Let your business grow with HP networking solutions
Your OpenVMS network has been a mainstay of your business for
years. You rely on it daily for crucial applications. But with the
pace and type of changes occurring in business and technology, you
need to be able to do more and do it better and faster.
Now key networking software from HP enables you to adopt the newest
directions in computing while preserving all your existing capabilities
and investments. Without undue stress or expense, HP networking
solutions let you position your network for continued growth and
Critical directions in computing
It often seems that the axiom nothing is so constant as
change must have been authored by the computing industry.
The pace of change is swift, and, unfortunately, failure to keep
up can exact a high price.
Today, business success depends on the quality of the information
technology that supports it. An inability to keep current in
technology negatively impacts business performance.
One critical new direction in today's computing a direction
necessary for business success is the Internet. This collection
of networks is increasingly used to buy and sell products, search
for information, and act as a communications vehicle for sending
electronic mail outside the enterprise. Exploding onto the larger
business scene from its roots in government and education, access
to the Internet network of networks depends on the use of TCP/IP.
TCP/IP plays a key role in an important new direction in computing
the move to multitier client/server computing, where an application
is divided into either two or three logical parts or tiers.
In the two-tier model, data management is performed on the top tier,
and business logic and presentation is handled by the bottom tier. In
the three-tier model, data management is performed in the top tier,
business logic in the middle tier, and presentation in the bottom
tier. Two-tier models generally work best for simple applications;
for large, heterogeneous applications that are expected to change over
time, industry analysts recommend the three-tier model.
And in both models, communication between the PC desktop tier
and the tier above it must take place via the networking protocol
that the desktop understands TCP/IP.
Existing HP OpenVMS networks the asset base
Historically, OpenVMS networking software has provided a solid
base on which to run important applications. DECnet, the enterprise
networking mainstay of most OpenVMS customers, has the same robust,
secure, high-performance, high-availability standards of OpenVMS.
Consequently, OpenVMS customers today have a large portfolio of
distributed applications written for DECnet including business-critical,
24x365 applications. This portfolio of applications represents a
significant investment of time and resources; it is an important
However, traditional OpenVMS applications were not written to run over
TCP/IP. In keeping with the proprietary nature of networking at the
time, they were written to support the DECnet protocol, NSP. Networks
that support only the proprietary DECnet protocols are known as DECnet
Phase IV networks.
Getting there from here
Given the importance of TCP/IP for current and future computing
capabilities, and the fact that DECnet Phase IV runs only the proprietary
DECnet protocols, OpenVMS customers have some key choices to make.
They must balance the need to embrace new technology with the need
to protect existing investments. Let's look at several available
Maintain two networks
Customers electing this option would retain DECnet Phase IV
for running DECnet applications and build another environment
for running TCP/IP. They would maintain separate DECnet and
TCP/IP infrastructures. The problem with this choice is that
it is expensive and time-consuming to sustain two environments
that cannot talk to each other.
Abandon DECnet immediately and move to TCP/IP
The problem with this solution is its immediacy, inflexibility,
and expense. It requires that an entire application portfolio and
network be restructured under pressure. It does not offer the option
to port to TCP/IP when information technology resources and business
concerns can support porting. Nor does it offer an opportunity to
retain the secure, DECnet style, high-availability,
business-critical environment necessary for certain types of applications.
Live without TCP/IP
While the simplest to implement, this solution is not a real
option for most customers.
Move to a single IP backbone over which both DECnet and TCP/IP
This solution eliminates the need to implement multiprotocol
backbones for multiple protocols. Both DECnet and TCP/IP
applications can run over the same backbone. Network managers
can adopt a single protocol network such as TCP/IP without
forcing the end systems to do the same.
This is the HP DECnet-Plus solution.
The "Plus" in HP DECnet-Plus
The name sums it up. DECnet-Plus provides all the capabilities and
advantages of DECnet Phase IV, plus more:
- Plus TCP/IP capabilities
- Plus OSI capabilities
- Plus DECnet enhancements
These advantages make DECnet-Plus a unique solution for OpenVMS
customers. It is a solution that protects all existing investments in
systems, applications, and training, while at the same time providing
access to important new technology. DECnet-Plus serves as a bridge
between the past and the future.
Give up nothing
DECnet-Plus provides the full functionality of DECnet Phase IV,
including host-based routing and other popular features of Phase
IV. DECnet Phase IV applications can run, unchanged, in DECnet-Plus.
Because DECnet-Plus (known at one time as DECnet/OSI)
is Phase V of DECnet, backward compatibility ensures that Phase
IV and DECnet-Plus systems can coexist in the same network.
Open, multiprotocol networking
In addition to protecting DECnet capabilities, DECnet-Plus also
embraces the transports now predominant in the marketplace.
DECnet-Plus does this by breaking the traditional restrictions that
have tied network applications to specific protocol suites. Adherence
to the IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force) RFC 1859 and 1006
industry standards provides the ability to run DECnet and OSI
applications over TCP/IP.
The DECnet-Plus approach, unlike some other solutions, does not
tunnel DECnet lower layer protocols through the target
protocol. Rather, the normal functions of a transport for
example, flow control and error recovery and the underlying
routing are used directly by the upper DECnet protocol layers. As
a consequence, there is no additional performance overhead with
running DECnet over TCP/IP or OSI over TCP/IP, unlike tunneling
The DECnet-Plus versatility of application and protocol facilitates
the transparent networking of information and ideas. Applications
that ran over DECnet Phase IV can now run over DECnet, OSI, TCP/IP, or
any combination thereof. OSI applications can run over OSI, TCP/IP,
or a combination of those transports. TCP/IP applications can run
To run DECnet applications unchanged over TCP/IP, OpenVMS customers
combine a TCP/IP implementation with their DECnet-Plus solution.
The TCP/IP product can be any industry-standard, OpenVMS-based TCP/IP
implementation such as HP TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS.
By using a TCP/IP implementation on OpenVMS, DECnet-Plus customers
preserve the secure, high-performance, enterprise-computing
environment that OpenVMS provides.
And selection of HP's TCP/IP implementation for OpenVMS
HP TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS further ensures that the customers'
source for TCP/IP:
- Is one with whom they already have an existing relationship
- Has been, and is, committed to Peer to Peer Networking
- Is well-positioned to integrate TCP/IP features into OpenVMS
- Is strongly committed to the future of OpenVMS and HP TCP/IP
Services for OpenVMS
- Has fully integrated the product into HP's cluster capabilities,
ensuring high availability services
- Is one that enables OpenVMS systems to fully participate in Internet
and Intranet environments
Key product features
- Post Office Protocol (POP), a mail repository that
ensures mail is accepted even when a PC is turned off so you
don't miss those important mail messages
- SNMP Extensible agent (eSNMP) which provides support
for Network Management, allowing more centralized control of
the computing environment
- Finger Utility that displays information about users
on the system, providing better resource monitoring and management
- VIEW, an FTP command which allows users to display
the contents of a file to their current output device. This
allows readable access of your important data.
- File naming, an NFS server enhancement that allows
users to create files and directories in an OpenVMS file system
using names that do not conform to OpenVMS file-naming rules.
There is no need to rename your files
- Support for XQP+ to improve NFS server performance,
particularly when handling heavy loads
Multitier client/server computing capabilities
The multiprotocol capabilities of DECnet-Plus also facilitate
communication within a multitier OpenVMS and Microsoft Windows client/server
The natural affinity between OpenVMS and Microsoft Windows enables
these operating systems to work together to create a seamless three-tier
client/server environment. OpenVMS manages data in the top tier,
business logic is performed in the middle tier on either OpenVMS
or Microsoft Windows, and the desktop presentation is handled in
the bottom tier by Microsoft Windows.
Applications can be developed once, in Microsoft Windows, for
deployment across a mixed OpenVMS and Microsoft Windows environment.
The entire environment can be managed from OpenVMS.
In a PC environment in which there is both DECnet and TCP/IP connectivity,
the addition of HP PATHWORKS 32 host connectivity software allows
deployment of the client end of an application on a Microsoft Windows
system. PATHWORKS 32 permits interoperation between that client
application and an application on an OpenVMS host that utilizes
a DECnet stack. This capability eliminates the need to rewrite the
OpenVMS application for use with a TCP/IP stack.
The use of PATHWORKS 32 in conjunction with DECnet-Plus and HP
TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS extends connectivity from a mixed DECnet
and TCP/IP network to a Windows NT environment. DECnet-based applications
can run on Microsoft clients independently of where systems are
located in the network.
HP's adherence to industry standards ensures that OpenVMS systems
can participate with systems from other vendors and with other HP
systems around the world. DECnet-Plus continues in that tradition.
OSI applications such as FTAM (File Transfer and Management),
VT (Virtual Terminal), and X.500 messaging allow OpenVMS to interoperate
with other operating systems. HP and user-written applications that
utilize these standards are in wide use in Europe, and in certain
industries. As corporate networks move to TCP/IP, these applications
will continue to run, unchanged, using DECnet-Plus.
DECnet-Plus integrates seamlessly with X.25 Packet Switched Data
Networks and IBM SNA networks, enabling users to send and receive
information using DECnet, TCP/IP, or OSI transports across these
wide area networks (WANs).
When OpenVMS systems act as hosts for transporting DECnet applications
over TCP/IP in a wide area network, network infrastructure requires IP
routers between the host and the leased line. DECnet-Plus
accommodates both host-based routing and dedicated routers.
DECnet-Plus also coexists with local area networks (LANs) to enable
transportation of DECnet, TCP/IP, and OSI applications into and out of
Customers in certain industries may not be particularly anxious to add
Internet access to their network capabilities. For example, bank
networks engaged in electronic fund transfers may wish to avoid the
security or reliability risks generally associated with today's
Internet, while keeping their options open should matters change in
Such customers need not act immediately upon the TCP/IP capabilities
DECnet-Plus makes possible. However, they too will realize immediate
benefits from DECnet-Plus, because the software also includes features
to enhance the running and management of DECnet applications
DECnet-Plus enhancements include:
Increased address space
DECnet-Plus provides a virtually unlimited number of nodes, in
contrast to the limit of approximately 65,000 provided by DECnet
Phase IV. Multiple naming services large local file, DECdns,
and DNS/Bind can be used simultaneously.
Flexible configuration options
DECnet-Plus includes a system configuration tool which
provides several different configuration options, such as the
fast option for Phase IV upgrades, a basic option for simple
configurations, and an advanced option for more complex
Simplified network management
DECnet-Plus utilizes the Network Control Language (NCL) to manage
the network. NCL commands may be issued at the command line interface,
or the NCL graphical user interface tool, a Motif-based window interface,
can be used. The NCL Emulator tools is provided to manage remote
Phase IV nodes.
Improved troubleshooting and monitoring
The DECnet-Plus Common Trace Facility is similar to having a
protocol analyzer built into the network.
DECnet-Plus provides for node verification, counters, and
proxy accounts at remote nodes. Further, access rights within
the DECdns naming service can be used to control viewing,
changing and removing user data, and changing access control
Satisfies specialized needs of certain customers
DECnet-Plus includes Phase IV host-based routing functionality
so that a single system can perform both routing and general
processing. DECnet-Plus also supports multicircuit end systems
so that the same end system can belong to both a DECnet and a
TCP/IP network. In situations where business acquisitions
result in combining networks, DECnet over TCP/IP avoids the
need to reassign DECnet addresses.
DECnet-Plus provides many tools to assist in upgrading from
DECnet Phase IV to DECnet-Plus. The DECnet Register tool helps
manage node names and addressing information. The DECnet
Migrate tool helps collect information about the network
configuration, convert Phase IV NCP command files to NCL
scripts, and set up routing between Phase IV and Phase V
areas. A database conversion tool helps convert the Phase IV
database to NCL scripts at configuration time.
A superior networking solution
HP's networking software products address the multiplicity of
needs that concern businesses today. These robust products not only
preserve legacy applications but also facilitate the addition of
the new technologies.
DECnet-Plus is a stepping-stone in positioning your network for
continued success. By enabling the use of DECnet applications over
TCP/IP, DECnet-Plus extends the usefulness of these applications.
For applications that need Internet access or a three-tier client/server
environment, DECnet-Plus works in conjunction with other software
elements to provide flexible networking solutions. DECnet-Plus,
HP TCP/IP Services for OpenVMS, and PATHWORKS 32 extend your network
reach in open, multiprotocol, multivendor environments to bring
legacy applications forward into a new style and era of computing.
DECnet-Plus offers you a superior networking opportunity
an opportunity to preserve and enhance all your existing investments
in applications, systems, and training, while at the same time providing
the ability to add crucial new capabilities where required. DECnet-Plus
is a unique, low risk/high reward opportunity to grow your network
For more information on DECnet-Plus and other HP networking products,
- » HP DECnet-Plus software product description (SPD)
- » HP DECnet-Plus Product Brief
- » HP DECnet-Plus for OpenVMS Introduction and User's Guide
- » HP TCP/IP Services software product description (SPD)
Online information may be found on the HP OpenVMS website.