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OpenVMS Coming to x86 Servers

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted August 4, 2014


HP has a number of older operating systems that it continues to maintain and support for its customers. One of those is OpenVMS, which was originally built and developed as the operating system for the Digital Equipment Corporation's (DEC) VAX hardware platform back in 1977.

In 2007, HP celebrated the 30th anniversary of OpenVMS with much fanfare. At the time, the push was to bring vaxOpenVMS over from HP's Alpha platform to Itanium and bring its feature-set up to par with HP-UX.

By 2013, HP's optimism for OpenVMS waned somewhat with the company announcing that it would support OpenVMS until 2020. At the time, HP's decision was to only support OpenVMS on existing hardware and not on the newer Itanium Poulson-based server platforms.

VMS Software Steps In to Provide Extended OpenVMS Support

While HP's stance on OpenVMS support has not changed, HP has now provided a option to OpenVMS users by way of a licensing agreement with a new startup called VMS Software. VMS Software was launched by a group at Nemonix Engineering, which is a company that provides OpenVMS hardware and system technology.

VMS Software will now be expanding on HP's OpenVMS roadmap and is working toward providing support for HP Integrity i4 servers based on the Intel Itanium Poulson architecture. Going a step further, VMS Software wants to support other hardware platforms as well, including x86-based servers.

"Customers who would like to deploy OpenVMS on current and future HP technologies now have additional options,"Ric Lewis, vice president and general manager, Enterprise Server Business segment, HP, said in a statement. "Those who choose to stay on their existing OpenVMS platform will be protected by the extended HP support services announced previously without interruption or change in process."

VMS software has also published a preliminary roadmap that identifies future areas of expansion it plans for OpenVMS. The preliminary roadmap does currently apply a timeline to when those new features might debut.

"We are grateful and thrilled that HP has granted us stewardship over the future of this marquee operating system," Duane P. Harris, CEO of VMS Software, Inc., said. "Our passion for taking OpenVMS into future decades is only matched by the many developers and customers who have relied on it to faithfully run their mission-critical applications over the last 30 years."


Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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