A Selection Of Client Case Studies. The top section showcases many OpenVMS to UNIX/Linux migrations. Later in this case study list, we focus on the work we did "behind the scenes" as IBM's "Migration factory". These are interesting because of the "Scale". We Consolidated hundreds of servers and applications (basically large scale Migration) for Honeywell, consolidating hundreds of HP servers to IBM SystemP.
We "Sold" The UNIX to UNIX Server Consolidation Business to IBM in 2003. However, the sheer SCALE of these projects, while not as "technically Interesting" as OpenVMS Migration, made up for technical Difficulty with Issues of Scale.
Migrating thousand of Honeywell Applications, implies a factory approach, not on to the Migration, which, can be harder than it appears, (non portable C++ templates, different Fortran Compilers) at the end of each application migration, there had to be a defined test cycle. So the Migration complexity was shifted from "Kernel Mode AST's" to "How do we time the migration so that we have the test cases ready to go".
Whether its the FDNY 911 dispatch system, written in Macro-11 with their own real time operating system (True Real Time), Writing a DEC PASCAL to C++ translator, or Migrating and consolidating/Migrating & testing 1000 Applications in a 24 months, they key is planning and planning based upon historical metrics. For those interested in seeing how these projects are "costed" the "About" drop down has links to 2 patents we filed and were awarded.
This was one of the hardest projects we have ever done. We acted as the subcontractor to Purvis Systems that had the hardware maintenance contract with the City Of New York for the PDP-11's and other Mobile Data And Communications.
No other company wanted to bid this contract fixed price.
The Central computer system was housed at 1 Police Plaza (the building to the left that you never see in the Law And Order Shots of Police Plaza. The building was in need of Demolition and that was one of the motivating Factors to upgrade the aging computer system.
At that time, the 911 FDNY system was located (Central Command) at Police Plaza, and each of the "Boroughs" had a smaller PDP-11 which dispatched Units to that Borough. Any borough could request Units from surrounding Burroughs and surrounding districts.
The PDP-11 that ran FDNY was a home grown real time operating system, all written in Macro-11 and making extensive use of the 512 byte pages of the PDP-11. For this reason, we chose a VAX to migrate the application to. The VAX (unlike the Alpha's 8192 pages) utilized 512 byte pages which meant on this first pass we didn't need to try to figure out how to change the real time page relocation system.
All the Macro-11 needed to be automatically converted in to C. Clearly low level MACRO-11 being read by a computer and turned into C is no easy task.
You can see a selection of pictures on the scrolling windows at the top of this page.
The FDNY System went line in early 2001.
One of the big Critical systems the world relies upon for Financial Data.
Case Study Being Updated
VX/Fortran converted the OpenVMS Fortran to Intel Fortran.
Case Study Being Updated
The system was not Sarbannes Oxley compliant due to the nature of HP3000/MPE.
The FORD TWOS application is the payroll and employee time management system that runs in over 50 plants across North America. At the time of the migration the same environment was running on an HP3000 server in each of these plants. The goals were to migrate this critical application to run on Linux and at the same time, reduce the number of server from 50+ to less than a dozen.
The main requirement for the migrated application was to make to external changes to the application. Everything had to work and react the same way between the Linux version and the original MPE version. Nothing could be changed past the OS login.
The entire application (800 modules) was written in an HP-proprietary 3.5 GL language called Transact. This language was built around MPE and its components, such as VPlus, IMAGE, KSAM, etc. Sector7 created a Transact to COBOL translator, which took the Transact source code and generated COBOL code that could be compiled on MPE or Linux.
At the same time, the original designer of Transact rewrote the Transact support library moving it from the original SPL code to C code. On MPE, this library makes native use of the MPE intrinsic libraries to access MPE, IMAGE, KSAM and VPlus.
On Linux, the new Transact support library was linked to Transport abstraction layer to simulate the MPE-centric system calls and interface to Oracle instead of IMAGE, KSAM and VPlus.
The IMAGE databases and datasets were automatically migrated to Oracle tables and various Oracle triggers were automatically created to maintain the integrity of the data in the manner of TURBOIMAGE so all IMAGE calls could be supported without changes to the application code.
Since the generated COBOL code could be compiled and run on MPE, the migration could be verified on MPE to make sure the generated code and the Transact support library worked as required without the Transport layer. This way any differences between the Linux version of the application and the original application could be traced down to the transpiler, the Transact support library or the Transport abstraction layer. This greatly facilitated the testing and debugging of the migrated application and the project was finished on time and under budget.
Due to the ease of implementation and the ease in which the application could be translated, compiled and linked at will on Linux, Ford presented Sector7 with a special “Easy Button” award.
HH Gregg was running their complete operation on a pair of the biggest HP3000s, N Series 750-4, with 2000 users around the country in over 120 store locations. The system was over 25 years old and was all developed in house. Most of the online programs, such as order entry, order management, inventory, etc were written in BASIC/V, a 1970s version of BASIC that was written by HP to run on the nascent HP3000 machines. Its main features were: compiled version and native access to HP’s IMAGE database. The BASIC modules could be compiled into large programs that used a character-based screen handler. Sector7 wrote a transpiler for these BASIC programs, which read the various modules source code and generated C code that was then compiled into object modules and linked together to generate the equivalent EXEs on HP-UX. This transpiler is still in use today, years after the move to HP-UX because the BASIC programs are much easier to maintain in the original BASIC. The modified BASIC code is converted to C in just a few seconds.
Many of the batch jobs along with RF inventory control and several other systems were written in HPCOBOL, a proprietary extension of COBOL 77. Sector7 migrated the HPCOBOL code, changing the code to remove the proprietary extensions and adjusting the intrinsic calls as needed to use the Transport layer.
HH Gregg also made extensive use of HP’s BRW, a proprietary tool from HP for writing Business Reports. These reports were migrated to Java and make use of JasperReports.
Another third-party tool widely used at HHG was DataNOW!, a screen driven program that allows for fast data retrieval and manipulation for all file types on MPE, including IMAGE and KSAM. This program was written in Pascal and got migrated to the HP Pascal on HP-UX.
There were also several library modules written in SPL, Pascal and HP-C; these were all migrated to standard C.
There were over 60 IMAGE hierarchical databases in production, amounting to over 1000 distinct datasets. All these datasets were converted to Oracle tables all in the same schema and the programs used an abstraction layer called Transport to access and manipulate the data within these tables. Various Oracle triggers were created to maintain the integrity of the data in the manner of TURBOIMAGE so all IMAGE calls could be supported without changes to the application code.
The KSAM (Keyed Sequential Access Method) files were migrated to Oracle tables and again the Transport abstraction layer made the access to the data within these files transparent to the application code.
The use of MPE Message files was first emulated using Oracle AQ with Transport once again providing an abstraction layer to enable access to these files. After cutover, the use of message files was replaced with actual Oracle AQ calls for faster access and enhanced capabilities.
The migrated applications have been online since 2010 and there have been continuous improvements made to certain aspects to take full advantage of Oracle and drastically reduce run times. The vast majority of the migrated applications are still in use and new applications have been written in a variety of modern languages to access the same Oracle database used by the migrated application.
This telecoms company's Switched Data Network provides most of the leased line data services critical to Australia's commercial operations.
In 1998, the company managed the allocation and provisioning of services for its customer base with an Open VMS based system, which maintains an inventory of all of its available data communications facilities. This system allows a customer service representative to view all facilities allocated to a customer, as well as enter and manage the process of adding, changing, and removing services for each account. As new orders are entered, the system automatically allocates available equipment and trunks, generating and tracking work orders for installation personnel. Switching facilities are automatically reprogrammed to meet the needs of these orders. Ultimately, a regular transmittal file provides details of each customer's services for billing purposes.
Sector7 has a five-step blueprint process for moving applications from OpenVMS to Solaris. The first step was an assessment. During the assessment, Sector7 personnel performed an in-depth situational analysis of the existing system. The impact of the critical nature of this 24x7 real time application was considered. X.25, TCP/IP, and DECnet communication links were evaluated. The impact of missing and outdated sources was considered.
Subsequent to the situational analysis, Sector7 worked with the client company to develop a migration approach to fit both tactical and strategic business needs. Sector7 can provide solutions ranging from low risk migration of existing systems and data to completely re-engineered applications using Business Logic Extraction (BLE) methodologies. Migration requires making the minimum changes necessary to allow the code to function in the new environment. Issues addressed include text translation, non-portable code, and hardware differences. This approach is extremely low risk, and may include follow-on efforts to improve both original design and system performance. Re-engineering using BLE requires extracting the business logic from the code to take full advantage of features found in the new system, reusing code where possible, and rewriting it where necessary. Better use of system features and more maintainable code usually result from this process. Often, BLE is selected when organizations have set specific product standards.
The solution selected by the client was a migration, with transformation of the application logic from PASCAL to "C". As an obsolete language, few programmers are now available to maintain the original application programs, resulting in significantly increased expense. Sector7 has tools, which automatically transform PASCAL source files to C, greatly reducing the chance for errors in recoding manually while reducing the time and cost investment in the migration. VX/Pascal provides system library calls which permit "C" programs to easily support various features unique to PASCAL, including DEC (now HP) extensions to the language standard.
In order to avoid costly reprogramming of many operating system specific library calls, the client chose Sector7's VX/RT library, which provides support for most OpenVMS functions, including SYS$(), LIB$(), and other common routines. Key to this decision was support for both Open VMS style logical names and the SYS$QIO() input/output interface, extensively used by Telstra. VX/SMG provided a UNIX-based package solution for the user interface, while VX/RMS provided support for the various file formats used by OpenVMS, including Fortran-style file formatting used by many PASCAL interfaces.
Much of the application logic of the application is involved with communicating directly to telecommunications facilities. OpenVMS X.25 communications facility, PSI, is widely used by the application. Sector7's Vx/X25 package provided a seamless interface to Solaris' X25Connect product, which has a completely different programming interface.
All of the client's extensive investment in DCL (Digital Command Language) scripts was preserved though use of VX/DCL, Sector7's implementation of the OpenVMS command language and environment on UNIX. VX/DCL's interface to traditional UNIX command shells provide a means to develop new functionality in the native UNIX environment. VX/BATCH, used in conjunction with VX/DCL, implemented the complex batch scheduling needs required for implementation of the application.
This successful project allowed the client to retain its valuable investment in software engineering while transitioning to an environment better able to meet its growing needs. Migration costs were offset by reduced maintenance and personnel expenses, resulting from modern equipment and programming environment.
The application was developed to run on a OpenVMS system and became popular enough for the company to create a separate business entity just to market it. The system was widely recognized as one of the best futures and exchanges operating systems available. This exchange company offered high speed, security for all transactions, and continuous upgrades to ensure a long life span.
This client company approached Sector7 to migrate the exchange application from the current DEC/VMS system to the IBM/AIX platform. This was a major project, lasting nearly 18 calendar months and encompassing nearly a million lines of code. Testing and validation, as well as performance, were essential items to the success of this project. This was a complete migration of the system, with emphasis on minimum code changes and maintaining a single source code "tree" for ease of maintenance between the AIX version and the DEC/VMS version. The database was changed from DEC's Rdb to Oracle and DB2 which is more standard in the industry.
For this project, Sector7 had to interface synchronous RTRV3 on UNIX with Asynchronous RTRV2 calls in the clients application. AST's had to be generated and the RTRV3 (UNIX Libraries) had to perform exactly like RTRV2.
Due to the size and importance of this migration, the client group chose Sector7 to assist in migration of their exchange application. Sector7 provided the experience and know-how to successfully migrate applications of this size. With all that OM had at stake, it was important to find a team that could handle such a huge undertaking, with limited risk. To the client's satisfaction, Sector7 successfully migrated this critical trading application.
This options and futures exchange was founded in 1985. Much of the company's success can be attributed to its operating system which it pioneered in the 1980's.
As the world's largest manufacturer of tufted broadloom carpet, this manufacturing company sells carpeting for residential and commercial applications throughout the United States and exports to most markets worldwide.
In 1997, the company's administrative applications ran on IBM's RS6000 technology. The Manufacturing Execution Programs (MEP) ran on Digital Equipment Corporation's VAX OpenVMS technology. The company was faced with OpenVMS human resource shortages and the need to standardize technology across a single midrange platform. IBM was selected to provide the hardware solution and Sector7 was selected to provide the bridge from OpenVMS to IBM's RS6000 technology.
Sector7 has a five-step blueprint process for moving applications from OpenVMS to AIX. The first step was an assessment. During the assessment Sector7 performed a situational analysis. The MEP application was developed using DCL, TDMS, Rdb, RMS, COBOL, and DECnet. DEC Command Language (DCL) is the control language for OpenVMS DCL is very powerful and users can write simple programs in it. Terminal Display Management System (TDMS) allows the user to create complex forms and have them stored in the common data dictionary. This allows the data in the form to be used by Rdb. Relational Database (Rdb) is a proprietary relational database for OpenVMS systems. Record management System (RMS) is a file system manager integrated with the VMS operating system. RMS handles indexed, relative, and sequential files. Indexed and sequential files can have fixed and variable length records. DECnet is a task-to-task protocol similar (in concept) to IP and operates over Ethernet, fast interconnect or serial connections. Subsequent to the situational analysis, Sector7 worked with the client company to develop a migration approach to fit both tactical and strategic business needs. Sector7 can provide solutions ranging from low-risk migration to completely re-engineered applications using Business Logic Extraction (BLE) methodologies. Migration requires making the minimum changes necessary to allow the code to function on the new system. This is usually the fastest way to get the code up and running on the new system. Issues such as text translation, non-portable code, and hardware differences are addressed. This kind of port is very low risk and it is possible to have follow-on work to improve design and performance efficiencies. It is low risk as long as adequate time is devoted to planning the changes. Re-engineering using BLE requires extracting the business logic from the code to take full advantage of the features of the new system, reusing code where possible, and rewriting it where necessary. This process makes better use of the system features and usually results in better code. Often BLE is selected when organizations have set specific product standards.
The solution selected by the client was a combination of migration and re-engineering COBOL was ported to AIX to compile on the Micro focus COBOL product. Sector7 has a product for converting DEC's flavor of COBOL to the Micro focus flavor of COBOL. For RMS the Sector7 product VX/RMS was selected. VX/RMS is an implementation of DEC's VMS RMS system for UNIX. VX/RMS allows VMS programs, which access RMS directly to function without change. All VMS file types and access modes are supported. Support for relative, sequential, and block mode files is supplied by direct access to the UNIX or NT file system. For DCL the Sector7 VX/DCL product was selected. VX/DCL is an implementation of DEC's VMS Digital Command Language for UNIX. VX/DCL allows applications to use all of the VMS commands, which are so familiar on Windows NT or UNIX systems. All of the existing command scripts (.COM files) will run on the new platform. Rdb was re-engineered to Sybase. Sybase is the client's corporate standard database product. This required converting RDO, a precursor language to SQL, to SQL. TDMS was re-engineered to the standard forms package integrated with Micro focus COBOL. The project was ready for deployment in 14 months.
The successful project allowed the client to retain this valuable software investment on corporate standard hardware and software technologies.
During nearly two centuries of continuous operation, this chemical company has become a global leader among industrial growth companies as well as a leader in science and technology in a range of disciplines including high performance materials, specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals and agricultural products. With established major markets in North America and Europe, the company is making its presence known in Asia Pacific and South America. Their business approach is to continually invest in modern and leading-edge manufacturing processes.
More than ten years ago, the company began developing a factory Manufacturing Execution System (MES). This software monitors inventory, color control, and the overall manufacturing process.
The objective of this project was to migrate a component of the Open VMS based process control system to an Intel based platform running Windows NT. The application code was VAX Fortran and some C language code. Using Sector7's tools, the Fortran and C code was converted to a form acceptable to the Windows-based compilers. One aspect of the project was to provide the ability for the applications to share files between the existing Open VMS based systems and the new Windows-based ones. Sector7 developed enhancements to the client company's RMS file system emulation which has permitted relatively seamless file access across the network.
By using Sector7's tools, the client company saved many man-hours of effort, and greatly reduced the anticipated project costs and risks.
the client company 's wholesale banking application was 13 years old. It had recently been moved from OpenVMS VMS to Alpha/VMS. It contained several million lines of code in VAX BASIC with some MACRO. The screen handlers were FMS FDC and SMG with an RMS file system. There was difficulty finding quality staff and the time to market was very long. Because of the RMS file system, reporting tools could not be used. The screen handlers were outdated and text based, even to VT220 standards. The system was clearly in need of renovation so that another life-cycle could be gained from the application. The goal was to prove that, (1) the operating system could move from Alpha/VMS to UNIX, (2) the screen handlers could go from VT220 to GUI, (3) the file system could move from RMS to Oracle, and (4) that the language could go from VAX BASIC to C/ C++.
This successful ISV has been the leading developer of software solutions for leasing companies for more than a quarter of a century. Simply stated, this company improves the operational productivity of leading leasing companies throughout the world through innovative use of technology. Until 1991 these solutions were only available on Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) VAX platforms running the OpenVMS operating system.
In 1991, this ISV faced a marketplace that was less than accepting of proprietary systems such as DEC's OpenVMS Alpha OpenVMS They asked Sector7 to provide consulting services to evaluate the feasibility and cost of migrating their core application to UNIX technology that would provide market acceptance.
Sector7 has a five-step blueprint process for moving applications from OpenVMS to UNIX. The first step was an assessment. During the assessment Sector7 performed a situational analysis. The POS application was developed using DCL, FMS, RMS, and BASIC. DEC Command Language (DCL) is the control language for OpenVMS DCL is very powerful and users can write simple programs in it. Forms Management System (FMS) allows the programmer to create forms on a VT terminal and display and accept data from the user program. Record Management System (RMS) is a file system manager integrated with the VMS operating system. RMS handles indexed, relative, and sequential files. Indexed and sequential can have fixed and variable length records.
Subsequent to the situational analysis Sector7 worked with the client company to develop a migration approach to reduce TCO. Sector7 can provide solutions ranging from low-risk migration to completely re-engineered applications using Business Logic Extraction (BLE) methodologies. Migration requires making the minimum changes necessary to make the code function on the new system. This is usually the fastest way to get the code up and running on the new system. Issues such as text translation, non-portable code, and hardware differences are addressed. This type of port is very low risk and it is possible to have follow-on work to improve design and performance efficiencies. It is low risk as long as adequate time is spent planning the changes. Re-engineering using BLE requires extracting the business logic from the code to take full advantage of the features of the new system, reusing code where possible, and rewriting it where necessary. This process makes better use of the system features and usually results in better code. Often BLE is selected when organizations have set specific product standards.
The solution selected was a migration. BASIC was ported to C using Sector7's VX/BASIC product. VX/BASIC can analyze and convert VAX BASIC to the C language. For RMS, the Sector7 product VX/RMS was selected. VX/RMS is an implementation of DEC's VMS RMS system for UNIX. VX/RMS allows VMS programs which access RMS directly to function without change. All VMS file types and access modes are supported. Support for relative, sequential and block mode files is supplied by direct access to the UNIX or NT file system. For DCL, the Sector7 VX/DCL product was selected. VX/DCL is an implementation of DEC's VMS Digital Command Language for UNIX. VX/DCL allows applications to use all of the VMS commands, which are so familiar on Windows NT or UNIX systems. All of the existing command scripts (.COM files) will run on the new platform. For FMS, Sector7 VX/FMS product was selected. VX/FMS is a faithful replacement for the VMS FMS library. It provides the same APIs to applications and uses the forms definition files used by FMS. The project was completed in six months.
BASIC+2 to C: 800,000 LINES
This electronics manufacturing company has set the design and engineering standards in custom-crafted enclosures for telecommunications, data, and networking applications for more than half a decade.
The client company in this project used aging DEC PDP-11 systems to run its in-house manufacturing system software. Having been in production since 1988 and supporting more than 100 users, this system handles most of the integrated business activities. The client faced many problems with this aging equipment and software; the system could no longer handle the increasing number of users and added business requirements, and the cost of keeping the PDP-11 systems up and running was increasing. The search for an alternative manufacturing system in time for Y2K, along with hardware that required constant attention, represented a serious risk.
Upon reading an article in a DEC publication about PDP-11 migration, the client contacted Sector7. Knowing that there was a serious problem with no foreseeable resolution, they looked to Sector7 to migrate their software onto a new platform, the Sun Solaris system.
After only one week, Sector7 had set up a new system plan on UNIX, transferred all enterprise data files, debugged and tested some of the components of the in-house software, and devised a phasing plan for implementing full production of the new system. All of the active data and archives were converted to a format which would permit ODBC (Open Data Base Connectivity) access, which allowed management access to data never before envisaged. After completion of the migration, the new system overcame the Y2K and hardware issues, increased performance by a factor of 65, and allowed for an increased number of users to access the system at any one time. Office and factory tasks became dramatically more efficient, saving the client time and money. This client claims that the association with Sector7 is one of the best technological investments it has made in a long time.
Sector7 has a five-step blueprint process for moving applications from OpenVMS to Linux. The first step was an assessment. During the assessment Sector7 performed a situational analysis. The POS application was developed using DCL, SMG, RMS, and Fortran. DEC Command Language (DCL) is the control language for OpenVMS DCL is very powerful and users can write simple programs in it. Screen Management (SMG) is a set of user callable functions that allow the user to display "windows" on a VT terminal. All screen painting is controlled directly from the users' program. Record Management System (RMS) is a file system manager integrated with the VMS operating system. RMS handles indexed, relative, and sequential files. Indexed and sequential files can have fixed and variable length records. Subsequent to the situational analysis Sector7 worked with the client to develop a migration approach to reduce TCO. Sector7 can provide solutions ranging from a low risk migration to completely re-engineered applications using Business Logic Extraction (BLE) methodologies. A migration requires making the minimum amount of changes necessary to make the code function on the new system. This is usually the fastest way to get the code up and running on the new system. Issues such as text translation, non-portable code, and hardware differences are addressed. This kind of port is very low risk and it is possible to have follow-on work to improve design and performance efficiencies. It is low risk as long as adequate time is spent planning the changes. Re-engineering using BLE requires extracting the business logic from the code to take full advantage of the features of the new system, reusing code where possible, and rewriting it where necessary. This process makes better use of the system features and usually results in better code. Often BLE is selected when organizations have set specific product standards.
The solution selected by the client was migration. Fortran was ported to Linux using Sector7's VX/FPT product. VX/FPT can analyze and convert many flavors of Fortran. For RMS, the Sector7 product VX/RMS was selected. VX/RMS is an implementation of DEC's VMS RMS system for UNIX. VX/RMS allows VMS programs, which access RMS directly to function without change. All VMS file types and access modes are supported. Support for relative, sequential and block mode files is supplied by direct access to the UNIX or NT file system. For DCL the Sector7 VX/DCL product was selected. VX/DCL is an implementation of DEC's VMS Digital Command Language for UNIX. VX/DCL allows applications to use all of the VMS commands, which are so familiar on Windows NT or UNIX systems. All of the existing command scripts (.COM files) will run on the new platform. For SMG, Sector7's VX/SMG product was selected. VX/SMG is an implementation of DEC's VMS Screen Management Service for UNIX. Written entirely in C, it provides OpenVMS SMG functionality for UNIX-based platforms. The project was completed in 9 months.
The successful project provided the client retention of this valuable software investment on corporate standard hardware and software technologies will significantly reduce TCO.
This electronics manufacturing company is one of the top industrial companies in the United States and serves customers in more than 80 foreign countries. They are also a major provider of defense electronics to the United States.
The client company decided to migrate an expert system application from a Micro OpenVMS VMS to the Windows NT (Intel) platform. The primary reason for this migration was to increase performance. The application is a missile-tracking program composed of 10,815 lines of C code in 44 modules, along with substantial RMS data files. It was written approximately 10 years ago and the original designers of this custom application are no longer available for consultation.
The project migrates an OpenVMS Patriot missile system from a VAX to an Intel based system running Windows NT. The application was VAX C language code. The VAX C was converted to Visual C++ for NT with a Sector7 language conversion tool. The file structure was DEC's RMS file system. One of Sector7's migration products is an implementation of RMS, which was used on this project.
Sector7 was selected over many other qualified candidates. In dealing with issues of national defense, it was imperative that the client company work with a company that posses a solid knowledge of the software. Sector7 has more than 15 years experience in porting VAX applications. Sector7's expertise with the software involved provided the client with the solution they were looking for.
This company is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies, providing telephone service to nearly 15 million residential and business customers as well as video, Internet and advertising services.
In 1998, the telecoms giant looked to Sector7 for migration of their applications. The client company's primary reasons for a migration were to lower total cost of ownership of their Midrange Environment, and to achieve Year 2000 platform compliance. In addition, the client needed a platform that could not only handle the millions of current customers, but could be easily upgraded.
The client needed a company that could provide these services and migrate these applications with the least interruption to their millions of customers. They approached Sector7 to migrate these applications. Sector7 has more than 15 years of migration experience. This teaming proved to be a relationship beneficial to both parties.
Sector7 provided the migrations services for eight mission-critical applications. These applications were written in the C language and were converted to ANSI for compilation on an IBM C compiler. Additionally, some re-engineering of the 3270 terminals was required. Results of this project have greatly increased this client's capabilities to provide service to its customers.
This global communications company serves 23 million business and residential customers in more than 70 countries. The company has more than 80,000 employees worldwide and $23 billion in annual revenues. Additionally, the company has extensive wire line and wireless business as well as product distribution and directory publishing businesses.
The purpose of the project was to assist the IBM and client company's porting teams with the migration of the client's Customer Data Warehouse (CDW) application from UNIX to OS/390. Sector7 was brought in to re-scope the project, to manage the effort and to determine the critical path. In addition, Sector7 provided resources to assist IBM and the client with the rewrite of the STL functions. Sector7 also developed an in-depth test strategy based upon its proprietary testing methodology and assisted the client with their test/break/fix and acceptance testing tasks. Sector7's 17 years of application migration experience provided a reliable solution.
This privately-owned, research and development company is a leader in DSP algorithm research and development and in applying advanced Digital Signal Processing (DSP) techniques to time-critical problems. These techniques are used for signal characterization and identification, spectral analysis, filtering and demodulation, interference cancellation, and signal tracking. The client base includes various departments and agencies of the United States government and their applications are used worldwide. The R&D company is also a leader in developing and providing software products for signal-processing application development and analysis.
One such product is an object-oriented software tool kit for developing DSP processing applications and performing DSP analysis. The client company wanted to expand the availability of this software product to organizations that preferred to run on IBM platforms. This required that more than 600,000 lines of source code be ported in a compressed time-line in order to meet marketing objectives.
The client did not have the necessary skills to migrate the tool kit from the Sun Solaris operating system to the IBM AIX operating system and their internal staff was focused on ongoing development. The client was intrigued by the idea of having Sector7 focus on porting applications cost effectively while allowing the internal staff to continue with ongoing development. Sector7's 17 years of application migration experience provided the best solution.
IBM Global Services and Sector7 teamed as business partners to port fifteen (15) applications for a large Communications Company from UNIX platforms that the customer no longer wished to support (ATT 3B2, NCR, SUN) to AIX RS/6000s. The customer's target technical environment consisted primarily of AIX, C-Language, Shell Scripts, and extensive 3270 Emulation (both terminal and HLLAPI).
The benefits to the customer were reduced system administration expenses (resulting from supporting hardware and software from fewer vendors), reduced expenses from machine consolidation and elimination of non-Y2K compliant hardware. The team was also able to provide significant savings to the customer by completing their projects ahead of schedule.
Comments from the IBM Global Service Team
"Sector7 provided multiple consultants to support our project, all of whom had requisite skills that exceeded our expectations. Sector7 provided our team with UNIX System skills, proven porting procedures and tools, C-Language and Shell Script programming, 3270 Emulator replacement wrappers, on-site testing and debugging, and management of off-site porting activities. Sector7 always met or exceeded our schedule requirements and was able to supply additional skills when application enhancements requested by the customer altered the scope of the original project. Programs ported and compiled but not tested by Sector7 at their laboratory in Austin ran almost without error when moved to the customer location for testing. Sector7 was a reliable and flexible partner when project adjustments were necessary to satisfy customer requirements. Sector7 was very helpful in pursuing additional opportunities with this customer."
This manufacturing giant has gone through many business changes over the past 75 years. From chemical production to oil and natural gas, to aerospace and automotive, they have grown and changed through mergers and acquisitions.
An important step for this company was to undergo a major business move to consolidate and migrate their aerospace applications to a new platform. Their aerospace focused applications are deployed on a number of platforms from HP, Sun and Compaq. The company realized that moving to a single platform with a dependable vendor would reduce operational cost as well as reliance on platforms and vendors that did not have a clear strategy for the future. This led to the decision to request bids from IBM, Sun and other vendors.
Sector7 helped IBM win the bid by rapidly migrating a large quantity of application code to AIX. The applications selected for the Proof of Concept consisted of nearly six million lines of C and Fortran code. The company chose to move their applications to IBM RS/6000 systems running AIX, IBM’s version of UNIX. The POC migration project began in May of 1999 and was completed by June 1999. The porting of the C and Fortran code was successfully completed in the relatively short time of two months.
Due to the success of the POC, IBM and Sector7 were selected to consolidate thousands of UNIX footprints and migrate many millions of lines of application code. When dealing with a project of this size and scope, the client company had to locate providers which possessed a solid knowledge of the software along with the ability to respond quickly and the service capability to back up any problems which might arise in the future. Sector7 has more than 20 years experience in porting and consolidating UNIX applications and hardware. Sector7's expertise in all the software involved gave the client the perfect migration solution.
This publicly traded financial services company enables consumers and businesses to safely and securely pay anyone, anywhere, anytime. As the leader in electronic commerce and payment services, they serve nearly 2.8 million merchant locations, 1,400 card issuers and millions of consumers, making it easier, faster and more secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of payment.
Like most in the industry, this company is moving its traditional off-line business into the e-business world. Part of this strategy is the creation an Internet focused subsidiary designed to identify, develop, commercialize and operate emerging payment technologies. The company provides credit, debit, stored-value and smart card issuing and merchant transaction processing services; Internet commerce solutions; Western Union money transfers and money orders; and check processing and verification services throughout the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Mexico, Canada, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and the Middle East. Its money transfer agent network includes approximately 120,000 agent locations with operations in more than 185 countries and territories.
Like many companies today, this client is looking to more effectively manage its Information Technology investment. Using the ALIGN methodology, a server consolidation and IT optimization process developed by IBM, Sector7 was able to develop a highly optimized server configuration that radically reduced the server "footprint" within the database server farm - from 43 Sun/Solaris database servers to four IBM Series P servers - with attendant savings in annual purchase/lease, operations, and facilities/power/cooling costs.
In the process, Sector7 was able to significantly reduce Oracle software licensing expenses, owing to the comprehensive consolidation road map that Sector7 provided. The client indicated that they have already saved millions of dollars in Oracle licenses and expect to continue saving a substantial amount annually.
This company's operations and resources are focused on beer, adventure park entertainment and packaging and also has interests in aluminum beverage container recycling, malt production, rice milling, real estate development, turf farming, creative services, metalized paper label printing and transportation services.
The company approached Sector7 to determine the means by which they could develop a strategic plan to scale operations and manage data in the future and reduce operations costs within the IT Group.
Sector7 was able to develop a plan to optimize their IT operations. The key plan features required the consolidation of infrastructure servers, Oracle database instances and applications. Physical consolidation resulted by combining servers with like operating systems where feasible. Data consolidation and application consolidation into common servers was accomplished by reducing the number of database versions and evaluating the application functionality case by case.
The Sector7 solution benefits included a reduction in hardware and software costs, improved hardware utilization, decreased facilities and administrative costs. Database consolidation could result in benefits derived from enhanced accessibility and data integrity. The resulting configuration has improved usability and is more reliable and scalable.