OpenVMS gets its breakup date with IA-64

It didn’t exactly happen in a public place like a restaurant. But the split-up between what remains of IA-64 futures and OpenVMS starts with Version 9, according to the VMS Software Inc. product update. 8.4 is the end of the line.

Having looked at the demand from the VMS customer base, VSI says that OpenVMS 9.2 is going to be an x86-only release. The latest roadmap from the developers of the operating system is on the VSI website. HP Enterprise servers aren’t going to be served with OpenVMS 9.2

The finale of development for those two vendor-specific processors does not end support for OpenVMS on Alpha or IA-64. With the news, however, companies using HP’s Alpha and Itanium hardware will hunker down with the 8.4 version of OpenVMS.

“This announcement does not mean that Alpha and IA64 customers will not receive new functionality on those server platforms. VSI will continue to update the VSI OpenVMS V8.4-X base with new features such as the recently announced OpenJDK 8, Samba, Apache, OpenSSL, CRTL improvements, and more. The new Open Source GFS2 file system will be enabled on IA64 and Alpha (subject to customer demand).

Going to production caliber

The 9.2 version of OpenVMS is the first production-caliber release of the post-8.4 OpenVMS. An early adopter kit rolls out next year in version 9.1 for the x86 customers. VSI is releasing ongoing versions this year, each adding new functionality.

VSI is in the support business. So customers who use x86 OpenVMS can get their Itanium and Alpha systems covered in mixed architecture clusters.

VSI will deliver a final, complete OpenVMS release on IA-64 “to consolidate defect repair and enable the P441 12Gb Smart Array IO card on i6 platforms.” VSI is calling this release OpenVMS V8.4-2L3. The company expects it to be available before the end of this year.

During 2021 and 2022, VSI will roll out “Update Kits with defect repair and new functionality that can be applied to OpenVMS V8.4-2L3 for IA-64.”

Photo by Noah Silliman on Unsplash

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