OpenVMS v8.3 Internals for System Managers

Course Code: U3729S
Length: 5 days

Schedule and Registration

This course is not currently scheduled.

Course Description

This course provides a general overview of system mechanisms such as interrupt priority level, spinlocks, CPU context, and access modes. This course is designed to examine the components, structures, and mechanisms of the OpenVMS operating system on Integrity Server and Alpha platforms. It is intended for students without significant programming backgrounds, who want a better understanding of how OpenVMS works. Students attending this course should develop a better understanding of general troubleshooting and performance.

Who Should Attend

HP OpenVMS system managers and application programmers


  • Advanced system management skills
  • A general understanding of operating system concepts
  • An understanding of binary and hexadecimal numerical representation

Benefits of Attending this Class

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:

  • Use the System Dump Analyzer (SDA) to examine data structures and system data cells
  • Describe process and supporting process-related data structures
  • Describe the data structures that constitute a process and examine them using SDA
  • Describe the processing and roles of interrupts and exceptions
  • Describe the roles of the following synchronization techniques: ASTs, timers, and locks
  • Discuss the dynamics and data structures associated with image activation
  • Discuss the metrics associated with paging
  • Describe the working set algorithms under OpenVMS
  • Size process working sets
  • Interpret paging metrics Set working set adjustment related SYSGEN parameters
  • Analyze the layout of an image file
  • Track page file usage
  • Describe the layout and functions of data structures within the I/O database
  • Describe the OpenVMS scheduling mechanism and change system parameters that affect scheduling
  • Explain the reasons for processes entering and leaving wait states
  • Analyze process and system stalls caused by process resource wait states

Course Contents

Internals Concepts
  • OpenVMS Access Modes
  • Data Representation
  • Data Structures
  • Stacks
  • Asynchronous Events and Context
  • Synchronization
  • Interrupts and Exceptions
  • Spinlocks
OpenVMS Symbolic Naming Conventions
  • Learning Check
  • Hexidecimal and Binary Representation of Data
Introduction to SDA
  • SDA Requirements and Uses
  • Command Summary
  • CLUE
OpenVMS Processes
  • Process Concepts
  • The Process and Kernel Threads
  • Process Data Structures Overview
  • Job Information Block (JIB)
  • Process Header (PHD)
  • Kernel Threads
  • PCB Vector Table
OpenVMS Scheduling
  • Thread States
  • Event Flag Wait Queue
  • Computable Queues (also COMO)
  • Hardware Context
  • SMP Support for Scheduling
  • Boosting Software Priority
  • Report System Event (RSE)
  • Quantum End Activities
  • Wait State Activities
Mechanisms and Synchronization
  • Timer Queue Entries
  • Distributed Locking Mechanism
  • Dynamic Resource Remastering
  • Pre-v8.3 Dynamic Resource Mastering
  • v8.3 Lock Manager Changes
  • Deadlock Detection in a Cluster
  • Sub-Second Deadlock Wait
  • Resolving Lock Resource Contention
  • Dedicated CPU Lock Manager
  • Dedicated CPU Lock Manager Interaction
  • AST Concepts

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