HP OpenVMS Systems Documentation

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HP OpenVMS Version 8.3 Release Notes

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Chapter 4
System Management Release Notes

This chapter contains information that applies to system maintenance and management, performance management, and networking.

For information about new features included in this version of the software, refer to the HP OpenVMS Version 8.3 New Features and Documentation Overview.

4.1 Monitor Utility Changes


The Monitor utility (MONITOR) has undergone several changes since OpenVMS Version 7.3-2. Most of these changes are related to providing improved formatting of the recording file and including additional class data. These changes have introduced some compatibility issues between data collected by one version of MONITOR that is subsequently processed by another version. This section discusses these issues.

4.1.1 Version-to-Version Compatibility of MONITOR Data

Because the body of data MONITOR collects can change at each release, it is not always possible to view MONITOR data collected in one version on a different version.

The level of compatibility between releases depends on whether you examine recorded binary data from a file (that is, playback) or live data from another cluster node. In general, playing back recorded data provides more compatibility than monitoring live remote data.

4.1.2 Playing Back Data from a Recording File

Each file of recorded MONITOR binary data is identified by a MONITOR recording file-structure level ID. You can see this ID by entering the DCL command DUMP /HEADER /PAGE on the file. The following table lists ome recent MONITOR versions and their associated structure level IDs:

Operating System Version MONITOR Recording File Structure ID
OpenVMS Version 7.3-2 with remedial kit 1 MON32050
OpenVMS Versions 8.2, 8.2-1 with remedial kit 1 MON01060

1These remedial kits are proposed kits that might be issued for the sole purpose of providing improved compatibility.

Usually, for you to be able to play back a single MONITOR recording file, the last two digits of the structure level ID must match those of the running MONITOR version. For example, if you are running OpenVMS Version 7.3-2, you can play back a file from Version 7.3-2 but not one from Version 8.2.

However, MONITOR Versions 8.2 and higher are specially coded to read recording files with structure level IDs ending in "50." In addition, a utility in SYS$EXAMPLES, called MONITOR_CONVERT.C, converts a MONxx060 file to a MON31050 file. This allows the resulting file to be read by versions prior to Version 8.2. See MONITOR_CONVERT.C for instructions for building and running the program.

Note that, even though you are allowed to play back a file, certain MONITOR data classes within the file might not be available. This can happen if you are using an older MONITOR version to play back a file created by a newer MONITOR version.

Finally, note that, when you produce a multifile summary from several recording files, all 8 characters of the structure level ID from all the files must match.

4.1.3 Monitoring Live Remote Data across a VMScluster


In addition to the recording file structure level ID, each MONITOR version also has an associated "server version number." The server version number identifies the version of MONITOR data to make it possible to serve live data from one node to another in an OpenVMS Cluster. For you to monitor data from another cluster node, both the monitoring node and the monitored node must have the same server version number. If the versions are not the same, the following error message is displayed:

  %MONITOR-E-SRVMISMATCH, MONITOR server on remote node is an
                          incompatible version

Some recent MONITOR versions and their associated server version numbers are in the following table:

Operating System Version MONITOR Server Version Number
OpenVMS Version 7.3-2 5
OpenVMS Version 7.3-2 with remedial kit 1 7
OpenVMS Version 8.2, 8.2-1 with remedial kit 1 8

1These remedial kits are proposed kits, which might be issued for the sole purpose of providing improved compatibility.

If cross-node live monitoring is not possible because incompatibility of versions, you might be able to view the statistics you want through a combination of recording (to a file) and playback.

4.2 Updated Recommended File Security Attributes


The following table lists updated recommended protection profiles for files listed in the HP OpenVMS Guide to System Security. (The file VMS$PASSWORD_HISTORY.DATA is omitted from the current version of the manual but will be included in the next revision.)

File Protection

The file owner should be a UIC with a group within the system range (less than MAXSYSGROUP system parameter). Values of [1,1] or [SYSTEM] (1,4) are recommended.

4.3 System Management Notes

The following sections describe updates to system management and maintenance.

4.3.1 CIMSERVER Process Recommendation (I64 Only)


For optimal performance, HP recommends that the account running the CIMSERVER process (usually the SYSTEM account) have a PGFLQUOTA of at least 1 GB (PGFLQUOTA = 2000000).

This restriction will be lifted with the next release of WBEM Services for OpenVMS.

4.4 Recovering from System Hangs or Crashes (I64 Only)


If your system hangs and you want to force a crash, press Ctrl/P from the console. The method of forcing a crash dump varies depending on whether XDELTA is loaded.

If XDELTA is loaded, pressing Ctrl/P causes the system to enter XDELTA. The system displays the instruction pointer and the current instruction. You can force a crash from XDELTA by entering ;C, as shown in the following example:


Console Brk at 8068AD40

8068AD40!       add      r16 = r24, r16 ;;  (New IPL = 3)


If XDELTA is not loaded, pressing Ctrl/P causes the system to respond with the prompt "Crash? (Y/N)". Entering Y causes the system to crash. Entering any other character has no effect on the system.

4.5 DECdtm/XA with Oracle 8i and 9i (Alpha Only)


When you are using DECdtm/XA to coordinate transactions with the Oracle® 8i/9i XA Compliant Resource Manager (RM), do not use the dynamic registration XA switch (xaoswd). Version of the Oracle shareable library that supports dynamic registration does not work. Always use the static registration XA switch (xaosw) to bind the Oracle RM to the DECdtm/XA Veneer.

The DECdtm/XA V2.1 Gateway now has clusterwide transaction recovery support. Transactions from applications that use a clusterwide DECdtm Gateway Domain Log can now be recovered from any single-node failure. Gateway servers running on the remaining cluster nodes can initiate the transaction recovery process on behalf of the failed node.

4.6 Device Unit Number Maximum Increased


In the past, OpenVMS would never create more than 10,000 cloned device units, and unit numbers would wrap after 9999. This had become a limitation for some devices, such as mailboxes or TCP/IP sockets.

Starting with OpenVMS Version 7.3-2, OpenVMS will create up to 32,767 devices if the DEV$V_NNM bit is clear in UCB$L_DEVCHAR2 and if bit 2 is clear in the DEVICE_NAMING system parameter. This does not require any device driver change.

However, programs and command procedures that are coded to assume a maximum device number of 9999 may need to be modified.

4.7 ECP Data Collector and Performance Analyzer V5.5 (Alpha Only)


Version 5.5 is the recommended version of the Enterprise Capacity and Performance (ECP) Analyzer for OpenVMS Alpha Version 8.2 and higher. Version 5.5 is backward compatible with OpenVMS Version 6.2 and higher.

Starting with OpenVMS Version 8.2, the Performance Data Collector (TDC) Version 2.1 replaces the ECP Collector. ECP Analyzer can analyze collection files created by TDC Version 2.1 and later.

The ECP Analyzer currently is not supported on OpenVMS I64.

4.8 EDIT/FDL: Fixing Recommended Bucket Size


Prior to OpenVMS Version 7.3, when running EDIT/FDL, the calculated bucket sizes were always rounded up to the closest disk-cluster boundary, with a maximum bucket size of 63. This could cause problems when the disk-cluster size was large, but the "natural" bucket size for the file was small, because the bucket size was rounded up to a much larger value than required. Larger bucket sizes increase record and bucket lock contention, and can seriously impact performance.

OpenVMS Version 7.3 or higher modifies the algorithms for calculating the recommended bucket size to suggest a more reasonable size when the disk cluster is large.

4.9 EFI$CP Utility: Use Not Recommended


The OpenVMS EFI$CP utility is presently considered undocumented and unsupported. HP recommends against using this utility. Certain privileged operations within this utility could render OpenVMS I64 unbootable.

4.10 EFI Shell Precautions on Shared or Shadowed System Disks


On each Integrity system disk, there can exist up to two FAT partitions that contain OpenVMS boot loaders, EFI applications and hardware diagnostics. The OpenVMS bootstrap partition and, when present, the diagnostics partition are respectively mapped to the following container files on the OpenVMS system disk:


The contents of these FAT partitions appear as fsn: devices at the console EFI Shell> prompt. These fsn: devices can be directly modified by user command input at EFI Shell> prompt, and by EFI console or EFI diagnostic applications. Neither OpenVMS nor any EFI console environments that might share the system disk are notified of partition modifications; OpenVMS and console environments are entirely unaware of these console modifications. Accordingly, you must ensure the proper coordination and proper synchronization of the changes with OpenVMS and with any other EFI consoles that might be in use.

You must take precautions when modifying the console in configurations using either or both of the following:

  • OpenVMS host-based volume shadowing for the OpenVMS I64 system disk
  • Shared system disks and parallel EFI console access across Integrity environments sharing a common system disk

You must preemptively reduce these OpenVMS system disk environments to a single-member host-based volume shadowset or to a non-shadowed system disk, and you must externally coordinate access to avoid parallel accesses to the Shell> prompt whenever making shell-level modifications to the fsn: devices, such as:

  • Installing or operating diagnostics within the diagnostics partition
  • Allowing diagnostics in the partition (or running from removable media) to modify the boot or the diagnostic partition on such an OpenVMS I64 system disk
  • Otherwise directly or indirectly modifying the boot or the diagnostics partition within these environments from the Shell> prompt

If you do not take these precautions, any modifications made within the fsn device associated with the boot partition or the device associated with the diagnostic partition can be overwritten and lost immediately or after the next OpenVMS host-based volume shadowing full-merge operation.

For example, when the system disk is shadowed and changes are made by the EFI console shell to the contents of these container files on one of the physical members, the volume shadowing software has no knowledge that a write was done to a physical device. If the system disk is a multiple member shadow set, you must make the same changes to all of the other physical devices that are the current shadow set members. If this is not done, when a full merge operation is next performed on that system disk, the contents of these files might regress. The merge operation might occur many days or weeks after any EFI changes are done.

Furthermore, if a full merge is active on the shadowed system disk, you should not make changes to either file using the console EFI shell.

To suspend a full merge that is in progress or to determine the membership of a shadow set, see the HBMM chapter of the HP OpenVMS Version 8.2 New Features and Documentation Overview.

These precautions apply only to Integrity system disks that are configured for host-based volume shadowing, or that are configured and shared across multiple OpenVMS I64 systems. Configurations that are using controller-based RAID, that are not using host-based shadowing with the system disk, or that are not shared with other OpenVMS I64 systems, are not affected.

4.11 Error Log Viewer (ELV) Utility: TRANSLATE/PAGE Command


If a message is signaled while you are viewing a report using the /PAGE qualifier with the TRANSLATE command, the display might become corrupted. The workaround for this problem is to refresh the display using Ctrl/W.

If you press Ctrl/Z immediately after a message is signaled, the program abruptly terminates. The workaround for this problem is to scroll past the signaled message before pressing Ctrl/Z.

4.12 External Authentication

This section contains release notes pertaining to external authentication. External authentication is an optional feature introduced in OpenVMS Version 7.1 that enables OpenVMS systems to authenticate designated users with their external user IDs and passwords. For detailed information about using external authentication, see the HP OpenVMS Guide to System Security. Also see Section 2.13.1 for a release note related to external authentication.

4.12.1 I64 External Authentication Support


The Advanced Server for OpenVMS V7.3A ECO4 (and later) product kit contains standalone external authentication software for I64 systems in an OpenVMS cluster.

If you want to enable NT LAN Manager external authentication on OpenVMS Cluster member nodes running I64, you must copy the I64 standalone external authentication images from an Alpha system on which the Advanced Server is installed to the I64 member node, and complete the setup as described in the Advanced Server kit release notes.

4.12.2 SET PASSWORD Behavior Within a DECterm Terminal Session


A DECterm terminal session does not have access to the external user name used for login and must prompt for one during SET PASSWORD operations. The external user name defaults to the process's OpenVMS user name. If the default is not appropriate (that is, if the external user name and mapped OpenVMS user name are different), you must enter the correct external user name.

The following example shows a SET PASSWORD operation initiated by a user with the external user name JOHN_DOE. The mapped OpenVMS user name is JOHNDOE and is the default used by the SET PASSWORD operation. In this case, the default is incorrect and the actual external user name was specified by the user.

$ set password
External user name not known; Specify one (Y/N)[Y]? Y
External user name [JOHNDOE]: JOHN_DOE
Old password:
New password:
%SET-I-SNDEXTAUTH, Sending password request to external authenticator
%SET-I-TRYPWDSYNCH, Attempting password synchronization

4.12.3 No Password Expiration Notification on Workstations


In the LAN Manager domain, a user cannot log in once a password expires.

PC users receive notification of impending external user password expiration and can change passwords before they expire. However, when a user logs in from an OpenVMS workstation using external authentication, the login process cannot determine whether the external password is about to expire. Therefore, sites that enforce password expiration and whose users do not primarily use PCs can choose not to use external authentication for workstation users.

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