AlphaVM is a virtual machine that:
- emulates a whole DEC/Compaq/HP Alpha AXP system including the peripherals,
- is targeted to replace ageing Alpha systems,
- runs on a modern computer system with Linux or Windows,
- runs OpenVMS or Tru64/Digital UNIX
AlphaVM-Pro is a professional version of AlphaVM emulator. It is targeted to emulate the whole range of Alpha servers from EV4 to EV7 class.
AlphaVM-Pro is designed to replace Alpha servers that run in mission-critical environment. High availability and performance are the key features of the product.
AlphaVM emulates Alpha systems based on Tsunami chipset. This class includes the following systems: DS10, DS20, ES40. However, the emulator is able to replace other Alpha systems including DS25, ES45, ES47. The emulator is also able to replace older Alpha systems even with performance increase.
The emulated features:
DS10, DS20, ES40, XP900, XP1000.
More precisely: DS10/466, DS10/616, DS10L/466, DS20/500, DS20E/500, DS20E/667, DS20E/833, DS20L/833, ES40/500, ES40/667, ES40/833, XP900/466, XP1000/500, XP1000/667, XP1000/750.
|Systems that can be replaced by AlphaVM.||Most systems can be replaced. The emulated system does not have to exactly match the system being migrated. The emulated system just have to match the general set of features and the performance requirements. For instance, systems like AS800, AS1000, AS2000, AS2100, AS4000, AS4100, DS25, ES45, ES47s can be migrated.|
|Emulated chipsets||Tsunami, Typhoon.|
|Number of CPUs||up to 4|
|RAM||Up to 32GB|
Two standard serial lines COM1 and COM2.
The serial lines can be mapped to
|SCSI controllers||ISP10xx based controller. The number of SCSI controllers is limited by the number of available PCI slots in the emulated system.|
Emulated SCSI disks can be mapped to
|SCSI CDROMs||SCSI CDROMs mapped to iso files or to real CDROM. It is recommended to use the ISO files.|
|SCSI tapes||SCSI tapes can be mapped to virtual tapes. Physical tapes can be accessed by means of SCSI pass through.|
|SCSI pass though||Any SCSI devices can be mapped by SCSI pass though. It is especially useful for SCSI tapes, tape robots or proprietary SCSI devices.|
|Ethernet||Tulip based NICs. DE435 and DE500. These NICs operate at 10 and 100Mbits. However, the actual network transfer capacity depends on the underlying physical NIC. It can, for instance, be 1GBit. The number of NICs is limited by the number of available PCI slots in the emulated system.|
|Host CPU release when the guest OS is idle.||Supported in JIT2 mode.|
Guest operating systems
The emulator supports the following guest operating systems:
|OpenVMS||7.1-2 and higher|
|Tru64 (Digital UNIX, OSF/1)||4.0e and higher. There are some problems with 5.0.|
|Alpha Linux||Tested with Debian 5.x|
The AlphaVM performance depends on the host system. On a fast modern system the performance is of an EV6 or EV7 class Alpha. See the benchmark page for details.
Normally modern servers consume less energy than Alpha systems. Therefore, using AlphaVM lowers your energy bill. However, AlphaVM goes even further in this direction. AlphaVM-Pro supports detection of the guest OS idle state. When the guest OS is idle, the emulator is able to release the host CPU for energy saving.
Host hardware and OS requirements
AlphaVM emulator requires a powerful modern host system to run on. AlphaVM performance directly depends on the performance of the host system. Therefore it is very important to select the right host system. The requirements depend on the Alpha system to be replaced and on the workload of the applications. Here we provide the general requirements. Please contact us if you need an advice about your specific configuration and workload.
The general requirements are as follows:
|Host system||A modern x86-64 server.|
|Virtual hosts||Tested to run on VMware and Hyper-V. It may run on other virtual hosts like Proxmox, but it is neither tested nor supported. It is known to fail on VirtualBox because VirtaulBox does not correctly set the CPUID capabilities flags.|
|Host OS||Windows Server 2008 or higher, Windows 7 or higher, Linux Debian stable, Linux RedHat 6.3 or higher. For Windows we recommend a server variant.|
Suggestions for high-perormance configurations.
|Host CPU||We recommend an Intel CPU from the E3-1200v3 or E5-2600v2 families. The clock speed must be as high as possible, 3.3GHz or higher.|
|Number of host CPU cores||The number of real CPU cores (not hyperthreads) must be at least the same as the number of emulated CPUs + 1. For high performance configurations we even recommend double amount of cores. If hyper-threading is used, the number of hyperthreads must be at least double of the emulated Alpha CPUs.|
|Host RAM size||Emulated RAM + 2GB + Number of CPUs * 2GB|
|Number of NICs||Preferably each emulated network interface must have a dedicated host network interface. Thus, it is recommended to have N + 1 network interfaces, where N is the number of of the emulated network interfaces.|
If you are going to emulate a single or a dual CPU system and you do not special requirements like dual power supply in the host system, we can recommend HP ProLiant DL320e v2 with E3-1270v3 CPU (4 cores, 8 hyper-threads, 3.5GHz) or E3-1280v3 CPU (4 cores, 8 hyper-threads, 3.6GHz).
If you need to emulate a system with 3 or 4 Alpha CPUs, we can advise an HP ProLiant DL380p. Note that this server can have 1 or 2 of such CPUs. The following CPUs can be used in this server: E5-2643 v2 CPU (3.5GHz, 6 cores) or E5-2637 v2 CPU (3.5GHz, 4 cores, 2 CPUs are needed).
AlphaVM is protected by a USB dongle. When you purchase the product we send you a dongle that must be plugged in the host system. The emulator will not run without the dongle. It is also possible to use a remote connection to check the dongle. There is an option to share the same dongle over the network among several systems.
Optionally we can provide a backup dongle, which can be used for 30 days, if the main dongle fails. In the meantime you can order a replacement for the main dongle.
There is a version of AlphaVM-Pro called AlphaVM-DC, that has a different licensing mechanism. It binds to the hardware instead of a USB dongle. Actually, it is convenient for data centers, where it binds to the hypervisor appliance, which can be moved between physical hosts.
The product price depends on the features required, for instance, on the number of CPUs, memory size, and specific peripherals. Please fill in and submit a quote request form.
Please note that the guest operating systems (OpenVMS and Tru64), layered products and applications may require own licensing. When you migrate from real hardware to the emulator, the licenses can be reused, if you stop using them on the original hardware. However, you may need to purchase so called transfer licenses. Further information about transfer licenses is available for OpenVMS here and for Tru64 here If you plan to use the original hardware, you need to order a new set of licenses from HP.
AlphaVM-Pro support is based on an annual contract with the following conditions: 8 hours per day (Dutch time), 5 day per week, 8 hours response time, exclusing Dutch holidays.
In the territories where we have a Value Added Reseller (VAR), the VAR may offer support in your local time. Some VARs may as well offer support based on 24/7.
Support will enable getting patches and minor functionality improvements. Support guarantees you the priority for fixing your problems over other tasks that might be pending.
We quote the support contract price when you request a quote for the AlphaVM-Pro license.
If you purchase the support contract later than you purchase the license, you will have to pay for the gap where you had no support contract.
If you wish to evaulate the AlphaVM-Pro with full functionality and performance, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org . We will provide you with the software and a temporary evaluation license.