Discussion:
Some hardware questions on the field test
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Mark Berryman
2021-10-11 17:13:01 UTC
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I have the following hardware related questions on the V9.1 field test.

1. What is the CPU model that best supports the features used by VMS
that would work in a DL380 gen 9 system?

For example, my current CPUs appear to be from the HASWELL family, which
have the TSX instructions permanently disabled in microcode. I'd like
to know if there is a better choice to use and kind of impact it would
have on VMS.

2. Attempting to configure SAN-based tape drives crashes the system.
Are SAN-based tapes supported yet? (This happened while running a bare
metal configuration).

3. The roadmap lists Intel and Broadcom Ethernet adapters. My DL380 has
HP Ethernet adapters, specifically the HP 331i 1G and HP 533FLR-T 10G
adapters. Are there any near term plans to support HP adapters or
should I try to find an add-in card using the Intel or Broadcom chips?

4. Does anyone have the field test running as an ESXi virtual host that
is able to cluster with, and share SAN storage with, other VMS hosts?
If so, could you send me a sample config because so far, I am not having
any luck.

Mark Berryman
Stephen Hoffman
2021-10-11 18:15:08 UTC
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Post by Mark Berryman
I have the following hardware related questions on the V9.1 field test.
1. What is the CPU model that best supports the features used by VMS
that would work in a DL380 gen 9 system?
There's reportedly a "buyer's guide" being prepared, and I'd expect a
published hardware support matrix and eventually a hardware support
database.

For what might or will work with the current V9.1-A beta, there's a
Python hardware qualification tool:
https://vmssoftware.com/about/openvmsv9-1/
Post by Mark Berryman
For example, my current CPUs appear to be from the HASWELL family,
which have the TSX instructions permanently disabled in microcode. I'd
like to know if there is a better choice to use and kind of impact it
would have on VMS.
TSX has been less than entirely successful for Intel:
https://www.theregister.com/2021/06/29/intel_tsx_disabled/

AFAIK, VSI has no dependencies on TSX.

VSI was looking at a PCID prerequisite for performance reasons, though
details around requirements there have been less than entirely clear.
Post by Mark Berryman
2. Attempting to configure SAN-based tape drives crashes the system.
Are SAN-based tapes supported yet? (This happened while running a bare
metal configuration).
Best report that to VSI. Fetch the VSI$SUPPORT.COM script from VSI, if
you don't already have a copy of that.
Post by Mark Berryman
3. The roadmap lists Intel and Broadcom Ethernet adapters. My DL380
has HP Ethernet adapters, specifically the HP 331i 1G and HP 533FLR-T
10G adapters. Are there any near term plans to support HP adapters or
should I try to find an add-in card using the Intel or Broadcom chips?
Oracle indicates that the HP Ethernet 1Gb 4-port 331i-SPI Adapter uses
the Broadcom BCM5719, so maybe it works.

If that's not the "331i" NIC that you're using, poke at it and see what
chipset is reported.
Post by Mark Berryman
4. Does anyone have the field test running as an ESXi virtual host that
is able to cluster with, and share SAN storage with, other VMS hosts?
If so, could you send me a sample config because so far, I am not
having any luck.
Not around here.

And entirely FWIW and for those that have not already encountered the
VSI Service Platform (VSP), start here:

--
Pure Personal Opinion | HoffmanLabs LLC
dthi...@gmail.com
2021-10-11 21:35:03 UTC
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Post by Mark Berryman
1. What is the CPU model that best supports the features used by VMS
that would work in a DL380 gen 9 system?
For example, my current CPUs appear to be from the HASWELL family, which
have the TSX instructions permanently disabled in microcode. I'd like
to know if there is a better choice to use and kind of impact it would
have on VMS.
Well, since AFAIK OpenVMS isn't using the TSX instructions yet, which were to be lock manager performance enhancement futures, does it matter? If it boots and runs OpenVMS, then it's good enough. Reference Camiel's video presentations from 2017 on the X86_64 features where he discusses TSX.

I have 2x 10-core processors in my DL380 Gen9. If you really want, I can dig out what model they are.
Post by Mark Berryman
3. The roadmap lists Intel and Broadcom Ethernet adapters. My DL380
has HP Ethernet adapters, specifically the HP 331i 1G and HP 533FLR-T
10G adapters. Are there any near term plans to support HP adapters or
should I try to find an add-in card using the Intel or Broadcom chips?
Oracle indicates that the HP Ethernet 1Gb 4-port 331i-SPI Adapter uses
the Broadcom BCM5719, so maybe it works.
The Broadcom drivers didn't make the 9.1-A release, according to VSI. I put in a support ticket for the 331i, and they sent me some beta drivers which work, but were slightly difficult to install without a network. :-) Supposedly, the Broadcom drivers will be available in the next patch update.

I agree with Hoff, you should be asking these questions on the VSI support platform. They sure helped me with the 331i problem. :-)

David

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