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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Hobbyists and OpenVMS | How I Use OpenVMS
Author Some questions about clustering
commodorejohn
Member

Posts: 11
Joined: 19.11.12
Posted on November 30 2014 15:59
I recently acquired a MicroVAX 3100/90, my second VAX system. Since I now have two VAXen, I thought it might be interesting to try setting up a little two-machine VMS cluster, particularly since both of my systems complement the shortcomings of each other (the 3100/90 is about twice as fast as the 4000/60 by the benchmarks I've seen, while the 4000/60 has a video card and a bigger, faster hard drive.) But I don't actually know that much about VMS clusters aside from that they exist. I'm currently looking through some of the documentation, but I figure it can't hurt to ask some of the basic questions I have:

* I know that a VMS cluster consists of separate instances of the operating system running on separate machines. To what extent can they share a workload, aside from sharing disk storage? Can VMS, say, assign processes launched from one machine to run on another? Can it do so automatically based on some criteria (for example, launching compiles on the faster machine,) or does it have to be specified?
* I know X Windows was designed for this from the start, so I assume it should be possible to run DECWindows programs on the 3100/90 and have them display on the 4000/60?
* On a tangentially-related note, is it possible to set up any kind of RAID-style disk striping/mirroring? The 3100/90 has four rather pokey 406MB hard drives, and I don't have the play budget to replace them with something newer, but striping data two or four ways across them should get the throughput up a bit.
Edited by commodorejohn on November 30 2014 16:00
Author RE: Some questions about clustering
Bruce Claremont
Member

Posts: 620
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on December 01 2014 02:13
You have lots of reading to do. smiley

- To what extent can they share a workload, aside from sharing disk storage?

If using a cluster alias, VMS can be configured to workload balance.

- Can VMS, say, assign processes launched from one machine to run on another?

Only on process launch, not in flight.

- Can it do so automatically based on some criteria (for example, launching compiles on the faster machine,) or does it have to be specified?

Use batch queues assigned to specific nodes for this type of thing.

- On a tangentially-related note, is it possible to set up any kind of RAID-style disk striping/mirroring?

RAID/Striping would be hardware dependent. You can shadow/mirror using VMS Shadow sets.
Author RE: Some questions about clustering
commodorejohn
Member

Posts: 11
Joined: 19.11.12
Posted on December 01 2014 07:19
Only on process launch, not in flight.

Plenty good enough for my purposes (though I'd like to see the system that can move running processes across machines!) Mainly it would just be useful to be have intensive stuff like Mosaic or VAX C run on the 3100, since it's so much faster.

RAID/Striping would be hardware dependent. You can shadow/mirror using VMS Shadow sets.

So it looks from the overview like shadowing provides redundancy, but doesn't really improve read performance? I suppose that could be useful (the drives in the 3100 are kind of old, so redundancy for the boot volume could be nice, and I don't plan on doing a lot of access to them since I've got a newer, zippier drive in the 4000.)

(Speaking of sharing storage access, I see that I can set up a multiple-host SCSI connection for this purpose - I'm assuming that the drives in both systems have to have unique SCSI IDs? What about the host controllers? Can that be set from the firmware prompt?)
Edited by commodorejohn on December 01 2014 07:25
Author RE: Some questions about clustering
Bruce Claremont
Member

Posts: 620
Joined: 07.01.10
Posted on December 02 2014 01:42
You need specific hard to set up a DSSI shared SCSI cluster. I believe you will be limited to a network cluster with your present hardware. You could easily build and cluster in a Simh virtual VAX for faster and larger storage.

Shadowing helps performance in that in provides multiple spindles to read/write data.
Author RE: Some questions about clustering
malmberg
Moderator

Posts: 530
Joined: 15.04.08
Posted on December 02 2014 03:41
As far as I know, there are no supported multiple host SCSI configurations for VAX.

Shadowing may speed up reading as the first read to actually complete completes the I/O. Shadowing slows down writes as both writes must complete to complete the I/O.

I have not yet tested this, but have considered setting up a SimH/VAX system to be dedicated as a cluster node only to LAVC serve disks to VMS clusters. For the older VAXen, the 10 Mb 1/2 duplex speed would be the main limitation.
Author RE: Some questions about clustering
muddflapp
Member

Posts: 17
Location: Texas
Joined: 01.06.21
Posted on June 05 2021 09:39
I have done this:
Connect the external SCSI from my 3100-38 to my external SCSI on my 4000-60.
Powered on the 3100-38 but don't boot.
Powered up and and typed >>> show device
4000-60 sees 3100-38 disks along with it's own as long as SCSI ID's don't match
Boot the 4000-60 and read/write to the 3100-38 disks along with the 4000-60 disks.
Haven't done this since 2009 and my 4000-60 H7819-AA power supply is dead and the 3100-38 power switch is faulty (so I leave it turned on and power off the power strip)
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malmberg
August 04 2022
No more VAX hobbyist licenses. Community licenses for Alpha/IA64/X86_64 VMS Software Inc. Commercial VMS software licenses for VAX available from HPE.

ozboomer
July 20 2022
Just re-visiting.. No more hobbyist licenses? Is that from vmssoftware.com, no 'community' licenses?

valdirfranco
July 01 2022
No more hobbyist license...sad

mister_wavey
February 12 2022
I recall that the disks failed on the public access VMS systems that included Fafner

parwezw
January 03 2022
Anyone know what happened to FAFNER.DYNDS.ORG? I had a hobbyist account here but can longer access the site.

gtackett
October 27 2021
Make that DECdfs _2.1A_ for Vax

gtackett
October 27 2021
I'm looking for DECdfs V2.4A kit for VAX. Asking here just in case anyone is still listening.

MarkRLV
September 17 2021
At one time, didn't this web site have a job board? I would love to use my legacy skills one last time in my career.

malmberg
January 18 2021
New Hobbyist PAKs for VAX/VMS are no longer available according to reports. Only commercial licenses are reported to be for sale from HPE

dfilip
January 16 2021
Can someone please point me to hobbyist license pak? I'm looking for VAX/VMS 7.1, DECnet Phase IV, and UCX/TCPIP ... have the 7.1 media, need the license paks ... thanks!

Bart
October 16 2020
OpenVMS, and this website!

malmberg
September 05 2020
VSI community non-commercial licenses for AXP/IA64 are available now.

malmberg
September 05 2020
See the forum about licensing. Don't know if HPE hobby licenses still being issued. Commercial licenses still being sold.

silfox70
September 01 2020
I need the license for OpenVMS7.3. Where can I find them?

malmberg
August 29 2020
Eisner, which is currently being moved, got an SSH update and the keys were updated to more modern encryption standards.

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