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HP Operating Systems

HP Gives OpenVMS New Life and Path To X86 Port 136

Posted by timothy
from the diversity-in-action dept.
dcblogs (1096431) writes Hewlett-Packard has changed its direction on OpenVMS. Instead of pushing its users off the system, it has licensed OpenVMS to a new firm that plans to develop ports to the latest Itanium chips and is promising eventual support for x86 processors. Last year, HP put OpenVMS on the path to extinction. It said it would not validate the operating system to its latest hardware or produce new versions of it. The move to license the OpenVMS source code to a new entity, VMS Software Inc. (VSI), amounts to a reversal of that earlier decision. VSI plans to validate the operating system on Intel's Itanium eight-core Poulson chips by early 2015, as well as support for HP hardware running the upcoming 'Kittson' chip. It will also develop an x86 port, although it isn't specifying a timeframe. And it plans to develop new versions of OpenVMS.
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HP Gives OpenVMS New Life and Path To X86 Port

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  • by stox (131684) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @05:55PM (#47577729) Homepage

    There are applications that VMS does very well in. Clustering under VMS is unsurpassed by anything else.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 31, 2014 @06:04PM (#47577793)

    OpenVMS is still used where high availability is needed but rarely at the front of a stack visible to users. Were I work, it's the back end, core application server (OpenVMS 8.4 on Integrity blades in a C7000 chassis), that without much effort stays up in the five or six 9's range, we use 2 or 3 CPUs worth of processing out of 16 and nobody complains about performance. Two of us easily survive 24/365 on-call because there is rarely a call. Changes from the software vendor or our in house programing staff are weekly if not daily, so it's not a static environment. We have no intent or desire to move to something else, there is little incentive: it would take 10 years to convert and certify, and several million dollars that we could us elsewhere (the study was done about 4 years ago when we moved from Alpha to Integrity). All that said, there is a lot of work needed to move to OpenVMS to X86-64: I don't expect anything for 5 years.

  • by rubycodez (864176) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @06:26PM (#47577915)

    banks and insurance companies still use OpenVMS, which has clustering and filesystem features GNU/Linux and Unix have yet to evolve. Why do you mention Debian, it has no ability to run OpenVMS software

  • by rubycodez (864176) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @06:28PM (#47577933)

    No there is no x86 code port, you might be thinking of emulator, which is fine if you want to emulate a microVAX workstation

  • Somehow I fondly remember VMS running on HP hardware back in the 90s. A local university had a dialup guest account. It was fun. Going back to the DOS prompt after a finished session always made me hurt and long for something better than DOS.

    "Somehow" is that you're hallucinating. VMS didn't run on any HP hardware until 2002. Prior to that it only ran on DEC and Compaq hardware.

  • by Darinbob (1142669) on Thursday July 31, 2014 @08:33PM (#47578579)

    Because they're not at all the same thing, they're not even close. There's only a superficial resemblance, very high level concepts only. Also the concepts they have in common are very often very common in many operating systems! I think the article was written by someone who'd only ever seen VMS, NT, and Unix and failed to realize just how much variety there really was out there.

    (and Cutler was called in originally to do OS/2, which is also not like VMS)

  • Re:All the happy (Score:4, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Friday August 01, 2014 @04:57AM (#47579971) Journal

    OpenVMS has run on Itanium since Itanium was launched. This isn't a port to a new OS, it's just updating the existing support for the newer chips.

    The x86 port story is quite funny though. The 80386 launched with four protection rings specifically to make porting VMS from VAX easy. DEC never did the port (or, if they did, never released it publicly) and instead designed their own chip, the Alpha as the successor to the VAX. The Alpha just had two protection rings, which required a little bit of restructuring of the VMS design. Now, x86-64 has only two protection rings (unless you count HVM and SMC modes as rings), and is being considered as a porting target for VMS...

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