Archive for: alpha emulation | Stromasys

Webinar: Decrease your expenses in 2019 by emulating your legacy applications

Legacy systems in your company: The ROI & Organizational Impact

On Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018, our engineer and sales experts, Dave Clements and Sandy Levitt, held a webinar in conjunction with IOUG. They discussed the pain points companies felt when having legacy systems within companies and what organizations can do about it.

Legacy hardware is costing companies over $1.1 million in lost revenue a year through downtime, exorbitant service and support fees, lost data center floor space, inefficient processing time and power consumption. Companies need to replace the aging hardware but they have mission-critical applications running or mandated data to reference. What should they do?

In this webinar, you’ll learn the benefits associated with legacy server emulation, as well as:
• What legacy systems are
• Overview of  risks & costs with legacy hardware
• Options for dealing with hardware
• Three different case studies showing the success of virtualization


Digital Business Transformation Benefits From Emulation

June 28, 2018- Stromasys, the world’s leading provider of business class multiplatform emulation and virtualization, provides an analysis of how emulation and virtualization are key to the digital transformation process of any company.

Emulation and virtualization are regarded today as technologies that drive important transformations in industries by allowing something rigid and obsolete to become more flexible and capable of offering companies numerous benefits; but what does it mean? According to Eduardo Serrat, CTO of Stromasys, “Legacy systems include legacy software and hardware. Actually, it is software that has been in operation for a long time and that still satisfies a need of the company.”

Legacy technology has a critical mission and is subject to a version of an operating system or hardware model (subject to an exclusive provider) that has already reached the end of its existence. Often, the life of the hardware is shorter than that of the software. Over the years, the hardware becomes more difficult to maintain, but it is retained because it is installed and (for the moment) working and it is too complex or expensive to replace it. Further, the applications themselves are excellent: they work, they address a business need, and they don’t need to be replaced. It is the hardware—not the software—that presents a business risk and added expense. Stromasys virtualizes the legacy hardware and thus extends the system’s useful life.

In this scenario, legacy systems are everywhere: banks, energy companies (including nuclear plants), production of all kinds (process control), the defense industry, transportation, hospitals, government and educational entities, insurance, and more. “At Stromasys we work with organizations of all sizes and in almost all areas in critical business or production environments,” Serrat explained. “Companies that use critical applications on aging hardware platforms would benefit from hardware emulation, since depending on the supply of spare parts for the replacement of faulty components is both unreliable and a short-term solution. System performance declines over time, due to greater frequency of hardware failures, low reliability of reconditioned spare parts, and higher cost.”

Companies that in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s implemented VAX, Alpha, HP 3000, HP 9000 and SPARC machines are ideal candidates to consider emulation and virtualization of their systems. In Latin America, these legacy systems are mostly operating in government entities, educational institutions, financial institutions, and oil and hospital organizations, among others. Serrat concludes, “Stromasys helps to preserve critical applications by emulating previous hardware architectures, preserving the functionality and operating environment, contributing to the extension of their useful life and reducing costs associated with the maintenance of obsolete equipment.”

7 business benefits of emulation and virtualization:

1- Mitigation of risks to a catastrophic failure of the Legacy systems.
2- Modernization of their legacy systems. Emulation and virtualization solutions can be used in all types of industries and the company can continue to operate its legacy applications without having to go through a retraining process.
3- Minimizing operating costs through the reduction of up to 85% of physical space, and up to 90% the costs of energy consumption and heat dissipation.
4- Increase of productivity, since these modern systems have better functioning in terms of “performance”.
5- Incorporation of high availability schemes and the ability to respond quickly to the needs of customers.
6- Being part of the trend digital transformation that we are experiencing and better collaboration, since these inherited systems that were isolated systems in the past, become part of the ecosystem and the digital transformation of the company.
7- Automation, being part of the ecosystem old manual processes can be automated.

Spanish Article Coverage: http://computerworldmexico.com.mx/como-la-emulacion-puede-ayudarlo-a-alcanzar-la-transformacion-digital/


Supporting Tru64 Users with Legacy Alpha Emulation

While legacy hardware is failing, the legacy operating system and the original applications have a much longer lifetime. Typically, they are still in great shape even when the original hardware begins to break down. Charon solutions are a way to move forward and continue using those durable legacy operating systems and applications, but without the pain points of the aging hardware. The below is an interview with Sandy Levitt, Senior Sales Engineer and Director of Sales Operations at Stromasys. Sandy has many years of experience with DEC systems and the Tru64 operating system. Read this interview to learn more about how Charon can help legacy system users move toward Alpha emulation and how Charon supports the Tru64 operating system, as well as others like OpenVMS, Solaris, and MPE.

 

Sandy, would you describe how you first became involved with legacy systems?

The first Unix I ever worked on was Ultrix, which ran on MIPS and VAX from Digital Equipment Corporation.   At first I worked as a presales engineer in the government space, helping sell what was the state-of-the-art BSD-based Unix.  It was not enough for me, so I ended working in the Customer Support Center, helping to fix customer problems.  DEC was an innovative company at the time, and soon enough they were coming out with a new Unix called OSF/1 that we were going to support on what was going to be the fastest chip out there, the Alpha. (OSF/1 later became Tru64)  Business was growing and so was the call volume.   Our team kept growing and growing until we had about 30 people.

And you have continued to work with Tru64, Unix, and DEC legacy systems since then?

Fast forward about 15 years.  Since that time, Digital was bought by Compaq, and then by HP, which had its own systems, and UNIX- HPUX.   It took time, but eventually the number of customers running Tru64 was dwindling. Linux had become the de facto Unix, and X86 the de facto chip. Not to say that there were not other Unix types and chips, but the market had definitely shifted. HPE no longer provided engineering support for Tru64. As of Dec 31st 2016, HPE will no longer support Tru64.

What was remarkable, though, was how many major customers still had Alphas running Tru64. It was and still is a reliable, stable workhorse to critical applications in all different industries.

What brought you over to Stromasys?

When I was let go in 2014, with 20+ years of experience in Tru64, I was not sure where my future was going. I was learning Linux, but it wasn’t the same. How could I continue my love of Tru64 in the modern Cloud/VM/x86 world?

The answer lay in Stromasys.   When I found out they were hiring, I was so excited. Would working for a company with about 100 employees be different than working for HP (now HPE)?  It definitely would be, but for the better. Within Stromasys, and its customers, is a love for the legacy systems and operating systems. Why migrate an application that runs perfectly fine on a stable operating system?  The only problem is that the hardware was starting to fail.   But here the OS and application could continue to run on modern X86 systems.   At Stromasys, I have watched many customers migrate their Tru64 systems seamlessly to emulated hardware, so that they continue to run mission critical applications.   The amazement that these customers have in what we do—that’s why I do this.

Secretly, though, I also do this because I see the operating system that I grew to love for 20+ years continue to live. Working with Tru64 is like slipping on that old sweatshirt.  It just makes you feel good.

As a Tru64 expert yourself, how do you see Stromasys addressing the needs of other Tru64 users?

It does so by providing a stable environment for Tru64 to run on. Since Tru64 is stable as an operating system, experience dictates that most crashes and downtime are due to hardware failing. As I mentioned earlier, Stromasys also is able to provide support for Tru64, as HP is discontinuing all support as of December 31, 2016.

So that means Tru64 users and the organizations relying upon the operating system won’t have to worry about downtime caused by an unsupported operating system, right?

Exactly. We have a team of Tru64 experts who will provide the same kind of support for not only our Charon solutions that allow hardware emulation of the original DEC hardware, but also for the Tru64 operating system that runs on top of it.

What advice would you give to engineers still using these platforms daily within their organizations? 

Any migration plans will take double the time originally anticipated, so don’t neglect these systems. And, of course, getting rid of the hardware risk and placing the legacy application and operating system on x86 is the safe thing to do.

For more information on next steps for your legacy system, visit our Solutions page or contact us for a consultation.