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OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

 
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Nader Omar_1
Occasional Contributor

OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

I just want to know if anyone has experience of using HDS 9960 storage subsystem in connection with OpenVMS.
Please let me know. I need your advoice.

Regards

Nader Omar
14 REPLIES 14
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

The HDS 9960 is the base hardware for HP's old XP512 storage array, right? The XP512 is supported by OpenVMS, but the XP arrays use a different firmware than the HDS ones.

OpenVMS needs to get told the unit number (e.g. $1$DGA55:, unit=55) by the storage array. That is done through a vendor-specific SCSI mode page. If that is not supported by the HDS9960 - forget it.

I have seen a presentation from an IBM employee who was describing the tasks to make their 'shark' array work with OpenVMS - not an easy task. They had to make OpenVMS specific adjustments to the failover handling.
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Jeff Wolfe_1
Frequent Advisor
Solution

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

Are you refering to the Hitachi Data Systems storage systems? If so, we just installed a HDS 9500 unit with 1 TB. We are still in the testing stage, but so far so good. I have created different storage sets Raid 0+1 and Raid 5. The OS sees everything fine. I have even installed VMS on 20 GB partition and booted the system successfully. I would still be running it if I hadn't run into a Multinet bug with 7.3-2 that killed everything.

Let me know if you have any other specific questions.

Regards,

Jeff
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

The HDS9500 ('Thunder') is a different system than the HSD9900 ('Lightning'), however, I have just checked both product descriptions and Hitachi claims they both support OpenVMS.
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Nader Omar_1
Occasional Contributor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

More specific:
I want to install either VMS7.31 or VMS7.32 on a System Disk in HDS9960 and boot my system from this system disk. I have also read that HDS 9960 suports VMS but it does not say which version of VMS. I just want to know if anyone has tested VMS731 or VMS732 with HDS9960.
Thanks
Mike Naime
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

We are also looking at alternatives to the HSG/EVA storage controllers. We have asked this same question on COMP.OS.VMS about the experience of THUNDER and LIGHTNING systems for VMS. So far no responce.

Part of the problem is that a lot of folks that use the systems do not get out to COV or ITRC. I know that my co-workers do not use these forums regularly, although they do use the patch website. Part of that may be the dislike of ITRC vs the old patch website that you saw on COV for months.

I only found out about COV last year. Before that I really did not spend personal time on work related forums. :-)

The other problem is that some employers do not want you to say anything about your company operations outside of the company. And you may be hesitant to post in a public forum that same information.

Mike Naime
VMS SAN mechanic
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

One of our customers is planning to move from HSG and HDS to EVA. They are a Tru64 Unix shop.

Mike,
I have been with INFO-VAX since 1986 - it is too bad that you haven't seen the good old INFO-VAX/COV...
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Mike Naime
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

Uwe:

I spent most of the 90's as a Government Contractor running combat sims for the Army. That is where I learned VMS the OJT way. We were usually sitting on WAN sytems behind a crypto key. I did get to travel to Germany at least every other year, and I spent 2+ months (3 trips) in the Geisen depot area for Reforger 92'.

I knew about the existence of the Usenet Newsgroups from my wife who read/subscribed from her university work account. But I did not start reading newsgroups until after we got cable modem installed at home. One of my new co-workers at my present job was talking about COV one day. That got me started there.
VMS SAN mechanic
Mike Naime
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

Nader:

It looks like either HP or Hitachi is going to get us a loaner XP1024 installed into our new Data Center sometime next month. So I may be able to answer your question in about a month or two.

Mike Naime
VMS SAN mechanic
Tanner_3
Occasional Visitor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

We are runing OpenVMS (currently 7.3-1) with HP XP1024 and XP512 (HDS Lightning 9900 Series)since almost two years at a big customer site in switzerland.
After some (boot) problems with 7.2-2 the storage is runing fine and stable.
You have to keep in mind that you can not set ID's at the LUN's (like with EVA,HSG) therefore you can not control the DGAxxx unit number on the storgae subsystem (its derived from the LUN WWID).
And take care about setting the right host mode.
An other problem is the WWID Manager to setup the boot device -quickset does only recognize the first path the other pathes (to the boot device) has to be configured manualy.
regards peter
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

Ouch! That looks like a hack to me if unit numbers cannot be assigned by the system/storage manager. What happens if you want to use two arrays?

Last year I was able to attend a session held by an IBM consultant who told a bit about their work to make their 'Shark' storage array compatible with OpenVMS. OpenvMS requires a vendor-specific SCSI mode page to contain the unit number and the IBM people abused another field in their user interface to set that number.

You _always_ have to take care about the proper 'host mode'! I have heard a tale obout an AlphaServer GS160 running a big SAP R/3 instance that crashed because the OPERATING_SYSTEM was improperly set on the HSG connections.

So it looks like Hitachi/HP have slightly improved their arrays for AlphaServer support. I remember when one of your customers bought a Lightning it took HDS (and/or some subcontractor) quite some time to have Tru64 Unix properly recognize the disks. At that time a poll via WWIDMGR on the console trapped the program in an endless cycle - we could see constant activity on the switch port.


Mike, what is the 'OJT way'? Is that like being thrown into cold water to 'learn swimming'?
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Mike Naime
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

Uwe: That is about it. I had someone to show me the basics of how the simulator and VMS worked. The rest I had to figure out myself. I spent the better part of 2 years in HELP during my thumb-twiddle time on 12 hour shifts waiting for something to break.

I learned Alphaserver/SAN/HSG setup a very similar way. Someone showed me the basics, and I read the manuals from there.

I did get to attend a week long in-house training course for the EVA. (Model 1) but that really did not prepare us for an actual implementation, or using the SSSU.
VMS SAN mechanic
Uwe Zessin
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

I see. Judging from your posts here and on comp.os.vms I'd say you have done a good job, my compliments.

The EVA is a pretty complicated thing. It takes some time to grasp the basics - I speak from experience ;-)
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Mike Naime
Honored Contributor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

I now have a 20TB Thunder on loan from Hitachi installed. We should begin testing it in the next week or so. The Loaner XP1024 from HP should arrive any day.

Mike
VMS SAN mechanic
arun sanghvi
Occasional Advisor

Re: OpenVMS and the Storage subsystem HDS 9960

What version of VMS  are you using with HDS 9960?

 

Thanks.