Upgrade Replacement of the HKUCC System

The HKUCC system has been serving as the main email server for staff users in the University for the last few years. The system is getting old and is insufficient to cope with the rapidly increasing use of electronic mail in the University. We are pleased to inform our users that we are replacing the existing HKUCC system, a DEC AXP 3800S (VMS) system, by a new DEC AXP 1200/533 (UNIX) system to improve its service performance and availability.

The new HKUCC system consists of a pair of DEC AXP 1200/533 computers and 80Gbytes of user disk space.  In comparison with the existing system, the new HKUCC system is 10 times faster in CPU speed, 6 times larger in internal memory size and has 6 times more of disk storage space.  The two DEC AXP 1200/533 computers are being set up as a resilient cluster for supporting improved e-mail service as well as computer applications for the HKUCC users.

The changeover of HKUCC from the old system to the new system (i.e. the replacement of the DEC AXP 3800S by the new DEC AXP 1200/533) will be carried out on Saturday, January 30,1999.  After the changeover, all e-mail for HKUCC users will be maintained on the new HKUCC system. The old system will be renamed as HKUVMS.  Users can continue to run their application programs until they manage to convert their application programs to the new computer.  The old system (HKUVMS) is planned to be de-commissioned after June 30, 1999.

While we are trying to implement the migration of the HKUCC system as transparently as possible to our users, it is inevitable that some actions have to be taken by users since we are migrating the system to a completely different platform i.e. the Unix platform. We ask for your cooperation and understanding in the course of migration and we would like to request your special attention to the following procedures:

1.  Password for the new HKUCC system

1.1  All HKUCC accounts will be re-created on the new system with the same username but a DIFFERENT password. This is because the password encryption algorithms of the new and the old systems are totally different and we cannot simply transfer the password file.

1.2  HKUCC users will be notified by e-mail soon after January 25, 1999 of their new password. This new password is for logging in the new HKUCC system and to browse email after the changeover date.

1.3  Users are advised to login the new machine after receiving the password and change the password as soon as possible using the Unix command "yppasswd".  If you encounter any problems, please contact our Help Desk at Room. 109, Run Run Shaw Building, or Room 134A, Old Library Building or e-mail to the "ithelp@hku.hk" for assistance.

2.  E-mail folders
2.1  Due to the large quantity of e-mail maintained by HKUCC users, we shall start to move the mail in the user-defined e-mail folders of each user (i.e. all mail folders other than "NEWMAIL" and "MAIL"), if there is any, from the old HKUCC system to the new HKUCC system starting from January 25, 1999.

2.2  To facilitate the migration of the e-mail folders to the new HKUCC system, users are requested to delete as many unwanted messages as possible from their e-mail folders before January 25, 1999.

2.3  The system mail folders (i.e. "NEWMAIL" and "MAIL") will be moved to the new HKUCC during the system changeover on January 30, 1999.

3. Application packages and programs
3.1  HKUCC users can continue to run FORTRAN, PASCAL, and C programs on the old HKUCC system (i.e. HKUVMS) until June 30, 1999. However, they are urged to start the program migration soon after the system changeover.

3.2  GCG, SAS, SCA and MINTAB will be maintained on the old HKUCC system (i.e. HKUVMS) until these application packages are migrated to the new HKUCC system. We shall inform our users by e-mail when these application packages are available on the new HKUCC system.

3.3  Other services not mentioned above will not be migrated to the new HKUCC system but they can still be run on the old HKUCC system (i.e. HKUVMS) until June 30, 1999.

The new HKUCC system is a Unix system.  To assist HKUCC users to familarise with the Unix working environment, a training session on basic concepts of the new HKUCC system is scheduled as follows.
Course Content Venue 
  • Migrating Email From VMS to UNIX 
  • Using Email facilities for HKUCC Users 
  • Common UNIX Commands and Utilities for OpenVMS users; 
  • Programming Environment for the new HKUCC
  • Date: 15-Jan-1999 
  • Time: 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. 
  • Place: Theatre 2, Ming Wah Complex 
Please check our training schedule from the Centre's web page at url: "http://www.hku.hk/local/cc/training/courses.htm" for a detailed course description and for other Unix courses.

In addition, Computer Centre has setup an "OpenVMS to Digital Unix Migration" webpage at "http://www.its.hku.hk/ccsystem/vms-to-unix.htm" to provide updates on the status of the system migration.  Consultation on transferring user's mail and files from OpenVMS to Unix environment will also be arranged.

For further enquiries and assistance on the system migration to the new HKUCC system, please contact Mr. C.M. Mak, Tel: 2859 2491, e-mail: cmmak@hku.hk or the undersigned.

Charles Cheung
Tel: 2859 2488
E-mail: cheungyw@hku.hk

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