Quayle Consulting Inc.

CHARON vs. Open Source

"My VAX is a PC"

A VAX or Alpha can be emulated on a modern computer, which allows the existing operating system (such as VAX/VMS), its software, and all applications to be run without change.  No reprogramming is required.  In fact, the emulated system can be much faster than the original system!

There are two choices for Alpha emulation:
  1. CHARON products from Stromasys.
  2. Open source emulators, such as SIMH and TS10.
Here are the the advantages (+) and disadvantages (-) of each:

CHARON
+ Commercial-grade product.  Proper operation of VMS and other operating systems are tested for each product release.
+ Certified by HP as being a true emulation of a VAX or Alpha.
+ Support for user's Q-bus hardware is available.  (VAX only)
+ Installation, configuration, and migration can be contracted on a turn-key basis from
+ Annual support contracts and periodic product updates are available.
+ User training is available.
+ Accelerated CPU Emulation (ACE), which makes the product up to 4 times faster.
+ Physical SCSI drives are supported, including disk arrays and tapes.

Open Source
+ Can be downloaded from the Internet.
+ Source code is available.
- Not necessarily intended for commercial use.
- Installation, configuration, and migration are the responsibility of the user.  This can be contracted from Quayle Consulting.
- No support for Q-bus hardware.
- VAXeln operation not tested.
- Not certified by HP as being a true emulation of a VAX or Alpha.
- No training or support are available.
- No support for physical devices, especially magnetic tapes.

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Trademarks
OpenVMS is a trademark of Hewlett-Packard.
CHARON-VAX and CHARON-AXP are trademarks of Stromasys.
Windows is a trademark of Microsoft Corporation, USA.