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VAX to Alpha migration any info

Victor Mendham
Regular Advisor

VAX to Alpha migration any info

Looking for info, whitepapers, case studies on migrating from VAX(32) to Alpha servers(64).

I have a PM in Europe asking me for any of the above for a possible buisness opportunity.

Does anyone have any links, or docs which they can share on experiences etc.


Vic Mendham
Bojan Nemec
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX to Alpha migration any info


There are many informations on VAX to Alpha migration. You can start from there: http://h71000.www7.hp.com/advantage/index.html

From this page, you can enter "migration vax" in the search field at the top of this page. You will receive many pages with this subject.

I did this many times on many different sites and is it not a so hard work. You must make an inventory of all software running on the VAX. For inhouse software you must see if there exist sources, because this is the easiear way, if sources does not exist you can use the VEST utility to translate VAX images to Alpha images. For the noninhouse software you must see if it was ported to Alpha.

Martin Vorlaender
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX to Alpha migration any info

I had a customer migrating a COBOL application from VAX to Alpha. This was implemented by ex-IBMers who wrote a low-level MACRO SMG-like thingie to have the same mask-driven API they were used to on IBM OSes.

There was a subtle error in there in that they used the address directly following string constant descriptor instead of the dsc$a_pointer field. This worked on VAX, but didn't on Alpha. Needless to say it took some time to work this one out. IIRC, not much more work had to be put into it, i.e. all the PASCAL and COBOL sources compiled with little intervention.

After replacing the faulty intraction, the application magically started to work.

Honored Contributor

Re: VAX to Alpha migration any info

Hi Vic,
I made migration to alpha some years ago. No big problem.
Source cobol migrated without trouble.
Source C migrated with some trouble; mainly you have to use Decc qualifier, then analyze code to make 64 bit version.
For shared image, VEST worked fine.
Linking of shared images on alpha is different from vax; on vax you need a macro source with entry table, on alpha you can create the entry table by link (more simple).
RSM files worked fine form vax to vms without conversion.
However, today, I hint make migration to Itanium, not to alpha.

Antonio Vigliotti
Antonio Maria Vigliotti
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX to Alpha migration any info

didier morandi wrote some interesting newsletters on migration from VAX systems.
Purely Personal Opinion
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: VAX to Alpha migration any info


not so much on moving a program from Vax to Alpha, but on the general migration process:

the way we did it, was to ADD an Alpha to the Vax cluster, so we could continue running the Vax programs as long as needed, and switch any program to Alpha as soon as it was available.
And because they were in a single cluster, any data from one program needed by another was simply on-disk in the cluster, so NO extra issues there (I don't know about your site, but WE had a lot of programs that either shared data, or produced data to be used by another program).
As migration progressed, we added Alpha's and removed Vaxen, until we were an Alpha-only site.

And it looks like this will be the recipe for moving to IA64 as well, the timing mostly decided by the availability of the software.



Have one on me.

Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.