Self defense for SCO users
(Much of the advice here applies to any legacy system you need
to keep running, and some of it is useful just for general disaster
If you are running a SCO system, it's time to get very serious
about protecting yourself. This article assumes that you either
cannot switch to another platform or that switching is too
difficult (see Time
to Dump SCO?).
At this writing (May 2004), we have no idea what will happen as
a result of SCO's lawsuits. It's a strange world, and it is
certainly possible that they will emerge victorious, or will lose
without being seriously damaged. However, the prospects don't look
all that rosy right now, so if your business is dependent on this
software, you need to proactively defend yourself.
Things to consider:
If the reason for your being "stuck" on SCO includes defunct
hardware such as a specialized i/o board no longer being
manufactured, try to buy a few of these boards to have on hand in
case of failure. The obvious place to look is eBay.
You also need to protect your system hardware. It's quite
possible that the SCO OS you have now will not run on hardware
manufactured just a few years from now. Buy up some systems as
reserve. Don't neglect duplicating your backup solution and make
sure you have spare media. Yes, DAT tapes will probably be around
for a long, long time, but better safe than sorry.
Test that you CAN duplicate your system on other hardware. Take
the time to do a fresh install or a restore from a Supertar and be sure everything
works. Better to find out about problem areas now than later.
If you aren't currently running the latest version of Openserver
or Unixware, consider buying the
upgrade now even if you don't plan on installing it now.
Consider also buying extra user licenses in case you add employees
and are unable to purchase this software then.
Buy the upgrades for backup software like Microlite Edge,
LoneTar, Facetwin, etc. These folks may continue making SCO
versions for many years, but you never know.
Consider downloading all available patches and supplements, even
if they relate to hardware or software you are not running now. You
may also want to get all available Skunkware software. You never
know what you may need in the future.
Make copies of all install CD's. Do the same for all floppy
disks, and also transfer the floppy disks to disk images (dd
if=/dev/fd0135ds18 of=thisdisk) and get those onto cd or dvd
Make sure you know where all relevant documentation is:
installation manuals, user manuals. Make copies or purchase
duplicates now (again, eBay is the place to look).
Now is the time for a brain dump from anyone who works on or
maintains your system. If SCO does disappear, some of your external
suppliers and contractors may move on to greener pastures and of
course employees always come and go. Get them to document as much
as they possibly can about your system. If your support people do
become unavailable, check my Consultants list for other resources.
The point of all of these things is to be able to keep your
legacy systems running as long as possible. Of course you will
investigate other alternatives, and you may never have need for
some of the measures suggested,but being prepared can make the
difference for you later.
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© 2012-07-13 Tony Lawrence