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Technical summary - OpenVMS on Integrity Servers

The following technical summary is based on practical experience gained as part of the VSI and HPE Field Test programmes and by working with a wide range of end-user systems.

VSI OpenVMS V8.4-1H1 and later on Integrity Servers

The -i4 family of Integrity Servers based on octo-core "Poulson" is supported by VSI OpenVMS V8.4-1H1 and later.
These consist of the rack-mount rx2800-i4 and three chassis mount blades: the BL860c-i4, the dual-width BL870c-i4 and the quad-width BL890c-i4.

The next generation of -i6 Integrity Servers based on "Kittson" will be supported by VSI OpenVMS.

The VSI OpenVMS releases support earlier generations of HPE Integrity Servers (the -i2 family and selected earlier models).

HPE OpenVMS V8.4 and earlier on Integrity Servers

The -i2 family of Integrity Servers based on quad-core "Tukwila" is the latest available hardware platform that will support HPE OpenVMS V8.4.
These consist of the rack-mount rx2800-i2 and three chassis mount blades: the BL860c-i2, the dual-width BL870c-i2 and the quad-width BL890c-i2.

The Integrity Server systems are very different in initial appearance to the VAX and Alpha systems that OpenVMS users are familiar with. These notes are intended to help you understand some of the key differences that you will come across when you first start to use an Integrity Server system.

We have hands-on experience with all of the Integrity Server range, from the early rx2600 through to the recent BL890c i2 quad-width blades. Migrating a complex set of applications and software from the large AlphaServer systems such as the GS1280 to the large Integrity blades (BL870c-i2 and BL890c-i2) requires a great deal of careful planning and experience.

OpenVMS Packaging

The HP Integrity Server range introduces a different way of packaging the operating system features with licences that conform to the way in which HP have historically sold systems and software. OpenVMS V8.4 and later on Integrity is licenced on a per socket (not per-core) basis and is packaged as follows:

Higher-tier operating environments enables the use of features not included in the lower tiers. It is possible to add specific features to the lower tiers, for example one can choose to add clustering and host-based volume shadowing (from the HA-OE) to the BOE.

Developers should make use of the HP Alliance One developer licensing programme. See the HP Alliance One web site for further information.

There is also a Hobbyist Operating Environment for non-commercial use. See the OpenVMS Hobbyist web site for further information.

The OpenVMS installation media for Integrity Servers is shipped on DVD, not on CD. The compiler and linker formats generate much larger image files than on Alpha, so the operating system no longer fits onto a CD. The installation process and mechanisms are the same as on Alpha. The boot process via EFI shell is very different from Alpha!

Integrity Server hardware overview

Integrity Server console interface

The Integrity Server provides a common console interface across the product range, with a few minor changes where partitioning of cell-based systems does not exist on the smaller machines.

There are usually two consoles, the Management Processor (MP) and Baseboard Management Console (BMC).

EFI (extensible firmware interface) and booting OpenVMS

Application software issues that need to be considered

Further information