VAXcluster ?'s

From: Zane H. Healy <>
Date: Sun Aug 18 21:16:00 2002

>Well, I now have the fixings for an interesting VAXcluster in the basement:
>VAX 6000 320, VAXstation 4000 90, VAXstation 3100 40 (I think), VAX 4000
>200, and some maybe-OT alphas (DEC 3000/300X, DEC 3000/700, and a DEC
>3000/800). Also a TU-81+ w/ RA-81, and a RA-91 in the 6K machine. Support
>hardware includes a DELNI, DECserver 100, and an HP bridge to segment the
>cluster off the network proper.
>Now I have to figure out how I'm going to tie it all together. The plan so
>far is to cluster all the VAXen over the DELNI. I don't have any CI
>equipment, and in any case IIRC only the 6K would be able to use it. I'm
>not positive what I'm going to do with the alphas, but I'd like at least one
>of 'em in the cluster too, maybe dual-boot them into OpenVMS or NetBSD. I
>think OpenVMS 7.? still supports the old VAXen, and from what I've heard on
>c.o.v it's recommended over the 5.5-? currently installed on three of the

Everything you've got should be supported by 7.3 for the VAXen, and 7.3-1
as soon as it's released for the Alpha's (the VAXen don't get -1 higher
releases, so the next VAX release will be 7.4 unless they go to a higher
version number). If you want to run UNIX, any cheap modern x86 box will do
a better job unless you actually need 64-bit for some reason. BTW, those
Alpha's might be slightly OT, but they're old enough that in a year or so
they won't be.

Based on the latest information posted at Montagar software it looks like,
they're hoping to have the new Hobbyist CD's (VAX V7.3 & Alpha V7.3-1)
ready by mid-September. It also looks like they still have the Alpha
Hobbyist V2 (V7.2) available. Hopefully they'll respond to requests that
this release include more of the layered products that are available. If
you don't have VMS media, this or eBay is the way to get it (though I've
also purchased media direct from DEC & Compaq).

>Ok, I confess this was partly to brag, but has anyone done something neat
>with a VAXcluster that I could do too? I'm not to the point where I can
>spark everything at once (need a new power circuit for the 6K for one
>thing-- did the 220V conversion already, thanks), but I'd like to have a
>direction early on, kind of a goal to work towards. Anyone want to share?

Well, for starters I'd like to recommend that the 6000-320 not be a major
part of your cluster, that things got to suck electricity like crazy! Plus
it'll generate a fair amount of heat.

In fact do to electricity prices and major problems getting rid of heat, my
cluster is down to a PWS433au (with a BA350 storageworks shelf, and a
Exabyte 8mm Jukebox). It's my mailserver (including POP3), printserver,
database server, a fileserver, and when I get a chance it will also be my
DNS server. It's also got every programming language that is available to
hobbyists installed. Also, my wife and I both use it to log into and do
stuff (though she just uses it for email).

If heat wasn't such a problem (we're in an apartment without Air
Conditioning), I'd have it clustered with at least a AlphaStation 200 4/233
(some of the load and another BA350), and a VAXstation 4000/90 (legacy apps
and another BA350). I've also got a MicroVAX III with RL01, RL02, RA72,
and RA73 drives that I'd hook up if I could (it's used for archiving PDP-11
data). I'd also consider bringing one of my 2 RAID units online (3 disk
shelves each, as well as a shelf for two HSZ50's).

Hopefully this might give you some ideas as to what you can do with your
hardware. If you decided that you want to run a mailserver, you'll either
need to be running one of the two stacks from Process Software or TCPIP
V5.1 so that you'll have decent anti-spam features. I run TCPIP V5.1, but
the others are nice as they've got SSH support.

| Zane H. Healy                    | UNIX Systems Administrator |
| (primary)    | OpenVMS Enthusiast         |
|                                  | Classic Computer Collector |
|     Empire of the Petal Throne and Traveller Role Playing,    |
|          PDP-10 Emulation and Zane's Computer Museum.         |
|                     |
Received on Sun Aug 18 2002 - 21:16:00 BST

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