Alpha Emulation for OpenVMS and Tru64 UNIX

Have you wished that you could transparently replace your legacy Alpha systems with modern hardware while keeping your OpenVMS or Tru64 UNIX applications as-is?

Are you concerned about the reliability of your existing hardware? The expense of maintaining it?

Do you need a disaster recovery solution for your existing Alpha systems without having to buy used hardware on eBay?

Do you need to increase the capacity of your existing system to handle your growing business?

If so, we have the solution for you! Software emulation of the Alpha system hardware allows you to use industry-standard servers as a drop-in replacement for your Alpha servers and workstations. From the perspective of your application software, and even the operating system, there is no change. No porting. No application replacement. No user re-training.

Charon-AXP logo

Quayle Consulting Inc. (QCI) uses the state-of-the-art Stromasys Charon Alpha emulation software from Stromasys to provide a modern replacement for your Alpha hardware.

Beginning with a free consultation, an HP-certified OpenVMS Systems Engineer will work with you from start to finish to provide an integrated solution that fits your needs with minimal disruption to your daily operations.

Why Emulate Your Alpha System?

The legacy Alpha hardware presents a number of issues. Let's see how emulation addresses some of the most common:


Failure rates increase as the hardware ages, especially for mechanical components such as disks, tapes, and fans. Replacement parts are increasingly difficult to locate and may be unreliable. Disk and tape failures present a risk of loss of business-critical data.

Charon Alpha emulation runs on modern hardware that is reliable as well as fast and inexpensive to maintain. Storage subsystems have greater redundancy. Backups can be saved on network disk storage instead of tape.

Hardware Footprint

The large footprint of these systems is increasingly more challenging to accommodate in modern data centers.

Charon runs on the same hardware as the rest of your data center, including blade servers and VMware virtual machines – and even in the cloud.

Operating Expense

The legacy hardware requires large amounts of power and cooling. The cost of hardware maintenance and replacement parts is soaring.

With Charon emulation, the hardware maintenance costs are comparable with other servers.

Modernization Cost

The alternatives to emulating your Alpha system hardware include porting your existing applications to a new hardware architecture, or migrating your business processes to new applications. Both of these are expensive, time-consuming, and risky.

With Charon emulation, you keep using the same operating system and applications; the code and data are copied from your current system to the new virtual Alpha. There is no need to re-train users, who may not even be aware there was a change – unless they notice the system is running faster! The implementation time can be a matter of days and is often mainly driven by the testing requirements.

Because there are no software changes, the need to re-validate regulated systems can be eliminated or reduced.

Expansion Capabilities

It may not be possible or feasible to add new Alpha systems for business continuity/disaster recovery purposes or to add capacity as your business expands. Hardware may not be available or may be too expensive, the data center may not allow adding more legacy hardware, or you may be required to run in the cloud.

Because Charon runs on the same hardware as the rest of your data center, these are not issues for an emulated Alpha system. You can even run Charon on a laptop system if portability is desired.

Server Downsizing

When applications are migrated to other platforms, it may be necessary to maintain the original platform to access historical data for regulatory requirements, such as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) and FDA, or customer support purposes that do not require large servers.

With Charon you can create a much smaller virtual system to access the legacy data. The savings in operating costs may pay for the emulated system in a short time.

How Does Alpha Emulation Work?

Charon Alpha runs on industry-standard servers as an application under Microsoft Windows or Linux or on bare metal (without an underlying operating system).

Charon Alpha can run on physical hardware (e.g., tower, blade, laptop), a virtual machine, or in the cloud.

The Charon software emulates the hardware present on your legacy system (CPU, memory, disks, tapes, network, serial devices) and translates the operations to utilize the host system resources.

Software licenses for the operating system and layered products, Oracle Rdb, and many third-party applications can be transferred directly to the virtual Alpha system.


The virtual Alpha system may utilize local, network, or SAN storage on the host server; enterprise-class Alpha servers also support direct access to SAN storage using Emulex Fiber Channel adapters.


Charon Alpha uses industry-standard host Ethernet adapters. TCP/IP and legacy network protocols, including DECnet and clustering, are supported.

Getting Started

As one of a handful of authorized Charon resellers positioned around the globe, Quayle Consulting Inc. offers full Charon Alpha integration services. All of our services are provided by HP Certified OpenVMS System Engineers with the expertise and experience to keep your most critical system up and running – now, and well into the future.

Our services are available on a per-call, per-project, or retainer basis to help keep your system and your budget in check. We can work on-site or remotely.

Let us help you design and develop a faster, more reliable system using Alpha Emulation TODAY!