Archive for: Product and Services | Stromasys

Press release: Government IT paralysis can be instantly cured with “lifting and shifting” legacy applications

As over 26 million Americans file for unemployment due to COVID-19, the computer systems processing state unemployment benefits are straining under the unprecedented increase in claims. 40-year old Cobol-based systems need extra capacity and the expertise of engineers who have the know-how to address decades-old servers.

The Charon solutions, by Stromasys, is “lift and shift” software; can be installed remotely and does not require re-authentication or re-certification by users. No changes are made to the applications, users experience the same “look and feel” and agencies can accelerate to full-speed operation, without the reliance on aging hardware.

“We’re here to help. Our solution will dramatically decrease the time it takes to process benefits and hopefully bring everyone some peace of mind during this uncertain time,” stated CEO, John Prot. “We understand state and government dependence on mission-critical programs, and we can quickly deploy and install our software to address the current crisis.”

Within a few days, legacy applications can be migrated on to modern hardware with legacy server emulation and can quickly scale, enabling antiquated systems to run on modern platforms or the cloud. State and government employees can then process claims quickly and efficiently.

More than 7,000 Federal, DOD, State, Municipal and Enterprise users have already implemented Stromasys software to rapidly unclog or cloud-enable legacy applications and servers developed in the 80s, 90s and 2000’s.

Read the full press release here


Emulation in disaster recovery plans: How and why it works

 

Martin Novak, IT Manager at Professional Target Marketing (PTM), needed to protect one of the company’s main assets. A large database of customer information was mission-critical for the company and Martin knew he needed to ensure business continuity and put a strong disaster recover (DR) plan in place. Based in Toronto, PTM is a marketing firm primarily servicing the pharmaceutical industry.

We sat down with Martin to find out the “hows” and the “whys” he got to the DR plan he ultimately put in place.

Tell us about your company and why it was a priority to have a DR plan
PTM, formerly Formedic Communications, helps pharmaceuticals target Health Care Professionals (HCP’s) as part of their go-to-market strategy. With ongoing work with a dedicated team of data professionals, we continue to update our growing database of HCP’s and their information for marketing campaigns on behalf of our clients with their consent. So, essentially, the customer database forms the “bread and butter” of what we do. If it’s gone, our main asset is gone.

I knew I needed a strong DR plan and it was up to me to find it.

What were the different options you looked at before choosing Stromasys?
At that point, most of our production VM servers were backed up to the cloud. Except, I had an OpenVMS system running on two Alpha servers. OpenVMS was being used as the critical application server to update data in our Oracle database.

I knew I could buy another Alpha server used, set it up in a cold location and create a connection. But then, I would still be dealing with hardware and I would still have to back up the data in the cold location both locally and then remotely back to our head office. This would also require additional hardware for the local backup.  It wasn’t a good long-term plan for DR…and I would still have hardware including a new backup device for local backups!

How did you find Stromasys?
In a January 2019 at an Oracle seminar, they were looking for beta testers to migrate VMS systems to the Oracle cloud. Stromasys was recommended as an expert in migrating away from hardware to the cloud and Stromasys already had experience in migrating to the Oracle cloud.

How did the implementation plan go?
As this was my DR plan, I had a lot of questions about back-up. But the Stromasys team, particularly Greg Reut, were patient, helpful, and extremely responsive. Greg even wrote a script for me for the back-up plan. And it didn’t matter when I would email him, he would respond promptly. I never had to wait long. I felt like I was in good hands with Greg and the whole team.

How has the Charon solution helped with your overall IT strategy?
I finally have a real DR solution! The alternative still had hardware in the plan and it was expensive. I feel confident with Greg and the Stromasys engineering team and I’m sleeping at night knowing there is a business continuity plan in place. The customer database, our “bread and butter” is protected.

 

Are you facing challenges with your legacy system? Contact us today for a free consultation of our Charon software solution or to migrate to the cloud.

Use our FREE ROI calculator to get a quick snapshot on how much you could save in budget and resources.


On the Microsoft blog: Legacy Alpha application gets a new life as SaaS on Microsoft Azure

For years, a successful actuarial services company relied on a vital financial application that ran on Alpha hardware—a server well past its end-of-life date. To modernize its infrastructure with as little risk as possible, the company turned to Stromasys Inc., experts in cross-platform server virtualization solutions. In a matter of days, the company was running its mission-critical application on Azure. Soon after, it began to offer the software as a service (SaaS) to other companies, turning the formerly high-maintenance legacy software into a growing profit center.

Read the full success story on the Microsoft blog….


Press release: Stromasys releases its legacy Sun SPARC emulation product in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace

Microsoft Azure customers can now migrate any Sun/Solaris applications – without modification – from their aging SPARC hardware to the Azure cloud, ridding themselves of the increasing risks of aging hardware.

Stromasys, a leading provider of enterprise-class cross-platform virtualization solutions for SPARC, Digital Alpha and VAX; HP 3000 and HP 9000; and PDP-11, announced today that its Charon-SSP solution for aging SPARC hardware is now available in the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, an online store providing applications and services for use on Azure. Stromasys customers can now move critical applications running on SPARC servers into the Azure cloud platform in a reliable and cost-effective way.

Business-critical and customized applications run on these aging servers, and while they are at risk of failing, legacy systems are also holding organizations back from embracing new technologies. Classic hardware doesn’t run on modern IT infrastructure that could easily migrate to the cloud. The Charon-SSP solution from Stromasys virtualizes the SPARC hardware layer on industry-standard x86 computer systems, with no need for conversion code or source code.

“Our participation in the Azure Marketplace marks our expanding commitment to Azure customers to help embrace new technologies by moving away from aging hardware,” stated Stromasys CEO John Prot. “Classic hardware, such as SPARC, should not keep an organization from IT agility, and we’re here to offer a solution.”

The virtual layer acts as SPARC hardware and is compatible with any Sun/Solaris software running on it. Charon-SSP is fully binary compatible with SPARC hardware, including storage, Ethernet, and serial line I/O. Charon-SSP can replace SPARC systems from the sun4c, sun4m, and sun4u families and allows all applications on these legacy systems from Sun Microsystems to continue running without modifications.

Sajan Parihar, Senior Director, Microsoft Azure Platform at Microsoft Corp. said, “We’re pleased to welcome Stromasys to the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, which gives our partners great exposure to cloud customers around the globe. Azure Marketplace offers world-class quality experiences from global trusted partners with solutions tested to work seamlessly with Azure.”

The Azure Marketplace is an online market for buying and selling cloud solutions certified to run on Azure. The Azure Marketplace helps connect companies seeking innovative cloud-based solutions with partners who have developed solutions that are ready to use.

Learn more about Charon-SSP at its page in the Azure Marketplace.

See the press release here.


Press release: Stromasys announces the release of virtual SPARC in the Amazon Web Services Marketplace as an AMI

Stromasys, an industry-leading legacy server emulation company, announced today that Charon-SSP is available to customers in the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace as an AMI offering (Amazon Machine Image). Charon-SSP recreates a virtual SPARC hardware layer on AWS. The layer is compatible with any Sun software running on it and acts as SPARC hardware, with no need for code conversion or source code.

Charon-SSP is one of a family of cross-platform hypervisors (emulators) from Stromasys which extend the lives of mission-critical legacy applications by freeing them from the underlying, past-end-of-life SPARC, VAX, Alpha, HP 3000, and PDP-11 servers. In particular, the Charon-SSP can replace SPARC systems from the Sun4m and Sun4u family and it supports SunOS 4.1 to Solaris 10. Additionally, this AMI is also offered on AWS GovCloud to U.S. government customers and their partners.

“We can now help our customers completely modernize their IT operations,” said John Prot, CEO of Stromasys, “By having our Charon-SSP in the AWS Marketplace, we are giving customers access to modern cloud hardware without recompiling. We are excited for this latest development and for being able to offer a solution on a problem that seemed unsolvable.”

Charon-SSP is fully binary compatible with SPARC hardware, including storage, Ethernet, and serial line I/O. Stromasys also offers a bare-metal version that is available but not under this AMI.

See the full press release here.


On the Oracle Blog: Migrate Apps with Stromasys, an Oracle Cloud Marketplace Partner

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is the ideal platform for enterprises that depend on and need to migrate their on-premises-based enterprise applications to the cloud. We offer the only marketplace where you can download Oracle Applications and middleware images, fully automated solution stacks, and automated migration and lifecycle management tooling for Oracle E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, PeopleSoft, Siebel, and WebLogic.

We also understand that you might have applications running on legacy OSs or even SPARC, but want to take advantage of the scalability and agility of cloud. And we’re collaborating with leading ISV partners to offer solutions to help you do so. In addition to offering integrated solutions to help you develop, test, and migrate applications to the cloud, partners also offer innovative solutions like Robotic Process Automation to support automating and streamlining core business processes.

Now, with the newly launched Oracle Cloud Marketplace paid listings, you can easily click-to-launch third-party solutions to help you migrate and augment enterprise applications in the Oracle Cloud. You have the flexibility to bring your own license (BYOL), pay by the hour or use Universal Credits (UCM),and in the end, you receive one unified bill for both Oracle and ISV partner solutions.

Stromasys

Stromasys is the inventor of enterprise-class, cross-platform virtualization of legacy servers. Their software extends the lifecycle of mission-critical applications by virtualizing their aging hardware. Stromasys solutions virtualize legacy Sun SPARC, DEC VAX, Alpha, and PDP-11, HP 3000, and HP 9000 systems on modern x86 servers running on-premises or in the cloud.

“We are excited to offer Charon-SSP on the Oracle Cloud Marketplace because it extends our commitment to the Oracle user community and to our already strong relationship with Oracle. Users of Sun4m, and soon 4u and 4v, systems may now move their applications on the Oracle Cloud without recompiling, thus revolutionizing reliability and performance.” —John Prot, Chief Executive Officer, Stromasys

Charon-SSP for virtual SPARC on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Charon-SSP 32-BitCharon-AXP, and Charon-VAX are all available as paid listings on Oracle Cloud Marketplace.

See the full blog post here.


When production stopped…a Q & A with Wheeler Manufacturing

 

In 2014, everyone at Wheeler Manufacturing was working overtime to fulfill orders ahead of their busy season. Wheeler is a wholesale domestic jewelry manufacturer in South Dakota and its clients were resellers in the travel, resort, tourist, and jewelry industries. Their high seasons are May, June, July, and August and they needed to have orders turned around within three to four days.

But all production stopped when Wheeler’s hardware, a DEC AlphaServer, failed. It wasn’t the first time a drive had failed but it was the first time it had happened during business hours. Wheeler lost a day of production in addition to everything on the drive…and it took three or four days to receive necessary support.

Over the 15 years Wheeler had been using the Alpha server, it was historically a reliable system but it had started to fail and receiving a support quickly was increasingly a difficult challenge. Looking for a solution, the search eventually led Wheeler to Stromasys. We were able to sit down with Jason Rambo, Treasurer and Comptroller at Wheeler, and catch up with what happened at the time and how things have been since then.

  1. What systems were running on the server when it failed?

A completely customized software, called Workwise, ran off the VMS operating system which sat on the Alpha server. That Workwise software handled many aspects of the manufacturing process, including inventory control and order processing, as well as accounts payable and financial statement. It’s a critical piece in our IT structure to our business.

  1. Before deciding to go with Stromasys, what other ideas were you thinking about?

We knew this was an ongoing problem that needed to be fixed. It’s really expensive to completely rewrite the software and it takes a lot of time. We thought about buying another software but that would take more time to customize it and rework it to fit our needs. We needed something that would work quickly and help move us away from the Alpha server.

  1. What made you hesitant at first about the Stromasys solution, Charon?

We had serious reservations about just throwing money out the window and this solution sounded too good to be true. We talked to many customers about how Charon worked and decided to go with it. The Alpha server was growing problem that was becoming worse.

  1. Once you decided to move forward, how did the implementation go?

We arranged for a Stromasys engineer to be on-site and implementation was like a piece of cake. Obviously, we did testing but everything functioned the way it should. Once we installed Charon, it was essentially the exact same product we always used.

  1. How has Charon changed your IT infrastructure?

Performance is about four to five times faster than it was before. Being in IT, we also now have the peace of mind that our server is not going to go down, especially during high production times. As far as I’m concerned for anyone who wants to operate on VMS software, Stromasys is the only ticket in town.

Are you facing challenges with your legacy system? Contact us today for a free consultation of our Charon software solution or to migrate to the cloud.

Use our FREE ROI calculator to get a quick snapshot on how much you could save in budget and resources.


An Interview with Chris Li on Semiconductors and Legacy Hardware Emulation

Read an interview with Chris Li, Stromasys managing director in Asia Pacific, about the important role of legacy hardware emulation in the semiconductor industry:

SEAJ: What do you understand about Japan’s semiconductor industry?

Mr. Chris Li, Stromasys managing director, Asia Pacific: I have been following the trends of the semiconductor industry worldwide, as I have spent a good amount of time studying semiconductors at university. I was an electronics and electrical engineer, and I graduated from London Imperial College in the early 90s. Semiconductors fascinate me with their ability, with the ever increasing packing of transistors, and their versatility, with manipulation by doping. Japan is the world’s third largest electronics manufacturer and the fourth largest export market for SME (semiconductor manufacturing equipment).

The semiconductor monthly sales figures for Japan are over three billion U.S. dollars. The industry had been facing some stiff challenges in the past few years due to a stagnant economy and the fact that Japan missed the mobile trend. However, consumer trends directly impact the semiconductor industry and the trend is moving towards IoT (Internet of Things). Japan is poised to tap this opportunity over their time.

SEAJ: How could Stromasys contribute to Japan’s semiconductor industry?

Li: Given the long history of Japan’s semiconductor industry and the mission-critical applications that have been in use in various stages of the semiconductor manufacturing process, there are inevitably legacy systems being used. By legacy system, I mean a previous or outdated computer system for which production had been stopped for a long time. There are various reasons for these legacy systems to be kept, perhaps due to the risk of rewriting applications, return on investment challenges, interface with peripheral devices, etc. In all cases, these companies are incurring high maintenance charges on the legacy systems; they are bearing the reliability risk of buying used replacement parts, etc.

Stromasys has a very unique range of products called “Charon,” which emulate (or virtualize) various legacy systems. This means that Charon replaces the legacy hardware. Users can port their existing applications (with no re-installation necessary) to a Charon emulator that runs on Linux or Windows on the latest x86 machine or in the cloud. We preserve our clients’ software investment across hardware generations.

SEAJ: How would this benefit our members?

Li: In the semiconductor industry, precision is paramount, and therefore there are good reasons to keep the existing applications intact. With a Charon solution, users don’t have to make a single change to their applications. Even if they have lost the source code, Charon emulation can help. The time and effort for porting the application to a Charon emulator is minimal.

With no dependency on the aged legacy systems, maintenance costs are reduced significantly. Also, users are able to significantly reduce risk of hardware failure and improve performance. The new system provides a wider range of peripheral devices. Finally, there are savings in operation costs, such as decreased power consumption, heat dissipation, and space occupation.

SEAJ: Any success cases of Stromasys in Japan and worldwide?

Li: Stromasys has implemented cross-platform virtualization solutions for the world’s leading companies in over 70 countries. We have been doing businesses in Japan for well over 10 years. One recent semiconductor client is Renesas (at their Palm Bay, Florida site), where they had five SparcStations,
five Sparc Ultras, and a Sun Blade. The Sun Blade ran on Solaris 8, and the rest ran on SunOS
5.6. Nine of these systems were dedicated to controlling furnaces, and the others played various
roles in controlling the tools and equipment related to semiconductor production.

SEAJ: That all sounds good. How about emulation coverage and costs?

Li: Currently, our Charon emulation covers SPARC, Digital VAX, Alpha and PDP-11 and HP 3000 servers. Within each of these server types, there are a large variety of models that we support. We are also partnering with Oracle to provide our Charon solutions in the cloud. In terms of cost, return on investment to clients is phenomenal. In most cases Charon would be less than one year’s maintenance and operation costs. I strongly recommend your members contact us for a free consultation with no commitment. Please see our contact details below.

About Stromasys

Stromasys is a pioneer in enterprise-class cross-platform legacy server emulation solutions, providing modern infrastructure for legacy applications. Our virtualized environments include:

Charon-PDP: Virtualization/ Emulation of PDP-11 systems.
Charon-VAX: Virtualization/ Emulation of VAX/ VMS configurations.
Charon-AXP: Virtualization/Emulation of Alpha/ VMS/ Tru64 solutions.
Charon-HPA: Virtualization/ Emulation of HP 3000/ MPE technologies.
Charon-SSP: Virtualization/ Emulation of SPARC/ SunOS/ Solaris infrastructure.
Charon on the Cloud: Virtualization/ Emulation of SPARC, Alpha, VAX, and HP 3000 systems in the cloud.

Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland with sales, engineering, and research and development offices located around the world, Stromasys has implemented cross-platform virtualization solutions in over 70 countries to help organizations lower costs, protect their investments, improve performance, reduce risk, and provide easier maintenance. To find out more visit www.stromasys.com or follow us on twitter @stromasys_HQ.


Announcing New Version Releases for Charon-AXP, Charon-VAX, Charon-PDP and Charon-SSP

 

We are pleased to announce the release of the new versions for Charon-AXP, Charon-VAX, Charon-PDP and Charon-SSP. The new versions are available immediately and will be the standard on all new licenses. Stromasys is also pleased to inform you that these updated versions are accessible for all customers under Stromasys Support. Below are the key features of the new releases for each Charon product line.

Features of Charon-SSP Version 1.4

  • Increased CPUs and faster performance
  • New graphics emulation as well asaudio emulation
  • Network boots (for starting multiple installations centrally)
  • Serial lines multiplexor emulation
  • Support for Hyper Threading
  • Addition of Solaris 9 support for 4M

Features of Charon-AXP, Charon-VAX, and Charon-PDP Version 4.8:

  • Introduction of Windows 10 support
  • Re-introduction of RHEL 6.5 and above support
  • New graphical user interface on Windows (a single window application which consolidates all Charon management tasks) and text based user interface on Linux
  • Functionality and performance improvements on Charon-AXP

Features of Charon-AXP/SMA/SMA Plus/Station Version 2.3:

  • All the bug fixes and other improvements have been incorporated into the release
  • Introduction of Windows 10 support

For all products, see the latest software product description here.

Contact Stromasys Support to request your upgrade.

 

Click here to view our latest newsletter, where these version releases were also shared.


Five Reasons Businesses Wait to Emulate Their Legacy Hardware

 

Do you have legacy hardware you haven’t emulated yet? You’re not alone. We find that many businesses hold off on emulating their hardware until they absolutely have to. If it’s working, it may seem as if there’s not much of an incentive to change anything–especially when changes cost money and require dedicated time.

Waiting can be risky, and it can also be more costly in the long run. We’ve compiled a list of the top five reasons we hear from businesses about why they put off emulating their legacy systems–and we’ve included some information about why waiting isn’t your best option. Take a look:

1. Nothing’s broken

The “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mentality is often hard at work, but waiting to emulate legacy hardware until something breaks can be very expensive. Have you considered what that downtime would cost you?

2. It’s not a priority

Legacy systems aren’t necessarily the most glamorous systems. As your business is modernizing on other fronts, these back-room systems can fall to the wayside. But shouldn’t mission-critical apps be a priority?

3. Sounds expensive

Well, yes, emulation isn’t free. But our solutions are often less that a single year’s maintenance of the original hardware. And customers have seen annual maintenance fees reduced by as much as 90%. Read about it here.

4. It’s a temporary fix

While emulation can be a short-term solution before a full migration, it’s also the long-term solution for many customers. If your business has a time-tested legacy app, it still has a long life ahead of it once you swap out the original hardware for an x86 or cloud environment.

5. What? Emulation?

We’re always encountering customers who thought their only options were to buy spare parts for the legacy hardware or move to an entirely new platform. Emulation is the low-risk, cost-effective option employed by businesses around the world. If you’re ready to consider emulating your hardware, contact us today.