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License requirements to add cpu board.

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Doug_81
Frequent Advisor

License requirements to add cpu board.

I'm running an AlphaServer 1200 5/400 and want to add a second cpu board.

Multiple calls to HP resulted in two different answers.

The question is What license upgrade is needed to add a second cpu board?

I've been told that I will need a separate OPENVMS-ALPHA license.

I've also been told that I a OPENVMS-ALPHA is insufficient. I will need to purchase and add a OPENVMS-ALPHA SMP license or the system will ignore the new cpu board.

I have another AlphaServer 1200 which is running with 2 cpu boards and has three OPENVMS-ALPHA licenses and no mention of SMP. Seems to be working ok.

Does someone know for sure what license I need to do this? I need to know for sure before the second cpu board is purchased because the additional cost of the SMP license is considerable.

Thanks,
Doug
7 REPLIES
John Gillings
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: License requirements to add cpu board.

Doug,

This comes down to the difference between TECHNICAL requirements and LEGAL requirements. (Usual disclaimer! Note that I'm not a lawyer...)

Yes you need an "SMP License", but the product name on the PAK certificate is "OPENVMS-ALPHA". Adding additional CPUs will increase the "Type A" unit requirement on your system. See

$ SHOW LICENSE/UNIT_REQUIREMENT

How much it is increased per CPU depends on the exact hardware model. But note that it's generally not possible to purchase a CPU without the license (at least from HP... if you buy the CPU from someone else, you may need to buy the license from HP, or transfer an existing license from someone else - keep that in mind when comparing prices).

Register the new PAK, assign it to a node and $ LICENSE LOAD OPENVMS-ALPHA to reload the product with the additional units.

There is no risk that the system will "ignore" the extra CPU board. A peculiarity of OpenVMS license processing is that consequences of insufficient SMP units is very mild. You will get a warning message when booting:

%LICENSE-E-NOAUTH, DEC OPENVMS-ALPHA use is not authorized on this node
-LICENSE-F-EXCEEDED, attempted usage exceeds active license limits
-LICENSE-I-SYSMGR, please see your system manager
Startup processing continuing...

and the number of interactive users who can login will be reduced by one. The CPUs will still function correctly.

There are many cases where people have installed extra CPUs but forgotten to register the PAKs. The system works "normally". Since they have a legal right to use the CPU, there is a technical problem but not a legal one.

The number of OPENVMS-ALPHA units loaded, as displayed by

$ SHOW LICENSE OPENVMS-ALPHA

should be greater or equal to the the Type A Units Required displayed by

$ SHOW LICENSE/UNIT_REQUIREMENT

If you obtain a CPU without purchasing the necessary license certificate, and you use the CPU, you're in breach of your license agreement, and may be liable to prosecution. Just because OpenVMS "lets" you use the additional CPU without the license PAK registered and loaded doesn't mean you're legally allowed to.

Repeat after me: "LMF is a license MANAGER not a license ENFORCER" ;-)
A crucible of informative mistakes
Doug_81
Frequent Advisor

Re: License requirements to add cpu board.

Thanks John.
I understand what you're saying. There are two issues here.

1. I was told that the license name required is OPENVMS-ALPHA SMP (with SMP as part of the name). My experience with other systems indicated that this is not the case.

2. I have 3 OPENVMS-ALPHA licenses: 100 units, 300 units, & 25 units already enabled on the system. As far as I'm concerned, I have met the legal requirements.

and you have confirmed my thoughts about the technical issue.

Doug
John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: License requirements to add cpu board.

Doug,

> was told that the license name required is OPENVMS-ALPHA SMP

This is correct in one sense - the PAK certificate does say "OpenVMS SMP" (on the left hand side), but the LMF product name in the LMF data part (right hand side) is OPENVMS-ALPHA.

>I have 3 OPENVMS-ALPHA licenses: 100 units, 300 units, & 25 units already enabled on the system. As far as I'm concerned, I have met the legal requirements.

Note that you require a license for each CPU, and licenses are not transferrable between CPUs without going through HP. So, just because you have enough units doesn't necessarily mean you've met legal requirements.

Your base system should require 25 units and the extra SMP CPU should have an additional 50 unit PAK. The 100 and 300 unit PAKs you have are probably for other CPUs or systems and cannot be legally used for the new CPU. Sorry...
A crucible of informative mistakes
Doug Phillips
Trusted Contributor

Re: License requirements to add cpu board.

Doug & John,

Here's what the OpenVMS SPD says:

++
For the AlphaServer ES47, ES80, and GS1280 systems, the Base License part number does not not include an SMP license for the first CPU. For these sys-tems, an SMP Extension is required for each CPU, including the first. The Operating System Base License, in combination with SMP Extensions, grants the right to use the operating system on a single, specified system model for purposes of executing remotely submitted requests for batch, print, and file services, as well
as non-interactive display of information.

2. Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) Base Extension License (QL-MT1A9-6*)
++

Note that this is a cut & paste from the actual document and it really does say that "the Base License part number does _not_ _not_ include an SMP license".

As I've said many times before: No one understands VMS licensing.

So, Doug, unless you want spend a few thousand dollars to have a lawyer try to figure it out, just do what you think is right.

Another Doug who has fought this battle too many times.
Doug_81
Frequent Advisor

Re: License requirements to add cpu board.

Interesting.... I have supported many VMS systems (both VAX & Alpha) for the past 15 years and have never seen an OPENVMS-ALPHA license with an SMP extension.

Thanks all for your input.
Doug_81
Frequent Advisor

Re: License requirements to add cpu board.

Just to let everyone know, the change worked without a hitch.

Installed the cpu board and the system accepted the licenses that were installed and started using the second board without any problems.

Thanks for all you input.
Doug_81
Frequent Advisor

Re: License requirements to add cpu board.

Thank you all for your input