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To FIS or not to FIS (i.e. order Factory-Installed Software)?

 
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MichelleP_1
Advisor

To FIS or not to FIS (i.e. order Factory-Installed Software)?

I'm curious what others think about whether to order VMS factory-installed on new systems.

I'm thinking that if a node is going to be standalone and use the local disk as the system disk it could be convenient, but in the case of nodes that will be in a cluster and/or booted to a SAN disk it would be less hassle to just do fresh install(s) (or "add node" with cluster config).

Regards,
Michelle
7 REPLIES 7
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: To FIS or not to FIS (i.e. order Factory-Installed Software)?

Michelle,

a. standalone: FIS usually is just fine, unless you have scripted all kinds of config changes, like system-disk offloads and startup pre-cooked (once we did a lot of turnkey application cluster deliveries; we have used that scrip MANY times); in which case it becomes rather irrelevant.
b1. clusternode with own local system disk: well, a. pretty much applies
b2. system disk with cluster-common system disk: FIS will just we discarded; do cluster_config add_node and keep your $$
b3a. exiting system disk SAN disk: pretty much one of previous will apply
b3b. new system disk SAN disk: look under a. New install can be directly to SAN, FIS is local, then do an image backup to SAN.
MOUNT the SAN sysdisk-to-be, change the relevant startup physical device names, and reboot from SAN.

hth

Proost.

Have one on me.

jpe
Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: To FIS or not to FIS (i.e. order Factory-Installed Software)?

Your question strikes me as somewhat odd. There seems an obvious answer (it's free, it's sometimes useful, and there's no particular downside given it's equally easy to nuke and pave), which makes me wonder if there are other considerations here. If I'm missing some aspect of the question here. What might your concern(s) be here? How often are you deploying boxes?
MichelleP_1
Advisor

Re: To FIS or not to FIS (i.e. order Factory-Installed Software)?

Granted, Hoff, it's cheap, but it's not free.
MichelleP_1
Advisor

Re: To FIS or not to FIS (i.e. order Factory-Installed Software)?

Hoff, Like I said, I was just curious... wondering if I as missing some logic or if it was just standard practice to quote each system sold with FIS. Like ordering [media and] doc and associated updates for each node, only without the environmental impact of wasted paper, shipping and desk space. In this particular case a customer is setting up a new 5 node I64 cluster that will boot from the SAN.

Regards,
Michelle
Steven Schweda
Honored Contributor

Re: To FIS or not to FIS (i.e. order Factory-Installed Software)?

I like knowing that I have everything I need
to do the installation myself, so that when
the disk explodes, I don't need to buy
another system with FIS to get back to where
I started. If I do the installation, then I
(can) know exactly what was installed.

OS installation time provides a nice
opportunity to read the manuals, too.
Bob Blunt
Respected Contributor

Re: To FIS or not to FIS (i.e. order Factory-Installed Software)?

Michelle, if you're buying a group of nodes and sharing disks like in a cluster with SCSI or SAN as the boot device then my feeling is get it on one and leave it off the others. There isn't a great reason to have multiple copies of FIS on local disks for a clustered setup especially if there's additional cost for the added copies on disk. If you're building multiple standalone systems then it might make sense if you don't have a lot of customization to run your environment(s). All of our lab systems had different software so the first order of business was to locate a bootable CD and build it on the system disk for the node/cluster with the version of VMS necessary.

If you already have distribution and need to save the added expense then skip the FIS...

bob
Andy Bustamante
Honored Contributor

Re: To FIS or not to FIS (i.e. order Factory-Installed Software)?

There's one answer that you can rely on in the VMS world, "It depends."

Having a system disk may be a time saver, especially if you don't have other systems or are ready to rename or reconfigure networking. On the other hand, loading an operating system from scratch and applying patches can be a good training exercise.

When I was with a reseller, I used to restore a stock backup for stand alone systems and follow with the renaming steps in the VMS FAQ, http://labs.hoffmanlabs.com/node/589. We used to bundle and qualify ECO's and wanted new systems to match our current patch level.

On a SAN or older shared storage, cluster config makes it easy, particularly with shared system disk. With a SAN, you don't need to order internal storage so FIS isn't an option.

If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? Reach me at first_name + "." + last_name at sysmanager net