Stromasys support on a lonely Saturday morning


At work on a late Friday afternoon, an IT manager at a global company looked forward to a relaxing weekend with his wife. It was going to be sunny and they had plans with good friends. While enjoying a cup of coffee on Saturday morning, his phone rang. He saw it was from the office. His heart sank; it could not be good.  


His colleague told him that a Windows server had been shut down yesterday for routine maintenance. However, the mission-critical OpenVMS system, the manager’s responsibility, wouldn’t come back online. At that point in time, the entire Northern European database of customer membership information was not accessible to about 50 agents.


The IT manager’s first thought was that it could be the Charon™ emulator by Stromasys. Several years ago, he had aging VAXes with critical applications on them, such as the Northern European system. He had a vendor for hardware support but the service had been unsatisfactory. His counterparts in North America recommended Stromasys’ “lift and shift” software, Charon. Within the North American offices, it proved to be a cost-effective solution to migrate away from legacy hardware. The European manager worked with Stromasys to successfully shift the legacy applications to a Windows server running Charon-VAX emulation. Until that Saturday morning, operations had been running smoothly.  


He needed the system back online ASAP, and in a panic, he sent an email to the Stromasys support team. With his past experience of customer service, he didn’t have much hope for help. To his surprise, a Stromasys engineer, Alexandre Souf, replied within an hour with eight other engineers CC’d on the email. 


Working with Alex, the manager figured out it wasn’t the Charon emulator and yet, the system was still offline. Alex stayed on the phone with him to troubleshoot the problem and they eventually found that it was a VMS system issue. Alex continued to work with him as he ran the checks to get the system back online.  


“It’s a lonely situation to be told on a weekend that a system you’re responsible for, is down,” stated the IT manager. “It was such a relief to get an immediate response from the Stromasys support team, even though the problem was not Charon. Their software is a great solution for legacy hardware and their support makes the product outstanding.”