Discussion:
Eisner? Down?
(too old to reply)
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2008-12-21 17:30:29 UTC
Permalink
My session to the DECUServe system (Eisner) terminated last evening.
Pings and traceroutes seem to indicate that it is down? Does anyone
know if it is network or system/hardware related? I don't have any
contact info handy for Stephen Arnold to query him.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2008-12-21 21:56:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
My session to the DECUServe system (Eisner) terminated last evening.
Pings and traceroutes seem to indicate that it is down? Does anyone
know if it is network or system/hardware related? I don't have any
contact info handy for Stephen Arnold to query him.
It would appear that the machine itself of down. Stephen Arnold's web site
(*.*.*.30) is up and it is on the same subnet as Eisner (*.*.*.34). I hope
will be back up soon.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
s***@gmail.com
2008-12-22 16:15:41 UTC
Permalink
Any update on this? I have all of my e-mail forwarded to this machine
(probably not so smart thing to do at the first place, but I just
liked how PMAS was handling my spam), cannot access it for 2 days in a
row now. I was thinking the machine will be back today, but now I'm
afraid it will be offline throughout all of holidays...
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2008-12-22 18:24:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by s***@gmail.com
Any update on this? I have all of my e-mail forwarded to this machine
(probably not so smart thing to do at the first place, but I just
liked how PMAS was handling my spam), cannot access it for 2 days in a
row now. I was thinking the machine will be back today, but now I'm
afraid it will be offline throughout all of holidays...
I sent an email to Stephen Arnold but I have received no correspodence back
from him. I do not have any other contact info for him. If I do hear from
him, I will report here.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
DeCoy
2008-12-23 05:12:18 UTC
Permalink
I also tried sending email, and have not received a response. Perhaps he is
on vacation?

His regular phone number may be (608) 278 7700
In article
Post by s***@gmail.com
Any update on this? I have all of my e-mail forwarded to this machine
(probably not so smart thing to do at the first place, but I just
liked how PMAS was handling my spam), cannot access it for 2 days in a
row now. I was thinking the machine will be back today, but now I'm
afraid it will be offline throughout all of holidays...
I sent an email to Stephen Arnold but I have received no correspodence back
from him. I do not have any other contact info for him. If I do hear from
him, I will report here.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker
VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG
"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
G Cornelius
2008-12-23 08:14:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by DeCoy
I also tried sending email, and have not received a response. Perhaps he is
on vacation?
His regular phone number may be [...]
Hi, Dale! Don't think I have ever seen you post here, at least not using
this particular nym.

How would I know how to cantact anyone? Evenything I need to survive
is on eisner!

Not really true, but sometimes it seems like it. If you use a site
that has been stable for almost 20 years, you start thnking it will
be there forever.

Hopefully, this is just a temporary thing. Steve can't be home _all_
of the time just to keep a server up for us.

[With any luck this will show up OK - I'm not used to posting via
Thunderbird or via this server].
--
George Cornelius cornelius at mayo dot edu
cornelius at encompasserve dot org
DeCoy
2008-12-23 17:12:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by G Cornelius
Post by DeCoy
I also tried sending email, and have not received a response. Perhaps he is
on vacation?
His regular phone number may be [...]
Hi, Dale! Don't think I have ever seen you post here, at least not using
this particular nym.
Hi, George - and others. I usually don't have any big reason to post to the
group.

I just spoke to Steve Arnold - who was in an airport, heading home. When he
gets there, he'll find out what's up.

We can hope that it's something simple.
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2008-12-23 20:32:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by DeCoy
Post by G Cornelius
Post by DeCoy
I also tried sending email, and have not received a response. Perhaps he is
on vacation?
His regular phone number may be [...]
Hi, Dale! Don't think I have ever seen you post here, at least not using
this particular nym.
Hi, George - and others. I usually don't have any big reason to post to the
group.
I just spoke to Steve Arnold - who was in an airport, heading home. When he
gets there, he'll find out what's up.
We can hope that it's something simple.
I think all EISNER users hope it is something simple.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2008-12-30 01:46:29 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
Post by s***@gmail.com
Any update on this? I have all of my e-mail forwarded to this machine
(probably not so smart thing to do at the first place, but I just
liked how PMAS was handling my spam), cannot access it for 2 days in a
row now. I was thinking the machine will be back today, but now I'm
afraid it will be offline throughout all of holidays...
I sent an email to Stephen Arnold but I have received no correspodence back
from him. I do not have any other contact info for him. If I do hear from
him, I will report here.
Eisner will be down 10 days as of tomorrow. I've still not heard anything
about what has happened with this system. I, and many others, would sure
like to see it back on-line soon.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
DeCoy
2008-12-30 18:47:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
In article
Post by s***@gmail.com
Any update on this? I have all of my e-mail forwarded to this machine
(probably not so smart thing to do at the first place, but I just
liked how PMAS was handling my spam), cannot access it for 2 days in a
row now. I was thinking the machine will be back today, but now I'm
afraid it will be offline throughout all of holidays...
I sent an email to Stephen Arnold but I have received no correspodence back
from him. I do not have any other contact info for him. If I do hear from
him, I will report here.
Eisner will be down 10 days as of tomorrow. I've still not heard anything
about what has happened with this system. I, and many others, would sure
like to see it back on-line soon.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker
VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG
"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
I have not heard anything, either, since I spoke to Steve (when he was in an
airport) last week.

As you know, Eisner is housed in Steve's residence. There's a "spare" DS20
for parts, and I believe that backups were good (and automatic).

I'm presuming that Steve will get the system fixed and online as quickly as
he can. Or that he will ask for help from myself or others, if he needs it.

If my presumptions are not correct, then there are not many practical
alternatives.

Steve can be called at (608) 278-7700 if you would like to determine the
current situation (and repeat it here), or if someone is close enough to
Madison, Wisconsin to offer hands-on assistance.

Needless to say, I share your desires and hopes to see it back online soon.
JF Mezei
2008-12-30 20:44:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by DeCoy
As you know, Eisner is housed in Steve's residence.
Wasn't it originally in DECUS/Digital premises ? How long ago did it
become a residential based system ? What sort of iternet connection does
it have ? (DSL, Cable, or some business technology with higher speed ?)
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2008-12-30 22:33:11 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by DeCoy
As you know, Eisner is housed in Steve's residence.
Wasn't it originally in DECUS/Digital premises ? How long ago did it
become a residential based system ? What sort of iternet connection does
it have ? (DSL, Cable, or some business technology with higher speed ?)
I believe that prior to the move to Stephen's residence that it was
housed in Terry Kennedy's residence in Jersey City, NJ. I managed
to get some of the bits and pieces of the original Eisner.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
DeCoy
2008-12-31 01:16:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by DeCoy
As you know, Eisner is housed in Steve's residence.
Wasn't it originally in DECUS/Digital premises ?
Yes
Post by JF Mezei
How long ago did it
become a residential based system ?
Approximately, when DECUS became Encompass.
Post by JF Mezei
What sort of iternet connection does
it have ? (DSL, Cable, or some business technology with higher speed ?)
Steve's LAN has a T1 connection.
G Cornelius
2009-01-04 13:29:34 UTC
Permalink
Post by DeCoy
I have not heard anything, either, since I spoke to Steve (when he was in an
airport) last week.
As you know, Eisner is housed in Steve's residence. There's a "spare" DS20
for parts, and I believe that backups were good (and automatic).
I'm presuming that Steve will get the system fixed and online as quickly as
he can. Or that he will ask for help from myself or others, if he needs it.
If my presumptions are not correct, then there are not many practical
alternatives.
Steve can be called at (608) 278-7700 if you would like to determine the
current situation (and repeat it here), or if someone is close enough to
Madison, Wisconsin to offer hands-on assistance.
I'm 3-4 hours away, and am willing to help. Might even have a spare DS20
available. Unfortuneately, starting Tuesday I'm on a short tether (pager)
for about a week.
--
George Cornelius cornelius at mayo dot edu
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2009-01-04 15:04:42 UTC
Permalink
Post by G Cornelius
Post by DeCoy
I have not heard anything, either, since I spoke to Steve (when he was in an
airport) last week.
As you know, Eisner is housed in Steve's residence. There's a "spare" DS20
for parts, and I believe that backups were good (and automatic).
I'm presuming that Steve will get the system fixed and online as quickly as
he can. Or that he will ask for help from myself or others, if he needs it.
If my presumptions are not correct, then there are not many practical
alternatives.
Steve can be called at (608) 278-7700 if you would like to determine the
current situation (and repeat it here), or if someone is close enough to
Madison, Wisconsin to offer hands-on assistance.
I'm 3-4 hours away, and am willing to help. Might even have a spare DS20
available. Unfortuneately, starting Tuesday I'm on a short tether (pager)
for about a week.
Stephen sent an email out to a distribution list. I read it late last
evening (actually, early this morning ~2:30). The problem appears to
be in the RAID configuration, a drive in the RAID configuration or its
controller.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-01-04 15:16:37 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
Post by DeCoy
I have not heard anything, either, since I spoke to Steve (when he was in an
airport) last week.
<snip>
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
Stephen sent an email out to a distribution list. I read it late last
evening (actually, early this morning ~2:30). The problem appears to
be in the RAID configuration, a drive in the RAID configuration or its
controller.
Why does the idea of the failure of a drive in a "RAID configuration"
sound slightly bogus? RAID 1 or RAID 5 shouldn't be bothered by the
failure of a single drive! Two failing drives would bring down most
RAID configurations. A really robust RAID 1 configuration would have
dual controllers.
John E. Malmberg
2009-01-04 15:41:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
Stephen sent an email out to a distribution list. I read it late last
evening (actually, early this morning ~2:30). The problem appears to
be in the RAID configuration, a drive in the RAID configuration or its
controller.
Can you forward that e-mail wb8tyw at my gmail domain address?

Apparently you are not accepting e-mail from gmail at this time.

-John
***@gmail.company
Personal Opinion Only
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-01-04 15:45:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by John E. Malmberg
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
Stephen sent an email out to a distribution list. I read it late last
evening (actually, early this morning ~2:30). The problem appears to
be in the RAID configuration, a drive in the RAID configuration or its
controller.
Can you forward that e-mail wb8tyw at my gmail domain address?
Apparently you are not accepting e-mail from gmail at this time.
-John
Personal Opinion Only
VAXman's spam filter needs a codeword in the Subject line in order to
let your mail through. I don't remember what it is. I suppose I could
persuade my "auxilliary brain" to cough it up but it's not mine to publish.
DeCoy
2009-01-04 15:58:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by G Cornelius
I'm 3-4 hours away, and am willing to help. Might even have a spare DS20
available. Unfortuneately, starting Tuesday I'm on a short tether (pager)
for about a week.
--
George Cornelius cornelius at mayo dot edu
Thanks, George. The problem appears to be storage-related, perhaps with the
RAID array on the Mylex controller, and perhaps with either controller
hardware or controller configuration.

Expertise in diagnosing (and perhaps fixing) Mylex controller symptoms would
be initially useful.
John E. Malmberg
2009-01-04 16:36:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by DeCoy
Post by G Cornelius
I'm 3-4 hours away, and am willing to help. Might even have a spare DS20
available. Unfortuneately, starting Tuesday I'm on a short tether (pager)
for about a week.
--
George Cornelius cornelius at mayo dot edu
Thanks, George. The problem appears to be storage-related, perhaps with the
RAID array on the Mylex controller, and perhaps with either controller
hardware or controller configuration.
Expertise in diagnosing (and perhaps fixing) Mylex controller symptoms would
be initially useful.
The mylex controller can not handle logical volumes greater than a
certain size. If I recall correctly it was either 9 or 18 GB. It has
been a long time.

This leads to a restriction on the size of the physical replacement drives.

I have seen the use of larger (unsupported) drives as long as the size
of the resulting logical volumes are below the size limitation of the
controller.

The RCU utility is on the ALPHA firmware disk, and must be run from the
console mode.

The ALPHA flavor of the mylex controller is different than the Intel
version at least at the firmware level. I do not know if they can be
interchanged with just an adjustment to the firmware.

I only used the Mylex controller on one VMS/Alpha system, and that was
quite some time ago.

I think battery backed up cache was an option on that controller.

-John
***@gmail.company
Personal Opinion Only
Bill Gunshannon
2009-01-04 17:07:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by John E. Malmberg
Post by DeCoy
Post by G Cornelius
I'm 3-4 hours away, and am willing to help. Might even have a spare DS20
available. Unfortuneately, starting Tuesday I'm on a short tether (pager)
for about a week.
--
George Cornelius cornelius at mayo dot edu
Thanks, George. The problem appears to be storage-related, perhaps with the
RAID array on the Mylex controller, and perhaps with either controller
hardware or controller configuration.
Expertise in diagnosing (and perhaps fixing) Mylex controller symptoms would
be initially useful.
The mylex controller can not handle logical volumes greater than a
certain size. If I recall correctly it was either 9 or 18 GB. It has
been a long time.
This leads to a restriction on the size of the physical replacement drives.
So, what kind/size of replacement would he be looking for? I have a number
small SCSI DEC re-badged Seagates that I use in my StorageWorks Array. We
are talking 2GB here. Would this be what he may be looking for? I could
probably be persuaded to donate a drive (or a couple, even) in return for
an Eisner account. :-)

bill
--
Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
***@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton |
Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include <std.disclaimer.h>
John E. Malmberg
2009-01-04 17:36:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bill Gunshannon
Post by John E. Malmberg
The mylex controller can not handle logical volumes greater than a
certain size. If I recall correctly it was either 9 or 18 GB. It has
been a long time.
This leads to a restriction on the size of the physical replacement drives.
So, what kind/size of replacement would he be looking for? I have a number
small SCSI DEC re-badged Seagates that I use in my StorageWorks Array. We
are talking 2GB here. Would this be what he may be looking for? I could
probably be persuaded to donate a drive (or a couple, even) in return for
an Eisner account. :-)
I am only going from memory here, but as I recall, the maximum supported
disk was 18 GB for a logical volume Raid 5 set of 45 Mb after formatting.

-John
***@gmail.company
Personal Opinion Only
DeCoy
2009-01-04 22:13:28 UTC
Permalink
To answer a number of replies:

I have suggested that the easiest and most straightforward solution is to
get the Mylex-driven RAID 5 array to work.

We have spare 9GB drives for that. My suggestion was that Stephen, with
whatever support and advice are available, work on that FIRST, to see if
it's viable (given hardware, software, and peopleware).

If we can't do that, then we'll explore alternatives for replacing the whole
disk setup. We may have some in hand, but offers are appreciated. We would
certainly go to bigger drives, at that point.

I'll briefly quote Stephen here, in case somebody can spot something:

<quote>
In some of tries of the last experiment, the system console came alive
and attempted to boot VMS. You can see the last of the output in the
screen shot at Loading Image.... Note the
message "SCSI drive at channel 2, target 1 dead". The message about CPU
01 starting are not relevant. Nothing else happens and there is no disk
activity after that message.
Bill Gunshannon
2009-01-04 22:34:40 UTC
Permalink
[Footnote: somebody mentioned getting an account on Eisner - those are
"free", of course assuming that the system runs]
That was me, and I thought I was being humorous as I am aware of the
nature of Eisner. Just trying to stress that if I had something that
could speed the process of getting Eisner back up (even though I am
not and have never been a user) I would be glad to help.

bill
--
Bill Gunshannon | de-moc-ra-cy (di mok' ra see) n. Three wolves
***@cs.scranton.edu | and a sheep voting on what's for dinner.
University of Scranton |
Scranton, Pennsylvania | #include <std.disclaimer.h>
JF Mezei
2009-01-04 23:11:29 UTC
Permalink
I got curious about "Mylex" having never seen those contraptions. Google
lead me to a few goodies:
Jan-Erik Söderholm
2009-01-04 23:18:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
I got curious about "Mylex" having never seen those contraptions. Google
DeCoy
2009-01-05 03:03:59 UTC
Permalink
To other replies: Yes, I believe its a SWXCR
Thanks, JF - I've passed that info along. It sounds applicable because
there apparently WAS a power outage while Stephen was out of town. Plus,
the UPS battery needed to be replaced.
Post by JF Mezei
I got curious about "Mylex" having never seen those contraptions. Google
........
Had a Mylex in a AS-2100 once, a PITA.
After moving everything over to a HSZ40 shelf
everything was much easier to maintain. I do not
see why one would like to run a Mylex today...
Volunteer-supported system, if it ain't broken don't fix it, and if it
breaks, it MAY be easier to fix it, than to start over from backup tapes.

AND -- if we get the system working, then we can consider changing the disk
configuration, and do so in an orderly fashion.

But, you understood that, I'm sure.
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-01-04 23:20:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
I got curious about "Mylex" having never seen those contraptions. Google
Jan-Erik Söderholm
2009-01-04 23:29:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
I got curious about "Mylex" having never seen those contraptions. Google
Jeff Campbell
2009-01-05 03:09:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
I got curious about "Mylex" having never seen those contraptions. Google
j***@yahoo.com
2009-01-05 03:09:16 UTC
Permalink
This sounds vaguely familiar.  Were the Mylex controllers, by any
chance, once known as "SWXCR"?
Yep. That's the one. Finicky and a PITA as mentioned by others, but
about the only game in town for hardware RAID. I've got a them
installed in AlphaSever 1200's and 800's but I haven't had them
running in about a year.
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-01-05 03:30:09 UTC
Permalink
Post by j***@yahoo.com
This sounds vaguely familiar. Were the Mylex controllers, by any
chance, once known as "SWXCR"?
Yep. That's the one. Finicky and a PITA as mentioned by others, but
about the only game in town for hardware RAID. I've got a them
installed in AlphaSever 1200's and 800's but I haven't had them
running in about a year.
I didn't find the SWXCR to be all that difficult. I picked up two or
three of them on e-Bay. They were dirt cheap. I downloaded some
utility software, installed the hardware and I was in business!

AIRC I installed one in an Alphaserver 2000 and one in an Alphaserver
4100. I think I had one set up for RAID-5 and the other for RAID-1.

The directions for installation/setup were clear enough. Once
installed, they worked. I don't think they are still running; the
company was acquired, I was laid off, and I understand that the new
owners used Novell for everything! It was fun while it lasted!
j***@yahoo.com
2009-01-05 03:40:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by DeCoy
<quote>
In some of tries of the last experiment, the system console came alive
and attempted to boot VMS. You can see the last of the output in the
screen shot athttp://www.Arnold.com/Photo_123108_002.jpg. Note the
message "SCSI drive at channel 2, target 1 dead". The message about CPU
01 starting are not relevant. Nothing else happens and there is no disk
activity after that message.
DeCoy
2009-01-05 15:38:41 UTC
Permalink
I'll pass along the questions below, but answers may not be returned.

Please note that I am 400 miles from the system, and have never physically
touched it, and that various aspects are handled by various volunteers.
That's one of the "interesting" aspects of Eisner. Another is that people
do have "day jobs".

To (briefly) answer another posting - yes, there are various automatic
system utilities that try to warn us of impending problems. And there's a
UPS (unfortunately, it turns out, with a bad battery). We don't have a
utility that warns of an upcoming power failure in the neighborhood.


<***@yahoo.com> wrote in message news:7172eb31-0912-4bd6-b440-***@u18g2000pro.googlegroups.com...


Just for clarification of the configuration - you've got a DS20 with a
Mylex (swxcr) scsi RAID controller using 2 channels on a split SCSI
bus on the stack of 7 drive slots going up the right side. These 7
drives are 9GB bricks in a RAID-5 and from that you've sliced it into
6 logical drives DRA0-5. The drive in slot #1 on the second bus has
failed so the swxcr has marked DRA0-5 as "DEGRADED". Then the 3rd
channel of the controller is used for DRA6 on an external shelf.

I've seen the "%DRA, drives=0, optimal = 4294967290, degraded = 6,
failed = 0 " before. I think it's a combination of a firmware bug and
a slightly confused controller. I wish I could remember exactly what
I did to fix it but it was a few years ago when I had the problem.

I would assume that you've tried replacing the bad disk mentioned with
another? The swxcr may not automatically do a rebuild. You may have
to go into the swxcrmgr utility and tell the controller that the drive
has been replaced, mark it as good and then it to rebuild the array.

Did the external shelf become disconnected or lose power? It doesn't
look like the swxcr sees it at the moment. That might be enough to
hang it, though if that's the case is should show as failed. I'm not
sure why there is no mention of it in the startup messages. It may be
irrelevant if the DRA0-5 array is rebuilt.

I know you're just passing on info second hand, but a little more info
on what's been tried and failed and what the failure messages/results
were would help.
Duncan Brown
2009-01-07 01:24:32 UTC
Permalink
Any further news on poor little old Eisner? Anything I can help with?
My memories of how to beat on a SWXCR are fading, but I might be able to
be of some use. Or should we be looking for spare parts on ebay, or...?

Duncan
DeCoy
2009-01-07 04:29:11 UTC
Permalink
Any further news on poor little old Eisner? Anything I can help with? My
memories of how to beat on a SWXCR are fading, but I might be able to be
of some use. Or should we be looking for spare parts on ebay, or...?
Duncan
No additional info from Stephen. I've sent him everything "significant"
that has appeared in comp.os.vms, including offers of personal, electronic,
and monetary support.
Duncan Brown
2009-01-09 12:28:03 UTC
Permalink
I really miss Eisner...

I wonder if, compared to a SWXCR, just letting drives die every once in
a blue moon and replacing them and restoring them from backups isn't a
better uptime strategy... that's the decision I came to on my system!

Duncan
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-01-09 16:12:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Duncan Brown
I really miss Eisner...
I wonder if, compared to a SWXCR, just letting drives die every once in
a blue moon and replacing them and restoring them from backups isn't a
better uptime strategy... that's the decision I came to on my system!
It works. IFF your backups are made at sufficiently frequent intervals
that you don't lose anything important AND failures are not frequent!

If I needed 99.99% uptime, such a strategy would be risking my job! And
I don't think I would be using technology that's now at least ten years
old! The SWXCR is AT LEAST that old.

EISNER being a low/no budget volunteer based service, you have to expect
some downtime.
Duncan Brown
2009-01-09 16:36:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
If I needed 99.99% uptime, such a strategy would be risking my job! And
I don't think I would be using technology that's now at least ten years
old! The SWXCR is AT LEAST that old.
EISNER being a low/no budget volunteer based service, you have to expect
some downtime.
I was using (and learning to hate) SWXCRs in AlphaServer 2100 systems
back in 1996, so that's 12-13 years at least.

I expect some downtime with Eisner, which is why the lack of RAID would
seem to be perfectly acceptable. It certainly takes a lot less than 20
days to toss another cheap big disk in and restore from backups. I
wasn't recommending that strategy for a business system, no!

Duncan
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-01-09 17:39:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Duncan Brown
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
If I needed 99.99% uptime, such a strategy would be risking my job!
And I don't think I would be using technology that's now at least ten
years old! The SWXCR is AT LEAST that old.
EISNER being a low/no budget volunteer based service, you have to
expect some downtime.
I was using (and learning to hate) SWXCRs in AlphaServer 2100 systems
back in 1996, so that's 12-13 years at least.
I expect some downtime with Eisner, which is why the lack of RAID would
seem to be perfectly acceptable. It certainly takes a lot less than 20
days to toss another cheap big disk in and restore from backups. I
wasn't recommending that strategy for a business system, no!
I encountered SWXCRs ca. 2002 although I had heard of them years before
that. I bought two of them, used, for use with an Alphaserver 2000 and
and an Alphaserver 4100. It was "cheap RAID" and I needed that. I
think I paid about $35/each. One was configured to do RAID-5 and the
other did a couple of RAID-1 sets. I used them for about two years and
don't recall having any problems with them.

As for twenty days downtime, it's not good but it may be the best
service available. When a service is operated out of someone's home you
learn to expect power failures, downtime when something fails and the
owner is 3,000 miles away on a business trip or vacation, etc. He may
have died and his family hasn't a clue. . . .

If you want 24x365, you pay for the service. There are companies that
run data centers for profit and will host your machines/services for a
moderately outrageous monthly fee. They tend to have things like power
feeds from two different substations, emergency generators, redundant
air conditioners, T1/T3 service from two or more "points of presence", etc.

--
draco vulgaris
Mister Q
2009-01-12 20:31:06 UTC
Permalink
I do not want to sound picky, but it's now been over three weeks. This
is the point where a little information as a common courtesy would be
appropriate. I fully understand that the person running this is doing
so on a voluntary basis, but this begs the point, that perhaps it is
time to ask others to help, either in terms of supply parts, or
standing in with the necessary expertise. If a volunteer, needs help,
then they should say so.

Equally, some accurate information, on what is needed to be done, when
it is planned for, what problems have been encountered, would be
beneficial, not only to those that are patiently waiting, but also in
digging out those, that may be able to provide some assistance. ( I
have several spare drives, and a number of disk controllers, which
might include one of the model in question. - although I am half way
around the world....)

Peter
Simon Clubley
2009-01-12 20:49:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister Q
I do not want to sound picky, but it's now been over three weeks. This
is the point where a little information as a common courtesy would be
appropriate. I fully understand that the person running this is doing
so on a voluntary basis, but this begs the point, that perhaps it is
time to ask others to help, either in terms of supply parts, or
standing in with the necessary expertise. If a volunteer, needs help,
then they should say so.
A couple of days ago, Dale asked for an update on a Eisner mailing list
which has been setup. (No, I don't know how to join the mailing list;
I asked Steve for an update and was added to the list instead. :-))

I haven't seen any response as yet, but hopefully one will be made.

Simon.
--
Simon Clubley, ***@remove_me.eisner.decus.org-Earth.UFP
Microsoft: Bringing you 1980's technology to a 21st century world
(Note: Email address not currently working)
JF Mezei
2009-01-12 21:46:30 UTC
Permalink
One could simply say: Just tell people they are welcome on comp.os.vms .

However, due to upcoming events, I would strongly suggest that some
urgency be put on restoring eisner's service, even if it means dropping
that unreliable disk array and just putting everything on a single 160
gig drive or whatever they can get.

Eisner may find itself with a whole bunch of valuable users that will
make ITRC look like a kids playpen.
DeCoy
2009-01-12 23:04:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister Q
I do not want to sound picky, but it's now been over three weeks. This
is the point where a little information as a common courtesy would be
appropriate. I fully understand that the person running this is doing
so on a voluntary basis, but this begs the point, that perhaps it is
time to ask others to help, either in terms of supply parts, or
standing in with the necessary expertise. If a volunteer, needs help,
then they should say so.
Equally, some accurate information, on what is needed to be done, when
it is planned for, what problems have been encountered, would be
beneficial, not only to those that are patiently waiting, but also in
digging out those, that may be able to provide some assistance. ( I
have several spare drives, and a number of disk controllers, which
might include one of the model in question. - although I am half way
around the world....)
Peter
Your concern, and your offers of help, are appreciated. I have posted here
***ALL*** of the information that I have.

...which is, as you point out, damned little.

Unless/until Stephen asks for help, it's not practical to provide help.

I have attempted to encourage Stephen to provide an update on
status/prognosis. If I had received any answer, I would have posted it
here.

Here is Stephen's contact information. Perhaps someone else can find out
more than I can.

"Steve" Stephen L. Arnold, Ph.D., President, Arnold Consulting, Inc.
Address 2530 Targhee Street, Fitchburg, Wisconsin 53711-5491 U.S.A.
Telephone +1 608 278 7700 Facsimile +1 608 278 7701
Internet ***@Arnold.com http://WWW.Arnold.com
Arnold® is a registered trademark and service mark of Arnold Consulting,
Inc.
Mister Q
2009-01-19 00:17:38 UTC
Permalink
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wake me when something happens. I am sure that I have a SWXCR in a box
in the Garage if really needed - I can possibly spring out a spare
disk drive, as well...

Peter
Post by Mister Q
I do not want to sound picky, but it's now been over three weeks. This
is the point where a little information as a common courtesy would be
appropriate. I fully understand that the person running this is doing
so on a voluntary basis, but this begs the point, that perhaps it is
time to ask others to help, either in terms of supply parts, or
standing in with the necessary expertise. If a volunteer, needs help,
then they should say so.
Equally, some accurate information, on what is needed to be done, when
it is planned for, what problems have been encountered, would be
beneficial, not only to those that are patiently waiting, but also in
digging out those, that may be able to provide some assistance. ( I
have several spare drives, and a number of disk controllers, which
might include one of the model in question. - although I am half way
around the world....)
Peter
Duncan Brown
2009-01-19 12:30:52 UTC
Permalink
No news, just updating the subject line :-(

Duncan
DeCoy
2009-01-19 21:34:51 UTC
Permalink
I share your concern, and if I had any information at all, I would have
posted it.


"Mister Q" <***@gmail.com> wrote in message news:4a2ea9b7-6023-41a4-be2c-***@r36g2000prf.googlegroups.com...
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Wake me when something happens. I am sure that I have a SWXCR in a box
in the Garage if really needed - I can possibly spring out a spare
disk drive, as well...

Peter
h***@gmail.com
2009-01-21 19:32:54 UTC
Permalink
Just another long time user missing EISNER... hoping for an update.
DeCoy
2009-01-23 03:14:04 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@gmail.com
Just another long time user missing EISNER... hoping for an update.
Wish I could provide an update.

Anybody here who is near Fitchburg (Madison) Wisconsin, and would consider
going to ask Stephen what he needs?
Hein RMS van den Heuvel
2009-01-23 05:44:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by DeCoy
Post by h***@gmail.com
Just another long time user missing EISNER... hoping for an update.
Wish I could provide an update.
Anybody here who is near Fitchburg (Madison) Wisconsin, and would consider
going to ask Stephen what he needs?
I suspect he'll say 'time'.
Looks like he's busy in the local government.

http://www.arnold.us/
http://www.arnold.us/arnold/alder/history.htmlx

That first web page indicates 'last updated 20 January 2009'
A sign of life ?!

Hein.
(Who has been booting his own system(s) much more often these weeks!)
DeCoy
2009-01-23 17:55:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by DeCoy
Post by h***@gmail.com
Just another long time user missing EISNER... hoping for an update.
Wish I could provide an update.
Anybody here who is near Fitchburg (Madison) Wisconsin, and would consider
going to ask Stephen what he needs?
I suspect he'll say 'time'.
Looks like he's busy in the local government.

http://www.arnold.us/
http://www.arnold.us/arnold/alder/history.htmlx

That first web page indicates 'last updated 20 January 2009'
A sign of life ?!

Hein.
(Who has been booting his own system(s) much more often these weeks!)

Yes, if Stephen is still involved with the Executive Office of the
President, he's undoubtedly very busy there.
JF Mezei
2009-01-23 12:53:21 UTC
Permalink
Just an idea...

Send the backups to someone else. Someone else mounts them on a disk
that is NFS mounted by the original site. Might be slow but it least it
would be available.

(or is NFS incompatible with RMS indexed files which Notes uses ?)

The concept of having a backup site runned by another volunteer might
work well here. (Especially when 8.4 with IP-Clustering becomes available)

Is this based on VAX or Alpha ?

How much disk space is needed for this service ?
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2009-01-23 14:53:31 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Just an idea...
Send the backups to someone else. Someone else mounts them on a disk
that is NFS mounted by the original site. Might be slow but it least it
would be available.
(or is NFS incompatible with RMS indexed files which Notes uses ?)
The concept of having a backup site runned by another volunteer might
work well here. (Especially when 8.4 with IP-Clustering becomes available)
Is this based on VAX or Alpha ?
Eisner is/was an Alpha DS20, IIRC. I have a full-blown DS10 currently
not in use for anything important. I could, if I can read the backups
to restore, configure a substitute for those needing an Eisner fix.
Post by JF Mezei
How much disk space is needed for this service ?
Hmm... I don't recall the actual storage capabilities of Eisner.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
JF Mezei
2009-01-23 15:12:40 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
I have a full-blown DS10 currently
not in use for anything important.
What is the model number ? I had never heard about inflatable Alphas.

I take it that it can be stored in a small drawer when deflated ?
Hein RMS van den Heuvel
2009-01-23 15:56:01 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
 I have a full-blown DS10 currently
not in use for anything important.
What is the model number ? I had never heard about inflatable Alphas.
Cute. :-).

It was a DS20. 2-cpu.
The main storage was on an old KZPCA (SWXCR), with 4GB spindles I
believe.
Those things could only present a logical drives up to 36 GB each.
Should not be a big deal.

As I seem to recall from the Notes article suggesting funding Steve
Arnolds main cost concern was the network connection he used, and a
little about the power for an always-on system.

Hein.
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2009-01-23 17:46:15 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hein RMS van den Heuvel
Post by JF Mezei
=A0I have a full-blown DS10 currently
not in use for anything important.
What is the model number ? I had never heard about inflatable Alphas.
Cute. :-).
It was a DS20. 2-cpu.
The main storage was on an old KZPCA (SWXCR), with 4GB spindles I
believe.
Those things could only present a logical drives up to 36 GB each.
Should not be a big deal.
As I seem to recall from the Notes article suggesting funding Steve
Arnolds main cost concern was the network connection he used, and a
little about the power for an always-on system.
...and that was a T1 service. I believe it supported more than just
DECUServe.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
Duncan Brown
2009-01-29 14:44:45 UTC
Permalink
I've offered Stephen my help when I talked to him on the phone,
including being willing to drive up there (about 2 hours away from me)
to work on it. Apparently others in Wisconsin have made similar offers.
I've followed up with some SWXCR tips in email, based on my memories
and notes from when I used to use them. It does sound like his lack of
free time is one of the biggest problems, but we're now at 30 days and
still counting...

Duncan
JF Mezei
2009-01-29 17:34:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Duncan Brown
and notes from when I used to use them. It does sound like his lack of
free time is one of the biggest problems, but we're now at 30 days and
still counting...
I think all of you should demand your money back because of the downtime
:-) :-) ;-) :-) :-) ;-) :-)
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-01-29 21:22:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Duncan Brown
and notes from when I used to use them. It does sound like his lack of
free time is one of the biggest problems, but we're now at 30 days and
still counting...
I think all of you should demand your money back because of the downtime
:-) :-) ;-) :-) :-) ;-) :-)
I just wish somebody would think of a solution that does not involve
flooding c.o.v. with complaints! The current "solution" is obviously
not effective. How about trying something else?

I don't see anyone else volunteering to install T1 service and host Eisner!

I have not been a DECUS member since the "blowup" back in the late
nineties! It looks as if I haven't been missing much!
Alan Frisbie
2009-01-30 00:21:24 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
I don't see anyone else volunteering to install T1 service and host Eisner!
OK, I guess it is time to step up to the plate. If it becomes
necessary for DECUServe to move, I will give it a new home.

I have a T1 at my home/office. I know it is not very fast by today's
standards, but the time-to-repair is great. Both Covad (who I write
the checks to) and AT&T (who provisioned the local loop) are really
good about fixing the occasional outage. The sole exception was on
Christmas day, when it took AT&T eleven hours to dispatch someone to
fix the line.

I am willing to make space, power, a fixed IP address, and DNS service
available for Eisner. I will perform regular backups and whatever
maintenance is necessary to keep it running. All I ask is that
whoever currently performs system/DECUServe management (presumably
remotely) will continue to do so.

Why am I willing to do this? Well...

Both my wife (Sharon Johnson) and I were very early moderators
on the system, long before it was named Eisner. Dan Eisner recruited
us at the 1987 Spring DECUS symposium in Nashville. It was because
of this involvement that we grew to appreciate each other, and
eventually get married. Dan was the first person we told about our
engagement, just before he died. Dan was a good friend, and I miss
him very much.

This is just my way of trying to repay the huge debt that I owe to
Dan Eisner and DECUServe.

OK, I've made the offer. Does DECUServe management wish to take
me up on it?

Alan Frisbie (Remove _REMOVE to reply)
Flying Disk Systems, Inc.
Los Angeles, CA
Hein RMS van den Heuvel
2009-01-30 00:33:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
I don't see anyone else volunteering to install T1 service and host Eisner!
OK, I guess it is time to step up to the plate.   If it becomes
necessary for DECUServe to move, I will give it a new home.
Nice. Very nice.

Hein.
DeCoy
2009-01-30 03:52:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Frisbie
OK, I guess it is time to step up to the plate. If it becomes
necessary for DECUServe to move, I will give it a new home.
....
Post by Alan Frisbie
I am willing to make space, power, a fixed IP address, and DNS service
available for Eisner. I will perform regular backups and whatever
maintenance is necessary to keep it running. All I ask is that
whoever currently performs system/DECUServe management (presumably
remotely) will continue to do so.
...........
Post by Alan Frisbie
OK, I've made the offer. Does DECUServe management wish to take
me up on it?
Alan Frisbie (Remove _REMOVE to reply)
Flying Disk Systems, Inc.
Los Angeles, CA
Thanks, Alan. I guess I'm "management" at the moment. I will pass along
the offer to Steve, and if he agrees, we'll make it happen some way.
Although I'm "management", I believe the decision is really up to Steve.

In that event, I can assure you that "remote system management" will
continue as in the past - or can be modified if you wish.

As I said, I'll pass along the (full) offer by email. However, if you're
willing, perhaps you would consider calling Steve personally. I'm sure you
know each other.
["Steve" Stephen L. Arnold, Telephone +1 608 278 7700]

And thanks again for the exceedingly generous offer.

Dale E. Coy
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2009-01-30 01:28:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Frisbie
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
I don't see anyone else volunteering to install T1 service and host Eisner!
OK, I guess it is time to step up to the plate. If it becomes
necessary for DECUServe to move, I will give it a new home.
I have a T1 at my home/office. I know it is not very fast by today's
standards, but the time-to-repair is great. Both Covad (who I write
the checks to) and AT&T (who provisioned the local loop) are really
good about fixing the occasional outage. The sole exception was on
Christmas day, when it took AT&T eleven hours to dispatch someone to
fix the line.
I am willing to make space, power, a fixed IP address, and DNS service
available for Eisner. I will perform regular backups and whatever
maintenance is necessary to keep it running. All I ask is that
whoever currently performs system/DECUServe management (presumably
remotely) will continue to do so.
Why am I willing to do this? Well...
Both my wife (Sharon Johnson) and I were very early moderators
on the system, long before it was named Eisner. Dan Eisner recruited
us at the 1987 Spring DECUS symposium in Nashville. It was because
of this involvement that we grew to appreciate each other, and
eventually get married. Dan was the first person we told about our
engagement, just before he died. Dan was a good friend, and I miss
him very much.
This is just my way of trying to repay the huge debt that I owe to
Dan Eisner and DECUServe.
OK, I've made the offer. Does DECUServe management wish to take
me up on it?
Alan Frisbie (Remove _REMOVE to reply)
Flying Disk Systems, Inc.
Los Angeles, CA
I thought about that too Alan. I have about 20 times your bandwidth but
if you want the duties, you're welcome to it and I know you'd do a good
job too.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
Malcolm Dunnett
2009-01-30 17:00:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
Post by Alan Frisbie
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
I don't see anyone else volunteering to install T1 service and host Eisner!
OK, I guess it is time to step up to the plate. If it becomes
necessary for DECUServe to move, I will give it a new home.
I thought about that too Alan. I have about 20 times your bandwidth but
if you want the duties, you're welcome to it and I know you'd do a good
job too.
Yes, thanks Alan. I was also wrestling with whether or not to volunteer
to host it (easy to say after someone else has already volunteered I guess).

I have lots of spare VMS capable hardware here and a 100Mbit pipe, but
I'm not sure what sort of bureaucracy I'd have to go through to get my
employer (a university) to approve it. I have to admit I've kind of
drifted away from Emcompassserve lately anyway(not from VMS though), so
I'm not personally suffering from Eisner being down.

Also, I'm in Canada and hosting it here would go against the current
protectionist spirit of the US Congress :-)
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-01-31 02:15:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by Malcolm Dunnett
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
Post by Alan Frisbie
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
I don't see anyone else volunteering to install T1 service and host Eisner!
OK, I guess it is time to step up to the plate. If it becomes
necessary for DECUServe to move, I will give it a new home.
I thought about that too Alan. I have about 20 times your bandwidth but
if you want the duties, you're welcome to it and I know you'd do a good
job too.
Yes, thanks Alan. I was also wrestling with whether or not to volunteer
to host it (easy to say after someone else has already volunteered I guess).
I have lots of spare VMS capable hardware here and a 100Mbit pipe, but
I'm not sure what sort of bureaucracy I'd have to go through to get my
employer (a university) to approve it. I have to admit I've kind of
drifted away from Emcompassserve lately anyway(not from VMS though), so
I'm not personally suffering from Eisner being down.
Also, I'm in Canada and hosting it here would go against the current
protectionist spirit of the US Congress :-)
Ahhh!!! But the US Congress has no jurisdiction in Canada. Just
ignore them! Having their egos deflated might be good for them!
Main, Kerry
2009-02-02 16:36:19 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Richard B. Gilbert
Sent: January 30, 2009 9:15 PM
Subject: Re: [Info-vax] Eisner? Down? (30 days later)
Post by Malcolm Dunnett
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
Post by Alan Frisbie
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
I don't see anyone else volunteering to install T1 service and
host
Post by Malcolm Dunnett
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
Post by Alan Frisbie
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
Eisner!
OK, I guess it is time to step up to the plate. If it becomes
necessary for DECUServe to move, I will give it a new home.
I thought about that too Alan. I have about 20 times your bandwidth
but
Post by Malcolm Dunnett
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
if you want the duties, you're welcome to it and I know you'd do a
good
Post by Malcolm Dunnett
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
job too.
Yes, thanks Alan. I was also wrestling with whether or not to
volunteer
Post by Malcolm Dunnett
to host it (easy to say after someone else has already volunteered I guess).
I have lots of spare VMS capable hardware here and a 100Mbit pipe,
but
Post by Malcolm Dunnett
I'm not sure what sort of bureaucracy I'd have to go through to get
my
Post by Malcolm Dunnett
employer (a university) to approve it. I have to admit I've kind of
drifted away from Emcompassserve lately anyway(not from VMS though),
so
Post by Malcolm Dunnett
I'm not personally suffering from Eisner being down.
Also, I'm in Canada and hosting it here would go against the current
protectionist spirit of the US Congress :-)
Ahhh!!! But the US Congress has no jurisdiction in Canada. Just
ignore them! Having their egos deflated might be good for them!
_______________________________________________
Info-vax mailing list
http://rbnsn.com/mailman/listinfo/info-vax_rbnsn.com
Especially if the US does not want to see oil, gas, water exports from Canada
go through the roof ..

:-)



Regards

Kerry Main
Senior Consultant
HP Services Canada
Voice: 613-254-8911
Fax: 613-591-4477
kerryDOTmainAThpDOTcom
(remove the DOT's and AT)

OpenVMS - the secure, multi-site OS that just works.
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2009-01-30 17:57:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Malcolm Dunnett
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
Post by Alan Frisbie
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
I don't see anyone else volunteering to install T1 service and host Eisner!
OK, I guess it is time to step up to the plate. If it becomes
necessary for DECUServe to move, I will give it a new home.
I thought about that too Alan. I have about 20 times your bandwidth but
if you want the duties, you're welcome to it and I know you'd do a good
job too.
Yes, thanks Alan. I was also wrestling with whether or not to volunteer
to host it (easy to say after someone else has already volunteered I guess).
I have lots of spare VMS capable hardware here and a 100Mbit pipe, but
I'm not sure what sort of bureaucracy I'd have to go through to get my
employer (a university) to approve it. I have to admit I've kind of
drifted away from Emcompassserve lately anyway(not from VMS though), so
I'm not personally suffering from Eisner being down.
Also, I'm in Canada and hosting it here would go against the current
protectionist spirit of the US Congress :-)
I believe the h/w is DECUServer/EncompasServe/name-of-the-weekServe. I'd
assume the h/w and any relevant backups, etc. would be shipped out to any
party that would take over its hosting.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
JF Mezei
2009-01-30 18:32:48 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
I believe the h/w is DECUServer/EncompasServe/name-of-the-weekServe. I'd
assume the h/w and any relevant backups, etc. would be shipped out to any
party that would take over its hosting.
The costs of shipping can be horrendous for computers.

However, shipping of some peripherals (do do backups etc) might have to
be involved.

However, bear in mind that if the current system hoster is extremely
busy, he may not have the time to "pack" decuserve and ship it.
Duncan Brown
2009-01-30 20:14:22 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
I believe the h/w is DECUServer/EncompasServe/name-of-the-weekServe. I'd
assume the h/w and any relevant backups, etc. would be shipped out to any
party that would take over its hosting.
The costs of shipping can be horrendous for computers.
However, shipping of some peripherals (do do backups etc) might have to
be involved.
However, bear in mind that if the current system hoster is extremely
busy, he may not have the time to "pack" decuserve and ship it.
Again, being only two hours away and owning a truck, I'd be more than
happy to help with that end of things, if this comes to pass. I could
haul it home from there, pack it up, then send it off with a shipper. I
buy and sell a lot of weird big stuff on ebay and know my way around
shipping unwieldy stuff.

If the final destination were anywhere within 8 or 10 hours or so of
Chicago I'd just haul it there directly and make a day trip of it.
(Alan, you're out in California, right, so that's not an option here?)

I too had briefly considered offering to host it, but my 768K in the
outward direction DSL line would seriously disappoint potential users!

Duncan
JF Mezei
2009-01-30 20:34:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Duncan Brown
I too had briefly considered offering to host it, but my 768K in the
outward direction DSL line would seriously disappoint potential users!
My thinking was more along the lines of a temporary backup site being
setup to give time to the main site to get fixed up. As such, 768k
wouldn't be too bad. (Isn't decuserve mostly text anyways ?)
ZL
2009-01-30 21:19:18 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Duncan Brown
I too had briefly considered offering to host it, but my 768K in the
outward direction DSL line would seriously disappoint potential users!
My thinking was more along the lines of a temporary backup site being
setup to give time to the main site to get fixed up. As such, 768k
wouldn't be too bad. (Isn't decuserve mostly text anyways ?)
Yes, DECUServe is mostly text, and 768K is more than enough
to keep a lot of people happy. However, it's also the home
to some of the Library collections and other files. I don't
know how often anyone accesses them and downloads them.

Speaking for myself, I think it wouldn't take much bandwidth
to keep DECUServe running. I'm not in a position to host it
now, but I'll help with whatever I can.

Bart.
Alan Frisbie
2009-01-30 21:08:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by Duncan Brown
(Alan, you're out in California, right, so that's not an option here?)
Correct, Los Angeles to be exact.

I like the idea of a backup site, whether "hot" or "cold".
Even a periodic (weekly?) exchange of backup tapes would guard
against the total loss of a site. Likewise, giving more
than one person access/control of the domain registration
and DNS would be a good thing.

We're supposed to be experts in high-availability systems,
so let's do it!

Alan
DeCoy
2009-01-31 00:52:08 UTC
Permalink
Post by Duncan Brown
Again, being only two hours away and owning a truck, I'd be more than
happy to help with that end of things, if this comes to pass. I could
haul it home from there, pack it up, then send it off with a shipper. I
buy and sell a lot of weird big stuff on ebay and know my way around
shipping unwieldy stuff.
If the final destination were anywhere within 8 or 10 hours or so of
Chicago I'd just haul it there directly and make a day trip of it. (Alan,
you're out in California, right, so that's not an option here?)
I too had briefly considered offering to host it, but my 768K in the
outward direction DSL line would seriously disappoint potential users!
Duncan
Thanks, Duncan. I've passed along your offer.
Graham Burley
2009-02-02 16:09:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by Duncan Brown
Again, being only two hours away and owning a truck
Duncan - could you drop me an e-mail please, thankyou.
Mister Q
2009-02-03 20:37:35 UTC
Permalink
Post by Graham Burley
Post by Duncan Brown
Again, being only two hours away and owning a truck
Duncan - could you drop me an e-mail please, thankyou.
This is all getting to be somewhat of a joke. While I can understand
and appreciate the effort that Stephen has put in, in the past, and
the fact that he "has a business to run" and "is entering into
politics", it should also be noted that people have offered

a) technical advise on SWXCRs
b) Spare SWXCR's
c) Spare drives
d) Spare Systems
e) Hosting Services/Bandwidth/Colo
f) Hands-on
g) Shipping to/from alternate locations...

We have seen nothing in nearly two months now... Not even a status
message. Just how long would it take Mr Arnold to pen a "This is what
I have done, this is what I need to do, this is what I need, and this
is when I plan to do it" note...

If he is that distracted by his consulting and political activities,
then he really should hand it all off to someone else.. As has been
mentioned elsewhere, this reflects poorly on the "quality" of the VMS
we know and love..

ANd yes, before anyone grumps at me for not calling him - several
others appear to have, and I am half way around the world...
JF Mezei
2009-02-03 20:58:55 UTC
Permalink
Post by Mister Q
This is all getting to be somewhat of a joke. While I can understand
and appreciate the effort that Stephen has put in, in the past, and
the fact that he "has a business to run" and "is entering into
politics", it should also be noted that people have offered
This is the nature of volunteer work. There are times when work/family
issues tend to overwhelm someone who can't spend ANY time on volunteer
stuff for some period of time. You can't fault a VOLUNTEER for that.



It would help to know how much disk space is needed to host eisner, and
how much monthly data usage is involved for the internet line.


Enough of us have sufficient hardware at home to run this. We can make
all the offers in the world, but there needs to be someone in charge to
decide "OK, we are moving it from X to Y, give X Y's address and ask X
to send backups to Y.
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-02-03 21:23:33 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Mister Q
This is all getting to be somewhat of a joke. While I can understand
and appreciate the effort that Stephen has put in, in the past, and
the fact that he "has a business to run" and "is entering into
politics", it should also be noted that people have offered
This is the nature of volunteer work. There are times when work/family
issues tend to overwhelm someone who can't spend ANY time on volunteer
stuff for some period of time. You can't fault a VOLUNTEER for that.
It would help to know how much disk space is needed to host eisner, and
how much monthly data usage is involved for the internet line.
Enough of us have sufficient hardware at home to run this. We can make
all the offers in the world, but there needs to be someone in charge to
decide "OK, we are moving it from X to Y, give X Y's address and ask X
to send backups to Y.
This assumes that X, who has evidently abandoned his post, is both able
and willing to make backups, and to ship the tapes to Y! It also
assumes that Y will be able to read the tapes when they get there. All
DLT drives are not created equal and tapes are not necessarily
interchangeable.

There are enterprises that will, for money, host your system, provide
internet access, etc. For more money, some will mount tapes for
backups, send tapes off site, etc, etc. Does anybody want to spring for it?
JF Mezei
2009-02-03 22:02:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
This assumes that X, who has evidently abandoned his post, is both able
and willing to make backups, and to ship the tapes to Y!
Since the disks are apparently gone, one would assume that whatever
existing backup will have to be used as basis for the new system.

Is there an expectation that disks in that SWXCR thing-a-ma-jig are
rescuable ?

Remember that if the owner's goal is to ressucitate this system, one has
to understand that debugging disk array problems is not as easy as
figuring out next week's winning lotery numbers. One also has to
consider the possibility that the broken array controller may have
writen bad info and is making recovery extremely difficult.

When the LDdriver zapped one of a list of MOUNT/BIND disks for me, it
took me a lot of hours to figure out what had happened, then build
procedures to inventory the disk, then test each individual files whith
whatever tool I had for its integrity (zip for zip files, ana/rms for
indexed files, type for text files etc etc). Then, from that list, I
then had to rebuild individual files from whatever backup I had, some of
which couldn't be rebuilt because backup was too old.
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
It also
assumes that Y will be able to read the tapes when they get there. All
DLT drives are not created equal and tapes are not necessarily
interchangeable.
Then the volunteer will also have to ship the DLT drive if that is the case.

But right now, this is all speculation. Except for information that this
is a SWXCR based disk array we don't have any additioanl information on
that system.
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-02-03 22:51:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
This assumes that X, who has evidently abandoned his post, is both able
and willing to make backups, and to ship the tapes to Y!
Since the disks are apparently gone, one would assume that whatever
existing backup will have to be used as basis for the new system.
Is there an expectation that disks in that SWXCR thing-a-ma-jig are
rescuable ?
Assuming that the SWXCR was configured for RAID-5, any set of N-1 drives
in working condition should be sufficient to recover all the data.

We seem to be working with a paucity of reliable information here.

What I gather from reading c.o.v. is:
a. Eisner is down
b. It is in the custody of Steve (somebody) not known to me.
c. Steve is too busy, with things important to him, to deal with the
problem.
I'd suggest replacing any SWXCR with an HSZ or HSG class controller.
I never had a problem with mine but I understand that they have a poor
reputation!
Post by JF Mezei
Remember that if the owner's goal is to ressucitate this system, one has
to understand that debugging disk array problems is not as easy as
figuring out next week's winning lotery numbers. One also has to
consider the possibility that the broken array controller may have
writen bad info and is making recovery extremely difficult.
When the LDdriver zapped one of a list of MOUNT/BIND disks for me, it
took me a lot of hours to figure out what had happened, then build
procedures to inventory the disk, then test each individual files whith
whatever tool I had for its integrity (zip for zip files, ana/rms for
indexed files, type for text files etc etc). Then, from that list, I
then had to rebuild individual files from whatever backup I had, some of
which couldn't be rebuilt because backup was too old.
A volume set created with MOUNT /BIND is in NO WAY equivalent to a RAID
array as I understand the concept! The failure of ANY disk in a volume
set is sufficient to bring down the whole set since any piece of any
file can be stored on any disk in the set. The weaknesses of a volume
set are well known and anyone who puts important data on such a volume
set deserves anything that happens to that volume set.

In the course of a twenty year career as a VMS system manager I created
ONE such volume set, being fully aware of its limitations! I used it to
store Oracle "redo" files which had a useful life of, at most, one day,
since the database was backed up daily. If I had had a larger disk
available, I would have used it in preference to creating that volume set.

<snip>
JF Mezei
2009-02-03 23:17:00 UTC
Permalink
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
Assuming that the SWXCR was configured for RAID-5, any set of N-1 drives
in working condition should be sufficient to recover all the data.
Would it be correct to state that in order to recover the data , you
would need an SWXCR of the same revision and exact same config to
rebuild the set ?

I realise that MOUNT/BIND is a very primitive way to glue disks
together, but the end result becomes the same: if the software ends up
zapping data in the wrong place, recovery is very hard.

If the problem is the SWXCR itself, then can you ship the hard drives
elsewhere and expect anyone to be able to rebuild the set ?
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
We seem to be working with a paucity of reliable information here.
This has *never* stopped c.o.v. from speculating... The paucity of
information about VMS since the Palmer days has trained us to be
extremely good at speculation :-( :-( :-(
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
I'd suggest replacing any SWXCR with an HSZ or HSG class controller.
But will those new controllers be able to recover the data ?
Alan Winston - SSRL Central Computing
2009-02-03 23:41:14 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
Assuming that the SWXCR was configured for RAID-5, any set of N-1 drives
in working condition should be sufficient to recover all the data.
Would it be correct to state that in order to recover the data , you
would need an SWXCR of the same revision and exact same config to
rebuild the set ?
Not exactly. The revision isn't as vital - a later rev could work.

But with the configuration -- it depends on how the disks were built. If
memory serves, when you set up your RAID sets in the SWXCR you can sacrifice
a little bit of disk space to save the configuration on the disk itself. This
is portable to other SWXCRs. If you didn't choose the portable configuration,
then you're kind of screwed, because if you tell the SWXCR to build a disk set
it'll trash whatever's on the disk already.

On the other hand, if Eisner was just using SWXCR to serve JBODs, then I think
those disks should be portable to other controllers.
Post by JF Mezei
I realise that MOUNT/BIND is a very primitive way to glue disks
together, but the end result becomes the same: if the software ends up
zapping data in the wrong place, recovery is very hard.
If the problem is the SWXCR itself, then can you ship the hard drives
elsewhere and expect anyone to be able to rebuild the set ?
Depends on whether they were
- stripesets not configured as portable (then I think your only hope is the
EEPROM from the dead SWXCR)
- stripesets configured as portable (then yes, to another SWXCR)
- JBOD (yes, any controller that can drive the disk)
- mirrorsets (Raid 0+1, then yes)
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
We seem to be working with a paucity of reliable information here.
This has *never* stopped c.o.v. from speculating... The paucity of
information about VMS since the Palmer days has trained us to be
extremely good at speculation :-( :-( :-(
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
I'd suggest replacing any SWXCR with an HSZ or HSG class controller.
But will those new controllers be able to recover the data ?
If you've got an HSZ or HSG class controller, you can use bigger drives and
bigger RAIDsets than the SWXCR can do. But what you want is to get the data
off the drives - if it's JBOD or mirrorset, should be no problem with HSZ; if
anything else you need SWXCR - and then move it to the less ancient and weird
controller which can manage higher capacity disks.

-- Alan
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-02-04 12:04:12 UTC
Permalink
Post by Alan Winston - SSRL Central Computing
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
Assuming that the SWXCR was configured for RAID-5, any set of N-1 drives
in working condition should be sufficient to recover all the data.
Would it be correct to state that in order to recover the data , you
would need an SWXCR of the same revision and exact same config to
rebuild the set ?
Not exactly. The revision isn't as vital - a later rev could work.
But with the configuration -- it depends on how the disks were built. If
memory serves, when you set up your RAID sets in the SWXCR you can sacrifice
a little bit of disk space to save the configuration on the disk itself. This
is portable to other SWXCRs. If you didn't choose the portable configuration,
then you're kind of screwed, because if you tell the SWXCR to build a disk set
it'll trash whatever's on the disk already.
On the other hand, if Eisner was just using SWXCR to serve JBODs, then I think
those disks should be portable to other controllers.
Post by JF Mezei
I realise that MOUNT/BIND is a very primitive way to glue disks
together, but the end result becomes the same: if the software ends up
zapping data in the wrong place, recovery is very hard.
If the problem is the SWXCR itself, then can you ship the hard drives
elsewhere and expect anyone to be able to rebuild the set ?
Depends on whether they were
- stripesets not configured as portable (then I think your only hope is the
EEPROM from the dead SWXCR)
- stripesets configured as portable (then yes, to another SWXCR)
- JBOD (yes, any controller that can drive the disk)
- mirrorsets (Raid 0+1, then yes)
Post by JF Mezei
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
We seem to be working with a paucity of reliable information here.
This has *never* stopped c.o.v. from speculating... The paucity of
information about VMS since the Palmer days has trained us to be
extremely good at speculation :-( :-( :-(
Post by Richard B. Gilbert
I'd suggest replacing any SWXCR with an HSZ or HSG class controller.
But will those new controllers be able to recover the data ?
If you've got an HSZ or HSG class controller, you can use bigger drives and
bigger RAIDsets than the SWXCR can do. But what you want is to get the data
off the drives - if it's JBOD or mirrorset, should be no problem with HSZ; if
anything else you need SWXCR - and then move it to the less ancient and weird
controller which can manage higher capacity disks.
-- Alan
It has been about five years since I last did anything with a SWXCR but
ISTR that you could save the configuration on a floppy disk and that
this floppy would allow you to replace SWXCRs by loading the new with a
configuration identical to the old. AIRC I never actually did it.

If I had a choice I would much prefer an HSZ or HSG controller but ISTR
that I bought SWXCRs on e-Bay for $35 each ca. 2003-2004 and that
HSZ/HSG class hardware cost somewhere between 50 and 500 times that!
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-01-31 02:23:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
I believe the h/w is DECUServer/EncompasServe/name-of-the-weekServe. I'd
assume the h/w and any relevant backups, etc. would be shipped out to any
party that would take over its hosting.
The costs of shipping can be horrendous for computers.
A lot depends on the computer. I wouldn't want to pay to have a VAX
11/780 shipped anywhere!! A MicroVAX 3100 should be pretty cheap to ship.

I got an Alphastation XP1000 shipped to me for $55 US. It traveled
about 700 miles!
Alan Frisbie
2009-01-30 18:34:28 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
Post by Alan Frisbie
I am willing to make space, power, a fixed IP address, and DNS service
available for Eisner.
I thought about that too Alan. I have about 20 times your bandwidth but
if you want the duties, you're welcome to it and I know you'd do a good
job too.
I didn't say I *wanted* the job. :-) :-) :-)
However, there is this old-fashioned thing called "duty", which
I still believe in. Fortunately, Sharon was very understanding
when I told her that DECUServe might be coming to live with us. :-)

I think the users would be better served by a bigger pipe than
mine, but I can't get it here -- at least for a price mere mortals
can afford. :-) It hurts to pay $389/month for the T1, but the
next lower price is $156/month for IDSL (144kbps). It sucks
being 22,000 feet from the Telco CO. I looked into wireless, but
there is a large hill in the way. :-( Business-class cable is
not available.

If my offer spurs someone with better facilities to make a similar
offer, that would be wonderful and I will bow to them. If not,
or if a backup site is desired, my offer stands.

Alan Frisbie
JF Mezei
2009-01-30 18:44:44 UTC
Permalink
How difficult would it be to distribute eisner amongst multiple volunteers ?

Once IP-cluster is available, wouldn't it be possible to volume-shadow
the disk containing the notes files ? And then make the host name
resolve to multiple IPs for load balancing, hence requiring less
bandwidth from each volunteer ?

Apart from volume shadowing, are there any other means to have notes
files distributed amongst multiple sites ?
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2009-01-09 13:28:54 UTC
Permalink
Post by Duncan Brown
I really miss Eisner...
I wonder if, compared to a SWXCR, just letting drives die every once in
a blue moon and replacing them and restoring them from backups isn't a
better uptime strategy... that's the decision I came to on my system!
For Eisner, I'd toss a vote in the ballot box for HBVS. Most of the
hardware is already there. I've experienced several sites using the
SWXCR and, to me, the down-time to boot into ARC, run the rcu to fix
the problem, and then reboot SRM and VMS is not worth it in most, if
not all, of the cases I've been privy.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
JF Mezei
2009-01-09 15:41:44 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
For Eisner, I'd toss a vote in the ballot box for HBVS.
If they used raid-5 to bind multiple small disks into a big one, why not
just buy 1 modern disk and put it all on one disk and just back it up ?
It would be a lot simpler and less chance of failure.
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-01-09 16:48:03 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
For Eisner, I'd toss a vote in the ballot box for HBVS.
If they used raid-5 to bind multiple small disks into a big one, why not
just buy 1 modern disk and put it all on one disk and just back it up ?
It would be a lot simpler and less chance of failure.
The question is never WHETHER a disk drive will fail. The drive WILL
fail; the only question is when!

When that one big disk fails, the system is down. Again!

ISTR that you can have a "hot spare" in a RAID-5 set with a hardware
RAID controller and that drive will replace the first member of the set
to fail. If the SYS$MANGLER is paying attention, he should notice the
failure no later than the first work day following the failure.

I made it a point both to check my error counters and log files and ALSO
to visit the computer room at least once a day to look for yellow lights
on the drives or failed power supplies, listen for "that loud scraping
sound", look for things turned off that should be on, etc.

I found a few problems that way and was generally able to prevent
problems from turning into crises!
G Cornelius
2009-01-05 04:16:19 UTC
Permalink
Post by DeCoy
I have suggested that the easiest and most straightforward solution is to
get the Mylex-driven RAID 5 array to work.
We have spare 9GB drives for that. My suggestion was that Stephen, with
whatever support and advice are available, work on that FIRST, to see if
it's viable (given hardware, software, and peopleware).
If we can't do that, then we'll explore alternatives for replacing the whole
disk setup. We may have some in hand, but offers are appreciated. We would
certainly go to bigger drives, at that point.
<quote>
In some of tries of the last experiment, the system console came alive
and attempted to boot VMS. You can see the last of the output in the
screen shot at http://www.Arnold.com/Photo_123108_002.jpg. Note the
message "SCSI drive at channel 2, target 1 dead". The message about CPU
01 starting are not relevant. Nothing else happens and there is no disk
activity after that message.
So the raid set is working long enough to bring in the kernel but
VMS cannot continue from there? I assume that is true even with a
conversational boot?

Is he able to run the SWXCR utility from floppy? It requires
a video monitor, I believe, and may require switching to the
NT-compatible BIOS (AlphaBIOS?).

What does booting from CD give him?

Are dra0-6 the virtual units, or the physical raid set members?

[Just some things that come to mind looking at the screen captures].
--
George Cornelius cornelius at mayo dot edu
Duncan Brown
2009-01-05 04:26:41 UTC
Permalink
Post by DeCoy
In some of tries of the last experiment, the system console came alive
and attempted to boot VMS. You can see the last of the output in the
screen shot at http://www.Arnold.com/Photo_123108_002.jpg. Note the
message "SCSI drive at channel 2, target 1 dead". The message about CPU
01 starting are not relevant. Nothing else happens and there is no disk
activity after that message.
I'm guessing the fact that the controller thinks it has no drives, but 4
billion optimal drives (in addition to 6 degraded ones) is not a good
sign...

I hated hated hated the SWXCR. When it worked it did a fine job, but it
was the fear of this kind of spurious problem, just about impossible to
recover from, that made me happy to stop using the thing. Not to
mention the annoyance of having to take down VMS and boot SWXCRMGR to do
any work on it.

Any chance he's got a good backup of the config on floppy and can reload
it into a replacement controller?

Duncan
bradhamilton
2009-01-04 19:24:02 UTC
Permalink
DeCoy wrote:

[...]
Post by DeCoy
Thanks, George. The problem appears to be storage-related, perhaps with the
RAID array on the Mylex controller, and perhaps with either controller
hardware or controller configuration.
Expertise in diagnosing (and perhaps fixing) Mylex controller symptoms would
be initially useful.
I'm assuming, of course, that a recent backup of the system (or at least
the data on the RAID array) is available.
I have a number of "bare" 18 and 36G drives that I'm willing to donate
to the "cause", if the decision comes to abandoning the RAID array, and
re-building storage with HBVS, instead. The current OS would support
"shadowing" of dissimilar-sized disks, and disks of this size (or
larger) should do away with the "need" for the RAID array.
[...]
bradhamilton
2009-01-04 19:24:02 UTC
Permalink
DeCoy wrote:

[...]
Post by DeCoy
Thanks, George. The problem appears to be storage-related, perhaps with the
RAID array on the Mylex controller, and perhaps with either controller
hardware or controller configuration.
Expertise in diagnosing (and perhaps fixing) Mylex controller symptoms would
be initially useful.
I'm assuming, of course, that a recent backup of the system (or at least
the data on the RAID array) is available.
I have a number of "bare" 18 and 36G drives that I'm willing to donate
to the "cause", if the decision comes to abandoning the RAID array, and
re-building storage with HBVS, instead. The current OS would support
"shadowing" of dissimilar-sized disks, and disks of this size (or
larger) should do away with the "need" for the RAID array.
[...]
G Cornelius
2009-01-05 03:48:06 UTC
Permalink
Post by DeCoy
Thanks, George. The problem appears to be storage-related, perhaps with the
RAID array on the Mylex controller, and perhaps with either controller
hardware or controller configuration.
Expertise in diagnosing (and perhaps fixing) Mylex controller symptoms would
be initially useful.
I won't be of much help - my experience is with the HSJ/HSZ/HSG controller
series.

I did leave voice mail for Steve offering my services, but you folks
will probably do better diagnosing it remotely than me trying to get
involved. Let me know, though, if I can do something, even if it's
just getting him some spare parts.

Coincidentally, the reason I am not using the DS20 that's in my garage
is that the Mylex (KZPBC?) controller failed when I was trying to configure
it and I have not yet sprung for a replacement or stuffed in a non-raid
SCSI card.

I know of others around here who have used the Mylex controller and
have encountered some of its quirks. I seem to remember helping someone
on the research side of things restore a backup of what was at the time
a large (30GB) raid volume that was lost due to Mylex controller issues,
or perhaps due to not noticing that a raid disk had failed until a
second failure made recovery impossible.
--
George Cornelius cornelius at mayo dot edu
Richard B. Gilbert
2009-01-05 04:38:45 UTC
Permalink
Post by G Cornelius
Post by DeCoy
Thanks, George. The problem appears to be storage-related, perhaps with the
RAID array on the Mylex controller, and perhaps with either controller
hardware or controller configuration.
Expertise in diagnosing (and perhaps fixing) Mylex controller symptoms would
be initially useful.
I won't be of much help - my experience is with the HSJ/HSZ/HSG controller
series.
I did leave voice mail for Steve offering my services, but you folks
will probably do better diagnosing it remotely than me trying to get
involved. Let me know, though, if I can do something, even if it's
just getting him some spare parts.
Coincidentally, the reason I am not using the DS20 that's in my garage
is that the Mylex (KZPBC?) controller failed when I was trying to configure
it and I have not yet sprung for a replacement or stuffed in a non-raid
SCSI card.
I know of others around here who have used the Mylex controller and
have encountered some of its quirks. I seem to remember helping someone
on the research side of things restore a backup of what was at the time
a large (30GB) raid volume that was lost due to Mylex controller issues,
or perhaps due to not noticing that a raid disk had failed until a
second failure made recovery impossible.
It seems to me that it's a SYS$MANGLER's JOB to notice things like
failing disks. I had a batch job called "MORNING_CHECK" that ran every
day at 07:30. It compared the output of "SHOW ERROR" with the output
from yesterday. It checked log files for errors ("-E-" and -F-"), etc,
etc. If it found something that looked like a problem I was notified by
a text message to my pager. This gave me time to work on the problem
before it turned into a crisis!

A failed disk was not allowed to become a problem! I would swap it out
with a spare and call DEC/Compaq/HP to pick up the dear departed and
bring me a replacement drive.

In fact, thanks to MORNING_CHECK, I usually found disks that were
developing problems before the problems developed fully. One error was
allowed but when a disk started logging multiple errors, I swapped it
out with a spare and called for a replacement. The same guy who fetched
replacements for field service would fetch me a new one and I gave him
the dear departed!
Main, Kerry
2009-01-05 14:20:12 UTC
Permalink
-----Original Message-----
Behalf Of Richard B. Gilbert
Sent: January 4, 2009 11:39 PM
Subject: Re: [Info-vax] Eisner? Down? (10 days later)
Post by G Cornelius
Post by DeCoy
Thanks, George. The problem appears to be storage-related, perhaps
with the
Post by G Cornelius
Post by DeCoy
RAID array on the Mylex controller, and perhaps with either
controller
Post by G Cornelius
Post by DeCoy
hardware or controller configuration.
Expertise in diagnosing (and perhaps fixing) Mylex controller
symptoms would
Post by G Cornelius
Post by DeCoy
be initially useful.
I won't be of much help - my experience is with the HSJ/HSZ/HSG
controller
Post by G Cornelius
series.
I did leave voice mail for Steve offering my services, but you folks
will probably do better diagnosing it remotely than me trying to get
involved. Let me know, though, if I can do something, even if it's
just getting him some spare parts.
Coincidentally, the reason I am not using the DS20 that's in my
garage
Post by G Cornelius
is that the Mylex (KZPBC?) controller failed when I was trying to
configure
Post by G Cornelius
it and I have not yet sprung for a replacement or stuffed in a non-
raid
Post by G Cornelius
SCSI card.
I know of others around here who have used the Mylex controller and
have encountered some of its quirks. I seem to remember helping
someone
Post by G Cornelius
on the research side of things restore a backup of what was at the
time
Post by G Cornelius
a large (30GB) raid volume that was lost due to Mylex controller
issues,
Post by G Cornelius
or perhaps due to not noticing that a raid disk had failed until a
second failure made recovery impossible.
It seems to me that it's a SYS$MANGLER's JOB to notice things like
failing disks. I had a batch job called "MORNING_CHECK" that ran every
day at 07:30. It compared the output of "SHOW ERROR" with the output
from yesterday. It checked log files for errors ("-E-" and -F-"), etc,
etc. If it found something that looked like a problem I was notified by
a text message to my pager. This gave me time to work on the problem
before it turned into a crisis!
A failed disk was not allowed to become a problem! I would swap it out
with a spare and call DEC/Compaq/HP to pick up the dear departed and
bring me a replacement drive.
In fact, thanks to MORNING_CHECK, I usually found disks that were
developing problems before the problems developed fully. One error was
allowed but when a disk started logging multiple errors, I swapped it
out with a spare and called for a replacement. The same guy who fetched
replacements for field service would fetch me a new one and I gave him
the dear departed!
_______________________________________________
It does not seem like this was the issue here, but just an observation-

As Richard outlined, one of the big issues with RAID (HW or SW) is that
they work to well and staff can become to dependent on them. Hence, a
LUN drive may fail, error gets logged, but if missed and/or not followed
up on, then the chances are that a second failure on another drive a few
weeks/months later will take out the entire LUN.

Some RAID arrays have beeps, flashing lights to remind people of errors,
but in lights out environments, I have seen even these get missed.


Regards

Kerry Main
Senior Consultant
HP Services Canada
Voice: 613-254-8911
Fax: 613-591-4477
kerryDOTmainAThpDOTcom
(remove the DOT's and AT)

OpenVMS - the secure, multi-site OS that just works.
Hein RMS van den Heuvel
2008-12-25 23:16:43 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
My session to the DECUServe system (Eisner) terminated last evening.
Pings and traceroutes seem to indicate that it is down?  Does anyone
know if it is network or system/hardware related?  I don't have any
contact info handy for Stephen Arnold to query him.
I've been paying a modest contribution for Eisner for the last few
years,
but admittedly did not help yet this year. Didn't expect the effect to
be immediate!

Eisner being down for an extended period perhaps short be interpreted
as a strong reminder to all who use it to chip in a little more, a
little more often, ( personal circumstances permitting).

Cheers,
Hein.
(Writing from Eindhoven, the Netherlands, today)
Bob
2008-12-31 23:46:28 UTC
Permalink
I just got a couple emails, indicating that I've been added to an
EISNER group at arnold dot com. I never requested this, but I'm
guessing that Steve has been away for the holidays, and is finally
getting back to where he can deal with whatever happened.

Like everything else, he's a volunteer, not a 24 x 365 employee.
Thanks for keeping EISNER available all these years, and I hope it's
back online soon.
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2009-01-01 00:02:25 UTC
Permalink
Post by Bob
I just got a couple emails, indicating that I've been added to an
EISNER group at arnold dot com. I never requested this, but I'm
guessing that Steve has been away for the holidays, and is finally
getting back to where he can deal with whatever happened.
I've gotten nothing and Eisner is still unreachable.
Post by Bob
Like everything else, he's a volunteer, not a 24 x 365 employee.
Thanks for keeping EISNER available all these years, and I hope it's
back online soon.
I think that those of us who were daily denizens on Eisner would just
like to know what happened and, if necessary, what we can do to bring
it back on-line.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
JF Mezei
2009-01-01 02:11:26 UTC
Permalink
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
I've gotten nothing and Eisner is still unreachable.
Your left handed SMTP server often bounces messages left and right :-)
:-) Quite possible that a message sent to you got bounced.
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
I think that those of us who were daily denizens on Eisner would just
like to know what happened and, if necessary, what we can do to bring
it back on-line.
You need to drink a half dozen Guiness, kneel down, and perform
religious incantations to bring it back.
V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
2009-01-01 07:13:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by JF Mezei
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
I've gotten nothing and Eisner is still unreachable.
Your left handed SMTP server often bounces messages left and right :-)
:-) Quite possible that a message sent to you got bounced.
Nothing in the logs to indicate that.
Post by JF Mezei
Post by V***@SendSpamHere.ORG
I think that those of us who were daily denizens on Eisner would just
like to know what happened and, if necessary, what we can do to bring
it back on-line.
You need to drink a half dozen Guiness, kneel down, and perform
religious incantations to bring it back.
The dozen Guinness -- doable.
Kneel down on my knees? Not likely...
Religious Incantations? Perhaps I could muster up an atheistic rant.
--
VAXman- A Bored Certified VMS Kernel Mode Hacker VAXman(at)TMESIS(dot)ORG

"Well my son, life is like a beanstalk, isn't it?"
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