Archive for: News | Stromasys

Accenture leverages Charon-SSP on AWS Cloud to preserve mission critical legacy applications

As part of their end-to-end migration to AWS, the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) faced numerous challenges. One of them was the fact that as per not having updated their infrastructure for a significant period of time, they were hosting some parts of their IT platform using rather ancient and legacy technologies. AWS, as other key hyper-scalers, do not often support legacy systems, and this is generally a substantial drawback for legacy-system-based enterprises trying to migrate their IT infrastructure to the cloud.

When Enimbos Part of Accenture was appointed as UOC migration partner, there was no clear direction on what to do with some Solaris servers containing critical applications and information for UOC, because both UOC and Accenture migration teams knew legacy systems not being supported in AWS would present an impediment for the whole success of the transformation program.

Thanks to Stromasys’ Charon emulator and support team, the project team was able to successfully deploy an environment to contain these Solaris servers that were critical to UOC operation.

Once migrated, connectivity from the Charon-contained instances to the rest of the environment is effective and smooth. Now, these Solaris servers run efficiently within the Charon emulator and the client is more than happy with a cloud-based solution for a critical part of their operation than before the migration they resignedly accepted to host on-premises. – Javier Tavera, Accenture – PMO UOC Transformation Program

 


Charon enables OpenVMS footprint reduction

The most important steel company in Europe needed a recovery plan for IT disasters. Disaster Recovery (DR) is essential to non-stop operations like the one at the ArcelorMittal plant in Sestao, Spain. The challenge was to build recovery infrastructure for an AlphaServer system. Manufacturing of such systems stopped more than a decade ago.

ArcelorMittal has run OpenVMS on an AlphaServer for more than 20 years. The company was facing a shortage of replacement servers, a problem for thriving enterprises that depend on legacy systems. Moving its DR system to an emulated platform was a way to release its hold on legacy hardware. “We scouted four different solutions and tested them extensively,” says Process Engineer Jose Luis Laso. “We finally chose Charon-AXP from Stromasys, based on advantages that we experienced during our testing.”

Emulation-based architecture succeeds when it triggers no changes to applications. An identical platform is the goal, one where more common hardware—easy to procure, maintain, and upgrade—stands in for legacy servers. With more than two decades of solid service from its Meltshop and Rolling Mill software, ArcelorMittal wants to preserve investments in mission-critical technology.

Standing at the heart of the steel company’s meltshop and mill solution is an Alphaserver DS20. The hardware continues to serve, but its future is assured because of the Stromasys Charon emulation. “We found superior stability, ease of use, and no need to change anything in our applications,” Laso says of Charon-AXP.

On the other hand, some new opportunities will enhance the ArcelorMittal operations. “Our problem was the hard drives, because the SCSI discs in the original hardware are now out of stock,” Laso says. “We could only purchase used disks.” Building its DR systems upon standard Intel-based servers, running Charon, means IT operations will use everyday, well-provisioned storage devices.

The options for standardizing components and servers are so rich that Laso believes Charon will replace the operation’s original Alphaservers. The DR system will be leading the way to establish emulation as a production-grade choice. “By using Charon-AXP, we’re able to reproduce the same level of performance of the original systems, but with modern, standard x86 servers,” Laso says.

Adding window-driven interfaces for the legacy software is now within reach, he adds. OpenVMS applications with such a long history were first introduced with legacy user interfaces. Charon delivers windows to OpenVMS apps.

The improvements in IT infrastructure will translate to more cost-efficient operations. Laso estimates that “we’ll reduce our systems’ footprint by 90 percent” using emulated Charon servers. “We’ll be hosting all of our OpenVMS environment in one rack of x86 servers.”


Migrating Solaris workloads to AWS with Charon

A global supply chain management company that helps companies in dozens of industries replace manual and complex processes with efficient, automated, and more reliable ones was faced with the challenge of modernizing their aging data center. This included databases and applications on aging SPARC/Solaris infrastructure, something no cloud provider offers. They turned to Effectual for its technical resources and expertise and to find a solution for lifting and shifting their applications, without modification, to a modern environment.

To resolve one of the primary issues preventing a rapid migration, Effectual identified the Charon solution by Stromasys as the answer to lifting and shifting Solaris workloads, without modification, to modern x86 environments.

Following an on-premises proof of concept, the Solaris workloads were assessed for performance requirements in their native legacy environment, and virtual SPARCs were sized for VMware Cloud on AWS for hosting Solaris and native applications. Workload performance in the cloud matches that of the original SPARCS and the legacy applications (without modification) now have access to elastic storage and data protection services available in AWS.

“This project shows the true strength of what companies can accomplish together,” says Tom Spalding, Effectual’s Chief Growth Officer. “Our customer’s team and partners were able to provide business value that far exceeded what a single company could have achieved on its own. This was a result of the customer’s openness, partnership, and willingness to pursue a holistic solution; Effectual’s creativity, focus on business outcomes and desire to execute on behalf of our customers; and Stromasys’s incredible technical solution.”

By using Charon to migrate Solaris workloads, Effectual was able to clear a path and guide their customer through a complete data center evacuation. As a result, the company can now accelerate its modernization strategy and pursue its larger technical goals of making the right future-proofing selections for maintaining its leadership status on the global stage.

Learn more about this successful data center exit and examine every step of the process on the AWS Partner Network Blog


Charon-SSP enables UNITEC to complete their data center exit to Google Cloud in 24 days

Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC) is one of the post-secondary education learning institutions under the Laureate Education, Inc., umbrella of Laureate International Universities. The CIO of UNITEC decided it was time to modernize the university’s IT infrastructure and that the most efficient way to do this was a full data center exit to migrate all IT workloads to Google Cloud.

UNITEC took full advantage of Charon-SSP’s SPARC system virtualization to move the legacy applications to Google Cloud, with no change to the applications or operating systems. The project was completed in twenty-four days.

“Given the time-crunch situation we were in, the Stromasys and Google Cloud teams stepped up and migrated all the servers, applications, and data in the promised time. I couldn’t have been more proud of the team.”

—Ivan Alonso, CIO, IT Services, Laureate International Universities

 

Laureate was running a SPARC T5-2 server ( 512 RAM | 32 Cores) to host their application servers, whereas the database back end was in an on-premises VMware cluster. The SPARC system had eight LDOMs, each with around 3-10 zones running Solaris OS versions 8-11.

 

UNITEC data center exit map
UNITEC data center exit of 8 SPARC servers to Charon on Google Cloud

 

The legacy application now running on Google Cloud not only gets a new lease on life, but can now take advantage of options and new capabilities. The benefits of Charon cross-platform virtualization of legacy SPARC, DEC, and PA-RISC systems on Google Cloud:

  • Risks of a legacy workload failure are mitigated (legacy hardware is gone)
  • Costs are optimized with Google Cloud pay-as-you-go consumption model
  • Google Cloud CPU fast-clock speeds deliver enhanced performance for applications
  • Organizations can now include legacy systems in their Google Cloud mass migration plans
  • No application recertification and end-user retraining is required (it is the same application)
  • System capacity becomes flexible with possible adjustments in minutes
  • New Google Cloud high-availability schemes and disaster/recovery best practices become available

Stromasys offers product support for Charon on Google Cloud during business hours or 24/7 for all emulators worldwide. Support typically applies to the Charon emulator software itself. Stromasys can also offer operating system support such as support for OpenVMS 7.3 and earlier.

Stromasys is a Google Technology Partner that addresses the data center modernization needs of customers by allowing the movement of legacy system applications and data to x86 infrastructure without changing any legacy code or data.

Read more about this amazingly fast transformation to the Google Cloud then contact us to learn more about how Stromasys and Google can help you modernize or exit your datacenter today.


About Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC)

Universidad Tecnológica de México (UNITEC), one of two private universities under Laureate International Universities, offers high school, bachelor, and postgraduate programs on 10 campuses in Mexico City and in the states of Guanajuato, Jalisco, Mexico, and Querétaro, as well as online. With more than 90,000 students, it is the largest private university in the region.


Charon does not use Log4J

 

Our engineers have been following the news of the highly publicized Log4J vulnerability. Our Charon legacy hardware emulation products do not use Log4J and are unaffected.

We recommend that customers continue to monitor updates from other vendors and refer to the official bulletin and detail regarding this vulnerability below.

https://www.cisa.gov/uscert/ncas/current-activity/2021/12/10/apache-releases-log4j-version-2150-address-critical-rce

https://logging.apache.org/log4j/2.x/security.html


Press release: Announcing a new product version with Charon-SSP 5.0, Stromasys expands its offering to migrate legacy applications from aging SPARC hardware to the cloud

Stromasys announced the release of its new version 5.0 of Charon-SSP. With this update, Charon-SSP can accommodate more versions of Solaris (including 11.4) and the virtual environment (VE) licensing is now extended to VMware and additional cloud vendors.

For more information about Charon-SSP 5.0, please download the Software Product Description or contact Stromasys for a free demo.

Download the full press release here.


Press release: Stromasys announces product version Charon-SSP 4.2, which includes easier cloud licensing to migrate mission-critical applications from end-of-life SPARC hardware to the cloud

Stromasys announced updates to its emulation solution, Charon-SSP 4.2, which now allows organizations to implement secure licensing in all major cloud provider environments. IT professionals using aging SPARC hardware to run essential legacy applications can migrate them to the cloud or a modern on-prem platform. They can continue using the apps without the fear of unplanned downtime and enjoy lower operational costs.

Companies can use the new Virtual Environment (VE) licensing model, designed and implemented by Stromasys, for flexible individual cloud installations or with preconfigured images offered on selected marketplaces.

“IT Managers have struggled to find solutions to quickly lift and shift mission-critical applications off end-of-life hardware as they modernize their infrastructure,” stated CEO John Prot. “The ongoing pandemic has further highlighted the urgency to take steps towards a cloud strategy. Charon 4.2 enables IT departments to accomplish this effort for legacy workloads.”

Charon-SSP 4.2 has additional key features, including a new appliance-type package for easy on-prem installation and management as well as support for Red Hat/CentOS 8.

For more information about Charon-SSP 4.2, please download the Software Product Description or contact Stromasys for a free demo.

Download the full press release here.


Certification of non-vulnerability from SolarWinds Orion

In light of the security alert published on December 13 (https://cyber.dhs.gov/ed/21-01/), we certify that none of our products or internal tools for development or management of our IT infrastructure is impacted.

We do not use the Orion product to manage any of our assets and none of the solutions developed by SolarWinds are used to build, monitor, or analyze performance of our Software products in any phases of our processes from Research and Development up to Support. The only exception is the ‘SolarWinds IP Address Tracker’, an IP scanner from SolarWinds and not a product affected by the breach, which we are removing out of abundance of caution.


From Microsoft Azure: Charon-SSP Solaris emulator on Azure VMs

 

This reference architecture shows how an emulator called Charon-SSP from the Microsoft partner, Stromasys, can run SPARC processor-based Solaris virtual machines (VMs) in Azure. Charon-SSP is a member of the Charon cross-platform hardware virtualization product family. The emulator can create virtual replicas of Sun-4m, Sun-4u, or Sun-4v SPARC family members on standard x86-64 Linux physical computers or hypervisors.

Read more on the Microsoft website


Press release: Stromasys to show new product offering at Nutanix .NEXT

 

Stromasys, a Nutanix Ready AHV partner, announced it will demo its latest hardware virtualization product, Charon SSP 4.0, at the Nutanix Global .NEXT Digital Experience from September 8th to September 11th. A leading provider in hardware virtualization solutions, Stromasys, with its SPARC emulation software, allows IT professionals with endof-life legacy hardware to continue using essential Solaris applications, without modification, while also lowering operational risk, costs, and energy consumption.

“We work closely with Nutanix to bring their customers through the last mile of IT modernization,” stated John Prot, CEO of Stromasys. “For many IT managers, migrating away from aging hardware is an integral part of business continuity and disaster recovery plans, especially during this uncertain time. With the release of Charon SSP 4.0 and in partnership with Nutanix, we can emulate more widely-used SPARC systems on hyper-converged infrastructure.”

Charon SSP 4.0 creates a virtual replica of Sun4M, Sun4U, and Sun4V SPARC systems on standard x86-64 computer systems. These virtual legacy systems run on Nutanix AHV hypervisor and the associated applications are freed to run “as is” on Nutanix infrastructure (hybrid or public cloud) in a matter of days.

The Nutanix Global .NEXT Digital Experience will bring together visionaries, developers, and IT leaders from around the globe to share the latest in hybrid and multi-cloud computing, datacenter infrastructure, storage, end user computing, database and more. The interactive event will feature a virtual “expo floor” where attendees can explore and discover new ways to modernize and optimize their datacenter operations.

See the full press release here.