CHARON-VAX – VAX Emulation on a Windows PC

CHARON-VAX is designed to extend the life of VAX VMS applications by moving them to a new server style PC hardware platform without any conversion effort. Adoption of this strategy has many benefits:

  CHARON VAX – VAX Emulation on a Windows PC
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  • Reduced Risk – HP is not renewing VAX support on some systems in some areas leaving the customer to fend for themselves for parts and maintenance services. By eliminating your ageing VAX hardware and replacing it with modern, readily available PC server style computer platform with a CHARON-VAX emulator you eliminate the risk a VAX disk or tape will wear out, bringing your system to a grinding halt with no spare to be found. Such a failure could be a career-ending or company-ending event.

  • Reduced Cost – A total turnkey system from Salem Automation including migration services, PC hardware, 3-year hardware maintenance contract, software licenses, software maintenance and onsite installation can normally be paid back in 6 to 18 months by eliminating the VAX maintenance contract with a move to CHARON-VAX.

  • Avoid Cost – By implementing a CHARON-VAX system, you avoid having to evaluate a new software package, decide upon new software, purchase new software, customize new software for your organization, retrain everyone, re-document everything, go through an unspecified amount of downtime and enjoy the risk that the new system may not work as good as the old, VAX system. With CHARON-VAX you issue a purchase order to Salem Automation and in as little as 3 weeks we arrive onsite with your new system. We move one cable over to the new system and test it for functionality. Your old system remains in place should you want to fall back to it. The users of the CHARON-VAX emulator will only be aware the system seems to be running faster.

  • Speed Up Your System – The new computer system which CHARON-VAX runs on will have disks 5 to 20 times faster – meaning your data gets to your users that much faster. Boot times are a fraction of their earlier times. Compile times have gone down by 800% in some cases. Some CHARON-VAX licenses can be up to 60 times faster than your existing VAX system. This improved CHARON-VAX performance can allow you to add more users on the system without speed degradation.

  • Store More Data – The CHARON-VAX allows you to increase your disk space on your VAX by a 1000 fold using modern 15,000 RPM SCSI disks. Not only are these disks faster, they can be setup in a RAID 5 redundant configuration, mirrored or shared between a backup system. CHARON-VAX can address 114 SCSI disks. At 200 GB per disk that is 22,800 Gigabyte or 22 Terrabytes on your CHARON-VAX emulator!

  • RAID Drives on a VAX – The CHARON-VAX emulator allows you to use PC computers with RAID 5 drive systems. This was not possible with even the latest VAX systems manufactured. You can also use Windows disk Mirroring on your host system. If you are using shadowing in VMS on your existing VAX this will work on the new CHARON-VAX emulator and you can even have each disk container file that is being shadowed located on a separate physical drives in your PC system.

  • Use Windows tools to Backup Your VAX – Because the CHARON-VAX emulator uses disk container files, you can use Windows tools to backup the entire VAX disk as a single file. If shadowing is used, backups can be done online without interrupting the emulated VAX’s operations. As you can imagine this allows your backups to proceed very fast under CHARON-VAX. You can also continue to do local tape backups by assigning your PC’s DAT drive to the emulated VAX and use VMS commands to backup your disks. Obviously you can do a complete image backup of your system just as you would with any Windows system.

  • Ease VMS Operating System Upgrades – Once upgraded to CHARON-VAX you can more easily upgrade your VMS operating system to a more current version. Once the CD on your PC system is assigned to the CHARON-VAX emulation, you can then load the new operating system version. If there are any problems and you need to fall back, no problem, you made a backup of the container file before you got started! You merely move your backup to the appropriate directory and restart the CHARON-VAX emulator, it will come up as before. At a later date you can re-try the update.

  • Make All Your Old Tape Backups Available Online – Once upgraded to CHARON-VAX, you can move all of your old tape backups over to container files on your system. This means you can finally throw out all of your old VAX tapes and disk packs. These container files can be configured to be available online within the CHARON-VAX emulator or you can configure them into the system as needed.

  • CHARON-VAX is Compatible with Old Versions of VMS – CHARON-VAX is compatible with VMS versions 4.7 through 7.2 as well as other operating systems, VAXELN, Ultrix and NetBSD.

  • CHARON-VAX Supports Old Q-BUS & UNI-BUS Peripherals – CHARON-VAX supports old Q-BUS peripherals via an interconnect cable and PCI board to an old Q-BUS/UNI-BUS chassis. Alternatively, PCI boards are available that emulate many of the old Q-BUS / UNI-BUS cards to allow complete elimination of the old hardware.

  • Moving Serial Devices from a VAX to a PC – Existing serial ports on a VAX system can be mapped to a multi-port serial card on a PC under CHARON-VAX emulation to allow easy switchover to the new system without changing any of your VMS configuration.