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Stromasys partners with Equinix at SITB

 

In 2017, Stromasys and Equinix embarked on partnership to deliver an end-to-end solution for transiting legacy applications from outdated, unreliable hardware platforms to modern, cloud-based infrastructure.

As technology alliance partners, Stromasys and Equinix are teaming up to take part in the Swiss IT Business Exhibition (24th-25th April 2018) in Geneva, Switzerland along with other 250+ companies who will also exhibit their business software and IT solutions.

Stromasys and Equinix will reveal how Charon, Stromays’ cross-platform server virtualization solutions and Equinix’s global data center and interconnection services, provides an end-to-end solution for transitioning legacy applications from ageing hardware platforms to modern, cloud-based infrastructure, enabling companies to lower costs, reduce risks and improve performance.

Visit Stromasys and Equinix at booth #IT95 during the show to speak with an expert and learn more about Charon virtualization solutions. You can receive a complimentary pass from Stromasys and schedule a free demo at the event by clicking here.


The Hardware Obsolescence Challenge

 

Organizations are under extreme and increasing pressure to keep their mission-critical applications available and running 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. These applications, which are pivotal for business success, are often running on aging hardware platforms. As these systems age, they become more prone to hardware failure.

Can your organization afford the costs of downtime? For most companies, this is not an option. So how can you ensure business continuity and protect your investment given the challenges associated with failing hardware?

Technology lifecycle: Hardware (HW) has the shortest lifecycle in comparison to operating systems (O.S.) and applications.

Hardware Emulation. This is the best option for businesses worldwide when it comes to protecting key business applications. Companies can no longer rely on finding replacement parts, and in-house knowledge is disappearing as legacy hardware experts enter retirement. Hardware emulation enables companies to run their applications, completely unchanged, on an industry-standard x86 platform. Not only does hardware emulation reduce risk; it also significantly decreases the costs of annual maintenance and offers the possibility of improved performance. Thanks to hardware emulation, companies become more agile: they can now benefit from virtualization or cloud technologies, allowing them to fully align with their company’s strategy.

The Best Choice for Business continuity

Stromasys Solutions

Stromasys is the original and leading provider of legacy system emulation solutions for PDP-11, Digital VAX and Alpha, HP 3000, and Sun SPARC servers. The company extends the life cycle of business and mission-critical applications across hardware generations.

Charon® from Stromasys presents a virtual replica of the original hardware system to the operating system. With Charon, your original applications, databases, and operating system remain unchanged. Implementation takes only a matter of days. There is no training or re-certification required.

 

 

Stromasys has successfully deployed more than 6,500 solutions at industry-leading companies around the globe. Contact us here for a free consultation or to request a demo.

 


Press Release: Stromasys Announces Charon Legacy Emulators on the Cloud

Stromasys, the pioneer in legacy server emulators, announces that Charon, the first solution to emulate legacy SPARC, Alpha, VAX, and HP 3000 critical systems, is now available for Cloud subscription on all the major public Clouds.

“We are excited to be enabling the move of customers’ critical legacy applications to the Cloud,” says John Prot, CEO of Stromasys.  “This is an even more modern offering of the already proven and trusted Charon solution.”

This offering—which can be implemented on AWS, Azure, Oracle, or any other Cloud IaaS—enables businesses to run their applications on the Cloud in a way that is cost-effective, secure, and fully implemented within a matter of days. For pricing details and availability, please contact Stromasys directly.

For more information, please visit www.stromasys.com/solutions/charon-on-the-cloud/.

Stromasys

Stromasys is the pioneer in enterprise-class cross-platform legacy server emulation solutions, providing modern infrastructure for legacy applications running on PDP-11, Digital VAX and Alpha, HP 3000, and SPARC servers. Founded in 1998 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland with sales offices as well as engineering, development and research labs located around the world, Stromasys has implemented cross-­‐platform virtualization solutions to the world’s leading companies in over 50 countries.

 


Warm wishes for 2017

 As 2016 draws to a close, we want to say thank you to our customers and partners. We are grateful for your business over the last year, and we wish you a wonderful new year ahead. Thank you for choosing Stromasys, for partnering with us, and for letting our legacy server emulation solutions contribute to the success of your business.

 

nye-stromasys

 

 

 


Running Charon on VMware ESXi Servers

We meet many customers interested in merging legacy applications or existing Charon instances into their corporate data center. If you have Sparc, HP3000, PDP-11, DEC VAX or DEC Alpha hardware, this post is for you.

Charon provides the means to separate robust, working applications from failing hardware and run those applications on industry-standard servers in the datacenter. Like VMware, Charon software abstracts the hardware layer. Charon on VMware presents a translation layer between the VM host OS (Linux, Windows) and the legacy OS (OpenVMS, Tru64, MPE, old Solaris) to provide the identical functionality of the original hardware.

Because the demand for server virtualization is high, Stromasys became a Technology Alliance Partner with VMware and we have exhibited in the Solutions Exchange area of VMworld each year since 2011.

VMware is not a technical requirement to run Charon. Whether or not to run an instance of Charon on VMware ESXi servers is a management decision based on available resources, standardization policy, etc. If you are already using VMware in your datacenter, Charon can be a good fit. Your legacy application can now use Vmotion and snapshots. It can be cloned, made an appliance, etc. Sound good? Well, there is a catch…

Like VMware, legacy operating systems have resource requirements that must be met in order to function. Charon claims resources for its exclusive use because a real-time legacy OS expects resources to be continuously available. Stromasys recommends placing the Charon VM on a physical host with enough CPU, RAM and I/O resources so the VM does not have to swap out for other VMs.

What are the benefits of installing Charon on VMware?

The benefits of running Charon on VMware are very similar to running Charon in the Cloud: reduced infrastructure, less power consumption, centralized management, etc. With VMware, the Charon server can be managed in a similar fashion to your other virtual machine. It’s no longer the odd legacy hardware box in a corner and special hardware maintenance costs are a thing of the past. Of course, it’s still a legacy application running on a legacy OS and will still require personnel with legacy OS expertise, but routine management can be done by someone without that legacy expertise – by datacenter managers without special knowledge of specific legacy operating systems.

The transition from legacy hardware to Charon can take place in a week, with no application changes and, in some cases the only downtime is a reboot to cut over to the new instance. Charon software also is compatible with Hyper-V, Xen, and KVM virtualizations.

Ultimately, VMware is a nice option but by no means a requirement. There is no need to get VMware to run Charon, but if you have VMware, we are glad to work with you to run your Charon instance(s) there. As a VMware partner, we are experts at implementing our solutions within that environment.


An Overview of Legacy Software and Legacy Systems

If you are interested in learning more about legacy software and legacy systems, this post provides a brief overview. If you’d like to discuss options for your legacy system, please contact us.

What is legacy software?

Legacy software is software that has been around a long time and still fulfills a business need. It is mission critical and tied to a particular version of an operating system or hardware model (vendor lock-in) that has gone end-of-life. Generally the lifespan of the hardware is shorter than that of the software. As time goes on, the hardware gets harder to maintain but is kept because it is installed and (for now) working and has proven too complex and/or expensive to replace

What are legacy systems?

Legacy systems include both the legacy software and the legacy hardware. Here at Stromasys, we virtualize the legacy hardware; we make no changes to the business software. Since the only change to the legacy system is replacement of the hardware with an industry-standard server, the arduous process of software certification does not have to be repeated.

Who has legacy systems?

Legacy systems are everywhere; banks, energy companies (including nuclear plants), manufacturing of all types (process control), the defense industry, transportation, hospitals, insurance, and more.  At Stromasys, we work with organizations of all sizes and across just about every vertical with production or business critical environments.

Is Charon an option for your legacy system(s)?

Charon is a strong option for companies who still need their legacy applications and cannot take the risk of rewriting the business logic in a software migration. If you are experiencing pains of failing PDP-11, VAX, Alpha, HP 3000, or SPARC hardware and want to take preventive measures, contact us to learn more about which customized Charon solution is right for your organization.


Hardware Emulation for Legacy Servers

At Stromasys, our Charon product emulates hardware and not software. This emulation layer allows legacy software to talk to modern industry-standard hardware, effectively replacing aging hardware. Charon doesn’t emulate software applications, and it doesn’t emulate the legacy operating system. In fact, it does not modify either existing applications or the legacy OS.

In a nutshell, Charon emulates the original chip instruction sets to emulate devices used by the legacy system and translate commands from the unchanged legacy OS to the new underlying host OS in the modern OS language. The process is strictly hardware replacement, allowing the original application to run exactly as before on new hardware.

Our hardware emulation is so precise that tests run by DEC to test our CHARON-VAX against the original VAX hardware could not tell the difference between the two. Our virtual VAX passed the same quality assurance tests that DEC used to verify that their hardware was functioning correctly.

Because the Charon installation only changes the hardware, Charon users don’t have to have their software systems recertified. This is a huge benefit for businesses working in highly regulated spaces since recoding  and recertification (not always successful, time-consuming, and costly) is avoided.

Charon implementation, on the other hand, leaves the applications unchanged. The process of installing Charon is lower cost, lower risk, and requires less downtime. These benefits, as well as others, are why organizations around the world are running their legacy applications on Charon.


Cloud Virtualization for your Legacy Server

You may have seen our press release a while back when we launched Charon in the cloud. If you are thinking about virtualizing your legacy server to the cloud, this post provides additional information.

Why might a business virtualize to the cloud?

Charon in the cloud offers an additional option to virtualizing legacy servers on an industry standard server. The cloud option eliminates the need for on-premises hardware, thereby eliminating the capital cost of physical infrastructure. For a small business, this could be the deciding factor. Also, operational costs may be significantly reduced. Facility ownership, electricity costs, and some administrative tasks can be offloaded to the cloud provider.

Virtualizing to the cloud can be a big money saver for archive systems; with the pay-as-you-go concept of the cloud, organizations with archive systems only have costs when they actually spin-up the archived system. This becomes a strong option for organizations required to maintain access to their archived systems but not using them on a regular basis.

Charon in the cloud is, in effect, Software as a Service.

What about security?

There are two sides to this coin:

On the one hand: security is a concern for being in the cloud, because so much is happening behind the scenes that the customer can’t see.

On the other hand: cloud providers operate on economies of scale, and this means they can provide strong security options. Good security costs money. Cloud providers can spread the costs of security amongst their customers, meaning that part of what you pay for to be in the cloud is the security.

Ultimately, businesses must decide on a case-by-case basis whether the security offered by cloud providers will meet their needs. If your data is highly confidential, then you may not want to virtualize in the cloud. The cloud is very secure, but (as with most things) there is no guarantee. But depending on the confidentiality of your data and how often you are accessing the legacy application, virtualizing to the cloud could be a really good option.


Developing a System Migration Strategy with Charon

If you have a legacy system, the hardware is aging and in danger of failing. Replacement parts may be hard to come by. Do you have a strategy to prepare for that imminent day?

Organizations with legacy systems know they must have a plan to maintain their critical applications. When hardware breaks and a part needs replacing, it may take days to get it from eBay. Delays searching for the part and waiting for it to arrive means downtime. Downtime, of course, costs money. For many organizations, this is the moment when they realize they have a problem: the system is failing, and it impacts the business.

To create a plan, organizations first assess their options:

  • Option A is to maintain the aging hardware, and that generally means looking to eBay or other used part resellers, as mentioned above.
  • Option B is to migrate the software. While often effective, this is costly and time-consuming, not to mention risky, and thus may not be a realistic option.

Without knowledge of Charon, this is where system migration strategies stop. Organizations choosing between Option A and Option B often find themselves between a rock and a hard place.

With Charon, there is an easier, cheaper, and better way. Charon virtualizes the legacy hardware, allowing legacy applications to run, unmodified, on industry standard servers. The headaches of Option A are eliminated: there is no need to look for spare parts for the legacy hardware, because Charon makes the hardware unnecessary. And unlike Option B, Charon is cost-effective, low risk, and has a relatively short implementation process (a matter of days, often less than a week).OK

So what does the plan look like once an organization decides to implement Charon?

The first thing to do is talk to Stromasys. Our team of technical experts have a wealth of experience working with legacy hardware, applications, and operating systems. A Stromasys specialist with expert knowledge of your hardware and legacy OS will work with you as you take an inventory of your systems, and then the specialist will analyze your environment to determine the product that will best meet the needs of your situation.

The next step, and an optional one, is a Proof of Concept (PoC). In the PoC, we install Charon on your  industry standard server then restore a full backup of your legacy system. In most cases, this is an opportunity to test fully your applications in the Charon environment.  When testing completes successfully, your business prepares a PO for the license, we do a final restore of the production system to the new hardware, and then cut over.

With a Charon system migration plan, your pain points are gone. Your legacy applications run just as they always have, users do not have to be retrained, your team doesn’t live in fear of downtime, and business continuity is ensured.


Announcing CHARON-SSP Version 1.0.36

 

We have now released our newest version of our Legacy SPARC Emulator – CHARON-SSP: Version 1.0.36.

If you are currently running CHARON-SSP and have an active support contract, contact the Stromasys Sales Team or your Stromasys Partner to request your upgrade.

Benefits of CHARON-SSP Version 1.0.36:

  • CHARON Manager layout improvement
  • Introduction of CHARON Director for centralized management of CHARON SSP instances running on many Servers
  • X11 nested server panel with keyboard layout and graphics resolution configuration options
  • Password encryption between CHARON Manager and Agent
  • New Barebone versions based on CentOS with ISO images and USB installers
  • Bugs fixed

In addition, the following updates were released for specific versions of CHARON-SSP:

CHARON-SSP/4U and CHARON-SSP/4U PLUS

  • Performance improvement of approximately 10%
  • Up to 32 Serial Ports support with full modem control

CHARON-SSP/4M

  • Support for 2nd Ethernet Adapter emulation
  • Serial lines support for full modem control

Interested in more information about CHARON-SSP?

Thank you,

The Stromasys Support Team