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Ask the Wizard Questions

Consulting service: Alpha Migration

The Question is:

We are currently running a VAX-based VMS 5-2 cluster
of servers and workstations. The workstations are running
their own copy of VMS on their system disks with the
aim of keeping the LAN clear of "non-productive" data
transfer. The important files SYSUAF.DAT, and productive
data files etc. are provided by the servers.
The application that we are running uses
cluster-served data files and uses the VMS distributed
lock manager explicitly for various inter-process
communication and syncronisation purposes. We are still
using Non-transparent DECnet Phase IV within the cluster
and using TCP/IP to access remote X11 servers
(IBM RS somethings).

This cluster has been running since mid-1990 almost
24hrs times 7days times 52 weeks a year with the hardware
transitioning from VAXstation 3100/30s and VAXserver3400
up to VAXstation and VAXserver 4000.

That's the background, now the question.

What do we have to know about, or look out for in
moving to an ALPHA-based hardware solution supported
by OpenVMS 6/7? Constraint: There can be only minimumal
changes to the application's design allowed (Recompiles
and Relinks are OK.)

Thanks in advance,

The Answer is:

   One really needs to dig around to be able to tell OpenVMS running on a
   VAX from OpenVMS running on an Alpha system -- non-kernel code using
   documented interfaces usually ends up needing little more than a
   recompilation and relink.

   As a start, please look through the "Migration" manuals present in the
   OpenVMS documentation set.  Here are the key volumes:

      Migrating to an OpenVMS AXP System: Planning for Migration
      Migrating to an OpenVMS AXP System: Porting VAX Macro Code
      Migrating to an OpenVMS AXP System: Recompiling and Relinking Apps
      A Comparision of System Management on OpenVMS AXP and OpenVMS AXP

   You'll also want to read through the release notes and new features
   manuals for the OpenVMS versions you are upgrading through and to...