This manual provides an overview of the transition and planning tasks
necessary to move from DECnet for OpenVMS (Phase IV) to DECnet-Plus for
OpenVMS (Phase V) and DECnet-Plus for DIGITAL UNIX.
This manual supersedes the DECnet/OSI Planning Guide.
OpenVMS VAX Version 7.1
OpenVMS Alpha Version 7.1
DIGITAL UNIX Version 4.0
DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS Version 7.1
DECnet/OSI for DIGITAL UNIX Version 4.0
Digital Equipment Corporation Maynard, Massachusetts
Digital Equipment Corporation makes no representations that the use of
its products in the manner described in this publication will not
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contained in this publication imply the granting of licenses to make,
use, or sell equipment or software in accordance with the description.
Possession, use, or copying of the software described in this
publication is authorized only pursuant to a valid written license from
DIGITAL or an authorized sublicensor.
DIGITAL conducts its business in a manner that conserves the
environment and protects the safety and health of its employees,
customers, and the community.
© Digital Equipment Corporation 1996. All rights reserved.
The following are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation:
Bookreader, DDCMP, DEC, DECdirect, DECnet, DECNIS, DECserver,
DECsystem, DECwindows, DIGITAL, DNA, InfoServer, OpenVMS, OpenVMS
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VMS, VMScluster, and the DIGITAL logo.
The following are third-party trademarks:
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MS-DOS is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corporation.
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This document was prepared using VAX DOCUMENT, Version V3.2m.
This book provides an overview of the transition and planning tasks
necessary to move from DECnet for OpenVMS (Phase IV) to DECnet-Plus for
OpenVMS (Phase V) and DECnet-Plus for DIGITAL UNIX. It describes how to:
- Use global network addresses
- Obtain a unique initial domain part (IDP) for your DECnet Phase V
- Set up your namespace and enter node names and addresses into it
- Use name service access features
- Set up DECdts clerk nodes using DECdts software
See your Software Product Description (SPD) for detailed information
about new features and product requirements.
This book is written for:
- Network planners and managers, both existing DECnet Phase IV users
and new DECnet-Plus customers
- OpenVMS system managers
- Installers of OpenVMS and DIGITAL UNIX
- Namespace planners and managers
- DECdts planners and managers
- Managers of the following Open Systems Interconnection (OSI)
- OSI Transport connections
- X.25 communications
- Wide area network device drivers (WANDD)
- Remote OSI file operations
- DECnet Phase V virtual terminal
- Writing and running additional OSI applications
This book has ten chapters:
- Chapter 1---Preplanning: Understanding the Transition Process
Describes the transition concepts.
- Chapter 2---Planning the Transition
Helps you plan for an
orderly, efficient transition from a Phase IV network to a DECnet Phase
- Chapter 3---Performing Transition Tasks: An Overview
your immediate transition tasks and the tools you need to perform them.
- Chapter 4---Creating NSAP addresses
Discusses the format of
NSAP addresses for DECnet-Plus systems and describes how to get unique
identification for your DECnet Phase V network.
- Chapter 5---DECdns, Local namespace, and DECdts Concepts
Describes DECdns, Local Namespace, and DECdts concepts.
- Chapter 6---Naming Guidelines
Provides general guidelines for
all DECnet-Plus names and specific guidelines for naming clearinghouses
- Chapter 7---Basic DECdns Namespace Planning for DECnet-Plus
Contains basic DECdns planning guidelines if you choose to plan and
implement a DECdns distributed namespace.
- Chapter 8---Advanced DECdns Namespace Planning
additional guidelines to plan your distributed namespace.
- Chapter 9---DECdns Namespace Design Example
Shows an example of
a DECdns Namespace design.
- Chapter 10---Preparing for DECdts
Describes how to plan your
DECdts implementation, including personnel selection for the planning
process, and planning for DECdts on a LAN, an extended LAN, or a WAN.
For a complete list of companion documents, see the DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS Introduction and User's Guide or
DECnet-Plus for DIGITAL UNIX Introduction and User's Guide.
For additional information about the DECnet-Plus products and services,
access the DIGITAL OpenVMS World Wide Web site. Use the following URL:
DIGITAL welcomes your comments on this manual or any of the DECnet-Plus
documents. Send us your comments through any of the following channels:
603 881-0120, Attention: OSSG Documentation, ZKO3-4/U08
OSSG Documentation Group, ZKO3-4/U08
110 Spit Brook Rd.
Nashua, NH 03062-2698
These terms are used interchangeably:
- Transition and migration
- Phase IV and DECnet Phase IV
- Phase V and DECnet Phase V
- System and node
- End system and end node
- Intermediate system and router
- Multivendor and non-DIGITAL-specific
- Link state and link state routing algorithm, link state protocol,
DECnet Phase V routing algorithm, or DECnet Phase V routing
- Name service and directory service
How To Order Additional Documentation
Use the following table to order additional documentation or
information. If you need help deciding which documentation best meets
your needs, call (800-282-6672).
The following conventions apply to this book.
The following conventions are for multiplatform documentation.
Indicates information specific to DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS.
Indicates information specific to DECnet-Plus for DIGITAL UNIX.
Indicates a literal example of system output or user input. In text,
indicates command names, keywords, node names, file names, directories,
utilities, and tools. On a DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS, DIGITAL UNIX, or
tm system, enter the word or phrase in the exact case shown.
You can abbreviate command keywords to the smallest number of
characters that OpenVMS, DIGITAL UNIX, NCL, DECdns, DECdts, and the
other utilities accept, usually three characters.
Indicates a variable.
Indicates a new term defined either in the text or in the
DECnet-Plus Introduction and User's Guide glossary.
Indicates that you press the return key.
Indicates that you press the control key while you press the key noted
In command format descriptions, indicates optional elements. You can
enter as many as you want.
In command format descriptions, indicates you must enter at least one
Indicates the end of platform-specific information.
Preplanning: Understanding the Transition Process
Chapters 1 through 4 of this book describe the considerations that will
help you determine how best to transition your network. The following
sections define what the transition is, explain why you would want to
transition your systems from the DECnet Phase IV to DECnet Phase V
architecture, and help you plan how long this transition might take.
1.1 Transition Defined
Transition is the process of migrating a network from DECnet Phase IV
to DECnet-Plus (Phase V) by changing:
- Node-name-to-address mapping from the use of a Phase IV local
permanent node databases to a DECdns distributed namespace, DNS/BIND,
or to a Local namespace
- Network management from the use of NCP to NCL
Transition is a multistep process. Some tasks you perform immediately
as part of the DECnet-Plus installation/configuration procedure. Others
you do immediately afterwards, still others perhaps later, as your
network's needs change. In addition, some steps target the transition
of one system, while other steps are part of the network's overall
transition to DECnet-Plus.
Transition begins with the installation of the DECnet-Plus software
onto the first node in the network. With this
installation/configuration, the system becomes a DECnet-Plus system.
Your network operates in a transition environment from
the transition of the first node until all DECnet nodes migrate to
The steps of transition are:
- Developing a transition plan for your network.
- Installing the DECnet-Plus software onto the first node.
- Configuring node-name-to-address mapping in at least one of the
- Using the Local namespace.
- Configuring the node as a DECdns clerk in an existing distributed
- For an OpenVMS VAX or DIGITAL UNIX system, configuring the node as
a DECdns server and creating a new distributed namespace. (DECdns
server software is not available for OpenVMS Alpha systems.)
- Using DNS/BIND.
- Performing the remaining transition-related network management
- Migrating to DECnet-Plus all the nodes you planned to migrate.
1.1.1 Why Make the Transition to DECnet-Plus?
DECnet Phase IV supports DECnet applications only. It does not support
OSI (Open Systems Interconnection) and TCP/IP applications, which must
use separate protocol stacks that DECnet Phase IV does not provide.
With DECnet Phase V (formerly known as DECnet/OSI and now, with Version
7.1, DECnet-Plus), your DECnet applications can communicate (without
change) with peer OSI and DECnet applications on any system running
DECnet Phase IV, Phase V, or OSI software. That system can be a DIGITAL
system or one from another vendor. DECnet-Plus integrates the OSI
protocol stack with the DECnet protocol stack and includes the ability
to run DECnet and/or OSI applications over TCP/IP.
A growing number of emerging network applications are designed to be
transported over the Open Systems Interconnection. DECnet-Plus provides
a collection of standard OSI applications such as File Transfer,
Access, and Management (FTAM) and Virtual Terminal (VT), plus a
complete library of OSI transport protocols.
With DECnet-Plus, you can use one or more of the following name
services to translate network names to node numbers and back, depending
on the transport used (DECnet, OSI, or TCP/IP):
- Local namespace (similar to DECnet Phase IV's NETNODE_REMOTE.DAT
- DECdns (DIGITAL's Distributed Naming Service)
- DNS/BIND name resolution protocol (for TCP/IP)
When a user provides a node name to a DECnet or OSI application, the
application translates it using the appropriate name service.
TCP/IP support is crucial for the many customers who need access to the
TCP/IP-based Internet and to the growing number of low-cost,
IP-compatible routers and carrier services. DECnet-Plus, in combination
with a DIGITAL or third-party TCP/IP protocol stack for OpenVMS and
DIGITAL UNIX, allows a DECnet customer to convert to TCP/IP network
protocols without having to give up existing DECnet or OSI applications.
The DECnet over TCP/IP (DOTI) feature (RFC 1859), included with
DECnet-Plus, allows DECnet applications to communicate over TCP/IP. The
OSI over TCP/IP support (RFC 1006), included with DECnet-Plus, allows
OSI applications to communicate over TCP/IP.
For new OpenVMS and DIGITAL UNIX systems, DIGITAL now bundles run-time
licenses for DECnet-Plus and TCP/IP services. If you are an existing
DECnet support customer, you receive DECnet-Plus automatically but need
to purchase a license to use DIGITAL's TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS.
If you want to migrate your system to TCP/IP, you must install and
configure the TCP/IP stack as part of your transition. Both DECnet-Plus
and TCP/IP transports can be up and running concurrently and you can
make the transition to TCP/IP gradually. You do not need to choose
between OSI or TCP/IP. You can even choose to run your DECnet-Plus node
with DECnet Phase IV functionality only and begin to use the OSI and/or
TCP/IP features as you become more familiar with them.
1.1.2 How Long Does Transition Take?
The time it takes to make a complete network transition depends on your
strategy. DECnet-Plus software gives you the flexibility to decide how
and when to make the transition from Phase IV to DECnet-Plus. No
definite time period is prescribed for all networks.
You can choose to make the transition gradually, perhaps installing
DECnet-Plus software in a single area first to see how it operates and
how to take advantage of its features. Or, you can install DECnet-Plus
software on end systems in several areas. For example, you may chose to
operate with a mixture of Phase IV and DECnet-Plus software within each
area. At some point, you might decide to use the link state routing
algorithm and take advantage of OSI addressing that is beyond Phase IV
limitations, that is, extended addressing.
The time you spend planning the transition is an essential part of your
total transition timeframe.
The time it takes to migrate one system from DECnet Phase IV to
DECnet-Plus is the time it takes to perform the installation and
configuration procedures on this system. However, if this is the first
DECnet-Plus node on the network, you must spend some additional time on
other transition tasks, such as populating the namespace, if you are
creating a DECdns namespace, and converting some Phase IV databases.
1.1.3 What Is the Transition Environment?
During transition, some or all of your network operates in a mixed
environment of Phase IV and DECnet-Plus nodes, either spread throughout
the network or grouped into all-Phase-IV or all-DECnet-Phase-V areas.
In this transition environment, you have a mixture of Phase IV and
DECnet Phase V features, including addressing, routing, and network
1.1.4 When Do DECnet-Plus Features Become Available?
Most features offered by the DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS and DECnet-Plus
for DIGITAL UNIX products become available upon installation and
configuration of the product software. However, RFC 1006, RFC 1859, and
DNS/BIND require the installation of additional TCP/IP software.
DECnet-Plus features include:
- OSI applications over TCP/IP (the RFC 1006 feature)
- DECnet applications over TCP/IP (the RFC 1859 feature)
- DECdns for node-name-to-address mapping using a distributed
- Local namespace for node-name-to-address mapping using a local
- DNS/BIND as a naming service with DECnet-Plus RFC 1006 or RFC 1859
- New network management structure and interfaces
- Multicircuit end-system capability
- OSI addressing (addressing beyond Phase IV limitations)
- End-system autoconfiguration
In an all-end-system LAN, these
systems autoconfigure their addresses using the default local area
address of 49::00-40.
However, you can override this feature with
network management commands and with the decnet_register
management support tool.
- For DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS, additional features such as OSI remote
file operations (FTAM).
1.1.5 When Does Transition End?
Transition from Phase IV to DECnet-Plus ends when all:
- Systems in the network run DECnet-Plus software
- Routers operate with the DECnet Phase V link state routing algorithm
Because DECnet-Plus features allow for flexible transition, the network
can operate with a mixture of Phase IV and DECnet-Plus systems for as
long as your network requires. Therefore, as network manager, you
decide how long the network continues to operate in a transition
1.2 Transition Features
DECnet-Plus software provides the following features to help you during
- Coexistence of Phase IV and DECnet-Plus: backward compatibility
DECnet-Plus software is compatible with DECnet Phase IV software;
DECnet-Plus systems can coexist with and fully interoperate with Phase
IV nodes. In addition to supporting OSI protocols, DECnet-Plus systems
continue to support all Phase IV protocols (with the exception of the
Phase IV NICE network management protocol). With this interoperability,
you do not have to migrate your network --- or even an entire area ---
all at once.
For compatibility, DECnet-Plus systems can run two transports, both the
DIGITAL Network Architecture (DNA) Network Services Protocol (NSP) and
OSI transport protocol. In addition, DECnet-Plus end systems send
routing packets and data link packets in either DECnet Phase V format
or Phase IV format, depending on the phase of the receiving system.
- Addressing options
DECnet-Plus systems require a Phase IV-compatible address to
communicate with Phase IV nodes. On the same DECnet-Plus system, you
can also assign an OSI address that is not Phase IV-compatible.
details, see Section 1.3.
- Node synonyms
A node synonym is a Phase IV-style node name,
between 1 and 6 characters long, that is unique within your namespace.
(See Section 5.4 for a complete explanation of node synonyms.)
The node synonym is required for Phase IV applications that can handle
only a maximum of six-character node names.
Use your Phase IV node name as your synonym. The default node synonym
is the first six characters of your simple name, the string that
follows the last period of your full name. For example, if you specify
XYZ_CORP:.sales.east_coast.ElanaCole as a DECnet-Plus full
name during the configuration procedure, your simple name is
ElanaCole and your default node synonym is ElanaC.
The configuration procedure gives you the option of specifying a
different node synonym.
You do not need a node synonym if:
- Your network has made a full transition to all DECnet-Plus and
other OSI-compliant systems.
- These systems do not run any applications that are limited to
six-character node names.
Node synonyms allow for backward compatibility with older
applications that cannot use long domain names. DECnet-Plus allows for
node synonyms to provide backward compatibility DECnet Phase IV node
DECnet programming interfaces $QIO and $IPC also provide long name
support. User-written applications using these interfaces can use long
- Coexistence of Phase V routing algorithm and Phase IV routing
In DECnet-Plus, the Phase V routing algorithm, called the
link state protocol, can coexist with the Phase IV
routing algorithm, called the routing vector protocol.
See Section 2.3.5 for details.
- The Local namespace
DECnet-Plus includes a Local namespace, independent of DECdns.
DECnet-Plus also gives you an option of maintaining DECnet Phase IV
functionality until your network makes the transition to DECnet Phase
V. The Local namespace replaces functionality previously provided by
the DECdns Local Naming Option (LNO). Depending on the number of
address towers stored, the Local namespace is designed to scale to at
least 100,000 nodes. For more information, refer to Section 1.5.1 and