[an error occurred while processing this directive]

HP OpenVMS Systems

Celebrating 30 years of OpenVMS

HP OpenVMS Systems

OpenVMS information

» What's new on our site
» Upcoming events
» Configuration and buying assistance
» Send us your comments

HP OpenVMS systems

» OpenVMS software
» Supported Servers
» OpenVMS virtualization
» OpenVMS solutions and partners
» OpenVMS success stories
» OpenVMS service and support
» OpenVMS resources and information
» OpenVMS documentation
» Education and training

Evolving business value

» Business Systems Evolution
» AlphaServer systems transition planning
» Alpha RetainTrust program

Related links

» HP Integrity servers
» HP Alpha systems
» HP storage
» HP software
» HP products and services
» HP solutions
» HP support
disaster proof
HP Integrity server animation
HP Integrity server animation
Content starts here

 » Introduction


» Present

» Future

» Gift

» Guestbook

Thirty years of OpenVMS—The history

October 25, 1977 marked the release of VMS v1.0, the first version of the HP OpenVMS operating system. Thirty years and several hardware platforms later, OpenVMS is better than ever, and ready to take on the future. Here is a quick look back at the past 30 years of OpenVMS.
What year are you interested in?
1975  1976  1977  1978  1979
1980  1981  1982  1983  1984  1985  1986  1987  1988  1989
1990  1991  1992  1993  1994  1995  1996  1997  1998  1999
2000  2001  2002  2003  2004  2005  2006  2007

» Back to interactive timeline


Spring 1975—VAX Architecture Committee assembles
Digital Equipment Corporation (Digital) formed a Committee to build an architecture culturally compatible with the PDP-11 system, but with an increased address space of 32 bits. The end result was VAX, the "Virtual Address eXtension." This hardware project was code-named "Star" and developed in parallel with a companion software project called "Starlet." The new operating system was based on RSX-11, a disk-based, real-time, multi-programming development system, and became known as VMS or "Virtual Memory System."

Jaws the movie released

back to top


April 1976—VAX "Blue Ribbon Committee" forms
After the fourth version of the proposed 32-bit VAX architecture, Digital formed a "Blue Ribbon Committee" to refine the design. The committee included hardware engineers Bill Strecker, Richie Lary, and Steve Rothman, and software engineers Roger Gourd, Dave Cutler, Dick Hustvedt, and Peter Lipman. Bill Demmer managed the project. Gordon Bell, the Vice President of Engineering, was the primary driver behind the new direction.

World population: 4 billion

back to top


October 25, 1977—First VAX introduced
The VAX 11/780 architecture was designed to increase the PDP-11 address space. At 32 bits, it doubled the number of general registers, and supported both two- and three-operand formats for common operations. The first model was introduced on October 25, 1977, at Digital's Annual Meeting of Shareholders. Although not the first 32-bit system on the market, VAX was one of the earliest computers capable of tackling large-scale problems at a reasonable price.

Smallpox eradicated

back to top


February 1978—VMS v1.0 ships
VMS version 1.0 (v1.0) was available for the first customer shipment of VAX 11/780 systems. VMS and VAX were engineered concurrently to allow complete integration of hardware and software. The overall development goal was to achieve compatibility between systems so that programs and information could be shared. VMS v1.0 featured FORTRAN IV, DECnet, a 64-megabyte memory limit, an event-driven priority scheduler, process swapping, process deletion/creation/control, I/O post processing, and AST delivery.

First computer bulletin board created in Chicago

back to top


Margaret Thatcher named Prime Minister of England

back to top


April 1980—VMS v2.0 released
The backbone of the new VMS version 2.0 (v2.0) software was represented by six new products: COBOL, BASIC Multikey ISAM, Integrated DECnet, DATATRIEVE v2, and Forms Management System (FMS). This suite of products extended the capabilities for VMS users, and offered the industry's largest array of languages on a single system. This release was used at 1,400 sites, with more than 3,000 licenses sold.

October 1980—VAX 11/750 introduced
The successor to the VAX 11/780 was the VAX 11/750, the industry's first large-scale integration (LSI) 32-bit minicomputer. Each chip contained approximately 400 standard logic functions. Code-named "Comet," VAX 11/750 was a less expensive alternative to VAX 11/780.

Ronald Reagan elected U.S. President

back to top


October 1981—VAX information architecture debuts
The VAX information architecture consisted of an integrated software product suite that allowed functions to be added as they were needed. The modular architecture extended VAX capabilities and power, and enabled VMS users to distribute data processing more easily and efficiently.

First space shuttle flight

back to top


April 1982—VAX 11/730 ships with VMS v3.0
At the time of its introduction, the VAX 11/730 was the smallest and most economical member of the VAX family. The processor fit on three circuit boards in a 10.5-inch high, rack-mountable chassis. VAX 11/730 was the first complete eight-user, DECnet VAX/VMS system to be contained in a single 42-inch high cabinet. Code-named "Nebula," it was reportedly cloned by Eastern Bloc countries during the height of the Cold War. VMS version 3.0 (v3.0) supported three new processors and sold more than 10,000 licenses.

Time magazine names the computer "Machine of the Year"

back to top


May 1983—VAXcluster systems announced
By loosely coupling VAX processors, VAXcluster technology enabled multiple VAX computers to operate as a single system. This configuration enabled VAX to support high-capacity and high-availability applications, notably electronic fund transfer activities. Available as both a centralized and a distributed system, VAXcluster systems outperformed most mainframes at a fraction of the cost.

ARPANET adopts TCP/IP, creating the Internet

back to top


April 1984—VAX 11/785 introduced
VAX 11/785, code-named "Superstar," was the most powerful computer in the VAX family at the time of its introduction. It boosted the design of the VAX 11/780 system with a faster cache memory (CPU cycle time of 133ns). The accelerated cycle time allowed 50 percent faster CPU operations, resulting in higher throughput, faster response times, and the ability to support more users.

April 1984—Rdb system announced
Two new relational database management products, VAX Rdb/VMS and VAX Rdb/ELN, were implemented in a common architecture for the complete family of VAX systems, from the MicroVAX I to the VAX 11/785.

June 1984—Digital introduces ULTRIX-32
ULTRIX-32 was the first native UNIX© operating system designed for VAX systems. Derived from 4.2BSD, a UNIX distribution developed by the University of California at Berkeley, ULTRIX-32 was an interactive, time-sharing operating system that combined all the features of 4.2BSD as well as a kernel that could be tailored without sources, serviceability enhancements, and detailed documentation.

September 1984—VMS v4.0 ships
VMS version 4.0 (v4.0) supported the new VAX 8600 processor, the MicroVAX I and II computers, and the VAXstation I and II workstations, as well as VAXcluster environments. It featured new management tools, a distributed file system (F11BXQP), multiple security enhancements, command editing, access control implementation, and variable prompt strings.

October 1984—VAX 8600 introduced
VAX 8600 systems offered 4.2 times the performance of the industry-standard VAX 11/780 computer, while increasing I/O capacity and maintaining subsystem compatibility within the VAX family. Code-named "Venus," it featured many new concepts that refined the engineering of earlier systems, and it was packaged with an extensive portfolio of VMS software compatible with earlier models. It was the first VAX to implement high-speed emitter-coupled logic (ECL) technology, and the first to include macropipelining.

October 1984—First 32-bit workstation
VAXstation I, code-named "Seahorse," was the first in a new, transitional family of technical workstations based on MicroVAX computers. The workstations were powerful, single-user computing systems for professional users such as engineers and animators, and were sold in packaged form.

back to top


May 1985—MicroVAX chip announced
The MicroVAX chip was Digital's first 32-bit microprocessor. It was manufactured with internally developed semiconductor technology. This revolutionary "VAX on a chip" featured an industry-leading high level of functionality among 32-bit processors. With the MicroVAX chip, Digital was the first company to register a new semiconductor chip under the Semiconductor Protection Act of 1984.

January 1985—VAX ACMS introduced
The VAX Application Control and Management System (ACMS) was Digital's first transaction processing product. It enabled creation and control of online transaction processing (OLTP) applications for tasks such as executing stock trades in real time.

May 1985—MicroVAX II introduced
The MicroVAX project was launched in July 1982, and the first systems shipped in May 1985. Up to that point, a highly successful VAX system was expected to sell 2,000 units in its lifetime. MicroVAX exceeded expectations, with 20,000 units sold in its first year. Commenting on its unprecedented size and affordability (under US$20,000), Digital President and CEO Ken Olsen called it "the first VAX you can steal."

May 1985—PRISM project
Digital brainstormed the next-generation reduced instruction-set computing (RISC) technology as the successor to the VAX complex instruction-set computing (CISC) architecture. This was known as "PRISM" and combined research in high-speed and streamlined architectures with the so-called Hudson RISC 32-bit projects led by Richard Witek, Dave Cutler, and others. A prototype was released in August 1985. PRISM's Epicode would later resurface in the Alpha architecture as programmed array logic (PAL) code.

December 1985—VAXstation II/GPX introduced
VAXstation II/GPX, code-named "Caylith," was a MicroVAX II-based workstation featuring hardware-enhanced, high-performance color graphics. It incorporated a graphics coprocessor, extending the cost-performance advantage of the MicroVAX II to color graphics.

Titanic located

back to top


January 1986—VAX 8000 series introduced
The VAX 8200, 8300, and 8800 computers were the first VAX systems to support dual processors. These machines also incorporated a new high-performance I/O bus known as VAXBI. The VAX 8800 computer, code-named "Nautilus," achieved application throughput of two to three times that of the VAX 8600 system introduced only two years earlier.

January 1986—VMS v4.4 ships
VMS version 4.4 (v4.4) supported eight new VAX processors. It featured asymmetric multiprocessing (ASMP) support for VAX 8300 and VAX 8800 systems, cluster packages for VAX 8974 and 8978 systems, disk volume shadowing, and a mass storage protocol.

September 1986—VAXmate introduced
VAXmate was Digital's second-generation personal computer. It pioneered the concept of a diskless, network-connected personal computer (PC). The machine combined the resources of the Digital VMS and Microsoft DOS operating systems.

November 1986—Local Area VAXclusters introduced
Local Area VAXcluster systems extended VAXcluster technology to the Ethernet, and brought the software advantages of the VAXcluster environment to the MicroVAX II and VAXstation II systems. Software was introduced to permit cluster members access to hierarchic storage without requiring a direct connection.

Haley's Comet returns

back to top


January 1987—VAX 8974 and 8978 introduced
VAX 8974 and VAX 8978 systems offered up to 50 times the power of the industry-standard VAX 11/780, and included Digital's new 2.5-gigabyte SA482 storage array. Combined with the HSC70 I/O processor, the VAXBI bus, and the SA482 storage array, the VAX 8900 series delivered mainframe-class I/O subsystem performance and large storage capacity.

February 1987—VAXstation 2000 introduced
VAXstation 2000 systems were designed as low-cost (under US$5,000) workstations based on MicroVAX chipsets. The VAX architecture had achieved one of its initial milestones with VAXstation 2000, providing a price span of 1000:1, with VAXstation 2000 priced at US$4,600 and VAX 8978 at US$5.2 million. Nicknamed by customers "a MIP on a stick," VAXstation 2000 sold 60,000 systems its first year, rated among the highest volumes in the industry.

September 1987—MicroVAX 3500 and 3600 unveiled
Code-named "Mayfair II," MicroVAX 3500 and MicroVAX 3600 systems were introduced as the high end of the MicroVAX family. The new machines featured more than three times the performance of MicroVAX II systems, gained from the 32 megabytes of error-correction coded (ECC) main memory (twice that of the MicroVAX II) and the increased operating speed of the CVAX, Digital's first internally manufactured CMOS microprocessor.

World population: 5 billion

back to top


April 1988—VAX 6000 introduced
VAX 6000 systems introduced the concept of "plug and play." As faster processors became available, customers could unplug the old processors and plug in new ones, increasing power while protecting investments. In the first six weeks of production, 500 units shipped. This increased to a rate of 6,000 units per year that continued unabated for many years. VAX 6000 systems were built on three key technologies: the CVAX (CMOS VLSI VAX processor), a symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) environment, and the VAXBI I/O interconnect.

March 1988—MIPS partnership
Digital transitioned its focus to the RISC technology developed by MIPS Computer Systems, a company founded in 1984 with roots in Stanford University, rather than the Hudson RISC technology of the PRISM project.

April 1988—VMS v5.0 released
Digital released VMS v5.0 in concert with VAX 6200. VMS version 5.0 (v5.0) supported symmetric multiprocessing, providing a high degree of parallelism and using multiple processors more effectively. This version also expanded system management functions and internationalized terminal displays.

First fibre optic trans-Atlantic cable completed

back to top


Spring 1989—EPIC research begins
Recognizing that RISC-based architectures would eventually reach their limits, HP began a research program in instruction-level parallelism (ILP) to adapt the very long instruction word (VLIW) style of architecture to general-purpose workloads. This research program yielded the explicitly parallel instruction computing (EPIC) style of architecture and its compiler technology. EPIC architecture would form the basis of the Intel© Itanium© processor specifications.

January 1989—VAX 6300 introduced
VAX 6300 series was based on the CVAX+ chip. This chip was an enhanced version of the CVAX chip and was manufactured in 1.5-micrometer CMOS technology. The machine was Digital's most powerful and expandable single-cabinet VAX system.

July 1989—Rigel chip developed
Digital's third 32-bit microprocessor, Rigel, replicated the circuit design of the VAX 8800 CPU board on a single chip, and was manufactured in 1.5-micron CMOS technology. It was shipped in VAX 6400 and subsequent systems, and included the first implementation of the vector extension of the VAX architecture.

Summer 1989—Alpha project begins
A development group was created at Digital and was tasked with creating a 64-bit architecture to compete with second-generation RISC technologies. Incompatibilities with existing VAX systems were to be minimized, enabling easy porting of existing applications to the new platform, and demonstrating Digital's continuing commitment to support VAX users. Richard Witek and Richard Sites were the chief Alpha architects.

October 1989—VAX 9000 mainframe introduced
The VAX 9000 mainframe incorporated numerous technological advances, including high-density emitter-coupled logic (ECL) macrocells, multichip module packaging, and heavily macro-pipelined architecture. This was the final system shipped without microprocessor technology. Originally designed to be water-cooled, the VAX 9000 code-name changed from "Aquarius" to "Aridus" when design changes called for an air-cooling system.

Berlin Wall falls, East and West Germany united

back to top


February 1990—Fault-tolerant technology added to VAX
VAXft 3000, code-named "Cirrus," introduced one of the industry's first fault-tolerant systems running on a mainstream operating system with every component, including the backplane, mirrored. In the event of a power failure, the VAXft 3000 in-cabinet uninterruptible power supply (UPS) kept the system operational for up to 15 minutes.

October 1990—VAX 6500 ships with the Mariah chipset
The VAX 6500 processor featured the Mariah chipset, and was capable of delivering approximately 13 times the power of the VAX 11/780 system. The Mariah chipset was manufactured in 1.0 micrometer CMOS technology, an improvement on the 1.5-micron Rigel technology. VAX 6500 systems, code-named "Calypso," implemented a new write-back cache technique that reduced CPU-to-memory traffic on the system bus and increased the efficiency of multiprocessor operations.

October 1990—"Open" VMS announced
VMS was renamed "OpenVMS" to emphasize its support of open industry standards and its compatibility with the next-generation Alpha RISC processor. With OpenVMS, Digital incorporated the widely accepted standards of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and X/Open, the non-profit consortium of many of the world's major information system suppliers. The OpenVMS name first appeared following the release of VMS version 5.4-2.

First Web page created

back to top


November 1991—VAX 6600 introduced
VAX 6600 systems, code-named "Neptune," featured the NVAX chip, Digital's fourth VAX microprocessor implemented in 0.75-micrometer CMOS technology. At the time of its introduction, the NVAX was among the fastest CISC chips of its time. The system delivered 83 transactions per second and ran 30 times faster than VAX 11/780 systems.

November 1991—OpenVMS v5.5 released
OpenVMS version 5.5 (v5.5) supported the MicroVAX 3100, the VAXserver 6000 series, and VAXstation 4000 systems. It featured a new queue manager, new licensing features, enhancements to Local Area Transport (LAT, an Ethernet precursor), host-based shadowing, clusterwide tape service (TMSCP), and new DECthreads and BLAS fast-vector runtime libraries.

Linus Torvalds develops Linux

back to top


February 1992—Alpha chip unveiled
Alpha, Digital's program for 21st-century computing, was first mentioned on February 25, 1992, during a conference in Tokyo. The design was an open 64-bit RISC architecture, and used many of the concepts from the 1985 PRISM project. The system addressed a broad range of user needs and was engineered to support multiple operating systems. The first Alpha chip, the 21064, provided record-setting performance, and was among the first CMOS microprocessors to rival higher-powered ECL minicomputers and mainframes.

July 1992—VAX 7000 announced
VAX 7000 model 600 was a high-end successor to VAX 6000 systems. Code-named "Laser/Krypton," it was designed for data center expandability and was capable of being upgraded in the field to the Alpha 64-bit processor.

November 1992—Alpha systems introduced
First-generation Alpha-based systems were introduced with five new workstations and servers, the OpenVMS operating system, multiple compilers and networks, and new open business practices. Digital encouraged customers to transition to the new Alpha platforms, offering a translator that converted binary VAX programs into binary Alpha programs. Customers reported substantial performance gains.

November 1992—OpenVMS AXP v1.0 released
OpenVMS AXP version 1.0 (v1.0) supported the first generation of Alpha-based systems including the DEC 3000, the DEC 4000, and the DEC 7000. (Some people said that AXP stood for "almost exacyly PRISM.") The new operating system was based on VMS v5.4 and featured DECmigrate for translating VAX images, and the Macro-32 compiler.

First Web browser introduced

back to top


September 1993—Windows NT available for Alpha
Digital began shipping Windows NT preloaded on the DECpc AXP 150 personal computer just five weeks after Microsoft released the operating system. Code-named "Jensen," this release coincided with the Digital initiative for open client/server computing, and an announcement of the availability of more than 150 products and services. By the end of 1993, more than 500 applications from Digital and its software partners would run on the AXP 150 under Windows NT.

March 1993—OSF/1 UNIX for Alpha ships
Digital's native 64-bit DEC OSF/1 UNIX© operating system for Alpha systems supplied greater address space and extremely high-speed RISC processing. It was designed for emerging applications such as multimedia, real-time manufacturing resource planning (MRP), and engineering simulations.

June 1993—OpenVMS v6.0 ships
OpenVMS VAX version 6.0 (v6.0) supported VAX 7000 and VAX 10000 systems. It featured rationalized and enhanced C2 security compliance, multiple queue managers across a cluster, a HELP/MESSAGE utility, support for ISO 9660 CD-ROM format, Adaptive Pool Management, SYSMAN clusterwide SHUTDOWN and startup logging, clusterwide I/O cache, and extended physical and virtual addressing.

"Spamming" term coined

back to top


April 1994—2100 Alpha AXP server introduced
The 2100 Alpha AXP server, code-named "Sable," was a single-pedestal, large capacity, secure computing system that supported up to four processors and three operating systems (OpenVMS, OSF/1, and Windows NT Advanced Server). This system was briefly marketed as the DEC 2100 before the AlphaServer brand was officially introduced. According to insiders, AXP was added to the name to avoid unforeseen trademark entanglements.

Spring 1994—OpenVMS v6.1 ships
OpenVMS version 6.1 (v6.1) supported AlphaServer 2100, VAX 7000, DEC 3000, and DEC 7000 systems. With this release, feature and version number parity was achieved between the VAX and Alpha variants for functional equivalence. Subsequent OpenVMS versions remained functionally equivalent for VAX and Alpha systems through OpenVMS version 7.3.

June 1994—HP partners with Intel
HP started a program with Intel to build an explicitly parallel instruction computing (EPIC) architecture. It became the processor specification formally known as IA-64, now branded as the Intel© Itanium© architecture. A decade later, it would become the next platform for the OpenVMS operating system.

August 1994—Alpha 21164 chip announced
The newest Alpha microprocessor, the 21164, provided peak processing power of more than one billion instructions per second. This next-generation Alpha chip was the industry's first to operate at 300 MHz, and the first microprocessor to place a large secondary cache on chip. Performance was estimated at a benchmark of 500 SPECint92 and 600 transactions per second.

The Channel Tunnel (or "Chunnel") accepts its first passengers

back to top


May 1995—OpenVMS Web site
On May 8, 1995, at 11am EST, the OpenVMS Web site was launched. Its url, http://www.openvms.digital.com, still works today, though it redirects to the HP.com Web site.

April 1995—AlphaServer 8400 announced
The AlphaServer 8400 system supported up to twelve Alpha 21164 microprocessors and contained 14 gigabytes of memory. The system created breakthroughs in very large database performance, with a peak throughput of 6.6 gigaflops, and provided customers with an alternative to supercomputers and mainframes.

May 1995—Affinity Program for OpenVMS
The Affinity Program was designed to help customers implement the complementary strengths of OpenVMS and Windows NT. The program was an integrated systems environment and included new software, tools, middleware, and services that built on the natural affinity between the two operating systems.

Spring 1995—OpenVMS v6.2 released
OpenVMS version 6.2 (v6.2) for VAX and AlphServer systems supported the new AlphaServer 2100, 8200, and 8400 systems. It featured automatic foreign commands (such as the UNIX© PATH mechanism), RAID subsystem support, new TCP/IP functions, an OpenVMS management station, SCSI clusters and tagged command queuing, and BACKUP manager.

November 1995—Emulators introduced
TFX!32 was an advanced software translation and emulation technology that provided AlphaServer system users with transparent access to 32-bit Windows applications. The new software was awarded BYTE magazine's prestigious Best Technology award at Fall COMDEX '95.

December 1995—OpenVMS v7.0 released
OpenVMS version 7.0 (v7.0) for VAX and AlphaServer systems supported 64-bit virtual addressing, enabling it to handle larger databases, more simultaneous users, and more threads. It included such features as process affinities and capabilities from Digital Command Language (DCL), Hypersort high-performance sort utility, integrated network and Internet support, a new mail utility, time-zone and Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) support, kernel threads, the Spiralog high-performance file system, dump file compression, and Wind/U and Fast Path highly optimized I/O.

Number of Web sites: 18,000

back to top


July 1996—500 MHz Alpha 21164 announced
With the next generation of the Alpha 21164 chip clocking in at 500 MHz and 433 MHz respectively, Digital maintained its four-year claim to the world's fastest and highest performing microprocessors. With peak execution rates of 2 BIPS, these chips pushed the performance envelope for visual computing applications such as video conferencing, 3-D modeling, video editing, multimedia authoring, image rendering, and animation.

December 1996—OpenVMS v7.1 released
OpenVMS version 7.1 (v7.1) for VAX and AlphaServer systems supported AlphaServer 800 models 5/333 and 5/400. Features included pipes, Windows NT affinity, Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP), an Internet product suite, external authentication, 100 BaseT fast Ethernet support, memory channel high-performance cluster interconnect, Very Large Memory (VLM) support, BACKUP API, Common Desktop Environment (CDE) interface for DECwindows, 64-bit system services, and scheduling system services.

Dolly the sheep cloned

back to top


October 1997—OpenVMS celebrated 20 years!
OpenVMS celebrated its 20-year anniversary in October 1997. Worldwide events, activities, and promotions commemorated this significant milestone throughout 1998.

First Internet fads such as the Dancing Baby; Hampster Dance followed in 1998

back to top


June 1998—Digital became Compaq
Compaq Computer Corporation announced the acquisition of Digital Equipment Corporation for US$9.6 billion. This merger created the world's second-largest computer company, with revenues in excess of US$37 billion.

Google founded

back to top


October 1999—Next-generation technology emerges
The Intel© Itanium© processor built on EPIC technology was announced on October 4, 1999. At the same time, the one-instruction-per-clock barrier was broken with superscalar RISC and CISC designs.

World population: 6 billion

back to top


August 2000—Last sales of VAX announced
Compaq announced that the VAX series would no longer be sold after the year 2000. Although this marked the end of an era, it did not mean the end of VAX. Thousands of VAX systems are still in use today, with more than one million licensed hobbyists as of January 2007. In addition, a VAX 11 (model unspecified) lies in the National Security Administration Museum as part of the RISSMAN custom-designed hardware used for Cold War-era signal processing.

First map of the human genome completed

back to top


May 2001—OpenVMS ported to Intel Itanium architecture
In 2001, prior to its acquisition by Hewlett-Packard, Compaq announced the port of OpenVMS to the Intel© Itanium© 64-bit EPIC architecture. The OpenVMS Alpha source code was selected as the foundation for the Itanium port, because it was already written for a 64-bit architecture.

June 2001—First Intel Itanium processor released
The first Intel© Itanium© processor was released, paving the way for the Intel Itanium 2 processor which quickly become a key player in the high-end server market.

June 2001—Compaq to phase out Alpha
On June 25, 2001, Compaq announced that the Alpha processor would be phased out by 2004 in favor of the Intel© Itanium© processor. Compaq also canceled the planned EV8 chip, and sold all Alpha intellectual property to Intel.

July 2001—OpenVMS deemed unhackable
OpenVMS was declared "unhackable" at DEFCON 9 after an OpenVMS Web server was set up at this self-proclaimed underground convention for "hackers" and enthusiasts. Allegedly, the OpenVMS operators were "told never to return" because trying to hack the OpenVMS operating system was too frustrating.

First Papal e-mail sent

back to top


May 2002—HP and Compaq merge
On May 3, 2002, HP completed its merger with Compaq Computer Corporation to create a base of more than one billion customers across 162 countries. HP announced that development of Alpha series processors would continue for a few more years, and would include the release of a 1.3 GHz EV7 variant called the EV7z, which became the final iteration of the Alpha processor. HP pledged to continue selling AlphaServer systems with OpenVMS until April 2007, and promised support until at least 2012.

July 2002—Intel Itanium 2 processor released
The initial Intel© Itanium© 2 chip was code-named "McKinley," and was manufactured in a 180 nm process. With its powerful EPIC parallel computing architecture and 64-bit address and data buses, it was an ideal engine to meet the needs of 21st-century users and a wide range of enterprise servers.

First Euro coins minted

back to top


June 2003—HP names the Integrity server
HP renamed the Intel© Itanium© 2 processor-based HP 9000 servers as the HP Integrity server family. The Integrity brand name was inherited by HP from the former Tandem Computers (a company acquired by Compaq in 1997). The servers used two closely related chipsets that were custom designed by HP. The zx1 chipset was for servers supporting one to 4 processors, while the sx1000 chipset was for high-end servers supporting up to 64 processors.

June and Dec 2003—OpenVMS I64 released for HP Integrity servers
Two evaluation releases, OpenVMS I64 v8.0 and v8.1, were made available on June 30, 2003 and December 18, 2003, respectively. These releases enabled HP organizations, independent software vendors, system integrators, and HP partners to get an early start on porting software and preparing support for OpenVMS I64 systems.

Social-networking Web portal MySpace founded

back to top


Number of Web sites: 50 million

back to top


November 2005—Itanium Solutions Alliance created
Major server manufacturers joined with Intel and a number of software vendors to form the Itanium Solutions Alliance. The purpose of this alliance was to promote the benefits of the Intel© Itanium© architecture, and to help customers and developers transition to Itanium technology.

January 2005—OpenVMS I64 v8.2 released
OpenVMS I64 version 8.2 (v8.2), the first production release for Intel© Itanium© 2 processor-based HP Integrity servers, was shipped on January 13, 2005. A functionally equivalent OpenVMS version 8.2 was also released for AlphaServer systems.

September 2005—OpenVMS I64 v8.2-1 released
OpenVMS I64 version v8.2-1 (v8.2-1) added support for the HP Integrity Superdome and other Integrity cell-based systems. It was an interim release designed for Integrity systems only.

First nonstop solo flight around the world

back to top


June 2006—Dual-Core Intel Itanium 2 released
Intel released the Dual-Core Intel© Itanium© 2 processor. Code-named "Montecito," it effectively doubled the amount of processing power in a single socket, taking the HP Integrity server line to new levels of price-performance.

August 2006—HP partners support OpenVMS on Integrity
OpenVMS on HP Integrity servers created new opportunities for OpenVMS independent software vendor (ISV) and systems integrator partners. These third-party companies ported their software products, created new professional services, and attended developer workshops sponsored by HP and Intel. In August 2006, more than 536 OpenVMS partners and 1,073 applications were ready to support OpenVMS on HP Integrity servers.

August 2006—OpenVMS v8.3 released
HP OpenVMS version 8.3 (v8.3) provided support for the latest line of HP Integrity servers and AlphaServer systems. It delivered even greater flexibility, investment protection, lower total cost of ownership, and additional virtualization capabilities for HP Integrity servers.

Number of Web sites: 100 million

back to top


October 2007—OpenVMS celebrates 30 years
OpenVMS celebrates its 30-year anniversary on October 25, 2007!

April 2007—Last sales of AlphaServer
HP stopped accepting orders for new AlphaServer systems on April 27, 2007, with upgrades and add-ons available through April 2008. Service for AlphaServer systems was guaranteed for a minimum of five years after last system shipment, or through 2012. In the April 23, 2007 issue of Computerworld, IDC estimated that 150,000 Alpha-based systems were still in use.

May 2007—OpenVMS disaster tolerance demonstrated
To demonstrate the disaster tolerance capabilities of its systems, HP and a high-tech ballistics center managed by National Technical Systems in Camden, Arkansas, simulated a gas leak using real explosives. The resulting explosion destroyed the test datacenter filled with products from the entire HP spectrum, including five operating environments. Multiple OpenVMS datacenter cluster nodes failed-over flawlessly with no loss of data or transactions, and full IT services restored in less than 14 seconds.

June 2007—OpenVMS supports BladeSystems
HP announced OpenVMS would support HP BladeSystem c-Class (BL860c) servers. These servers were designed to deliver the future of scalable infrastructure so customers can improve how they purchase, manage, and use their computing resources. HP BladeSystem c-Class servers offer flexibility and scalability by enabling customers to manage server, storage, networking, and power management as a unified environment.

August 2007—1,469 applications for OpenVMS on Integrity servers
OpenVMS on HP Integrity servers is stronger than ever. OpenVMS partners continue to port their legacy applications and create new applications for this powerful platform. At the end of August 2007, more than 1,469 software applications and services were committed to supporting OpenVMS on HP Integrity servers, a growth of almost 37 percent from a year earlier.

back to top