Archive for: SPARC | Stromasys

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.


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.


Stromasys announces a new product version, Charon-SSP 4.0, to include emulation of the hardware SPARC-V9 64-bit processor

Stromasys announced today its release of Charon-SSP version 4.0 (SSP 4.0), which extends the number of processors the Charon software can emulate to a modern platform or the cloud, as well as offering more memory and increased performance. IT professionals with end-of-life SPARC servers can use the Charon-SSP emulation software in order to continue using mission-critical applications, while also lowering operational costs and energy consumption.

With SSP 4.0, Stromasys enhanced its cross-platform hardware virtualization product to include a virtual replica of sun4m, sun4u, and sun4v SPARC systems on standard x86-64 computer systems. These systems are running Linux on top of physical hardware, or a hypervisor, and can be emulated on a cloud through a cloud-specific product variant.

“The SPARC-V9 64-bit processer is more widely used than other SPARC systems.  Thanks to this addition to our product line, more companies can now fully modernize their IT departments, use new technologies, have IT agility and take part in cloud migration,” stated John Prot, CEO of Stromasys. “They will not be held back by aging technology.”

Key features of SSP 4.0 include an integrated SSH tunnel in Charon manager, an automatic initial password change, emulator suspend and resume, USB removable device support, and various bug fixes and improvements.

For more information about Charon-SSP 4.0, please download the Software Product Description or contact us for a free demo.

View the full press release 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.


Press release: Stromasys announces virtual SPARC, VAX, Alpha, HP3000 for VMware Cloud on AWS and Attains VMware Partner Ready for VMware Cloud on AWS Validation

Stromasys’ virtualizations solution, Charon, provides customers with the ability to move legacy workloads – unchanged – to modern x86 infrastructure or a hybrid cloud

Raleigh, NC, June 21, 2019 — Stromasys, the industry-leading legacy server emulation company, today announced Charon-SSP, Charon-VAX, Charon-AXP, and Charon-HPA are available to customers of VMware Cloud™ on AWS. The company has also attained VMware Partner Ready for VMware Cloud on AWS validation.

VMware Cloud on AWS brings together VMware’s enterprise-class Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) software and elastic, bare-metal infrastructure from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to give organizations consistent operating model and application mobility for private and public cloud. Charon delivers extended life expectancy for legacy applications, many born last century, to customers of VMware Cloud on AWS .

Charon emulators perform dynamic instruction translation of legacy-to-modern OS hardware commands, while taking advantage of modern processor speeds—without making changes to legacy applications or data. Combining Charon with VMware virtual machines provides additional failure protection should the physical server—which hosts a VMware virtual machine—fail. The associated Charon virtual machine takes advantage of vMotion to transfer to another vSphere-based server. This also works for virtual machines on which Charon is running VMS Cluster.

By validating Stromasys with VMware Cloud on AWS and attaining the VMware Partner Ready for VMware Cloud on AWS logo, Stromasys has tested and verified interoperability and can fully manage customer support requests for Charon solutions with VMware Cloud on AWS.

“Stromasys Charon for VMware Cloud on AWS will help our customers go the last mile in their IT modernization,” said John Prot, CEO of Stromasys. “This collaboration further extends our commitment to the VMware community and enables customers to easily reap the benefits of virtualized legacy systems. We look forward to leveraging the power of the VMware Cloud on AWS to help our customers achieve their goals.

“We are pleased that Stromasys Charon is validated for VMware Cloud on AWS. This signifies to customers that Charon can be deployed with the knowledge and reassurance that the partner fully supports the specified versions and configurations on VMware Cloud on AWS,” said Kristen Edwards, vice president, Emerging ISVs & Solutions, VMware.

The Partner Ready for VMware Cloud on AWS program enables partners to validate their application/infrastructure component on VMware Cloud on AWS. Partners extend their on-premises solution capabilities to the cloud, enabling a consistent user experience and functionality on VMware Cloud on AWS.

Stromasys Charon can be found within the online VMware Solution Exchange (VSX) at https://marketplace.vmware.com/vsx/solutions/virtual-sparc-for-vmware-cloud-on-aws-1-4?ref=search, https://marketplace.vmware.com/vsx/solutions/virtual-vax-fro-vmware-cloud-on-aws-4-8?ref=search, https://marketplace.vmware.com/vsx/solutions/virtual-hp-3000-for-vmware-cloud-on-aws-1-11?ref=search, and https://marketplace.vmware.com/vsx/solutions/charon-axp?ref=search. The VMware Solution Exchange is an online marketplace where VMware partners and developers can publish rich marketing content and downloadable software for our customers.

 

About VMware Cloud on AWS

Jointly engineered by VMware and AWS, VMware Cloud on AWS is an on-demand hybrid cloud service that is delivered, sold, and supported by VMware and AWS, and the companies’ respective partners. Powered by VMware Cloud Foundation and running in the AWS Cloud on elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure, VMware Cloud on AWS enables customers to run applications across a consistent hybrid cloud environment, with optimized access to the broad range of native AWS services. With the same architecture and operational experience on-premises and in the cloud, IT teams can quickly derive business value from use of the AWS and VMware hybrid cloud experience. For more information on the VMware Cloud on AWS partner ecosystem, visit: http://cloud.vmware.com/vmc-aws.

 

About Stromasys 

Founded in 1998 with global headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, and US headquarters in Raleigh, NC, Stromasys is the original and leading provider of enterprise-class, cross-platform virtualization solutions.  Charon software products emulate legacy VAX, SPARC, Alpha, and HP3000/9000 (PA-RISC) systems on new x86 infrastructure (on-prem or cloud), thus extending the life and agility of mission-critical legacy applications.

View the full press release here.

 


Four increasing costs of keeping your aging hardware

 

Things are running smoothly so far…the operating systems and applications, in which you’ve invested thousands of man hours and millions of dollars are still reliable and critical to your company’s operations.

BUT the decades-old legacy hardware these valuable applications rest on is starting to cause you headaches. Your legacy system is reaching end-of-life status and you find yourself in an organization that continues to put off upgrading or replacing these systems.

While it’s tempting to push your hardware to its limits, you’re incurring significant costs. In fact, continuing to use aging legacy hardware can turn out more expensive than investing in our virtualization solutions. Below, we’ve outlined the primary hidden costs of keeping classic hardware:

Hidden Cost #1: Downtime

It’s the most dreaded scenario for any organization. The financial losses that often accompany downtime come in the forms of lost production time, quantities, sales revenue, overtime costs, and IT recovery costs. Gartner put the hourly cost of downtime for computer network at $42,000. In addition to these measurable costs, there are the less measurable ones: damage to employee morale, disruption of ongoing developments, and irreversible damage to the company’s reputation for not delivering on customer products and services. With hardware emulation, eliminate unplanned hardware downtime by running your mission-critical applications on industry standard servers or in the cloud.

Hidden Cost #2: Maintenance

Companies spend large parts of their budgets on maintenance, and it’s a no-brainer than the maintenance for aging hardware systems consumes a large portion of that budget. Mark Gillespie, Data Center Operations Manager at Workflowone stated, “We went from paying over $100,000 in maintenance fees per year to paying just $10,000 per year” after using our emulation solution, Charon.  In addition to eliminating these steep maintenance costs, hardware virtualization also allows companies to save money by extending the life cycle of critical applications. With modern infrastructure and no retraining or recertification required, companies find themselves with budget freed up to invest in other initiatives.

Hidden Cost #3: Decreased Performance

Has your system slowed down over the years? This is a common phenomenon as hardware ages. This not only impacts the machine’s output but also how effectively employees can use their time. Employees working with an aging system may lose a significant number of work hours as they wait for systems to load—resulting in lost productivity. Oliver Sauter, IT Manager at Kraus & Naimer said, “Our employees were enthusiastic about jobs that used to run eight hours now being done in ten minutes.”

Another customer initially mistook a massive performance improvement for a malfunction when a report that took 30-45 minutes to generate on the original hardware was ready instantaneously after the hardware was emulated. Hardware emulation enables the software to work harder and faster, boosting system performance reliably and consistently.

Hidden Cost #4: Energy Consumption

With increasing pressures on organizations to reduce their energy consumption and “go green,” this can be a challenge for companies with aging hardware that requires more power and cooling. Reduce your organization’s environmental footprint by opting for a Charon hardware emulation solution in place of the original legacy hardware. Running in the cloud or on industry standard servers, Charon makes it easier for companies to reduce power usage and overall environmental impact—not to mention the utility bill. “Space is a big commodity. Using the Stromasys solution, we went from refrigerator-sized VAX hardware that also required a refrigerator-sized array to a modern, rackable HP DL 2U server,” said Steve Olson, VMS systems manager at Fidelity National Financial, “And you can just imagine the savings from lower energy consumption and cooling costs.”

Aging hardware is accompanied by a number of hidden costs, and it only makes sense to consider hardware emulation as a cost-effective option that helps companies protect their software investments. Support your classic software stack with a virtualized hardware solution to improve performance, increase reliability, save money, reduce the data center footprint and embrace today’s data center transformation strategies—all in a single move. Contact us to learn how.


On the AWS blog: Re-Hosting SPARC, Alpha, or Other Legacy Systems to AWS with Stromasys

Companies still rely on mission-critical applications running on Sun SPARC, Alpha, or other legacy systems like PDP, VAX, or PA-RISC systems. As time goes on, however, the maintenance costs for these systems goes up, and reliability declines due to their age.

Re-architecting these applications is complex and expensive. Fortunately, they can be re-hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in a matter of days using cross-platform hypervisors from Stromasys, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Standard Technology Partner.

Read the full blog post here.


Re-Hosting SPARC, Alpha, or Other Legacy Systems to AWS with Stromasys

By Thomas Netherland, Global Head of Alliances at Stromasys

Companies still rely on mission-critical applications running on Sun SPARC, Alpha, or other legacy systems like PDP, VAX, or HP 3000. As time goes on, however, the maintenance costs for these systems goes up, and reliability declines due to their age.

Re-architecting these applications is complex and expensive. Fortunately, they can be re-hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) in a matter of days using cross-platform hypervisors from Stromasys, an AWS Partner Network (APN) Standard Technology Partner.

In this post, we’ll describe the challenges customers face with legacy systems, the Stromasys technical solution, and a successful customer migration to AWS.

Read the full post on the AWS Partner Network Blog: https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/apn/re-hosting-sparc-alpha-or-other-legacy-systems-to-aws-with-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


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.