VMS VAX (Virtual Address eXtension)
OpenVMS  AXP (Alpha - Almost eXactly PRISM?)
IPF (Itanium Processor Family)
??? (x86-64 - Not sure if HP will port here)

This entire sub-domain is a private effort of free information.
There are no cookies, no advertisements, and nothing is for sale.

Note: my OpenVMS Programmer's Corner has moved here

Caveat: Since HP has decided to kill OpenVMS, this page will no longer be maintained.
I suggest you get your OpenVMS information here: www.openvms.org
and technical articles here: www.hoffmanlabs.org

NSR Resources on this page
 

NSR Resources located elsewhere

Miscellaneous

  • Nemonix Engineering (for people who must keep their VAXs and Alphas operational)
  • System Resale is a Canadian company selling used "VMS and OpenVMS capable" hardware

Emulators (the only way to get OpenVMS on x86-64)

OpenVMS Seminars (and archives)
 

HP Links (most compaq.com and digital.com links are dead or redirected)

Online HP Manuals + Documents

DEC founder, Ken OlsenNostalgia

How VMS (OS Software) separated itself from VAX (hardware)

A very brief overview of major highlights:

PRISM/Mica/Emerald/GEM (the birth of Alpha and Windows-NT)

In the mid 1980s DEC started the Prism project to develop RISC technology which would eventually succeed their CISC-based VAX. Dave Cutler headed PRISM (hardware) as well as Mica (software) which would attempt to port VMS to RISC. In July 1988, DEC killed Prism and Mica so they could build systems based upon RISC chips from MIPS. Dave Cutler resigned the following month in August 1988. In October 1988 Dave Cutler, as well as ~40 of his DEC staff, were hired by Microsoft to incorporate VMS 4.x concepts into a new 32-bit GUI OS which became known as Windows-NT (new technology). This technology later morphed into Windows-2000, Windows-XP, Windows Server Edition 2003, etc.

The remainder of my research has been moved here:

The DEC Alpha CPU (successor to VAX)

Alpha Links

My First Alpha

Our machine looks like this; just a little less full...Our skunk works has just (99.11.30) been asked to attempt a trial port of some OpenVMS applications from VAX to Alpha. We acquired six AlphaServer 4100 (with DUNIX 4.1 installed) from a cancelled project within our company and now one of them is in my lab.

This specific machine is an AlphaServer 4100 5/300 which was manufactured in 1996. It contains a single 21164 (EV5) CPU running at 300 MHz with 2 MB of cache and 256 MB of RAM. Five modules can be installed in the CPU chassis (one for the PCI/EISA interconnect and four for CPU's). Because of the clock speed I thought this machine might be a bit of a dog but it "seems" much faster than my VAX-6430 (at least it boots up five times faster). I always have to remind myself that these pipelined super scalar 64 bit RISC CPUs are usually more powerful than they first appear.

The disk subsystem is based upon MYLEX configurable RAID controllers which connect to five "storage works" arrays (each filled with six 4 GB SCSI drives). Since all RAID functions are handled in hardware, the CPU can pay more attention to running the OS and apps. The controller can be modified with a configuration program to support RAID #1 (mirroring), RAID #0 (striping), RAID 0+1 (a.k.a. RAID #10) and RAID #5 (complete multiple disk redundancy). Note that we chose "RAID 0+1" since this method provides that will tolerate multi-drive failure in a single raid-set.

All the chassis boards (except CPU and memory) are either PCI or EISA based so these machines are considerably less expensive than the VAXs they are about to replace.

Click here for details

Intel Itanium (successor to DEC Alpha)

Itanium Links

Intel releases Tukwila (February 8, 2010)

Intel releases Poulson (November 8, 2012)

HP intends to kill OpenVMS within 2 to 7 years

In 2013, HP sent shockwaves throughout industry by announcing their intention to stop development of OpenVMS

Hewlett-Packard Company
3404 E Harmony Road
Fort Collins, Colorado, 80528
United States

Ric Lewis
VP and General Manager
Enterprise Servers Business
T +1 970 898 3463
ric.lewis@hp.com

June 2013

Mission-critical Roadmap Update for HP OpenVMS Customers

For over 35 years, the HP OpenVMS operating environment has served as a mission-critical platform upon which you have built your IT infrastructure. We deeply appreciate our long partnership and also the loyalty you have shown HP during this time. We are committed to providing you updates and support for the V8.4 OpenVMS operating environment through at least December 31, 2020.

Deploying OpenVMS on Integrity i2 servers provides significant performance and cost savings over prior Alpha and Integrity versions. Please read how two customers have improved their OpenVMS environments with Integrity i2 ("Tukwila") servers:

AccuWeather, U.S. (.pdf)

"AccuWeather improved runtime performance by 20 percent by upgrading its OpenVMS environment with HP Converged Infrastructure including HP Integrity blades".

Sberbank, Russia (.pdf)

"The HP Integrity server blades reduce our space needs by 20% and our power requirements by 15% annually."

To maintain and grow your mission-critical OpenVMS environment, we have extended sales of the Integrity i2 servers for OpenVMS through at least December 31, 2015 and sales of Integrity i2 server upgrades for OpenVMS through at least December 31, 2016. We will also extend Integrity i2 server hardware support through at least December 31, 2020.

Additionally we will continue legacy support for OpenVMS:
- OpenVMS V7.3-2 on Alpha: prior version support through December 31, 2015.
- OpenVMS V8.3 on Alpha: standard support through December 31, 2015.
- OpenVMS V8.4 on Alpha: standard support through at least December 31, 2016.
- OpenVMS V8.3/V8.3-1H1 on Integrity: standard support through December 31, 2015.

With the changes to extend sales and support of the HP Integrity i2 servers with OpenVMS, we will not offer OpenVMS on HP Integrity i4 ("Poulson") servers. Please review the updated OpenVMS roadmap:

http://h71000.www7.hp.com/openvms/pdf/openvms_roadmaps.pdf

HP is committed to your business and success. We will continue to provide a high level of support to you through the lifetime of your OpenVMS environment. We have a full portfolio of servers, software, and solutions, including support for transitions to NonStop, HP-UX, Linux, and Windows environments. Your local HP representative can help you make the right choices for your OpenVMS environment and address any questions you may have.

Thank you for your business. We look forward to continuing our partnership and to being your partner of choice for mission-critical computing requirements.

Regards,

Ric Lewis
Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Servers Business

Recommended OpenVMS Books

The Minimum You Need to Know "book series" by Roland Hughes of Logikal Solutions

"The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer"

"The Minimum You Need to Know About Java on OpenVMS (Volume-1)"

"The Minimum You Need to Know About Service Oriented Architecture"

Writing VAX/VMS Applications Using Pascal

Writing Real Programs in DCL, Second Edition

DEC is Dead DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC: The Lasting Legacy of Digital Equipment Corporation (2003, 2004) by Edgar H. Schein

Digital Equipment Corporation achieved sales of over $14 billion, reached the Fortune 50, and was second only to IBM as a computer manufacturer. Though responsible for the invention of speech recognition, the minicomputer, and local area networking, DEC ultimately failed as a business and was sold to Compaq Corporation in 1998. [HP bought, er, merged with, Compaq in 2002]. This fascinating modern Greek tragedy by Ed Schein, a high-level consultant to DEC for 40 years, shows how DEC's unique corporate culture contributed both to its early successes and later to an organizational rigidity that caused its ultimate downfall.

MIT Sloan School of Management Professor Edgar Schein does a marvellous job telling the story of the rise and fall of Digital Equipment Corporation, the former #2 computer maker in the world behind IBM. The business reasons behind DEC's economic failure have been widely reported (missing the advent of the PC, having too many projects going at once, failure to market products effectively, etc.) However, the big question to be answered is why did these failures occur? To quote one passage, "Why did an organization that was wildly successful for thirty-five years, filled with intelligent, articulate powerful engineers and managers, fail to act effectively to deal with problems that were highly visible to everyone, both inside and outside the organization?"

Schein looks at DEC's failure through the lens of its corporate culture, and how it prohibited their executives from making the decisions, and taking the actions necessary to survive. Fans of Ed Schein will know his famous "Three Cultures of Management" paper, in which he describes the "Executive", "Line Manager" and "Engineering" cultures, all of which must exist and be balanced against one another for an organization to survive. Schein argues that DEC was dominated by the engineering culture, which valued innovation and "elegant" design, over profits and operational efficiency. This engineering culture dominated even the top levels of DEC, where proposals to build PCs out of off the shelf parts that were readily available in the marketplace, were shot down because the machines were thought to be junk compared to the ones DEC could build themselves.

That DEC was able to survive for as long as it did was largely attributable to its ability to innovate in a field that was so new it had not yet coalesced around certain standard systems, software and networks. However, as the computer industry became in effect a commodity market, and the buyers began to value price over innovation, DEC found itself increasingly unable, and in fact, unwilling to compete. The engineering culture which valued innovation and required creative freedom, did not want to subject itself to the requirements of being a commodity player which demanded autocratic operational efficiency and control over how resources were allocated.

Although DEC is now long gone, even readers who were too young to use computers at the time of its demise will find familiar truths in this book. As the old saying goes, the fish in the tank does not see the water it is in. Neither do we often see the cultures in which we are ourselves embedded. The real lesson of this wonderful book is to show us how our corporate cultures often prohibit us from doing the right things, even when we can see them clearly. Sometimes culture is most easily visible in the things you need to discuss, but that are simply "not on the table" for discussion.

There are many lessons here too, for companies that seek to innovate new products and services, and how to balance the creative freedom desired by the engineering culture with the "money gene" culture of sound executive management. The names of companies that have failed to realize the full financial benefits of their technical innovations is too long to list here. But the DEC story is a must read for anyone who seeks to balance innovation with sustainable economic success in any organization.

OpenVMS System Management Guide (second edition)

Rdb: A Comprehensive Guide - Third Edition

TP Software Development for OpenVMS

OpenVMS Community

Professional Associations

Encompass LISTSERV

Function Email Address Subject
Getting Help LISTSERV@LISTSERV.ENCOMPASSUS.ORG HELP
Adding your name LISTSERV@LISTSERV.ENCOMPASSUS.ORG
SUBSCRIBE VMS-SIG
Removing your name LISTSERV@LISTSERV.ENCOMPASSUS.ORG UNSUBSCRIBE
Sending a message VMS-SIG@LISTSERV.ENCOMPASSUS.ORG whatever

OpenVMS News Group Info

Note: newsgroups are accessed with a news reader on port 119. Alternatively you may use a browser like so:

https://groups.google.com/group/comp.os.vms

OpenVMS Hobbyist

Click here to visit the OpenVMS hobbyist page.If you've acquired an old VAX (or a not so old Alpha) and would like a virtually free "totally legal" OpenVMS license in order to run the machine at home, then check out the www.vmshobbyist.org (1,693,064 licenses as of 2011-11-30) where you'll also find licenses for many layered products such as:

Purchasing a non-Hobbyist License

Our self-sustaining department (inside a large company) runs our business from a single Alpha Server DS20e. We recently inherited two used AS-DS20e machines (with no OpenVMS licenses) which we decided to incorporate into a DRP (disaster recovery plan). Our options are:
  1. a cold standby system in another city
  2. hot standby in another city (we would FTP five save sets each night over the corporate intranet)
  3. 2-node cluster with the secondary node in another city

So I was instructed to obtain "OpenVMS license quotes" from HP to determine which option would pass the approval of corporate bean-counters. We didn't have any up-to-date contacts in HP sales so attempted to request a quote via the HP web site: http://licensing.hp.com
I requested:
  1. one OpenVMS base license for machine #2
  2. one 128-user OpenVMS license for machine #2
  3. two OpenVMS cluster licenses for both nodes

Three weeks later I received an email indicating that they were working on it. One week after that I received the quote which came in at $35k ($50k minus a 30% discount). Needless to say, we were not able to get approval for this amount from our conservative (cheap) accountants.

About a month after receiving the HP quote, I was "cold-called" by a salesman from a third-party vendor in New York state. I told him about my recent HP quote so he asked to see it. An hour later he sent me a his quote which came in at $12.5k. He also mentioned that he couldn't find any of HP's quoted prices in any of his catalogues.

Questions?

  1. Does HP provide higher quotes to larger companies? (maybe)
  2. Why was the third party salesman able to offer me a price one third of HP's discounted quote? (don't know)
  3. Why doesn't HP publish these amounts in-the-clear on their web site? (everyone knows the retail price of Windows)
  4. HP outsourced technical support of OpenVMS software to India but why didn't they outsource their do-nothing no-value-add sales?
  5. My employer gets steep discounts from Microsoft (big companies pay much less). If this continues, my employer will be 100% Windows and I will be forced to use that OS unless I get a lower price on something else (like Linux or Ubuntu which are both free to acquire)

OpenVMS Freeware, Shareware, and Generally Cool Info

VMS Web Ring (higher quality info and links... be sure to check these sites first...)

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Non-Web Ring Links (with a few exceptions)

Miscellaneous OpenVMS Links

 

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Neil Rieck
Kitchener - Waterloo - Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.