The old spirit in a new hardware

There is an old Compaq server, running SCO UNIX and Progress database, with an application written in Progress 4GL. It's console-based and users access it from a set of Wyse terminals, connected to a terminal server with RS232. The terminal server communicates with the application server over TCP/IP. The interesting thing about the installation is that the long RS232 cables, are running along the corridors, and across the floors.

The hardware was set up in 1996 and was always on since then. I never really had to administer this server, it was just running. But would it run forever? I guess not. So we tried to find some way to move the application to new hardware. We could set up a Linux server running Progress. That would require buying new Progress license. And Progress Poland does everything it can not to sell their product (like not calling back as promised). Another possibility was to run the SCO on another hardware. Unfortunately, impossible. SCO won't install on today's hardware. So maybe a virtual hardware? I heard about SCO installed on VMWare. Being busy with main company's project, I never actually tried to do that. One guy spent a month researching a way to rewrite this application in any available technology, like Python, Java, Tcl. Result: within the given budget — impossible.

Finally, despite Progress Poland's efforts, a Linux license and a new hardware was bought. I had chosen SUSE Linux 9 Enterprise as an operating system, set it up, moved user accounts and installed rlogin (wow, never used such a legacy remote access). Shadow file used different encoding, so passwords needed to be set again. Now, everything is set and ready. Users will come tomorrow morning, let's sit tight and keep our fingers crossed.

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