Operating System - OpenVMS
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

A couple questions:(Answer what you can)

Go to solution

A couple questions:(Answer what you can)

1.  Can I do a backup/image on an OpenVMS 8.2 box and restore it over a 7.1 box instead of trying to do the stupid upgrade path they require?


2.  How do you boot into a layered products disc to install them?  The machine I am working on will boot into an OS disc just fine but I read that in order to install layered products you had to boot into that disc but that doesnt seem to work for me.


3.  Does anyone have easier directions on renaming a host?  I have seen the process overview on hoffman labs but no step-by-step.  I am a noob when it comes to openvms so even just the first step "Update the SCSNODE in MODPARAMS.DAT, and then run AUTOGEN as far as the SETPARAMS phase" confuses me.  Where is MODPARAMS.DAT to modify it and how do I run Autogen only to the SETPARAMS phase...



Justin Doss

Honored Contributor

Re: A couple questions:(Answer what you can)

1: Sure.  You'll end up with whatever was on the source disk for the (archiac) V8.2 BACKUP /IMAGE, and not what's on the V7.1 (yet more archaic) disk.   Which is probably not what you are envisioning here, though.   OpenVMS doesn't work like OS X and some other operating systems, and doesn't have a particularly clean way of installing or reinstalling itself.   But if you are going to blast in a new kit, then blasting in V8.4 has an analogous end result, though leaves you with a clean copy of the current software bits.    If you're upgrading from V7.1 to V8.4 (current), and wish to preserve the disk contents, then you'll have to make several intermediate upgrades.

2: You don't boot the layered product distro kits.   Layered product disks are mounted, and the kits are then installed with the VMSINSTAL or PCSI tools, most commonly.  Each kit will have installation instructions and most have example installations included in the kit documentation, and quite often some kit-specific customization and set-up requirements are involved.

3: Renaming a host is a colossal bag of stupid on OpenVMS.   One of many, unfortunately.   As for running AUTOGEN, see @SYS$UPDATE:AUTOGEN HELP

You're in the proverbial deep end of the pool here.   There are no task guides to OpenVMS.   That concept did not exist when OpenVMS documentation was being actively maintained, and task guides and related resources largely still don't exist, for OpenVMS.    For better or worse, you're expected to have read the OpenVMS User's Manual, then the System Managers' manuals (both volumes) and related system-management resources in the OpenVMS documentation set such as the System Managers' Utilities manial, or to have obtained training, or otherwise have acquired more direct technical help.

More than a few of the articles I've posted at the HoffmanLabs site are intended as quick guides, but they inherently assume some familiarity with OpenVMS.   The article on changing an OpenVMS host name is one of these.


Re: A couple questions:(Answer what you can)

1.  That would have the affect I was hoping for in order to resolve some of the issues I am having updating some of these older boxes.  I am starting to think attempting to do a fresh install might be the best course of action to get these up and running.

2.  I am not sure what I read before but this helps ALOT!

3.  That is unfortunate... especially seeing as the local HPE support here told me yesterday they don't have any local OpenVMS people in Denver anymore...  So I am going to have to figure this stuff out myself(and I havent even tried to touch the clustering yet...)

David R. Lennon
Valued Contributor

Re: A couple questions:(Answer what you can)

There are "still" several independent consultants or contracting firms that have VMS systems expertise. Often, these kinds of tasks can be done remotely. One of these firms is PARSEC (www.parsec.com) which is based out of Denver, CO...


Re: A couple questions:(Answer what you can)

Thanks for that advice.  I am not sure they can help me with the nature of my network.  But I went ahead and sent them an email to see if they can.

Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: A couple questions:(Answer what you can)

A few additional comments...

> 1. [...]

   In case it's not obvious, the way to get a clean image backup of a
VMS system disk is to boot from some _other_ disk.  A VMS installation
CD-ROM is usually a good choice.  (This way none of the files on the
disk being copied will be open/busy.)

   When two systems are involved, you get a choice of which medium to
transport between the two systems.  If you can temporarily attach the
destination disk to the source system (or the other way around), then
BACKUP can do its work disk-to-disk.  If you can't move a disk, then a
tape can be used to carry the data from one system to another.

   Note that restoring from an image backup (including a disk-to-disk
copy operation) completely replaces any content on the destination disk.
Whatever's there, if anything, will be gone when you're done (replaced
by whatever was (and still is) on the source disk).  And, as with the
source disk, you can't be booted from the destination disk when you do
the restore operation.

> 2. [...] but I read that in order to install layered products you had
> to boot into that disc [...]

   Either you read it wrong, or it's not a reliable source.


> 1. [2] [...] fresh install [...] best course of action [...]

   If you have the installation kits for all the required software, then
it should be possible.  I would not bet on easier.

> 3 [2] [...] local HPE support here told me yesterday they don't have
> any local OpenVMS people in Denver anymore... [...]

   Are you paying for this "support"?  (It's been a while, but when last
I looked, airplanes and hotels still existed.  Also telephones.)

    My advice would be to try the disk-clone+identity-change operation
once.  (Take good notes.)  People here can probably (eventually) solve
any problems you encounter, and it should be (much) less work than
setting up a system completely from scratch.  (Especially if you're
still scrambling around for the required software kits.)

Honored Contributor

Re: A couple questions:(Answer what you can)

1: if the desired effect is colloquially known as nuke-and-pave., sure.   The nuke-and-pave preserves nothing, and it's preferable to start from current distro kits here and not random giblets.  You'll need current licenses to do this upgrade or this install — the license product authorization keys (PAKs) don't grant an automatic right to upgrade in the absence of an HPE support contract or some other arrangements with HPE — and acquiring new OpenVMS Alpha licenses from HPE is not going to be easy, at this stage.

2: De nada.

3: HPE is discontinuing OpenVMS as part of their roadmap, with remedial support for the only currently-supported OpenVMS Alpha release (V8.4) ending this year, and with remedial support for the only OpenVMS I64 release (V8.4) ending in 2020.   After those dates, no more patches for these releases from HPE. 

4: VSI is the path forward.   They have available OpenVMS I64 V8.4-1H1 and are due to release V8.4-2 at the end of this month.    They're reportedly working on a native x86-64 port, as well.   HPE is reselling VSI software and support, for new OpenVMS I64 releases after V8.4, particularly for the HPE Integrity Poulson-class i4 servers.

5: You seem quite unfamiliar with OpenVMS.   That's going to be an opportunity to learn a whole lot.   And to make some mistakes.    If that works out for you and these servers, great.  Otherwise, this project could get a little bumpy.

6: I've done onsite and remote work all over, as have other of the available OpenVMS folks.