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The Evolution of VMS

The first computer with 32 bit architecture was introduced at DEC's Annual Shareholder Meeting in October, 1977. It was a ground-breaking event that resulted from 300 man-years of work and generated a tremendous amount of excitement in the fledgling high tech industry. Shortly thereafter the first VAX-11/780, code-named "Star", was installed at Carnegie Mellon University.

Today, although many PCs can outperform the VAX,an estimated 100,000 VAX computers are still in use throughout the world.  The extraordinary reliability of these machines is legendary, in fact there are reports of installations where a VAX ran for years without rebooting.

The success of VAX is due largely to its' operating system, VMS (now called OpenVMS). Over the years, OpenVMS has evolved from a propriety system running on 20 printed circuit boards on a CISC-based VAX to an open system running on a single chip on RISC-based Alpha systems.

In 1992 OpenVMS was ported to Alpha as a 64-bit multitasking, multiprocessing virtual memory operating system. The majority of VAX customers have already shifted to the hp AlphaServer family. The current installed base of 400,000 AlphaServer's run on Alpha systems from HP, and other vendors. In an effort to upgrade VAX users to AlphaServer's, HP is offering several trade-in deals: "Trade-in a VAX system for twice the normal trade-in value toward your purchase of a new AlphaServer" and "Trade-in of VAX 6000 family system and get four times the normal trade-in value toward the purchase of a new AlphaServer".

HP is now in the process of porting OpenVMS to the HP Integrity server family, based on the Intel Itanium® 2 architecture. This product will be made available in the third quarter of 2005.

HP plans to introduce new and enhanced AlphaServer products through 2005 (including systems based on the new EV7z processor), to continue sales of AlphaServer systems until 2006, and to offer support for the platform until 2011.

For those of you who's business has required bar coding through your VAX system, contact us here at Integrated Software Design to learn about our On-Tap bar coding software for AlphaServer software today!

Change doesn't always have to be difficult or expensive! But falling behind in technology is. Call us today!

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