB sections called S0, S1, P0, and P1. S0 space was designated as system space. This 1-GB limit on system space could prevent a system from having a large number of users while also having large working sets, virtual address space, memory disks, nonpaged pool, and LBN caches. If your usage attempted to exceed the amount of system space available, your system would not boot.

As systems grew larger with more CPUs and huge amounts of memory (16 GB is common now, whereas a MicroVAX II was limited to 16 MB), the 32-bit limit prevented systems from effectively using all their memory.

This article tracks the changes made to OpenVMS over the years to expand system space, remove large users of system space, and reduce the size of the remaining users of system space.

Author Bio: Dan Buckley is an Off-site Software Support Consultant for the Product Competency Center at Hewlett-Packard. He has been supporting OpenVMS for the past 20 years including 10 years at the Customer Support Center and 5 years at customer sites as a part of Digital Consulting. Dan's primary focus is in the areas of OpenVMS Performance, Clusters and Crash Dump Analysis. Dan is also an OpenVMS Ambassador.

Taking OpenVMS Security One Step Further

Article Title: Taking OpenVMS Security One Step Further [ » HTML , » PDF ]
Article Author: Ted Saul and Michael Grinnell
Article Abstract: We all know that OpenVMS is one of the most secure operating systems in the industry. The inability to penetrate an OpenVMS system has been proven over and over in real world production. OpenVMS also proved to be invincible at the DefCon 9 Hacker's Conference where it came out on top over all other operating systems including Windows NT, XP, Solaris and Linux.

Perhaps the biggest threat to an OpenVMS system however is not from a hacker attempting to gain illegal access to the machine from the outside but rather as someone acting as an insider. A user who has somehow been granted elevated privileges whether intentional or not will have the ability to carry out malicious behavior and how much damage they can performed will depend on how much time passes before being discovered.

HP Services in conjunction with partner PointSecure are teaming up to offer the OpenVMS System Security Audit. This article will serve to explain what the new services have to offer a customer as well as how PointSecures two software products will work to protect the system from threats both from the outside and inside. Using PointAudit and System Detective, the system manager can not only see the state of current security on the system but also setup events to take place based on a defined set of triggers. Tips on writing an internal security policy will also be given and how to use the information gained from the audits to enforce and maintain the policy.

Author Bio: Ted Saul is an HP Off-site Software Support Consultant for the Product Competency Center at Hewlett-Packard. He has been supporting the OpenVMS Operating System for the past 15 years including fielding security related issues with customers. Ted is also the project lead for the rollout of the OpenVMS System Security Audit service being offered by HP in conjunction with PointSecure, Inc. He has presented the service and PointSecure software along with its value to customers that are looking to bring their systems to heightened level of security.

Author Bio: Michael Grinnell is an Off-site Software Support Engineer for the Product Competency Center at Hewlett-Packard. He has been supporting the OpenVMS Operating System for the past 20 years. His expertise includes OpenVMS security and implementing various backup solutions. He has been involved in delivering the PointSecure software along with its value to customers that are looking to bring their systems to heightened levels of security.

Delivering Web Access to OpenVMS

Article Title: Delivering Web Access to OpenVMS [ » HTML , » PDF ]
Article Author: Tom Bice, Manager of Integration Strategy for WRQ
Article Abstract: In the late '90's there was a perception that organizations had to get away from host systems. Today, companies are realizing that the mainframe is here to stay, creating a new obstacle - data integration. Multi-million dollar shipping company, Southeastern Freight Lines (SEFL), was faced with the challenge of integrating data stored on the mainframe with its web portals. The need to get the most from its host system and customer demands for web access and application automation required SEFL to emulate and integrate data long stored on the mainframe, a challenge facing most organizations today.

This article will discuss how Southeastern Freight Lines (SEFL) turned to WRQ to create a portal that would automate their claims, billing and ticketing operations from data and applications locked away in their mainframe. In eight weeks, SEFL unlocked and web-enabled their mainframe systems using WRQ's Reflection. SEFL then modernized their operations center by creating a portal using WRQ's legacy integration solution, Verastream. SEFL's customers, employees and partners now have web-enabled access to drive their entire shipping operations more efficiently and cost-effectively.

Author Bio: Tom Bice serves as Manager of Integration Strategy for WRQ Verastream, a leading legacy integration solution. Tom has more than10 years of legacy integration expertise and has held various Product Management, Product Marketing, and consulting roles within the host integration industry

DECnet-Plus technical overview

Article Title: Decnet-Plus technical overview  [ » HTML , » PDF ]
Article Author: Colin Butcher
Article Abstract: This article provides a technical overview of DECnet-Plus, including DECnet over IP. DECnet-Plus is the latest implementation of DIGITAL Network Architecture (DNA) Phase V. The purpose of this article is to explain some of the history, background, structure and mechanisms that make up what is often simply referred to as "Phase V". It is hoped that this will assist system designers and managers to better understand the capabilities of DECnet-Plus and thereby ease migration from DECnet Phase IV to DECnet-Plus, especially when using DECnet over IP in a predominantly TCP/IP based WAN infrastructure. The author has extensive consulting experience gained by working with DECnet on mission-critical OpenVMS systems. This article has been written in response to many of the situations and queries that have occurred over the years.

Author Bio: Colin Butcher Colin specializes in "mission critical" and "safety critical" systems and networks. He has been responsible for the architectural design and implementation of several major systems, including satellite control, air traffic monitoring, manufacturing and healthcare. He has been involved with OpenVMS systems and networks since the early 1980s. Colin was one of four finalists for "IT Consultant of the Year" in the 2003 BCS (British Computer Society) IT Professional Awards in recognition of his work with HP (formerly Digital / Compaq) and OpenVMS Engineering. Colin is a well-known presenter of technical seminars, often for HPUG (the UK HP User Group, formerly known as DECUS UK) of which he is currently vice-chairman. In 1996, Colin established XDelta Limited as an independent consulting organization, primarily working as a source of external technical expertise to mentor and assist clients working on high availability infrastructure projects.

Other Technical Journals/Reports

» OpenVMS Technical Journal V4
» OpenVMS Technical Journal V3
» OpenVMS Technical Journal V2
» OpenVMS Technical Journal V1
» HP Technical reports
» archived Digital Technical journal