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OpenVMS Technical Journal V3

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OpenVMS Technical Journal - V3 January 2004

  Welcome to the third issue of the OpenVMS Technical Journal (VTJ). January 2004 is our one year anniversary and we have published two OpenVMS Technical Journals in that time. To date we have had over 54,000 views of the journal.

This issue has ten articles that I am sure you will find interesting. In particular we have a great article from a customer in Italy, the TCP/IP and T4 articles are exceptional. We are already looking to the future and are planning for another issue in June 2004, with articles by engineering and some of our partners and customers.

Your feedback is essential to the growth and development of this journal, please take a moment, we want to hear what you have to say.

Sincere thanks go not only to all the excellent authors but to the team that allow us to produce this journal. We have a new leader from the Documentation group, Mike Meagher and along with writers Carolyn Crowell, Pat Nelson, Suzy Kane, Kathy Haramundanis, Phil Milgrom, Sara Massella, Mary Marotta and Merle Roesler are responsible for editing and final art of each one of the articles and of course Warren Sander, our OpenVMS Web Master without his extensive work and knowledge we would not be able to deliver this journal.

Warm Regards,

Sue Skonetski

Table of Contents

OpenVMS Technical Journal - V3
» Entire Journal in PDF format (2.9MB)
» Entire Journal in PS format (41MB) (ZIP 7.6MB)

OpenVMS Engineering written articles

  • Programming with TCP/IP for OpenVMS Best Practices [ » Abstract , » HTML , » PDF ]
  • TimeLine-Driven Collaboration with T4 & Friends:
        A Time-saving Approach to OpenVMS Performance.  [ » Abstract , » HTML , » PDF ]
  • Cluster Test Manager (CTM)  [ » Abstract , » HTML , » PDF ]

Customer written articles

  • DIGITAL Signature in Automatic e-mail Processing: a Case Study  [ » Abstract , » HTML , » PDF ]

Partner written articles

  • Native 64-bit Virtual Addressing for Oracle Rdb Row Caches  [ » Abstract , » HTML , » PDF ]
  • Inheritance Based Environments in OpenVMS Systems and VMSClusters  [ » Abstract , » HTML , » PDF ]
  • VAX Emulator on HP's Marvel AlphaServers Extends Life of Legacy DEC Systems  [ » Abstract , » HTML , » PDF ]
  • Structured Programming in Macro-32  [ » Abstract , » HTML , » PDF ]

From the HP Customer Call Center

  • Backup Strategies That Work  [ » Abstract , » HTML , » PDF ]

Best of Ask the Wizard

Programming with TCP/IP for OpenVMS Best Practices

Article Title:  [ » HTML , » PDF ] Programming with TCP/IP for OpenVMS Best Practices
Author name: Matt Muggeridge
Article Abstract: TCP/IP APIs are at the heart of interprocess communication (IPC) across small scale networks, such as a LAN, to very large scale networks, such as the Internet. Despite the well-documented APIs, there are many complexities and pitfalls when designing and implementing a TCP/IP application. By following the best practices outlined in this document, the TCP/IP programmer can be confident their application is robust in complex multihomed environments, is future proof by using new APIs that seamlessly support both IPv6 and IPv4, scales to high volume connections, and more.

The relationship between TCP/IP API calls and the protocol data is explained along with the impact of system configurable variables used for tuning and management. Specific algorithms for TCP and UDP applications are described. Many small code snippets are provided as examples that covers: establishing local context, connection establishment, data transfer, and connection teardown. Synchronous and asynchronous mechanisms are contrasted and many hints are provided to help the intermediate TCP/IP programmer.

Author Bio: Matt Muggeridge holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Computer Systems, from the University of Queensland, and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Physics, from Queensland University of Technology. Matt has experience with enterprise scale systems and computer networks, having started with Digital Equipment Corporation in 1990. Matt worked in Compaq U.S.A. with the OpenVMS organization for 4 years, where he was project manager for the DII COE initiative, project leader of TCP/IP engineering, and project leader for WAN engineering. Engineering experience includes: TCP/IP, X.25, LAPB, HDLC, ISDN, ATM, Frame Relay, and Synchronous device drivers. He is currently a member of the TCP/IP for OpenVMS engineering team working on various TCP/IP network performance and analysis projects and is especially interested in high availability networking solutions for OpenVMS.

TimeLine-Driven Collaboration with T4 & Friends: A Time-saving Approach to OpenVMS Performance.

Article Title:  [ » HTML , » PDF ] TimeLine-Driven Collaboration with T4 & Friends: A Time-saving Approach to OpenVMS Performance.
Author name: Steve Lieman
Article Abstract: This article sketches the ingredients of OpenVMS Engineering's evolving timeline-driven approach to performance, highlights the original and the current capabilities of T4 collection of timeline data, explains the central role of TimeLine Collaboration (TLC) format data, gives numerous graphic examples of the growing number of "upstream" and "downstream" "Friends of T4" that magnify the value of collected timeline data, and shows how you can benefit by getting started along a similar timeline-driven path one that fosters collaboration and discussion about the performance issues facing your most important systems.

Author Bio: Steve Lieman is the lead OpenVMS Engineer doing EV7 performance characterization work which includes the OpenVMS Marvel Proof Point Project. Steve has played an ongoing role in developing the best practices methodology (based on T4) that has made it possible to capture live before & after comparisons and proof points as an increasingly long list of customers upgrade their OpenVMS production systems to EV7. Steve will be leading a P3 performance evaluation project for OpenVMS on HP Integrity Servers. Steve an M.S. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon, has been a member of the OpenVMS Performance Group within OpenVMS Engineering for the past 8 years, and has more than 35 years of large system performance management experience.

Cluster Test Manager (CTM)

Article Title:  [ » HTML , » PDF ] Cluster Test Manager (CTM)
Author name: Richard Stammers
Article Abstract: OpenVMS is renowned for its reliability and the importance of thorough testing in achieving this reliability cannot be overstated. Routine test runs may involve more than 3,500 diverse test processes and require clusters with over 30 nodes and 600 or more storage spindles. Providing the means to efficiently and effectively conduct this testing poses some interesting and challenging design problems.

CTM (Cluster Test Manager) is one of the primary test tools that are used internally for testing OpenVMS. This paper will explore the requirements for managing such a large on-going testing effort, and discuss the design and inner workings of CTM in some detail. It's the first in a series of papers. One of the most fundamental aspects of the design of CTM is the separation of the software that runs and manages the tests (CTM) from the actual tests themselves (CTM test modules). This first paper will mainly talk about CTM and the management of the tests. Later papers will discuss the individual CTM Test Modules in more detail.

Author Bio: Richard Stammers is a Software Engineer who works in the Quality Test Verification (QTV) group of OpenVMS Engineering. Richard has over 30 years of experience in the computer industry, having worked as an independent consultant on a wide variety of projects prior to his joining HP in 2001 where he now develops and maintains test software for OpenVMS.

DIGITAL Signature in Automatic e-mail Processing: a Case Study

Article Title:  [ » HTML , » PDF ] DIGITAL Signature in Automatic e-mail Processing: a Case Study
Author names: Francesco Gennai, Marina Buzzi, Giovanni Vischio
Article Abstract: Today many services can be requested via network by sending an electronic message to the service provider. If the data is coded in syntax "understandable" to computers, it is possible to automate its interpretation, elaboration and storage, thus speeding up data processing and reducing human error. Digital signature can be associated with Internet messages in order to guarantee sender authentication, message integrity and non-repudiation of origin. The verification process of incoming digitally-signed messages is usually performed by the e-mail client, on behalf of the end-user. However, if digital signature is applied to data subjected to automatic elaboration, in order to maintain the abovementioned benefits it may be convenient to automate the verification process as well. Our idea is to implement the verification process in the e-mail server rather than the client. In this paper we describe our experience designing and implementing software to automate the verification of digitally-signed messages and web forms in order to simplify the registration of Internet domains under the .IT Top Level Domain.

Author Bio: Francesco Gennai has worked for the Italian National Research Council (CNR) since 1984. He is responsible for network systems and Internet services at the CNR Institute of Information Science and Technologies "A. Faedo" (ISTI, http://www.isti.cnr.it/). An expert network designer, over the years he has been involved in national and international computer network projects including developing countries such as Albania (he is the technical contact for the TLD .AL), Algeria, Nigeria and Egypt. He is a member of the Italian Research Network (GARR) security group and is a consultant for academic, public and private institutions throughout Italy.

Author Bio: Marina Buzzi has worked for the Italian National Research Council (CNR) since 1996. She is member of the "Internet networks" research department of the CNR Institute for Informatics and Telematics (IIT, http://www.iit.cnr.it). Her technical skills include the design and administration of network services and the study of web technologies (caching and crawling). She gives lectures in national and international conferences.

Native 64-bit Virtual Addressing for Oracle Rdb Row Caches

Article Title:  [ » HTML , » PDF ] Native 64-bit Virtual Addressing for Oracle Rdb Row Caches
Author name: Norman J. Lastovica, Jr, Principal Engineer Oracle Corporation
Article Abstract: Oracle Rdb Release 7.1.2 introduces two significant enhancements to the Row Cache feature: Snapshots in Row Cache and Native 64-bit addressing support for Row Cache. These features can be used separately or combined to provide additional database performance by further avoiding disk I/O and locking operations and by permitting much more data to be easily cached in memory.

Using the snapshots in row cache feature allows existing applications to approach zero disk I/O operations per transaction by reading and updating database rows entirely within memory while using Rdb's after-image journal to provide transaction persistence in case of process, disk or system failure. Native 64-bit addressing support for row caches permits a vast number of database rows to be cached, limited only by the amount of physical memory available in the computer.

This paper provides an introduction to the Native 64-bit addressing support for Row Cache enhancement in Oracle Rdb Release 7.1.2. Additionally, the results of large system performance and capability tests are described.

Author Bio: Norman J. Lastovica is a Principal Engineer within Oracle Rdb Engineering located in Nashua, New Hampshire. Mr. Lastovica is currently a member of the KODA team and shares responsibility for the physical data storage, index, journaling, recovery, row cache, hot standby, and LogMiner components of the Rdb engine.

Inheritance Based Environments in OpenVMS Systems and VMSClusters

Article Title:  [ » HTML , » PDF ] Inheritance Based Environments in OpenVMS Systems and VMSClusters
Author name: Robert Gezelter Software Consultant
Article Abstract: Applications must operate across a wide range of physical computing. The goal of standalone or clustered configurations is to present the user, and application, with a consistent operating environment regardless of the physical technologies actually used to implement that environment.

Many OpenVMS Cluster systems include a multitude of different processors, each with different peripheral configurations and capabilities. Many organizations also have multiple standalone OpenVMS systems running identical or nearly identical applications on different hardware configurations. Disaster tolerant (DT) configurations can further complicate the environment by introducing propagation delay and other consequences of physical differences into the environment.

OpenVMS clustering technology was introduced before the popularization of object-oriented terminology and the codification of its concepts. However, object-oriented concepts, particularly inheritance, well describe OpenVMS in clustered environments. Principles of inheritance are particularly apt when implementing functionally identical environments upon different physical environments. Architectures employing inheritance realize significant reductions in total cost of ownership (TCO) and correspondingly large improvements in portability and operational transparency.

In contrast with many other operating systems, the iterative nature of the OpenVMS logical name facility enables the use of multiple levels of translation with corresponding default values for each level. This flexibility permits OpenVMS systems to assimilate dramatic changes in operating environment with a change to a single logical name at a variety of levels, dramatically reducing TCO.

Author Bio: Robert Gezelter, CDP, CSA, CSE, Software Consultant, guest lecturer and technical facilitator has more than 25 years of international consulting experience in private and public sectors. He has worked with OpenVMS since the initial release of VMS in 1978, and with OpenVMS Cluster systems since their announcement in 1982. Mr. Gezelter received his BA and MS degrees in Computer Science from New York University. He also holds the HP CSA and CSE accreditations relating to OpenVMS. Mr. Gezelter is a regular guest speaker at technical conferences worldwide such as HPETS (formerly DECUS). His articles have appeared in Network World, Open Systems Today, Digital Systems Journal, Digital News, and Hardcopy. He is also a contributor to the Computer Security Handbook, 4th Edition, Wiley, 2002. Many of his publications and speeches are available through his firm's www site at http://www.rlgsc.com. His firm's consulting practice emphasizes in-depth technical expertise in computer architectures, operating systems, networks, security, APIs, and related matters. His clients range from the Fortune 10 to small businesses, locally, nationally, and internationally on matters spanning the range from individual questions to major projects. He can be reached at gezelter@rlgsc.com.

VAX Emulator on HP's Marvel AlphaServers Extends Life of Legacy DEC Systems

Article Title:  [ » HTML , » PDF ] VAX Emulator on HP's Marvel AlphaServers Extends Life of Legacy DEC Systems
Author name: Rob Lyons
Article Abstract: This white paper describes the results of testing performed with GS1280 AlphaServers and Charon-VAX/AXP Plus Emulator. The results show that the combined strengths of these products permit server consolidation and single-platform clusters while providing enhanced performance in one Alpha footprint.

The testing demonstrates that a 16-way GS1280 running CHARON-VAX/AXP Plus delivers over 400 VUPs of consolidated VAX power and the results measure over 36 VUPs, the equivalent of a VAX 3198 or VAX 7610, on each MARVEL CPU with nearly linear

Author Bio: Rob Lyons is a consultant for Resilient Systems, Inc. He specializes in highly available VMSclusters, Storage Area Networks and complex solutions using the Charon-VAX emulator product family. Previously, he was part of the corporate support engineering team for VMS systems and clusters at DEC/Compaq and a member of the development team for disaster- tolerant systems.

Structured Programming in Macro-32

Article Title:  [ » HTML , » PDF ] Structured Programming in Macro-32
Author name: Dick Munroe
Article Abstract: Structured programming is one of the earliest programming disciplines developed. In its time it has probably done more to accelerate the development of product and improve the quality of delivered product than any other single improvement in software engineering short of the development of 2nd and 3rd generation programming languages. One area that has largely been left out of the structured programming revolution is programming in various macro assembly languages. In part, this is because in most cases 3rd generation languages (like C or Bliss) can be used instead. However, there are environments (notably stage 1 and 2 device driver development where OpenVMS/VAX compatibility is a principle issue) in which macro programming is still relevant. This article discusses structured programming, its psychology and discipline, and applies simple programming techniques to achieve most of the goals of structured programming in the context of writing Macro-32 code.

The article will focus on a set of structured programming macros written for Macro-11 and extended to Macro-32 used to achieve the goals of structured programming in the Macro language environment.

Author Bio: Dick Munroe entered the programming business in the late 60s. He started on mainframes and quickly got introduced to the wonders of DEC's PDP systems (starting with the PDP-12). He came to Digital Equipment Corporation in 1974 where he was involved in such things as the developing and deploying the early DECnet architecture, developing the File Access Protocol and Listener for RSTS/E, building the prototype of the HSC50 storage controller (along with such luminaries as Barry Rubenstein, Bob Subnik and Bob Blacklege), and a great many other things. He joined Prime in 1980 to pursue development of a distributed operating system. Doyle, Munroe Consultants followed Prime where his consulting projects ranged from kernel development for embedded systems to management consulting. In 1992, he founded Acorn Software, Inc. to develop some product ideas in the storage management space involving VMS and data libraries of all sorts. He is currently at Cottage Software Works, Inc. doing systems and general software development, mostly on Linux, wishing that OpenVMS was more widely deployed in the industry, and looking for work (contract or permanent). His resume and professional details are available at http://www.csworks.com/.

Backup Strategies That Work

Article Title:  [ » HTML , » PDF ] Backup Strategies That Work
Author name: Ted Saul
Article Abstract: How can you be sure your backups scheme works? Developing a backup strategy is one of the most important tasks that can be carried out in the IT environment. The design must consider the nature of your business, the size of your budget and the speed at which the system must be recovered. Questions need to be answered such as how and when backups should be executed, how many instances of the backups should be maintained and what scheme of volume rotation should be used. There are specific steps that you can take to ensure the integrity of your backups and that all required data can quickly be restored in the event of a catastrophic outage. This article will help system managers review current strategies to ensure they meet the needs of their company. It will also be a starting point for new computing environments that need guidance in the design of their backup strategy. Advantages of using a backup application such as the Archive Backup System will also be presented.

Author Bio: Ted Saul is an Off-site Software Support Consultant for the Product Competency Center at Hewlett-Packard. He has been supporting the OpenVMS backup products for the past 15 years. These products include the native backup utility as well software application such as the Storage Library System and Archive Backup System as well as varied cross-platform backup solutions. As a part of his duties, Ted spends time assisting customers with testing their disaster recovery, recovering from backups and teaching classes in the application products.

Best of Ask the Wizard

Article Title:  [ » HTML , » PDF ] Best of Ask the Wizard
Author name: Stephen Hoffman
Article Abstract: This article covers in depth responses to common questions received by the Wizard. This issue covers "Upward Compatibility and OpenVMS Releases" and "OpenVMS System and Password Security".
Author: Stephen Hoffman, OpenVMS Engineer

Author Bio: Stephen "Hoff" Hoffman, is a Consulting Engineer in the OpenVMS Engineering group, with a variety of responsibilities. Areas of experience include voice applications and telephony, factory floor networking, databases, device drivers and ACPs, web and internet technologies, hardware, bad puns, clustering, with other areas too numerous to mention. Writings include the second edition of the "Writing Real Programs in DCL" book and an update (presently underway) to another Digital Press OpenVMS-related book

Other Technical Journals/Reports

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