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OpenVMS Technical Journal V6

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OpenVMS Technical Journal - V6 June 2005


Welcome to the June 2005 issue of the OpenVMS Technical Journal (VTJ).

Your feedback is essential to the growth and development of this journal. Please take a moment to contact us; we want to hear what you have to say.

As always, we have a number of excellent articles for you to enjoy. You may not know that the VTJ is a volunteer effort and hence a labor of love not only for the contributors, but for the larger community. Many thanks go to the core team of Warren Sander, our web master, and Mary Marotta, our editorial lead. Special thanks go to Pat Nelson and Sarah Masella, who helped out with the editing this time around. Many thanks as well to all the authors.

Some of the highlights in this issue include an article on Porting OpenVMS to HP Integrity Servers by Clair Grant. This first-hand account includes photographs and many inside jokes that those who were involved will remember.

Another interesting article is how threads are used in the Cluster Test Manager. Have you ever wondered how HP tests all those different configurations and parameter combinations? Threads!

We have some excellent articles about products that run on OpenVMS. EMC Legato NetWorker provides backup solutions and supports Oracle in particular. LDdriver is a utility that creates virtual disks from files or even blocks. Find out how to use both in this issue.

OpenVMS is running more and more Open Source software. Python is a scripting language that can be used to create web pages on OpenVMS. And the article on Automatic Program Generation describes how MySQL and PHP were used to provide an IT infrastructure for the Florida Democratic Party -- for free!

We have articles about troubleshooting OpenVMS applications. Ruth Goldenberg, and Richard Bishop describe how Fatal Bugchecks are handled. Protecting and Monitoring OpenVMS Systems is all about auditing and access security.

Many people are considering porting to the Integrity platform. This issue includes two good articles describing porting efforts. Porting RPG describes how a compiler was ported to I64, and Porting TDMS gives an overview of porting an application from VAX to Alpha, and then from Alpha to I64.

We hope you enjoy this issue of the Journal. Let us know how you like it -- or what you would like to see in the future.

Warm Regards,
Sue Skonetski

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Table of Contents

OpenVMS Technical Journal - V6
» Entire Journal in PDF format (1.7MB)
» Entire Journal in PS format (7.5MB) (ZIP 2.1MB)
From OpenVMS Engineering
Porting OpenVMS to HP Integrity Servers » [Abstract] » [HTML] » [PDF]
Fatal Bugchecks on OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 Systems » [Abstract] » [HTML] » [PDF]
Disk Partitioning on OpenVMS: LDdriver's Secrets » [Abstract] » [HTML] » [PDF]
Threaded Tests in the OpenVMS Cluster Test Manager (CTM) » [Abstract] » [HTML] » [PDF]
Porting TDMS - The Gory Details » [Abstract] » [HTML] » [PDF]

From the Call Center
Protecting and Monitoring OpenVMS Systems » [Abstract] » [HTML] » [PDF]

From our Partners
Porting RPG: Moving a Compiler to the HP Integrity Server » [Abstract] » [HTML] » [PDF]
Using Python for OpenVMS Web Development » [Abstract] » [HTML] » [PDF]
Case Studies Using EMC Legato NetWorker for OpenVMS Backups » [Abstract] » [HTML] » [PDF]
Automatic Program Generation with MySQL and PHP » [Abstract] » [HTML] » [PDF]

Porting OpenVMS to HP Integrity Servers

Article Title: Porting OpenVMS to HP Integrity Servers » [HTML] , » [PDF]

Article Abstract: Porting OpenVMS from Alpha to HP Integrity was an enormous undertaking. This article presents the major technical decisions that were made, the rationale behind them, the schedule and project definition, the resulting implementation, and the effects on the operating system itself, applications software, and our customers. It is a mix of history and technical details that attempts to increase your understanding of how OpenVMS came to run on this new architecture.

Author Bio:Clair Grant is the Technical Leader for the OpenVMS Base Operating System and Project Leader of the OpenVMS Kernel Group. For the last four years he has been the Project Leader for porting the OpenVMS base operating system to HP Integrity Servers.

Mr. Grant received a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.A. from the Univ. of Maine. He is in his 30th year working for Digital/Compaq/HP, the first 10 years on TOPS-20 and the last 19+ years on OpenVMS. His previous major projects include DECnet, clusters, storage management, security, Galaxy, NUMA, and porting OpenVMS from VAX to Alpha.

Fatal Bugchecks on OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 Systems

Article Title: Fatal Bugchecks on OpenVMS Alpha and OpenVMS I64 Systems » [HTML] , » [PDF]

Article Abstract: What happens when a system crash occurs? What is the difference between a fatal and a nonfatal bugcheck? Why can't I find the information I want in the crash dump file? How is data compressed in a dump file?

This article answers these questions and many others, explaining the sequence of events that leads from a bugcheck to a crash dump.

Author Bio: Ruth Goldenberg is a consulting software engineer in OpenVMS Engineering. She has been at Digital/Compaq/HP for more than 30 years -- most of that time working on OpenVMS as backup support, teacher, author, and developer. Recent projects include clusterwide logical names, system service logging, porting cluster code to I64, and authoring OpenVMS Alpha Internals and Data Structures: Memory Management.

Author Bio:Richard Bishop is project leader for OpenVMS Kernel Tools. As such, Richard is the lead maintainer and developer for System Dump Analyzer (SDA), bugcheck, image dumps, and related projects. Now that these tools have been ported to OpenVMS I64, Richard and the Kernel Tools team continue to enhance the tools to support new OpenVMS features, to improve their performance, and to add other features that enhance usability. Richard has a B.Sc. in Mathematics from Imperial College, London, and has spent his entire working life in software engineering, including 18 years in OpenVMS Engineering.

Disk Partitioning on OpenVMS: LDdriver's Secrets

Article Title: Disk Partitioning on OpenVMS: LDdriver's Secrets » [HTML] , » [PDF]

Article Abstract: LDdriver has been available for OpenVMS for a long time. This utility allows a file on disk to be used as a real disk, so that a physical disk can be partitioned into a number of smaller virtual disks. The latest version also allows an arbitrary range of logical blocks on disk to be used as a disk, so that partitions without an underlaying file system can be created. But there are many more features in LDdriver, like the ability to trace I/O requests, do timing measurements, and return failures on selected blocks as an aid to fault simulation. The article goes into detail on all the available features, and offers an inside view of the way that these features are accomplished.

Author Bio: After graduating as an electronics hardware engineer, Jur Van der Burg started in 1975 developing electronic test equipment for a medical research laboratorium. At that place he had his first encounter with computers (PDP8/PDP11/6502). In 1977 I moved to an oil company developing seismic test equipment connected to a PDP11, and started to write device drivers for RSX11M. They were then converted to a VAX and VMS. Later on, Jur moved to the computer center, manning the helpdesk for a year, followed by system management of the biggest VAXcluster in the country. In 1987 he joined DEC in the VMS country support group in the Netherlands, giving support to customers. Around 2000 he started to work part time for VMS engineering in the sustaining engineering group to support the VMS exec and the SCSI drivers, which then became a full time job.

Threaded Tests in the OpenVMS Cluster Test Manager (CTM)

Article Title: Threaded Tests in the OpenVMS Cluster Test Manager (CTM) » [HTML] , » [P

Article Abstract: The OpenVMS Cluster Test Manager was the subject of an article in the OpenVMS Technical Journal, Issue 3. This follow-up article describes the design and methodology of threaded tests, as well as some of the specific threaded tests that are employed in CTM.

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.

Porting TDMS - The Gory Details

Article Title: Porting TDMS - The Gory Details » [HTML] , » [PDF]

Article Abstract: The four trickiest details of porting the VAX TDMS software from OpenVMS VAX; first to OpenVMS Alpha, and then to OpenVMS I64, are described.

Author Bio: Bob Sampson is a Consulting Associate and an OpenVMS Ambassador. He has provided OpenVMS customer support since 1983, specializing in compilers and application migration.

Protecting and Monitoring OpenVMS Systems

Article Title: Protecting and Monitoring OpenVMS Systems » [HTML] , » 

Article Abstract: This describes two mechanisms that OpenVMS provides that can help administrators monitor file and utility access and prevent unauthorized access. OpenVMS Auditing and Access Control Entries are standard with OpenVMS installations.

Author Bio: Michael Grinnell is an Off-site Software Support Engineer V for the Product Competency Center at Hewlett-Packard. He has been supporting the OVMS Operating System for the past 20 years. His expertise includes OpenVMS security and implementing various backup solutions which include VMS backup, Storage Library System, Archive Backup System and other 3rd party backup applications.

Author Bio: Gina Jones is an Off-site Software Support Engineer V for the Product Competency Center at Hewlett-Packard. She has been supporting the OpenVMS backup products for the past 20 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, Gina spends time assisting customers with testing their disaster recovery.

Porting RPG: Moving a Compiler to the HP Integrity Server

Article Title: Porting RPG: Moving a Compiler to the HP Integrity Server » [HTML] , » [P

Article Abstract: This article covers MSI's experience in porting its Migration RPG compiler to HP's Integrity Server. The article covers the following subjects:

  • Our software development methodology
  • Our porting plan
  • Technical issues faced during the porting process
  • Product Quality Assurance testing after the port was completed
  • Recommendations to others planning to port applications

Author Bio: Bruce Claremont has 22 years of OpenVMS and software porting experience. Among other responsibilities, he supports Migration RPG, an RPG compiler written primarily in Macro-32. He has played key roles in development and implementation of software migration methodologies and stategies. He has owned and operated MSI, Inc. since 1992.

Using Python for OpenVMS Web Development

Article Title: Using Python for OpenVMS Web Development » [HTML] , » [PDF]

Article Abstract: This article describes Python, an OpenVMS solution for "Webifying" applications.

Author Bio: Jean-Francois Pieronne has been an OpenVMS and Oracle Rdb consultant for more than 15 years. He works for many companies that need expert on OpenVMS. Also he has collaborated for many years to port the Open Source products, Python and MySQL to OpenVMS. Jean-Francois has presented many technical seminars for DECUS.

Case Studies Using EMC Legato NetWorker for OpenVMS Backups

Article Title: Case Studies Using EMC Legato NetWorker for OpenVMS Backups » [HTML] , » [P

Article Abstract: Describes real world implementations of EMC's Legato NetWorker on OpenVMS. NetWorker is the only product that incorporates OpenVMS into an enterprise-wide data protection solution providing direct backup to tape or disk, as well as support for Oracle and Oracle Rdb. This article covers two real solutions that were delivered -- one using EMC Symmetrix and CLARiiON Disk Libraries, and the other using host-based OpenVMS volume shadowing, HP storage, and an MSL5000 tape library.

Author Bio: Siobhán Ellis is a Senior Technology Consultant at ENSTOR, Sydney, Australia. Siobhán's career began with doing nightly backups at Digital 20 years ago. More recently she was responsible for implementing a backup project for 50 OpenVMS servers, 200 UNIX servers, 300 NT servers, and 8000 desktops. This was done using a combination of Legato NetWorker and SLS. In 1999 she joined Legato and was a Senior Product Manager in various areas, including Legato's implementation of NetWorker on OpenVMS.

Automatic Program Generation with MySQL and PHP

Article Title: Automatic Program Generation with MySQL and PHP » [HTML] , » [PDF

Article Abstract: With the advent of public domain database management systems like MySQL and "web enabling" languages like PHP, which provide tight integration with those databases, it becomes possible to write programs that, given access to the database schema, can automatically generate large portions of web applications that interact with users to collect data to be put in databases. In particular, using phpMyAdmin for database design, MySQL as a database engine, and a little bit of design and implementation work with PHP, substantial portions of live Web applications can and have been generated. This article is an exploration of how this was done at the Florida Democratic Party during the last election cycle.

Author bio: Richard Munroe is a software engineer with over 37 years experience. He worked in a variety of positions, from architectural (storage, communications, distributed systems) to individual contributor. He is currently scrounging for work under the umbrella of Cottage Software Works and doing woodturning as a side business.

Other Technical Journals/Reports

» OpenVMS Technical Journal master table of contents

» OpenVMS Technical Journal V5
» OpenVMS Technical Journal V4
» OpenVMS Technical Journal V3
» OpenVMS Technical Journal V2
» OpenVMS Technical Journal V1
» HP Technical reports
» archived Digital Technical journal