The Wang VS Community
The New VS is a virtualization, an emulation if you like, of the Wang VS machine. It runs on modern Linux servers and is free of proprietary Wang hardware unless you opt to use the available "928" card to support legacy Wang periperals such as workstations, printers and telecomunication gear. Most New VS sites do not use the 928 option. Wang workstations and
printers are mostly replaced by Lightspeed features. Wang telecommunication still has some uses, namely to support SNA,
WSN to legacy systems, X.25, and LU 6.2.
Since the New VS is a true and faithful virtualization of the Wang VS, it runs the VS Operating System, all VS compilers, all VS utilities, and all VS application software, all unchanged.
The New VS:
Realistic "futures." The New VS will have:
The New VS has very important implications for Wang VS sites:
Even without counting on any new features not yet available, the New VS immediately provides you with new capabilities simply because of its virtualization technology:
The New VS seamlessly replaces all models of Wang VS and offers performance far exceeding any legacy Wang VS.
Yes. Not only does the New VS support VS clustering, for the first time it has the ability to cluster up to 16 VS systems, something that was never fully implemented in the legacy VS OS.
Unlike legacy RSF, which utilized FDDI fiber at 100 Mb/sec, the New VS RSF utilizes IP networking, typically at Gigabit speed. Thus the New VS communicates potentially ten times faster than the legacy Wang VS. RSF may be bound to the secondary network interface to isolate it from normal network traffic and maximize RSF throughput. In a two-node VS cluster the two network
interfaces would be directly connected to each other. In a cluster larger than two nodes the systems would be connected to
a Gigabit switch.
Yes, the New VS uses RAID for all its storage. This is transparent to the VS OS and applications and serves to increase the fault tolerance of the system. No New VS system is placed in the field without at least internal RAID.
The New VS stores VS disk volumes as Linux files containing byte-for-byte images of VS disk drives. The image files are themselves contained in RAID arrays and thus protected from simple physical disk failures. Multiple virtual VS volumes are stored in RAID arrays. There is no correspondence between virtual VS volumes and the physical disk drives of the New VS. Virtual VS volumes may be stored in any combination of internal RAID or external enteprise storage.
GENEDIT remains as the principle configuration tool, unchanged from how the legacy VS is configured. What is different is how what the VS thinks are physical devices are "connected" to the virtual VS. Whereas cables and ID settings were used in the legacy VS to connect physical devices, these connections are done in software in the New VS. In the System Control Unit (SCU)
there are configuration pages similar to GENEDIT in which the virtual VS is told where to find the devices configured in
GENEDIT. Thus a disk, for instance, configured in GENEDIT to be on IOC 3 in slot 2 would be configured in the SCU to point to a
virtual disk image file in IOC 3, slot 2. A physical tape drive, for instance, configured in GENEDIT to be on IOC 4 in slot 5
would be configured in the SCU to point to the actual Linux SCSI tape drive device in IOC 4, slot 5.
Thus there is a layer of configuration that replaces the physical plugging and cabling that "connects" devices in the legacy Wang VS and provides the connectivity to the virtual VS so it knows where the devices are that are called for in the VS GENEDIT configuration.
The New VS can configure up to a 34.3 GB VS disk volume, the largest supported by VS OS 7.54.12. Note that using such a large volume on the legacy Wang VS was problematic because the legacy VS SCSI subsystem still operated at SCSI-1 speed of 5 MB/sec. Thus it could take a very long time to perform any large disk operations on the legacy VS while the New VS can perform
large disk operations with ease and efficiency. Note also that in the VS world of very efficient disk storage formats and file
compression, a 34.3 GB disk is truly huge.
Yes. In fact, the New VS can be used for VS systems larger than any that exist in the legacy VS world. The top tier of New VS performance runs at nearly three times the performance of the legacy high-end VS18950 and provides much faster disk file I/O than any legacy VS as well as eliminating the bottleneck of Lightspeed gateway PCs and their WLOC or SCSI cards. Not only
can you replace the largest Wang VS systems in existence, you can have a much better performing system with faster response and
greater fault tolerance.
There are production New VS systems in operation that have at least 500 users. The limit of users is presently prescribed by the VS OS and by Lightspeed. The VS presently has a limit of 999 devices or users, and Lightspeed cuts that in half by utilizing an invoked background task for every foreground user task. Thus it is possible to configure nearly 1,000 non-Lightspeed users on a
New VS or nearly 500 Lightspeed users. All this will change with the upcoming release of VS Operating System 7.54.20, which will
double the limit of devices/users to 1,999.
Yes. Because virtual VS volumes are simple Linux files, they may be stored on any device that functions in Linux as a file system. The most reliable form of storage, though, is in the RAID that is internal to all New VS systems. The internal RAID is always available, unlike some external storage subsystems. Backups, however, may certainly be sent to external enterprise storage. Special volumes and work volumes may be configured on external storage for various reasons.
You will be delighted. We normally configure the physical server to have much more disk space than the original legacy Wang VS. In some cases this is unavoidable because modern servers cannot be configured with less than about 73 GB of disk, which is more than most VS systems have had. In other cases we simply make sure that the New VS will have much more space than the
original VS. Since virtual SCSI IOCs and virtual disks can be created and configured at will, this means that from initial
setup through day to day operation it will be easy to make sure you have sufficient VS volumes to get your work done. It
will even be easy to create and configure virtual VS volumes for temporary use, destroying them when no longer needed.
The relatively cheap availability of disk space in modern servers changes the entire picture of disk space in the VS world. While previously an increase in disk space required a purchase authorization, now it requires only the decision to create and configure the additional space, as long as the physical server has sufficient free space available, and we strive to configure all New VS systems to have more than sufficient disk space.
More than you will likely need. Since the New VS emulates the Wang VS machine, and since the CP types it emulates generally have 15 I/O slots, and since at least one I/O slot is needed for workstation connectivity, up to 14 slots are avaiable for virtual SCSI IOCs, each supporting up to 14 devices. So the maximum number of virtual disk drives configurable is 196, and each
virtual disk drive can be as large as 34.3 GB. The maximum storage capacity would therefore be 6,722 GB, or 6.7 terabytes. Since
the New VS is virtual, it's possible that the number of supported IOC slots may be increased in the future, but for now it seems
Presently up to about 500. The capacity depends on the VS OS and on the performance tier you select. The VS OS presently has a limit of 999 devices/users, and if you use Lightspeed the capacity is half that because Lightspeed invokes a background task for every foreground user task. So at the highest performance tier you could presently have close to 1,000 non-Lightspeed users
or close to 500 Lightspeed users. The upcoming new VS OS, 7.54.20, will double the capacity, allowing close to 2,000 non-
Lightspeed users or close to 1,000 Lightspeed users.
We offer a non-Lightspeed workstation emulator, bundled with the New VS. It runs in Windows and in Linux and requires no install, no Registry modification. It is not as robust as Lightspeed but works perfectly well for logging on and running applications. Also, it does not do file transfer or document conversion. It is simply a workstation emulator.
One of our customers has also developed a Visual Basic workstation emulator that looks very much like Lightspeed. We believe this will also be available to our customers.
You could also run legacy VS workstations, but we don't recommend that. The legacy workstations require our 928 card and additional external legacy equipment to connect to the New VS, and are a maintenance problem, as workstations and spare parts are becoming scarce.
Yes. The New VS uses IP networking for WSN links with other New VS systems, potentially communicating more than ten times faster than legacy systems were able to communicate. The New VS also has the ability to operate legacy WSN links with legacy VS systems by means of the 928 card and external legacy TCB equipment at legacy speeds.
Yes. Support for VS TCP/IP is comprehensive. The FTP server works, as do programmed VS TCP/IP services. VS TCP/IP works in the New VS exactly as it does in the legacy Wang VS.
Yes. VS programmed async is supported using LAN-based MOXA devices transparently to the VS and VS applications. Async ports are configured as TCB1/Async, each one bound to a MOXA RS-232 async device. No changes are required to async programming.
Yes. All forms of transfer into and out of the New VS are faster than they were in the legacy VS. Workstation I/O is faster, File Exchange transfers are faster, WSN file transfers are faster, and VS TCP/IP file transfers are faster. In addition there are new ways of transferring data, and those are much faster than traditional VS data transfers.
Yes. We have added functionality to provide for transferring file data between the VS and Linux environments.
Completely. The New VS is a 100% seamlessly binary compatible emulation of the Wang VS machine. It runs everything with no changes. This means that there is no "conversion," no "migration," simply loading the New VS from the disk volumes or backup tapes of the legacy VS. The first onsite install we did was installed, accepted and put into production in less than one elapsed
day. There is no conversion on Planet Earth that can claim to be able to do this. Most of our installs take a few days, which
means that code or data freezes are very short and manageable.
There are somewhat different solutions for the different tape technologies, and different solutions for short and long term. We suggest that you convert your tapes to virtual tapes so they will forever be readable. We may be able to help convert your old tapes.
In all cases, if you have a large number of library tapes that must be preserved, you can either convert the tapes yourself or you can obtain outside help to convert them. A shortcut is to be able to read them on the New VS, in which case they can be converted directly to virtual tape images using our Integrated Virtual Tape feature. Once converted to virtual tapes the images will remain readable essentially forever, without tape errors.