Running HP OpenVMS or Tru64 on VMware vSphere

Charon-AXP also supports running in a Windows Server 2008 / 2003 R2 virtual machine on top of VMware vSphere. See this article on the site of  the vendor of Charon, Stromasys, This allows features like vMotion, cloning  and Disaster Recovery which were not available or at high costs when using OpenVMS on legacy Digital/HP AlphaServers.

However according to the vendor there is a performance loss of around 5 % when Charon is running in a virtual machine instead of running on a bare metal server.

Also a vMotion of OpenVMS on virtualized AlphaServer hardware has not been tested.  A vMotion could lead to unwanted results . Most companies which are using Charon software do not run the software on top of vSphere. This because of costs. Also in most cases OpenVMS is clustered and nodes are running in Charon VMs installed on multiple bare metal servers  running Windows Server.

The license costs of Charon-AXP depends on the type of AlphaServer being emulated. Three license types are available. An unlimted license, a one year license and a 720 hour disaster recovery license.

Also an individual instance or multi-instance can be purchased. The individual license allows to run a single instance of virtualized AlphaServer . The multi-instance allows to run multiple instances of AlphaServers on the same guest operating system.

The license is implemented using an USB key which needs to be in the server at all times. If the USB is accidently removed all Charon workloads running on that server will stop.

Price for a AlphaServer DS10/DS20 emulation is around Euro 14.000 for an unlimited time license.  This covers the cost of a single VM! For each VM you need to purchase a license.

This PowerPoint presentation has a lot of information on Charon . It shows names of Charon customers. Some examples of European customers of Charon-AXP are

Arma Suisse,  BCC, BP, Bundeswehr, Commerzbank,  Degremont, Eurofighter, European Space Agency, Fugro UK, Huntsmann Chemicals,  Gallimard France, GlaxoSmithKline Italy, Kirchenrat Stuttgart, Metalli Italy, Oto Melara, Philips Medical Systems, Police Netherlands, RAF UK, Stockholm Public Transport, Urano Germany

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About Marcel van den Berg
I am a technical consultant with a strong focus on server virtualization, desktop virtualization, cloud computing and business continuity/disaster recovery.

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