HP OpenVMS 35 years

Here’s what some of our customers have to say.

"You know you are running HP OpenVMS when…"

"You don't do regular reboots. You don't have to install a "ba-zillion" security updates every month. You don't need a 3rd-party tool to backup and image your system. You don't "sweat" when taking down a node in the cluster for maintenance. You smile when a Winux admin explains clustering to you. You don't need to go on a "scavenger hunt" to find the libraries and/or patches you need to run your apps. You don't have to rely on Google for finding system documentation. You don't need a separate (virtual or not) machine for every app. There's a lot more..." - Stephen Higgins, US

"You enter SHOW SYSTEM and see that your system has been up for almost 5 years." - Christian Stankowic, Germany

"Uptime isn't measured in days and weeks at most, but in months and years."- Marco Gariboldi, Netherlands

"Adding a machine to a cluster is a matter of minutes and not hours... you can run a VMS system for years with power outages being the only reason for reboots." - Bernd Ulmann, Germany

"A reboot is just to know that you can, rather than when you need to." - Steve Reece, UK

"You haven't shut down your systems a couple of years :)" - Kees van Tok, Netherlands

"Never having to deal with any downtime when you're on-call!" - Paul Cotton, UK

"You don't get waken up in the middle of the night.” - Villy Madsen

"You rarely ever participate in patch weekend! Your users depend on systems being always available!" - Mitchell Bell, US

"The system can be lost under paperwork in the corner of the office for a year and still continue to provide a business critical service." - Ian Miller, UK

"You can run a computer system for eight years without a reboot (I recently retired a OpenVMS-based DHCP server which ran from 2002-to-2012 without a single reboot; this is almost unheard of today in an age of blue-screens and memory leaks)" - Neil Rieck, Canada

"The best thing about HP OpenVMS is…"

"It's engineered (vs. "hacked together")" - Stephen Higgins, US

"It’s cluster ability!" - Bernd Ulmann, Germany

"Clustering - still second to none!" - Steve Reece, UK

"Everything. Ease of use, flexibility, easy management etc." - Kees van Tok, Netherlands

"A programmer's dream, from source to target in less one day!!!" - Francesco Maria Rietti, Italy

"Its total reliability, ease of use and manageability." – Paul Cotton, UK

"Let me try and count the ways… (Isn't it interesting how much of VMS can be found within Windows. Not that many years ago I wrote a Win/32 utility that used (what was essentially VMS style) mailboxes for intermachine communications. Not as easy to code as it was in VMS, but the functionality was almost identical." - Villy Madsen

"Is very well organized and documented. Give me just a file name i can say to which product/directory/facility it belongs to" – Harsha Basavarajappa

HP OpenVMS Stories

"A fairly recent story I'd share... A tester imaged one of our products (app + runtime) on a fibre disk, booted and launched the app from a display. Shortly afterwards, another tester accidentally did the same thing from another system, but on the same disk. Oops, this obviously did not work for him, so he imaged the disk again; same results. Roughly three hours later, the first tester discovers the problem and asks me why his test scenario continued to run during this time period before finally hanging.
I pointed to the sign on my cube wall, "OpenVMS, when downtime is NOT an option" and smiled." - Stephen Higgins, US

"The best Operating System ever made, so good as your original hardware architecture. Years ahead of any other. Thanks to the all people that teach us what an operating system must be." - Guillermo A. Fandiño

"… I've never seen an operating system which can be controlled using simple English words you would also use for basic communication in a foreign country. Using a small set of about 10 commands you're able to control your personal OpenVMS system.
Under Linux or Unix you have to know at least about 30 commands to use your system reasonably... DCL makes working on an OpenVMS system even easier. It's so simple to combine special options to a big amount of files using qualifiers and parameters – that makes DCL very special and efficient… Compared to other server systems I've seen the HP Integrity series is rock-solid like HP-UX and OpenVMS… The possibility to compile Open Source software using GNV opens a wide range of application areas to OpenVMS." - Christian Stankowic, Germany

"It's one of the best operating systems I've ever had the pleasure of using and I would love to be able to spend as much time with it as some others in the industry (who were fortunate enough)." - Marco Gariboldi, Netherlands

"I've been using VMS for 90% of my working career, but wished I was on VMS 100%." - Stanley Quayle, US

"Here's to the next 35 years - I'm sure someone will be here celebrating!" - Steve Reece, UK

"I've been working 27 years with OpenVMS now and I'm still not convinced that it can (easily) be replaced. It's clustering is the "golden" standard and that too is something that still hasn't been reproduced. This box is way too small to type my 27 years of experiences in. And I'm still working with and going on :)" - Kees van Tok, Netherlands

"Immediately after Integrity was released, HP in conjunction with Intel, conducted a number of "Porting Workshops" across the USA. Each workshop was 2.5 days. It would be in a hotel in a major city. There would be 4 tracks – HP-UX, Linux, Windows, and OpenVMS. Over the 4 years we ran these workshops, OpenVMS ALWAYS had more people attend than the other tracks and we had more people complete their application ports – 258 people attended, 164 solutions completed ported and up and running IN 2.5 DAYS!

People could not believe how millions of lines of DCL, BASIC, Fortran, Cobol, Dibol, Ada, C, C++, Macro, etc. could port so easily from Alpha to Integrity. They had a very different experience going from VAX to Alpha. The reason it was so easy, in most cases, was the strong support of our ISV partners and the work done by OpenVMS engineering to make the migration as simple as possible for our customers. Once on Integrity, customers were very happy with the performance they saw as well as "OpenVMS is OpenVMS", meaning there was no learning curve needed for OpenVMS on Integrity servers – it was the same as on Alpha." - John Egolf, US

"I yet love OpenVMS, sorry that Italy has forgotten. But I remember, mumble, remember and wait for Italian renaissance. - Francesco Maria Rietti, Italy "OpenVMS is simply the best operating system ever developed. Here's looking forward to the next 35 years." - Paul Cotton, UK

"On ne parle jamais des choses qui marche bien ,heureusement le temps et une force ." (Meaning) we never talk about things that work well, fortunately the time is a force." - Yves Marie Le Bot, France

"In January 1977 I joined Digital to support RSX11M on a big customer project. VAX/VMS was "launched" later that year. It was a source of great satisfaction that I could say that I worked for Digital before VMS came along. I worked with VMS from writing a device driver to strategic sales. Architected and engineered, it was a joy to work with, elegant and, dare I say, beautiful. (By the way strategic sales was an ok part of the job, writing code was great.) - Dave Foddy, UK

"I was there at the DECUS conference in San Diego in 1977! Back home at my company, we were using RSX-11 systems to control mining processes, and were so excited at the opportunities the new VAX/VMS platform presented. My company took delivery of VAX 11/780 serial number 25, which was installed with the VMS V0.9 beta test version that preceded VMS V1.0, which was not yet ready in late 1977 and early 1978. The installation was performed by engineers from DEC's VAX 11/780 Engineering group. We did RSX SYSGENs in about one fifth the time it took on the PDP/RSX platforms, and the resulting RSX systems worked perfectly. We had a lot of fun exploring and playing with this strange and wonderous new toy. Those were the days, my friend!" - DavidJohn Mehren, US

"I was with a company that provided Multiple Listing Services with database and communications services. Jumped from RSX11M to VAX then Alphaservers. At one point in time, we serviced over 50 percent of the Realtors in the United States and Canada. As a reseller, we were constantly installing and upgrading systems for years. While customers consolidated and database got larger, OpenVMS kept scaling up on faster more powerful servers." - Andy Bustamante, US

"I've been working with VMS since version 1. I remember the first time I saw the source debugger as a customer I was blown away! Quite a change from XDT on the PDP-11! I liked the whole thing so much that I called my salesman and said "I want to work for DEC!". The rest is not quite history, but I did get a job, ended up in VMS engineering a few years later, and continued working on VMS till I retired. My last VMS checkin was just a few days before my last day at HP.

I feel so lucky to have had a job that not only contributes to the world, but which has been fun WAY more than not. I've met and collaborated with so many wonderful customers and VMS specialists around the world; every day was exciting!" - Burns Fisher, US

Have an HP OpenVMS story to share? Send us your memoirs!

*Due to space limitations, we are publishing only some of the testimonials in the HP OpenVMS bank. We will refresh this space soon, so come back for more!