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Listed below are some of the more recent presentations that SCI has given at various conferences and user group seminars. View the presentation online by simply clicking on the title.



OpenVMS Boot Camp 2017


3PAR for the VMS administrator 

This session will provide the OpenVMS practitioner the information needed to leverage the HPE 3PAR storage systems.


Beyond an overview of the unique requirements of OpenVMS on 3PAR, this session will include information about driving storage management / monitoring operations via DCL / Python / SSH such as on-line snapshots and presentation management. Performance considerations and modern presentation techniques such as Thin provisioning and reduplication of data will also be covered.


A Bliss Primer 

The BLISS programming language originated at Carnegie-Mellon University in 1969, originally for the DEC PDP-10. BLISS was adopted as DEC's implementation language for use on its new line of VAX computers in 1975. DEC developed a completely new generation of BLISSs for the VAX, PDP-10 and PDP-11, which became widely used at DEC through the 1990s. With the creation of the Alpha architecture and the growth of IA32 and IA64 architectures, BLISS was enhance and implemented there as well. In addition to within OpenVMS itself, many layered products and associated components are developed primarily in BLISS.


This session provides an introduction to BLISS for people familiar with other programming languages and on OpenVMS in particular. The unique capabilities and characteristics of BLISS discussed include the use of an explicit contents of operator (written as a period or ‘dot’), an algorithmic approach to data structure definition, begin an expression language, and its unusually rich compile-time language. Those wishing to understand the OpenVMS listings, to implement applications and systems will gain insight in to the use and behavior of BLISS. BLISS compilers for OpenVMS VAX, Alpha and IA64 are available on the OpenVMS freeware CD providing a free, powerful, and standard implementation language for OpenVMS.


adventures of vms moves, migrations and rehosting - 2017 

This is the latest update to this popular series of session. VMS has been around for a long time and in all likelihood, you are NOT running on that same VAX-11/780 you purchased in 1980. Thanks to the fine engineering that’s gone into VMS, many VMS migrations truly are non-events. But when business needs cause changes such as moving entire data centers, requiring modern disaster recovery from your 1990s Alpha Servers, or jumping over 30 years of technological changes only to discover that the “build procedures” were not quite as robust as once imagined, the migrations become much more interesting. In this updated session, we will discuss several of the more esoteric OpenVMS migration projects that we have been involved in and how we made them a success.


Understanding RDB Bugcheck DUMPS 

An overview of analyzing and understanding RDB bugchecks.


My System Manager Retired – Now what? 

For years your systems were built and managed by the same person – we’ll call him Les. But now Les has retired and you are on your own. You believe Les has the systems configured with every availability feature, designed to withstand multiple failures. Les was very good at his job and it all seems to be working because it’s been a long, long time since you’ve had an unplanned outage.


But Les did a lot every day to maintain your systems and insure availability. Who is doing that now and are you confident it’s being done to the same extent Les would do it? Your systems are continuing to evolve – are you confident changes are being implemented to Les’ standards for availability? As the person now responsible for your OpenVMS systems, do you have Peace of Mind that if something goes wrong you can restore services and availability?


In a complex environment, there are literally 1,000’s of things that can go wrong – and they are often the result of neglect, mismanagement or operational errors – all things that wouldn’t happen under Les’ watchful eye. While not all are likely to crash the computer or cluster, many of these problems can cause unplanned outages for portions of your application – or worse. Are you confident your systems won’t fall victim to one of these possible problems?


This session discusses proven methodologies and best practice for VMS system management you need to make sure are implemented to insure your systems operate the way Les would have them operating.



Still running your business critical applications on aging, difficult to support VAX or Alpha hardware? You’ve probably heard of CHARON emulation products that allow you to run VMS on modern, supportable x86 architecture platforms, but have you heard of the many creative opportunities CHARON allows for? How about running on virtualized platforms (VMWare)? Connecting your old VAX to corporate SAN storage? Easily using the corporate backup solution, automated from VMS? Using your DR site without adding legacy hardware to it? And so much more… All of these things are easier to implement than you may think!


Come to this session to learn how to replace those aging VAX or Alpha servers by virtualizing them with the CHARON Cross-Platform Virtualization products and take full advantage of the modern technologies in your data center.


This session is updated using recent real world examples from SCI’s extensive CHARON customer base, this session will discuss: • A brief overview of the virtualization architecture and functionality • Discussion of newest features in the CHARON product set with a focus on the new Linux utilities. • Virtualizing the host: CHARON on VMware • Integration with a modern data center. • Deployment strategies including server consolidation and virtual • OpenVMS clusters • Ease of migration • Disaster tolerance using VMWare


SLOW Still only wins in fairy tales 

Only in fairy tales can slow be great and win the race. In real life commercial computing, rarely is this the case. And just as often, there is a lot more to the story. It is not magic, though villains and heroes contribute to the legend and lore. This session covers the identification and analysis steps used to pinpoint and correct application and system performance "hot spots" contributing to “slow”.


Topic areas include CPU, IO and contention bound environments including RMS files, alignment faults, code compilation options, caches, buffering, etc. Application developers, IT decision makes, and system managers will want to make sure to attend this session. This is an updated version of a session from 2015 with additional proof that slow really does only win in Fairy Tales.


Understanding and Using the Integrity Console 

Understanding the Integrity console can be critical when dealing with boot problems. It is also used to update firmware and archive the mother board settings. The time to learn about the console is NOT when the system fails to boot or the mother board had to be replaced. To be prepared attend this session. If you never have to use it great, but I HIGHLY recommend archiving the motherboard settings because sometimes hardware breaks.


Troubleshooting OpenVMS With SDA Extensions and Availability Manager 

This session will dive into the use of SDA extensions to troubleshoot IP connection problems as well as various performance issues, such as alignment faults and MP synchronization time. Knowledge of SDA is not a prerequisite, but we will cover what SDA extensions are and how to identify which ones are available on your system.


VMWare for the VMS Administrator 

This session will provide both a foundational review of VMWare and the specifics that apply to OpenVMS Admins. While VMWare now only benefits those who run a pre-Integrity emulator (w/ HPE or VSI VMS) this is one of the chosen Virtual Machines for X86 VSI VMS! Clustering, Networking, Storage options and more!


OpenVMS Boot Camp 2016



This session is a comprehensive overview of the OpenVMS 8.x implementation of the SAMBA/CIFS file sharing mechanism. While there are many ways to configure this product to safely and securely share files, this presentation will focus on integration with Microsoft Active Directory which is the most common infrastructure at most organizations. All facets of the implementation will be covered from installation to managing security once part of the Active Directory domain. Troubleshooting and monitoring techniques will also be discussed and demonstrated.


CHARON as a Marvel replacement? Explorations in CHARON performance
Performance is often a pivotal concern when evaluating a migration from late model EV6/EV7 AlphaServers to a CHARON emulated environment. An AlphaServer GS80, for example, presented highest level performance in the industry when it was introduced and businesses rely to this day on that capability.

When deploying CHARON emulation, numerous performance experiments are run using combinations of customer applications and synthetic tests. Results indicate a balanced configuration where the emulator is faster or slower for different tests. This information further guides SCI in tuning the customer’s application environment to ultimately provide performance similar to or superior than the physical Alpha being replaced.

This in-depth technical session provides insights into various performance characteristics of CHARON emulation as compared with the original physical AlphaServer computers. Multiple test case behaviors and results are explained and examined in relationship to ‘real-world’ application benefits.

Network troubleshooting for the VMS Engineer

This presentation focuses on lower layer LAN/WAN - TCPIP / DecNet / Cluster troubleshooting using the built in tools of OpenVMS, HP hosting hardware (e.g Virtual Connect / C7000 enclosures) and the open-sourced network packet analysis tool, WireShark . Additionally, there will be some discussion of best practices for provisioning of the network to achieve the highest availability and performance leveraging OpenVMS constructs and external connectivity coordination.


Managing your Integrity, Console, boot and crash processes

Booting an integrity it quite a bit different from booting a VAX or Alpha. This presentation discusses how to boot the system in conversational mode (with a boot option or manually) and how to boot the system manually (assuming you can access the disk from the console). It will also discus the various ways to shutdown the system, including multiple ways to force a crash. Also shown will be the utility to backup the NVRAM on the motherboard, to be restored when you have to replace the motherboard. This session will include a replication of the most unusual boot problem he has ever seen, which happened to be on an Integrity, but could happen on any architecture.


Troubleshooting OpenVMS With SDA Extensions and Availability Manager

This is a 2 part session. One part is general performance issues such as high MP sync, alignment faults, high interrupt or kernel mode time. Monitor can Identify that these events are occurring but what is creating them? SDA extensions can be very useful in identifying the root cause.
Network performance issues are usually best handled by the network administrators, however there are a couple of issues that may be identified from VMS and fixed within VMS.
Using the best disk in a multi-site/multi-SAN shadowset will also be discussed (i.e. how to manage).

Part 2 is what to do when you have a hung cluster, with the symptom of getting a username prompt but never a password prompt. This is usually indicative of a problem accessing the sysuaf file. If the problem is the disk that contains the sysuaf/rightslist is broken you are out of luck. But if one of the systems has a lock on the sysuaf then crashing that node will usually fix the problem. Here is the dilemma, which node do you crash? This is where Availability Manager can help you identify WHICH node to crash.



Rdb Security - Keeping the bad guys out and the auditor happy

Bryan Holland, founder and president of SCI, will be presenting on industry standard protocols for securing your Oracle Rdb databases.  Drawing on his 20+ years of experience managing 100’s of Oracle Rdb databases Bryan will offer best practice ‘tricks and tips’ to keeping the bad guys out and the auditors happy.


What I've Learned Managing hundreds of Mission-Critical Rdb Databases

When properly configured and managed, Oracle Rdb provides a highly-reliable, high-performance database environment that is ideally suited for mission-critical applications where down-time is not an option. However, poor design, configuration problems or operational management issues can lead to performance, reliability and availability problems -- and loss of data.

This session focuses on the basics of Rdb database administration, based on 20+ years of experience supporting Rdb data abases in a variety of environments. This session provides a guide to "best practices" for managing Rdb databases, including both what you MUST do -- as well as what NOT to do. We will cover everything from the basics of file-placement and backup strategies to more advanced topics like implementing a high-performance Row Cache and Hot-standby databases.

While specific to Rdb, many of the "best-practices" also apply to other database engines... 

This presentation was given at the 2009 HP Technology Forum & Expo in Las Vegas, NV USA on June 16, 2009 by Bryan Holland, President and Founder of SCI

OpenVMS Integrity Migration Experiences

Since the release of OpenVMS on Integrity in early 2005, HP has been promoting the ease of migration to OpenVMS on Integrity servers. But, is it really that easy? With proper planning and execution, and some experiences we'll share in this session, we've found that migrations can be almost as easy as HP promotes.

This session is a study of multiple, real-world, customer migrations: two mission critical OpenVMS clusters (1 VAX, 1 Alpha) to 3 Integrity clusters and 5 standalone VAX servers migrated to standalone Integrity servers. This session will focus more on the project level aspects, the planning, design, implementation and management of the migrations, drawing on the experiences of actual migrations. We'll discuss the processes and methodologies we've developed doing migrations, the problems we've encountered and how we solved them, etc.

This will not be "yet-another-integrity-porting" session -- this is the real thing, based on real customer experiences. 

This presentation was given at the 2009 HP Technology Forum & Expo in Las Vegas, NV USA on June 18, 2009 by Brad McCusker, formerly of HP's OpenVMS engineering group Brad manages SCI's OpenVMS System Services business.

This presentation discusses the benefits of deploying DBMS in an Alpha environment. Included in this discussion, is a review of those features of DBMS that are available only in an Alpha environment. If you are looking to migrate to or optimizing DBMS in an Alpha environment, this presentation is a must.

Presented by Kevin Bickerdike to an audience of MANMAN® users at the CAMUS Conference in San Diego, CA USA on March 7, 2001. Kevin is a database support analyst at Software Concepts International with several years of DBMS experience. A WorkStream version of the presentation was made by Bryan Holland, President and Founder of SCI, at the Consilium IUG Conference in Lake Tahoe, CA USA on October 11, 2000.

DBO SHOW STATISTICS provides in-depth performance data about the DBMS run-time environment. Understanding how to interpret this data will enable you to analyze bottlenecks, troubleshoot problem areas and optimize database performance. While the presentation was made to a CODASYL DBMS audience, the STATISTICS information discussed in this presentation will also apply to all Rdb sites. If you are interested in optimizing your Rdb or DBMS environment, sit back and enjoy our presentation.

This presentation was given at the CAMUS Conference in Las Vegas, NV USA on August 24, 1999 by Kevin Bickerdike, one of SCI's Database Support Analysts.

Preparing for a disaster is a critical responsibility of the DBA. In this presentation, Bryan Holland describes how to evaluate and develop effective recovery strategies for Rdb and DBMS databases. Going beyond a discussion of simple backups, Mr. Holland discusses recovery strategies in the context of efficient recovery times and protecting against geographical disasters.

This presentation was given at the Consilium IUG Conference in Monterey, CA USA for WorkStream® users on October 11, 1999 by Bryan Holland, President and Founder of SCI.  Mr. Holland also gave the presentation at the CAMUS Conference in Boston, MA USA for MANMAN® users on August 9, 2000.

These presentations require Windows Media Player.
This program is available for free, to download click on the logo below.

If you experience problems using Media Player, visit 
Microsoft's Media Player Support Website.




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