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VAX Multi-Site Cluster

Occasional Visitor

VAX Multi-Site Cluster

Does anybody know of sites that are still doing VAX-to-VAX multisite clustering? I need to prove to our network group that this can still be done.
John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX Multi-Site Cluster


OpenVMS is OpenVMS. VAX, Alpha or Integrity, the only significant difference is performance and scalability.

The intersite cluster interconnect of choice today is gigabit ethernet. For some older VAXes there may not be a native gigabit adapter, but that doesn't really matter as long as there's some network switch your VAX can connect to which reaches the gigabit.

Provided your VAXes can "see" each other directly, and you satisfy the latency requirements for an OpenVMS Cluster, you can definitely create a VAX only multi site cluster. You can also add Alpha and/or Integrity systems to the same cluster.
A crucible of informative mistakes
Bart Zorn_1
Trusted Contributor

Re: VAX Multi-Site Cluster

You should also remember that most network groups either do not understand that there is more than tcp/ip or do not want to support anything else but tcp/ip.

For OpenVMS clustering you need a level 2 network connection (aka a bridged VLAN). A level 2 tunnel over ip is probably not an option because it imposes too much latency.

HTH (probably not...)

Bart Zorn
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX Multi-Site Cluster

The network group need to be EDUCATED, not persuaded. It's VMS, so if it worked in the past, it will work today. The only problem you may have is connectivity. 10Mb ethernet (standard on VAX) is not the wisest solution nowadays. But luckily, there are 10/100Mb UTP Ethernet cards for VAX (Not by Digital/Compaq/Hp, obviously, but from Nemonix (http://nemonixengineering.com)) so that shouldn't be the problem.
Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX Multi-Site Cluster

FDDI is often used for VAX intersite links.

There are FDDI to ethernet gateways like these http://www.dnpg.com/ which help.
Purely Personal Opinion
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX Multi-Site Cluster


technically there are no issues. Period.

Quite another story is organisatorial.

By far the wisest advise I ever received on the topic is the statement (well, call it a conundrum):
The cluster interconnect is _NOT_ a network component, it is the _SYSTEM BUS_,
although it uses network technology, of course.
( (c) Tom Speake, former Manager Disaster Tolerant Computing, DEC)

Try as hard as you can to convince Management that you need some DEDICATED wires, and those should be managed by _VMS SYSTEM MANAGEMENT._

But once again, NO technical issues!




Have one on me.

Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Willem Grooters
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX Multi-Site Cluster

Cluster traffic is NO IP traffic. SCS is a protocol in itself, and cannot be routed (AFAIK). The VAXen must therefore be connected over ONE network - a connection of their own is the best solution.
This might not exist in the perception of the network group - especially when raised in Windows and Unix environments, their idea of "network" is "IP". That there could be other protocols is beyond their horizon.
Willem Grooters
OpenVMS Developer & System Manager
Michael Yu_3
Valued Contributor

Re: VAX Multi-Site Cluster


Back in the old days when we had MDF for VAX(Multi Data Centre Facility), FDDI was a must.

Thanks and regards.