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Connecting AlphaServers

 
Connecting Alpha's
Occasional Visitor

Connecting AlphaServers

Hello,

I have two AlphaServers 1000 4/266. One of them is down (A1) and I need to recover the original data from the other one (A2) which has the master data.

What I want to do is to connect A1 through an ethernet hub to A2.

The hub has a rear button for normal or uplink operation. I know that A1 has to be in the uplink mode operation but, I don't get communication. The uplink mode is not lit.

I tried setting up the ethernet card to AUI mode, Twisted pair and BNC through the command set ewa0_mode xxxxx and nothing. It does not have auto-negociate mode available.

A1 ethernet card does not power on the AUI transceiver either.

Any feedback is truly appreciated.

pablo
15 REPLIES 15
Bill Pedersen
Regular Advisor

Re: Connecting AlphaServers

Pablo, your description of your configuration tends to drift and not provide an accurate picture of the network environment.

With a network hub you should not need to worry about uplinks. Both systems are on the same level. The uplink is only if you go to another hub.

You need to get your systems to communicate on twisted pair. Now if the network adapters have the RJ45 connector outlets then you should be able to plug the twisted pair cables into this and then select twisted pair from the console.

If you only have AUI then you will need an AUI/Twisted pair adapter (or MAU - Media Access Unit) to plug on the end of your AUI cable and then into the ethernet hub.

The above is assuming you have an RJ45/twisted pair hub. Now if what you are talking about is a DELNI, which is the old AUI "hub". If that is the case you still have all the systems on the same level and you do not need to worry about uplinks. Actually with the AUI oriented DELNI they talked about Local and Global and there was a connector at one end to allow connection to the next "level" and to enable this the unit needed to be enabled for "Global" operation.

And of course if you are using a DELNI or similar you need to make sure the network adapters are using the AUI interfaces.

Hope this helps.

Good luck.

Bill.
Bill Pedersen
CCSS - Computer Consulting System Services, LLC
Highlighted
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: Connecting AlphaServers

> One of them is down (A1) and I need to
> recover the original data from the other
> one (A2) which has the master data.

What, exactly, does that mean? If a system
is "down", then what will you gain by adding
it to a network?

> What I want to do is to connect A1 through
> an ethernet hub to A2.

Ok. What kind of hardware is this? Twisted
pair? Something else?

> I tried setting up the ethernet card [...]

You should set it to agree with the actual
hardware (wiring). I don't know what kind of
wiring (or hub) you have.

> The hub [...]

Not a very detailed description.

> [...] has a rear button for normal or
> uplink operation. I know that A1 has to be
> in the uplink mode operation [...]

I don't know that.
Steve Reece_3
Trusted Contributor

Re: Connecting AlphaServers

Hi Pablo,

You've said that A1 is down, but don't tell us more. Does this mean that it's booted but not accessible on the network? Is it dead? Is it powering up but not booting? You'll need to tell us more on that.

What kind of network cards do you have in the systems? What kind of wiring are you trying to use?

Twisted pair is typically used when you're using a hub. This ends in RJ45 connections but you wouldn't need to set either of the ports on the hub into uplink - it should work without that.

BNC is the easiest network to use if the two systems are close to each other since there are no hubs, no switches, just a single piece of coaxial cable, a couple of tee-pieces and a couple of terminators.

Steve
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: Connecting AlphaServers

pablo,

Welcome to the HP ITRC OpenVMS forum.

As has already been mentioned, more information is needed. In addition to the other questions, I will ask if the systems were networked to each other before the problem with A1. If the two machines, using correctly wired cables are plugged into the "normal" hub ports, the position of the uplink switch should be irrelevant (most Ethernet hubs that I have seen have more than two ports; the uplink port controls the mode of one, generally clearly labeled port).

"Connecting the two machines" is more than a question of simply wiring, it is also a question of configuring software so that the machines can actually communicate using the physical connection. Are we using DECnet, TCP/IP? What versions for each/both? Are both machines now running? What other peripherals does each machine have?

If these are production systems, I have to also suggest bringing someone with more in-depth experience into the problem. There are dangers of making diagnoses and prescribing online [Disclosure: We provide, as do several other frequent contributors to this forum, consulting services in this area].

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Connecting Alpha's
Occasional Visitor

Re: Connecting AlphaServers

Hello,

and thank you all for your help.

There is one alpha server (1000 4/266 RM). Last time it crashed and, it was turned off without the appropriate commands. When it was turned on again, some important files were not in the directory anymore. This disk has to be recovered from the AlphaServer 1000 4/266 where the original backup is located.

I am sending some pictures of the hub. I have twisted pair cables, bnc cables and the AUI transceiver to twisted pair and one from AUI to BNC.

In normal operation mode, the hub shows that both alphas are connected. The backup server is then configured to "listen" over the ethernet cards through the hub. The "boot ewa0" is entered in the alpha that needs to be recovered (in the >>> prompt). When listening, the backup alpha is set to "mcr ncp alpha hardware address (ethernet MAC address from the alpha to be recovered)" for example but, it shows a bootstrap failure message.

From the >>> prompt, I can choose between Twisted Pair (default), BNC, AUI, full duplex (TP), Fast and FastFD only, by typing "set ewa0_mode (option)". When AUI is selected, the AUI module does not turn on.

Please help. Thank you very much for this mentoring,

Pablo.
RBrown_1
Trusted Contributor

Re: Connecting AlphaServers


Pablo:

You say A1 crashed and then was powered off without the appropriate commands.

What do you mean "crashed"? If VMS crashed and you ended up at the >>> prompt, I can't think of what further commands are required before turning it off.

What caused the crash? Was there a crash dump?

I don't understand why you are trying to use the twisted pair transceiver. If you directly connect the twisted pair from the Alpha to the hub, does the hub think that something is there?

I am suspecting a hardware problem. Which caused the crash, the file loss, and the broken ethernet.

What does the power-on self-test tell you about the ethernet and the rest of the box?

What version of VMS? Are the two boxes in a cluster? What are the votes and quorum etc.?

Do both machines network boot? Or only A1 from A2?

If A1 only network boots, and the network boot fails, how did you determine that there was a file missing from A1?

If you normally boot from the A1 local disk then why network boot now?

Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: Connecting AlphaServers

pablo,

Ok. I took a look at the picture of the hub. It is almost a certainty that the AUI connector on the hub is useless for this purpose (it exists to connect the hub to an AUI transceiver attached to an Ethernet cable; in other words a way to connect the hub to an upstream corporate wiring plant).

From the last posting about booting the system to be recovered from the other system, it appears that the systems could be setup in a variety of ways. One of these is an OpenVMS cluster using satellite boot, but that is only a possibility.

The transceiver (the box connected to the Alphaserver's AUI port) needs to be connected with a twisted pair CAT5 wire with RJ45 plugs to the hub.

Once again, extreme caution is recommended. If the system is set up in a non-standard way, the standard recommendations may create more problems.

What is your experience level on OpenVMS?

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Connecting Alpha's
Occasional Visitor

Re: Connecting AlphaServers

Hello Robert Gezelter and RBrown,

I want to specify that the computer just froze and it was turned off by the operator.

So, there is no crash dump message.
These alphas are not connected to a network. We just connect the backup server in order to retrieve the necessary information to another server in order to keep it with the original data in this case. This is a quick and dirty solution for now.

This computer runs exclusive checkers for semi test purposes. Thatâ s why I want to retrieve the data that is in the backup server.

Computers are running under OpenVMS V6.2, the votes and expected votes are currently set at 1 (default: 1). I donâ t know how to pull the quorum info.

I wanted to use the transceiver for a trial and error step in order to boot from the backup server and then transfer all the backup info to the A1 alpha. I did this with the bnc too but, nothing.

The boot is performed locally from the A1 disk. Now I need to have these checkers loaded back here. Thatâ s why I need to network boot in order to pull the original data from the backup server.

My experience on Open VMS is at a basic level. I have learned a lot from you.

Thanks a lot for your attention guys,

Pablo.
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: Connecting AlphaServers

Pablo,

You are welcome.

Can you please clarify what you mean by "This computer runs exclusive checkers for semi test purposes."

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com