Older copies deliver newer file tricks for MPE servers

HP added the FTP/iX program to the HP 3000 operating system during the 1990s. As an industry standard, FTP was a good choice for the period up to when the 3000 hardware was cut loose from HP. For speedy transfers between HP 3000s, a native protocol and program exists.

DSCOPY predated FTP by 20 years for HP 3000s. A 3000 site can check to see if they have the ARPA group in the SYS account for FTP on MPE. The software resides in FTPDOC.ARPA.SYS.

“But for HP 3000 to HP 3000 file transfers,” says Pro 3K’s Mark Ranft, “I would recommend DSCOPY if you have the right NS services.” DSCOPY is faster than FTP between two MPE servers, because it’s native file transfer, Ranft says.

There can be issues around using DSCOPY on HP 3000s regarding file naming. Backup files, for example, sometimes have a .2 or .3 suffix. DSCOPY doesn’t like these suffixes. Ranft has a workaround to manage the file naming so MPE administrators can use the native DSCOPY.

When store-to-disk backups span more than one file, the additional files are in the POSIX namespace.  Ranft came up with the following solution.

:dscopy BKFTPS to ,SYSB
:if FINFO(‘./BKFTPS.2’,”EXISTS”) then
: PURGE BKFTPS2
: rename ./BKFTPS.2 , BKFTPS2
: dscopy BKFTPS2 to ,SYSB
: remote:SYSB rename BKFTPS2, ./BKFTPS.2
: if FINFO(‘./BKFTPS.3’,”EXISTS”) then
: PURGE BKFTPS3
: rename ./BKFTPS.3 , BKFTPS3
: dscopy BKFTPS3 to ,SYSB
: remote:SYSB rename BKFTPS3, ./BKFTPS.3
: endif
:endif

The charms of making files move to and from HP 3000s using FTP have been uneven. A serious effort to make an FTP client had all of the resources of HP’s MPE lab. An HP 3000 FTP server, however, got considerably less attention. It was as if Hewlett-Packard of the 1990s failed to imagine why a 3000’s files would need to be sent out to other servers.

Secure FTP services cannot be run inbound under MPE/iX. For a 3000 site devoted to FTP security, a white paper from Allegro Consultants contains everything an administrator needs to know to employ copying and transfer with FTP.

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