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OpenVMS Hobbyist Program | Integrity Systems Forums | Integrity Software Forum
Author OpenVMS port off Itanium to x86?

Posts: 19
Joined: 23.04.08
Posted on March 24 2011 12:53
Naturally most people have heard the Oracle are declining to develop any further software for Itanium

Quote from Marketwatch (small snippet from the whole article)

Source: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oracle-stops-all-software-development-for-intel-itanium-microprocessor-2011-03-22

"REDWOOD SHORES, CA, Mar 22, 2011 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- After multiple conversations with Intel senior management Oracle has decided to discontinue all software development on the Intel Itanium microprocessor. Intel management made it clear that their strategic focus is on their x86 microprocessor and that Itanium was nearing the end of its life.

Both Microsoft and RedHat have already stopped developing software for Itanium. HP CEO Leo Apotheker made no mention of Itanium in his long and detailed presentation on the future strategic direction of HP."

So - has anyone heard rumors about HP getting off their backsides and porting OpenVMS to x86?

I'm surprised they didn't look at it way back when AMD came out with the 64 bit extensions to x86 - that simple stroke of marketing genius meant the continual ongoing success for the x86 platform - and soon octacores are going to be released too

Anyhow - this thread wasn't meant to be about the pro's and con's of itanium versus x86 but more about if people have heard about any future port for OpenVMS.

Might be a good time to opensource OpenVMS - lol, fat chance of HP doing that though - OpenVMS might have been better off under IBM? (that should get the debate going!)
Author RE: OpenVMS port off Itanium to x86?
R Price

Posts: 36
Location: Canada
Joined: 09.12.10
Posted on March 25 2011 05:44
My gut says the actual loss of Oracle will have a greater impact on OpenVMS than the as yet theoretical demise of the Itanium CPU. While it is certainly a non-trivial job to port an OS to a new hardware platform it can be done. Both OpenVMS and OS X are proof it can be commercially viable to do so.

But the software customers need and/or want to run has to exist for an OS to be viable, regardless of the hardware it runs on. How much of HP's OpenVMS customer base is running Oracle software? If a big enough percentage are "forced" to abandon OpenVMS and migrate to Solaris to keep using Oracle then it might not even be worth the effort for HP to Port OpenVMS to another hardware architecture.

And even if HP did port OpenVMS to x86 (or SPARC??!?) is there any reason to believe Oracle would port their software to that OS? I don't know but I suspect Oracle's main message and objective in their little press release is to let their customers know that if they want to continue using Oracle software they will have to buy their hardware and OS from Oracle-Sun as well.
Edited by R Price on March 25 2011 05:49
Author RE: OpenVMS port off Itanium to x86?

User Avatar

Posts: 3
Location: Winterthur
Joined: 31.05.11
Posted on May 31 2011 05:16
Why ORACLE? why not just taking another DB? Make your aps using an interface to a generic DB and hence you can then change to another DB anytime, in eample, to use an OpenSourceDB.

Good architects do so anyway.

It's is always the same: If you stick too much to a given feature of a HW or SW you become too dependent over time but want to be independent, don't you?

Author RE: OpenVMS port off Itanium to x86?
R Price

Posts: 36
Location: Canada
Joined: 09.12.10
Posted on May 31 2011 08:18
Maybe, as you suggest, those customers using Oracle on VMS have developed their apps to be portable to another database back end. This would certainly be the wise course to follow. I don't know. And maybe Oracle's software is just a minor part of what HP's overall VMS customer base is using and even if all of them decided it would be easier to switch to SPARC/Solaris in order to keep using Oracle's DB it wouldn't make a big difference to HP. Again, I don't know.

But, as I say, there is no plausible indication Intel intends to discontinue the Itanium platform at this point. I have not heard any rumours or statements attributable to Intel along these lines at any rate. So I suspect this part of Oracle's announcement is just FUD. But I do believe Oracle when they say will discontinue Itanium development and try to sell their own end-to-end, single vendor system with Sun hardware/OS and Oracle database software. While some may not want to get caught in a vendor lock-in situation like this I can imagine such a unified package could be very attractive to some customers as well. In the end these big enterprise level decisions are fashion statements as much as pragmatic choices based on practical realities so it is hard to say how it will all work out. Who knows, maybe the whole story is fake and things will just carry on as they have for years.
Author RE: OpenVMS port off Itanium to x86?
R Price

Posts: 36
Location: Canada
Joined: 09.12.10
Posted on June 18 2011 05:06
So HP is taking Oracle to court. I can't say I'm surprised. Maybe some tangential clarification or (more likely) obfuscation about the future of OpenVMS (and HP-UX) will eventually come of this exercise.

Whatever, maybe it will provide some entertainment until new Doctor Who episodes start in the fall.
Author RE: OpenVMS port off Itanium to x86?
Lord Beckett

Posts: 18
Joined: 06.03.12
Posted on February 20 2013 10:02
Well, since Itanic is on shaky ground, it would be nice if HP either ports VMS to another relevant platform or puts the code under an open source license(perhaps with some persuasion), either that or get FreeVMS rolling again.

Gotta start thinking about these things, if VMS is to have any part in the future. Unless of course it's been written off as dead by the community.
Author RE: OpenVMS port off Itanium to x86?

Posts: 87
Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 28.03.10
Posted on February 21 2013 01:24
No, HP won't do that. I doubt that HP will even proceed with their supposed plan of bringing HP-UX to x86-64.

We all can roughly tell what's going on and see what is going to happen. HP has been neglecting VMS for years, it's simply the damn truth. The writing is on the wall.

Author RE: OpenVMS port off Itanium to x86?
Lord Beckett

Posts: 18
Joined: 06.03.12
Posted on February 21 2013 05:36
I didn't figure they would either.

That leaves only one option. FreeVMS. But I see it's been stalled for the last 2 years, which is a terrible shame.
Author RE: OpenVMS port off Itanium to x86?
Lord Beckett

Posts: 18
Joined: 06.03.12
Posted on February 21 2013 06:22
Ok, so your admitting it's dead.

So what is everyone else using now?
Author RE: OpenVMS port off Itanium to x86?

Posts: 53
Joined: 24.05.08
Posted on June 10 2013 05:25
They're either joining the march of the penguins or Windows (at least in the widely circulated versions). Those who need OVMS still use it quietly, though who knows what will happen as time goes on and updates get less frequent.

Both of which do work, and are cheap.

HP wants you to use HP-UX or NonStop, but based on their track record I'd think twice before dumping a bunch of capital into porting.
Author RE: OpenVMS port off Itanium to x86?

Posts: 87
Location: The Netherlands
Joined: 28.03.10
Posted on June 12 2013 12:53
HP-UX at the moment, to me, is quite unimpressive and doesn't have too terribly much to offer (... not to mention that it has a poor security track record). The more interesting features of HP-UX aren't truly HP's, but rather licensed third-party features (think of OnlineJFS for instance).

As far as NonStop goes: Excellent platform, but why would anyone want to be at the mercy of HP any longer? (Just look at how VMS and Tru64 UNIX, or even HP 3000, were treated.)

IT/ICT and computing in general these days is increasingly becoming bland and, dare I say, mediocre. So, you might as well go for safe and settle for something cheap and common; I'd personally probably simply opt for x86-64 (or perhaps ARM) at this point and run Linux, *BSD or Windows and be done with it.

Edited by eMGee on February 18 2018 01:15
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