Op Juli 13, 1989 the VAX 11/750 for scientific
work (VC) was replaced by a VAX 6310,
that was better fit for the purpose of providing central VAX/VMS-capacity for
scientific calculations. This system, as main server of the cluster, provided
central VAXCluster services as well. The configuration included a new type of
disks: the SA600-disk array with RA90 (1.2 GB) disk units.
The VAX 11/750 was exchanged with our collegues of Dienst Grondwaterverkenning TNO for CDCnet equipment that they did not not use anymore after putting their CDC CYBER 810 out of use.
Courtesy Fredi Ferrari, Fides, CH
End 1989, the FEL financial department predicted that the VAX 8350 would lack the required performance for running planned new FELBIS-applications. They estimated that they needed a new system by the mid of 1990. End of June 1990, the FEL management decided to replace the VAX 8350 by a VAX 6410. At the same time, the VAX 6310 for scientific applications was upgraded to a VAX 6410.
After many discussions, the FEL was the first one in The Netherlands that had a TA90E-unit (as DEC called the original IBM unit with data compression) for the same price as the original offer for a TA90. DEC did not hide thne original manufacturer well. In the inside of the unit door, an original IBM disk with controller software could be found. Using other "in-side" information, a new type of combined disk/tape-controller, the HSC5X-DA became part of the contract as well.
Finally, it was discovered that the controller card contained the complex VAX6000-CPU of which a number of CPU test pins were not connected to a ground signal level. Whenever the free-running pin picked up some static signal, a CPU-interrupt occured. As there was no interrupt software code available to handle the situation, an endless loop occured. After a couple of troublesome weeks, the problems were resolved. In this way, the FEL acquired very modern central VAX-facilities and could provide adequate services to its users.