I was a little surprised by a newsgroup post that began with asking "With the chapter 11 filing and other recommendations, what is a good,
long time viable alternative to SCO OpenServer? "
Some posters apparently don't feel there's any need to move on.. and I bet there are people reading this of the same or similar opinion.
OK, I agree with part of the argument: there is no reason to panic, and there's no reason to toss out SCO instantly. But I do insist that it is far past time to be looking into moving on. If you have easily moved apps, maybe there's nothing more you need to do than note the cost and leave it at that for now. If your apps are not so easily moved, you have more work to do, and harder decisions to make.
But don't get complacent. If you wait too long, you'll find yourself facing a big mess:
* hd transplant to new hardware to continue to run xenix - if you can find a 486-100 or slower box that actully runs, reliably. (think 20 year old dried out capacitors all out of spec making the circuit unstable at the very least, if not a fire hazard! Not kidding! Seen it! Caps out of spec, so voltage regulator circuit out of spec, cooked several parts of the board, dried up stickers on components and on circuit traces caught fire!
Yes, right now it's easy to find hardware that can still run SCO - the newer version will run even on brand new equipment. But that's going to change: as hardware advances, even SCO 6 will fall away and be "uninstallable". Sure, Ebay can keep you in spare parts for many a year, but those parts will be getting older and older.. just like the warning about finding old Xenix hardware, anything that can run SCO will be creaking and dusty. This is no great long range plan.
If you accept that sooner or later you WILL have to move off SCO (if you can't accept that at all, well, there's just no hope for you), you have to think about software, even if that is an easy migration now. Here's why: there's little doubt that app vendors will stop upgrading their SCO versions soon if they have not done so already. "So what?", you say, "This version is fine for now, and probably will be for years."
Yeah, maybe so. But come the day you do have to convert to the vendors Linux (or, shudder, Windows) version, will they still be able to convert your data? Maybe not: as they move forward while you stay stubbornly clinging to your old SCO, they may change file structures or even change the entire database system to take advantage of new capabilities on more modern systems. Maybe they still have something that can help migrate your data, but maybe not, and the longer you wait, the more chance you are left high and dry.
Don't put this off too long. There are plenty of resources here to help you: Self Defense for SCO Users is a good place to start. I also have a small pile of articles related to converting from SCO at Converting SCO to Linux.
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More Articles by Anthony Lawrence © 2011-03-27 Anthony Lawrence
Much to the surprise of the builders of the first digital computers, programs written for them usually did not work. (Rodney Brooks)