Alphaserver/station reliability - VMS

This is a discussion on Alphaserver/station reliability - VMS ; Richard B. Gilbert wrote: > Arne Vajh°j wrote: >> JF Mezei wrote: >>> As an indication of reliability, yesterday, for Earth Hour, I decided to >>> shutdown one alpha. I figured I would use that opportunity to reboot >>> the ...

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Thread: Alphaserver/station reliability

  1. Re: Alphaserver/station reliability

    Richard B. Gilbert wrote:
    > Arne Vajh°j wrote:
    >> JF Mezei wrote:
    >>> As an indication of reliability, yesterday, for Earth Hour, I decided to
    >>> shutdown one alpha. I figured I would use that opportunity to reboot
    >>> the alpha in a special satellite mode without a local page file,
    >>> allowing me to do an image backup of the main system disk to that
    >>> workstation's disk.
    >>>
    >>> It had been so long since I rebooted a machine that i had to take out
    >>> the boom for the magic incantation of the boot command to get it into
    >>> sysboot mode.

    >>
    >>
    >> In my opinion planned reboots every 4 months or so is a good thing
    >> to keep people and startup scripts uptodate.
    >>
    >> Consider the famous irish rail system with 17 years of uptime.
    >>
    >> I assume that it did come up fine, but imagine if it had not.
    >>
    >> Guy at the console: hey it does not start up properly - has
    >> anyone changed anything in the startup scripts ?
    >>
    >> Group of other guys: since when ?
    >>
    >> Guy at the console: within the last 17 years !

    >
    > But if you never restarted it in 17 years, why did you need to modify
    > the startup scripts?


    If something was installed that did not require a reboot.

    > And if you are going to keep a cluster running continuosly for 17 years
    > I think you probably should have a test cluster on which you test all
    > changes before putting them in production!


    Likely.

    But possibly not or the test system is only used to test apps not
    OS config or the script did not make for the install kit or ...

    Arne

  2. Re: Alphaserver/station reliability

    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Arne_Vajh=F8j?= writes:

    >ewilts@ewilts.org wrote:
    >> On Mar 30, 8:54 pm, Arne Vajh°j wrote:
    >>> Consider the famous irish rail system with 17 years of uptime.

    >>
    >> That's *cluster*, not *system*.


    >Sure ?


    >I always thought it was a single system.


    That was a single system. A VAX 750 if I recall correctly.

    I have heard from a reliable source that that record has since been
    broken, but I have no details whatsoever.

  3. RE: Alphaserver/station reliability



    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: Michael Moroney [mailto:moroney@world.std.spaamtrap.com]
    > Sent: March 31, 2008 12:13 AM
    > To: Info-VAX@Mvb.Saic.Com
    > Subject: Re: Alphaserver/station reliability
    >
    > =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Arne_Vajh=F8j?= writes:
    >
    > >ewilts@ewilts.org wrote:
    > >> On Mar 30, 8:54 pm, Arne Vajh°j wrote:
    > >>> Consider the famous irish rail system with 17 years of uptime.
    > >>
    > >> That's *cluster*, not *system*.

    >
    > >Sure ?

    >
    > >I always thought it was a single system.

    >
    > That was a single system. A VAX 750 if I recall correctly.
    >
    > I have heard from a reliable source that that record has since been
    > broken, but I have no details whatsoever.


    My understanding is that it was 2 x VAX 750's using DTO7 bus switches for
    "make before break" switching of peripherals.

    The application ran continuously for 17 years - not the base system(s).

    I have heard (not confirmed) that they were planning to replace this system
    with some sort of process control system, but do not know for sure.

    As discussed a number of times in this group, the end user Cust could not
    care less about the HW. All they care about is the service they receive
    from the applications in question.

    Typically, the only groups that care about the HW are the IT Depts, vendors,
    consultants and occasionally media analysts. And oh yes - newsgroup
    participants.

    :-)



    Regards

    Kerry Main
    Senior Consultant
    HP Services Canada
    Voice: 613-254-8911
    Fax: 613-591-4477
    kerryDOTmainAThpDOTcom
    (remove the DOT's and AT)

    OpenVMS - the secure, multi-site OS that just works.









  4. Re: Alphaserver/station reliability

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    =============================================
    wrote in message
    news:9e34ca46-b248-4099-b4ce-30d5e5959c09@m3g2000hsc.googlegroups.com...
    > This is a little bit of an open request but for the installation and
    > application I'm trying to justify it would really help me if I could
    > get some 'real' uptime data from the wider industry on how reliable
    > AlphaServers are. I know they have outstanding performance and are
    > used by half of wall street etc. but it would be great to know from
    > the real guys who have to keep these things running the real facts
    > behind the claims.
    > The two models I'm interested in are Alphaserver DS25 (a number of,
    > both single and dual processor) and an Alphastation DS15. All will be
    > running Tru64 Unix 5.1b.
    > Simple feedback such as "Typical application, date installed, MTBF/
    > uptime/failure rate etc., whether frequently power-cycled or running
    > 24/7" would be great. Direct contact details to confirm this would
    > also be appreciated but not essential.
    > The reason for this request is to support the use of the Alphas in a
    > mission-critical role running a legacy app as part of the business
    > justification.
    > Posting to the forum preferred but mail to hp@pearson.in also accepted
    > if confidentiality required.




  5. Re: Alphaserver/station reliability


    > "Main, Kerry" wrote in message
    >news:C72D63EB292C9E49AED23F705C61957BF62B593658@G1 W0487.americas.hpqcorp.ne

    t...


    > My understanding is that it was 2 x VAX 750's using DTO7 bus switches for
    > "make before break" switching of peripherals.


    Wow.

    Everything I ever heard about the DT07 said that although it sounded great
    on paper, the real-life MTBF of all those reed switches, directly on an
    important IO bus, had a high probability of *reducing* the overall system
    availability, rather than increasing it, because the DT07 was the least
    reliable bit in the picture, AND was a critical part of the system (DT07
    failure = system failure). Never saw one for real though so maybe it wasn't
    really that bad.

    It's a shame the 17 years uptime thing seems to have so little hard info.

    Anyway, fwiw, the logical DT07 follow-on, the MIRA Switch products, didn't
    switch the IO bus itself, but was based on rather simpler switches which
    didn't switch the whole bus, just the IO connectors for a useful selection
    of peripherals. A peripheral (typically a serial line, but other things were
    possible) could be quickly switched between two IO cards on each of two
    hosts, and if a switch did happen to fail it didn't necessarily have
    damaging consequences, especially if IO cables could be moved to temporarily
    bypass the switch(es) in a "hobble along" switchless mode. Neat, albeit not
    all that widely applicable.

    Regards
    John




  6. Re: Alphaserver/station reliability

    In article <47ED208B.1050606@comcast.net>,
    "Richard B. Gilbert" wrote:

    > Dust bunnies are a common problem but they usually do not, or are not
    > allowed to, interfere with system functionality.
    >
    > A computer does, however, act as a vacuum cleaner. Any dust it sucks up
    > will likely remain inside the machine. A reasonably clean data center
    > helps a lot. A thorough vacuum cleaning every couple of years is a good
    > idea anyway. Just remove the cover, vacuum out the dust bunnies, and
    > close it up again. With workstations used in an office environment,
    > once a year is a good idea!
    >
    > I've never heard of a dust explosion inside a computer but there's a
    > first time for everything!


    My Alpha started crashing recently. I gave it a good vacuum, reseated
    the boards, removed the second NIC which was throwing errors, and it
    hasn't crashed since.

    --
    Paul Sture

    Sue's OpenVMS bookmarks:
    http://eisner.encompasserve.org/~stu...bookmarks.html

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