OpenVMS was successfully booted on an Itanium processor January 31, 2003 at 3:31 PM EST (see here). This milestone in the 25 year old Operating System's history marks the fulfillment of a commitment by Compaq that has been honored by HP (see here and see here). More than keeping a promise HP seems genuinely interested in and committed to OpenVMS. Continued development and support for OpenVMS seems guaranteed in part by commitments to the Department of Defense inherited from Compaq (and DEC) by the new HP as VAX, Alpha and OpenVMS play significant roles in important weapons systems. On the other hand the cultural style of OpenVMS development and users seems more in synch with HP than it ever was with PC maker Compaq. HP maintains a significant OpenVMS presence on the Internet which it continues to update. Not only is the typical product information to be found online, the careful browser will also find OpenVMS Manuals, the OpenVMS FAQ, technical support (OpenVMS Wizard and Ask HP) and the OpenVMS product futures roadmap.
In addition I have recently learned about a VAX hardware emulation product, CHARON-VAX, that runs under Windows, Linux, and Alpha OpenVMS. It allows users to migrate from their existing VAX's to newer, faster, cheaper (both to buy and to maintain) hardware without any rewrite, recompile or relink. This software product is fully certified by HP/Compaq as a VAX machine and the VMS or OpenVMS operating system and layered products running on it are fully supportable by HP/Compaq. While CHARON-VAX compatibility alone is amazing, even more so is the fact that even though it is an emulation it is faster than the original!
After seeing CHARON-VAX in action the company for which I work, XLNsystems, became a U.S. reseller for the product. It is a natural extension of our existing business supporting and consulting on OpenVMS, Alpha and VAX systems.
Additional online resources for
According to the hacker Jargon File entry for UNIX, "Many people consider the success of Unix the most important victory yet of hackerdom over industry opposition." It seems to me that the continued vitality of OpenVMS inspite of corporate and technological change is the most important victory of the best product of our industry. OpenVMS is a secure, well architected and well implemented O/S that refuses to die (and it doesn't crash either).
By the way did you know UNIX which its users might like to claim is the "wave of the future" is in fact older than OpenVMS?
Ironically, an OpenVMS system running
was declared "cool" and
at the summer, 2001, hacker convention DEFCON9. Clearly UNIX is
the only option we have for the future nor the only alternative to