Hardware Virtualization for OpenVMS Systems

The VAX/VMS operating system was first released in 1977. Subsequently renamed to VMS, and finally OpenVMS, it has been implemented on three hardware platforms (VAX, Alpha, and Itanium) and is still running strong today!

Many companies continue to run their OpenVMS-based business-critical applications on the same VAX and Alpha processors that have served them well for decades. These applications still serve their companies well, but the hardware is getting old. Reliability has become of increasing concern and replacement parts are getting expensive — when they can be found.

Is it finally time to bite the bullet and port your critical applications to another operating system that runs on modern, reliable, readily-available hardware? Or to replace the applications entirely? Processes that are time-consuming, expensive, and which are likely to introduce bugs. Not to mention the disruption to your business.

There is another way!

Our vtVAX and vtAlpha virtualization software may be a better solution. You can keep your current apps running on OpenVMS with no porting and still get the benefits of modern, reliable hardware! Read more about the advantages of OpenVMS system virtualization below.

What is virtualization?

Virtualization is a process where software running on one computer system presents an environment that emulates either the same or another computer system. In recent years, virtualization technology has become increasingly common, not only in large data centers, but also in small and medium sized businesses. The physical hardware platform is called the host; the virtualized platforms running on the host are called the guests.

The most common use of virtualization technology is to allow for a single large computer system to be used to implement several — perhaps many :mdash; smaller desktop or server systems. It is most common for the virtualization software to run on the same hardware platform that it is emulatinbg.

We take a different approach.

Our vtVAX and vtAlpha software runs on Intel or AMD x86-based systems and emulates the Digital VAX and Digital/Compaq/HP Alpha system hardware. The virtualized VAX and Alpha environments function identically to the original hardware at the instruction level, which allows the OpenVM, ELN, and Tru64 operating systems and application software to run unmodified on a standard PC.

What are the benefits of virtualizing my VAX or Alpha system?

Reliability. Economy. Performance.

As your VAX or Alpha ages, it becomes increasingly susceptible to failure, especially the mechanical devices such as disk and tape drives. If you are still using a legacy OpenVMS system, it iss most likely because the applications running on it are critial to your business. Can you afford the risk of potentially extended down-time?

vtVAX and vtAlpha runs on modern Intel x86-based hardware: the same systems being used in your data center and offices. Service and replacement parts, when needed, are readily available. The modern systems are far more efficient in terms of power, cooling, and physical space requirements. Multiple virtual VAX and Alpha systems can run simultaneously on a single host, further improving efficiency. The vtAlpha Eco App significantly reduces power consumption when the guest Alpha systems are idle.

Most new server-class computers are covered by a three year hardware warranty - there will be no hardware maintenance expenses for three years. Even out of warranty, maintenance cost are far lower than for the VAX or Alpha hardware being replaced.

With vtVAX and vtAlpha, the performance is driven by the speed of the host hardware platform, not the model of the system your are emulating. In many situations, the virtualized processor may be faster than the physical VAX or Alpha system. Less time spent waiting means increased productivity and less frustration for your staff.

vtAlpha includes full support for Fibre Channel (FC) storage via virtual KGPSA adapters. We support for NPIV, which allows multiple vtAlpha instances sharing a single physical FC adapter to have isolated LUN spces.

Both OpenVMS and Tru64 are supported by vtAlpha.

Why vtVAX and vtAlpha?

vtVAX and vtAlpha are fully compatible with the original VAX or Alpha hardware.

Our products are supported by staff in the United States with extensive OpenVMS experience. There are two levels of support available to meet your needs: Standard (8-5 M-F) and Mission Critical (24x7).

Contact Virtual VAX and Alpha today for more information on how vtVAX or vtAlpha can help you and your business.