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Changes Are Afoot for OpenVMS Customers

By Steve Ives, Posted on May 29, 2020 at 4:28 pm

Steve Ives

If you are running OpenVMS within your organization, you should be aware that changes are happening at the end of 2020, which may affect your OpenVMS server environments.

The changes are happening at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE).

Standard support for OpenVMS V8.4 ends on December 31, 2020.

If you currently have OpenVMS support from HPE, you need to switch that support to VMS Software, Inc. (or a third-party provider) by the end of the year. If you are running a recent HPE version of OpenVMS, you won’t need to upgrade your operating system to a VSI version of OpenVMS, but if you are running an older HPE version, you may need to do so. I’m not going to get into specifics; there are far too many system types and version combinations. You should contact VSI for more detailed information.

Final orders for Itanium i6 servers must be placed by December 31, 2020.

HPE Itanium i6 servers are the only systems currently supported by OpenVMS that you can purchase new. If you need to replace your hardware with new equipment before VSI releases OpenVMS 9.2 with support for the x86-based platform, you must order those new systems before the end of this year.

Your decision-making process should take into account that Synergex has not yet committed to porting OpenVMS Synergy to the x86 platform. That decision has both technical and commercial aspects. We are currently waiting on VSI to make an Early Adopters Kit and various tools like compilers that we require to build Synergy on OpenVMS available to us for testing. As soon as we have more information about this critical decision, we’ll post it here.

VSI’s current roadmap shows OpenVMS 9.2 being released late in 2021, but as these things are subject to change, there is potential for that date to slip. The x86 port is picking up momentum, for sure, but I would not be surprised if the OpenVMS 9.2 release is delayed.

Of course, another option is to purchase servers on the used market, where there is a significant supply of both Alpha and Integrity-based servers.

If you are running OpenVMS, I encourage you to talk to your Synergex account rep and let them know your plans. And if you are interested in migrating to OpenVMS on the x86 platform, either on physical hardware or in a virtualized environment, I encourage you to contact me directly . The more customers that register an interest, the better the business case for porting to the new platform.


OpenVMS is alive and well

By Don Fillion, Posted on October 27, 2015 at 4:51 pm

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I recently attended the OpenVMS Boot Camp in Nashua New Hampshire. I am pleased to report (with a nod to Mark Twain) that rumors of the death of OpenVMS were greatly exaggerated! VMS Software Incorporated (VSI) has taken over the product and appears to have the situation well in hand.

There were over 100 companies in attendance at the Boot Camp, with Hewlett Packard a very visible participant. The conference was quite lively, with multiple tracks running from 8:00 to 6:00 daily, and events planned each evening. At the conference, there was an undercurrent of optimism and energy, which was no doubt tied to the future of VMS. VSI has already released OpenVMS 8.4-1H1, which provides support for HP Integrity i4 server models based on the Intel® Itanium® 9500 series processors. Moving forward, VSI presented at the Boot Camp a rolling roadmap that provides for at least one release per year for the next few years, improving and extending the software on its current HP platforms—including new versions of TCP/IP and Java, a new file system, and CLI improvements. Concurrently, they are working on VSI OpenVMS 9, which will add support for x86-64 bit processers (slated for 2018). They are planning to support select HP (Intel and AMD) servers first, then Dell and others as well. ARM support is slated to be considered after x86-64.

VSI has pledged at least 5 years of active product support per release, followed by a minimum of 2 years of prior-version support. With releases planned into 2018, this provides a viable, supported future for OpenVMS at least into 2025 and likely well beyond.

The future of OpenVMS is now being tended to by some very experienced engineers—many have come from HP and have been with the O/S throughout its various versions and ownership.

So, VMS users, the immediate takeaway is to listen to the words of the late great Douglas Adams: “Don’t Panic!“ OpenVMS is not going away anytime soon.


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