Operating System - OpenVMS
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

 
Cynthia Bowen
Occasional Advisor

porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

I am not doing a standard upgrade. I need to port software from an existing system - DEC 7000 series 700 running VMS v 7.2 to a whole new computer - DS25 running 8.3.

I cannot see how installing the VMS 7.3-2 and recompiling my code on the new DS25 is worthwhile.

Since I have to move my code from the old machine to the new machine and recompile anyway, why can't I just move straight to the 8.3?

We are running RDB, COBOL and C code with some FMS and Forms. There is nothing fancy in the code. Read some data, update and send it back with a lot of report generation.

We believe we can migrate the code and compile without any real issues. We need confirmation on this.

HP support sent links about upgrades. This is not a standard upgrade.

Please help. Thanks
17 REPLIES 17
Wim Van den Wyngaert
Honored Contributor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Cynthia,

I think HP means that you need to upgrade in 2 steps. 1 going to 7.3-2 and 1 going to 8.3. You don't have to "port" to 7.3-2. Only get the system running and upgrade again. And compile on 8.3.

Wim
Wim
Cynthia Bowen
Occasional Advisor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Again, why?? When the 8.3 will be on a new computer? Why not just installt he 8.3 and go from there? Why waste time to achieve the same end result?
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Cynthia,

welcome to the OpenVMS ITRC forum.

If you know all the details for your system setup, including accounts, logicals, startup procedures etc. then a new install of V8.3 and all the layered products should give the same result as an upgrade.

The upgrade (via V7.3-2 to V8.3) on the other hand, preserves all your setups and procedures on the system disk, which sometimes is easier than trying to integrate all site-specific changes after a fresh installation.

Volker.
Cynthia Bowen
Occasional Advisor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Once again... New computer. New system disk. I have to move most/all of my functioning system files over to the new system. Disks will be named the same. Using existing startup files, print and batch queues will get named the same. The only real issue is compiling the code. Will there be any pitfalls in recompiling the code??
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Cynthia,

you would probably need to install a new version of RDB on V8.3 anyway. And new versions of the compilers and FMS/FORMS.

So you will be compiling in a different environment and yes, there could be problems.

Regarding the upgrade, at least the first step needs to be done on the existing DEC 7000 system, as V7.2 does not support a DS25. After that, you could do the rest of the upgrade on the DS25.

Volker.
Hein van den Heuvel
Honored Contributor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Hi there Cynthia, fancy meeting you here :-)

The DEC 7000 is one of the early, bigger (physically :-) Alpha's in a VAX compatible frame. It's just an EV4 @ 185 Mhz. So even 'loaded' with 6 CPUs (especially with 6 CPUs :-) the performance while 'high-end' in 1992 will be very modest by DS25 Standard.
So this customer can look forward to a massive performance improvement.

Anyway, yeah you can just install 8.3, but you'll need to carefully bring over stuff like SYSUAF, Rightslist and VMSMAIL_PROFILE and so on. An upgrade brings all that along.

The do not HAVE to compile/link the code. They can just copy over the images and be happy.

IF they choose to compile and link, THEN they should do so aggresively with /ACH=EV68 *check spelling!) or some such and not look back.


Cheers,
Hein.
Cynthia Bowen
Occasional Advisor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Hein!

You are wonderful. That is what I was hoping to hear.

If you still have my personal email, please stay in touch.

Thank you so much all of you for this help. I really appreciate it.
John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Cynthia,
(DEC Edu in Oz sometime around '89 '90?)

As Hein said, you don't need to recompile or relink your applications.

You CAN install V8.3 and copy all your system "personality" files to the new disk, BUT you need to know exactly which files to copy. See the comments in SYLOGICALS.TEMPLATE for the most complete list of files to consider.

You also need to worry about licenses. You can't move your OPENVMS-ALPHA from the 7000 to the DS25. Even if it were legal, it probably wouldn't work. You may be able to transfer other license PAKs.

It MAY be simpler and faster to go the upgrade path. If you go via V8.2, do a minimal upgrade for V8.2 to save time, and one extra reboot before starting the next one.
A crucible of informative mistakes
DECxchange
Regular Advisor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Hello,
You might want to check what versions of the layered products you're running. You may not necessarily need to reinstall those, because you may be running the latest version already. For example, if you are running FMS ver. 2.4, you probably won't need to reinstall it, as there probably has been no new versions issued since then. Check your layered products CD and compare it to the versions you are currently using.

Also, an upgrade will be easier than a clean VMS 8.3 install. You will essentially be starting over all of your command files that get invoked at startup, layered products, etc.
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Cynthia,

I agree with Hein.

Personally, it is far simpler to make an image copy of your existing system pack, and do the two step upgrade. The upgrade is an "in place" operation and will preserve all of your UAF and other "personality" files.

Doing an install from scratch requires far more handwork, and is more likely to have something missed.

I do not have the time at this instant, but I suspect that you may want to check what the minimum supported OpenVMS release is for the DS25 and its devices. I would do that upgrade BEFORE I switched to the new hardware.

Also, check the SPDs for the releases of the products that you are running for their compatibility with 8.3. While there is a high likelihood that your images will not need to be rebuilt, you may need to upgrade some of your layered products. In my experience, time spent doing the homework of checking versions avoids all manner of later (unpleasant) surprises.

If there are still comfort issues, consider retaining outside expertise to assist or review [Disclosure: My firm provides services in this area, as does Hein and others].

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Jan van den Ende
Honored Contributor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Cynthia,

let me start with

WELCOME to the ITRC VMS forums.

And further, I simply want to be one more voice in the choir: an upgrade + restore of image backup will be SOO much easier than a complete buildup of an entire new system!

Like Volker said, it will need to be 2-step, of which the first CANNOT be done on DS25.

You CAN however upgrade your DEC7000 to 7.3-2, and straight on to 8.3, or, after 7.3-2, copy that system disk to the DS25 and upgrade that to 8.3.

Like Bob wrote, DO do a version check of ALL layered products, and do any necessary upgrades of those.

Do not forget John's point of License issues.

And DO install the various 8.3 ECOs (also needed on a vanilla 8.3 install!)

It looks like a longer story, but really, upgrading (including a move) wins out on all fronts over fresh installS (and that plural S in capitalized with reason).

Success!

Proost.

Have one on me.

jpe


Don't rust yours pelled jacker to fine doll missed aches.
Ian Miller.
Honored Contributor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

The advantage of having a new install is loosing the historical baggage and having an opportunity to rethink the way the system is setup.

The newer versions of compilers and so on on VMS 8.3 may issue more warnings etc and these are generally worth fixing.

The only way to confirm that your applications will compile without issues in the new environment is to do it. HP can tell you about upward compatibility etc but your applications are not exactly the same as anyone elses.
____________________
Purely Personal Opinion
Cynthia Bowen
Occasional Advisor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Thank you all for your help and information. You have definitely given me something to think about as the plan has been - established long before I got here - to install the OS and all layered products from scratch. Then copy over the files from the existing system. Effectively rebuilding from scratch. That is why I have been so insistant that this isn't an upgrade.

I would like to take the approach of upgrading the 7.2 to 7.3-2 then moving to the new DS25, but the test machine and the production machine are the same machine. I have to do all the new installs and testing on the DS25... They won't let me touch the 7700. So far initial efforts to get the 7.3-2 on the DS25 have not proved successful as the disks are not known to that version of the OS. The rep was checking on patches to get our disks acknowledge when we made the decision to go straight to 8.3 and save ourselves compatability hassles.

That said my next concern is how to get the files from the 7700 to the DS25. I was expecting to COPY/FTP everything. The tape drive is so old I am pretty sure the new system won't be able to read the tapes - though I do plan on giving it a try. And DECNET was disabled here years ago - though I plan on getting that back up and running if I can, to make life with my VMS systems easier.

Does any of this change the advice you are all giving me?

Thanks
Volker Halle
Honored Contributor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Cynthia,

if you need a temporary Alpha system for running the V7.2 to V7.3-2 upgrade, how about a PersonalAlpha ?

www.personalalpha.com

This is an Alpha hardware emulator, which you can run on your Windows PC or Laptop. It can emulate the console, a network interface and up to 4 disks including a CDROM.

You would need to set up a minimum VMS system first and the copy the backup saveset of the system disk from the DEC 7600 system. Then do the upgrade to V7.3-2 on the PersonalAlpha and copy the backup of the upgraded system disk to the DS25. Then do the rest of the work on the DS25.

Volker.
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

[[[Thank you all for your help and information. You have definitely given me something to think about as the plan has been - established long before I got here - to install the OS and all layered products from scratch. Then copy over the files from the existing system. Effectively rebuilding from scratch. That is why I have been so insistant that this isn't an upgrade.]]]

I think you're getting bogged in semantics.

Installing from scratch can be a good idea for some environments.

It can be indeterminate whether an upgrade is better, or a clean installation and migration is better. If the existing environment is well-maintained and functional, an upgrade can be a good choice.

If the existing environment is a mess and there are layered products and tools that are either no longer needed, unknown, the local or vendor source code was lost or other such, then a clean installation can help bring the environment back under control.

Upgrades are less painful in various ways and are usually the choice for stable environments, but clean installs can help with maintenance and stability and reproducibility.

I've done the install and redeployed the applications, and I've cloned and upgraded and redeployed. As far as the semantics, both approaches quite easily and quite correctly considered to be "upgrades."

[[[I would like to take the approach of upgrading the 7.2 to 7.3-2 then moving to the new DS25, but the test machine and the production machine are the same machine.]]]

That's a problem.

[[[I have to do all the new installs and testing on the DS25... They won't let me touch the 7700.]]]

You need have the box dropped down for bit to get a standalone copy, if you're going to upgrade. If you're just going to play (err, practice your deployment), you might make the copy on-line and use that as the starting point. You could also use shadowing (if it's already in use here), and quiesce the box and split out a member for use as the starting volume.

I don't recommend using an on-line copy for an actual upgrade, regardless.

[[[So far initial efforts to get the 7.3-2 on the DS25 have not proved successful as the disks are not known to that version of the OS.]]]

Fibre Channel, then? Scrounge up some local SCSI giblets and use that. There are ECOs that can get FC working back then, IIRC.

[[[The rep was checking on patches to get our disks acknowledge when we made the decision to go straight to 8.3 and save ourselves compatability hassles.]]]

Yes and no. See above. You do need current patches for whichever release you end up on, regardless of the release.

[[[That said my next concern is how to get the files from the 7700 to the DS25. I was expecting to COPY/FTP everything.]]]

That's error prone at best. Mis-set the transfer mode on a file, and you end up with a corruption.

[[[The tape drive is so old I am pretty sure the new system won't be able to read the tapes - though I do plan on giving it a try. And DECNET was disabled here years ago - though I plan on getting that back up and running if I can, to make life with my VMS systems easier.]]]

DECnet is better at transferring files, but I'd look to borrow or lease some hardware. This could be a decent used DLT drive acquired from auction or (better) a rack of SCSI disks of new, semi-new, or classic vintage, and use that for the data transfer.

[[[Does any of this change the advice you are all giving me?]]]

Yes and no. You will need to upgrade some product pieces, particularly Rdb. There are probably local privileged-mode pieces, so you will need to rebuild any of those found. You may want to rebuild all your code. If you're not comfortable with this sort of processing -- whether you choose the install and migration or the upgrade and migration -- consider getting some help in if you're not comfortable with the process.

Given your comments, that DEC 7000 box is running critical production. What's an outage cost there? That's the usual path for justification of loaner hardware or a DLT drive or bringing in outside help. (I'm looking out into a snowstorm right now, and Oz seems like a nice warm place. A day spent in a series of airplanes almost sounds like a trade-off.)

Stephen Hoffman
HoffmanLabs LLC
Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Cynthia,

Some thoughts based upon your (and some other) later postings.

First, the upgrade before moving over to the DS25 remains my suggestion, partially for the problems that you describe.

The use of an emulation platform (there are several, some of which are freeware, and therefore outside of licensing issues) [as suggested by Volker] as a way to sidestep the issue or running on the DS25 environment with an old system is also a thought worth considering.

Getting files between the two systems can be done in a variety of ways, including:

- DECnet
- TCP/IP (ftp)
- if there are no network licenses, one can always use C-Kermit over LAT connections, it will work [quite efficiently if one is careful about block sizes].

Going to a virgin install is quite doable, but it can discover undocumented things in one's applications environment, and is therefore often not the best choice.

Also note that the whole system environment does not need to be moved to the emulated environment, only the system disk and the distribution media to perform the intermediate upgrades of the base OS (the layered products can be turned off till the actual DS25 is operational).

In some cases, I have also used the standalone (or a minimal distribution on a scratch disk) as a device to move over the image of an existing system disk.

There are more options in these situations than are apparent at first glance. Often, it is a good choice to minimize risk, even if it means a slightly longer path.

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com
Cynthia Bowen
Occasional Advisor

Re: porting from v.7.2 to v 8.3

Again. Thanks for all the help. Taking the current system offline for any reason would cause major issues. That's why we are migrating to the new hardware. To make the systems more stable.

OZ? Australia? Sorry. I'm in Florida. Close second?

At any rate I'll have to get back to you as I am about to go into a concall with HP to try to get over some of these hurdles.

BTW. Buying anything? Not likely to happen..

Thanks