OpenVMS used licenses

Everything about buying, using, and managing OpenVMS systems not covered by other sections.
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donaldd
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OpenVMS used licenses

Post by donaldd » Fri Dec 30, 2022 10:29 pm

More than 20 years ago, I began learning and training on VMS using DS10's and DS20's at work. I was so interested in it that I bought myself a couple of Alpha 1000's off ebay and started using them at home with borrowed licences.
Over the years the use case for VMS at work has diminished to the point where a very minimal system is maintained and I don't do much on it at all.
Recently I saw used OpenVMS licenses for sale on ebay.
Does anyone know the pitfalls of buying and using these licences ? I am able to get a full disc set of VMS version 7.. something, I believe.
I never paid much attention to the licensing scheme when I had my Alphas. My interest was wholly on system programming so I don't know much about license internals.


sms
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Re: OpenVMS used licenses

Post by sms » Sat Dec 31, 2022 7:02 am

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> Recently I saw used OpenVMS licenses for sale on ebay.

   Not really.  An OpenVMS software license is a legal agreement between
the vendor and the licensee; it's not something which can be sold on
Ebay.

   "on ebay" is not a very detailed description of anything.  What you
_might_ find on Ebay is a PAK (Product Authorization Key) certificate,
which has no legal value, and which might or might not have much, if
any, practical value.

> [...] a couple of Alpha 1000's [...]

   Actual model name(s)/number(s)?

   What you might find useful (and legal) is the "Community License"
program, which gives you legal access to current software (with some
limitations).

      https://vmssoftware.com/community/community-license/

   The price is right.  (And pretty soon, I'm told, the x86 part of that
program will become active, too.)


tim.stegner
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Re: OpenVMS used licenses

Post by tim.stegner » Mon Jan 02, 2023 8:05 am

If i remember correctly, alpha paks are serial-number specific; so a 'used' pak may not be of much use to begin with.

there is no such thing as a 'used' license. -tjs

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volkerhalle
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Re: OpenVMS used licenses

Post by volkerhalle » Mon Jan 02, 2023 9:59 am

Tim,

I cannot remember ever seeing an OpenVMS Alpha (or other) PAK with Serial Numbers - and I've entered lots of them on customer systems during my 25 years at Digital/Compaq/HP.

Using 'used licenses' is not a technical issue...

Volker.


tim.stegner
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Re: OpenVMS used licenses

Post by tim.stegner » Mon Jan 02, 2023 10:00 am

Possibly I was remembering VAX PAKs...

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volkerhalle
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Re: OpenVMS used licenses

Post by volkerhalle » Mon Jan 02, 2023 11:33 am

Tim,

see the old OpenVMS FAQ 10.10:

https://www.digiater.nl/openvms/freewar ... q_013.html

HP OpenVMS products do not use hardware IDs in the licensing methods

Volker.


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Re: OpenVMS used licenses

Post by sms » Mon Jan 02, 2023 2:35 pm

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> Possibly I was remembering VAX PAKs...

   I have copies of some old VAX PAKs, left over from a former employer
(also a former company).  The most exclusive thing on them was
      KEY OPTIONS: NO_SHARE
on the VAX-VMS PAKs, making it tough to build a cluster with only one
such VAX-VMS PAK.  That company died before Alpha arrived, so I don't
recall ever seeing a real VMS Alpha PAK, only hobbyist ones.  (The
non-commercial Tru64 PAKs were also not hardware-specific.)

   I have dim recollections of Wollongong/Attachmate PathWay (IP
software -- better than TCPIP for many years) using the PRODUCT TOKEN
field to disable/enable individual features.  NFS, for example, cost
extra.  I might also have seen something with a PRODUCT RELEASE DATE,
but I can't remember what that might have been.

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Re: OpenVMS used licenses

Post by imiller » Tue Jan 03, 2023 8:44 am

There may be legal restrictions even if LMF allows the licence PAK to be registered.

If I recall correctly, some licences are transferrable, and some are not.
Ian Miller
[ personal opinion only. usual disclaimers apply. Do not taunt happy fun ball ].

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Re: OpenVMS used licenses

Post by arne_v » Fri Jan 06, 2023 2:50 pm

It used to be so that one needed to pay a license transfer fee to be able to legally use a bought used license.

So there are two problems here:
1) the fee
2) finding someone with authority to transfer a VMS license that are willing to spend time doing so (VAX means HPE and they are not VMS focused in any way shape or form!)
Arne
arne@vajhoej.dk
VMS user since 1986


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Re: OpenVMS used licenses

Post by sms » Fri Jan 06, 2023 7:35 pm

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> So there are two problems here:
> 1) the fee
> 2) finding someone with authority to transfer a VMS license [...]

   Problem zero: Find someone with a license who wants to transfer it.

   "License" and "PAK" are (still) spelled differently for a reason.

   Possession of a PAK in some form or other does not grant the
possessor a license to anything.

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