VMS ecosystem revisited

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VSI team was in Böblingen, Germany, only a few days before thanksgiving. The effort equivalent in Europe is to do business two days before Christmas. So, thanks a lot.

As usual in Europe for VMS the event was a success, with this time more than 40 attendees. They have been more than 80 inAmsterdam, and equivalent numbers in Stockholm. All confirmed professionals from important companies. All very happy to learn about the new future for VMS.

And the very subject of thanks is what that gave us a new future, the splendid initiative of VSI creation.

So thank you all, VSI team, and specifically the ones who had first trust in this adventure and made him happen.

Because all of the VMS community are not American, there is here a link to the thanksgiving story:


(In French: http://french.france.usembassy.gov/a-z-thanksgiving.html).

The whole point is: nothing is possible without collaboration. The survivors of the MayFlower would not have pass a second winter without help from Indian Americans who helped them to fish, hunt, and grow corn on the new continent.

(To know if Europe is or is not a new continent for VMS is another question).

As a thanksgiving gift from the old continent these pictures:


What is the sense of the third? It is page 3 of our VMS Bible: VAX/VMS Internals and Data Structures, Ruth E. Goldenberg, Lawrence J. Kenah and Denise D. Dumas. What is remarkable in this page? Epigraph. Every chapter in this book has an epigrap.

It is another sort of collaboration… about collaboration.

An OS is a collaborating system of specific part of software,  which enables collaboration between user, upper level software and computer. VMS is a particular good OS because this collaboration was well thought.

And to think about a design is well done by ery well educated people, who can imagine, coordinate objects. The writers of our VMS bible found a sort of thnking root for each part. The epigraph are like key images of the chapters.

I decided to offer to the community a novel for VMS. I will publish every month a short story about one chapter. My rule will be:

1) to imagine the link between the epigraph and the content of the chapter,

2) to say something about the technical ideas which funded the technical content,

3) to open a discussion about the technical choices, their evolution, the comparison which can be made with other OS,

4) to collect from authorized people all complements, critics.

We need encyclopaedia for VMS. I am not authorized for such a  task. My ambition is to give the desire to deepen knowledge of VMS, to have incentives in understanding why VMS is a so interesting technical system.

A collaboration begins and continues with gifts. I hope for collaboration, and it is my first gift:  turkey 1
All folks, a good thanksgiving !


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It's always a great pleasure to go with Oracle VMS team in Europe. Thanks to them we could hear last year the VMS community during the bad days, and this year, beginning of rebuilt.

(Have a look at our presentation in London and Paris this year here: with a little help of vms friends (season 5) ).

When we heard it was this year the 30th for rdb, we associated us for the birthday, offering the cake of the social event in Restaurant de l'Opéra Garnier, the 20th November. The name of cake is "Opéra".

It was here:

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How can you enjoy a journey? When you are comfortable on the road, and when you have a good destination.

What was heard at the last Connect Bootcamp in Boston, 29th-2nd October, where VSI and HP presented the alliance for VMS, confirms a very good deal for VMS has been made.

We have got well inspired investor. We have got a reinforced old-new (or new-old ?) VMS experts team. We have got a new branded company for exclusive VMS use: VMS Software inc.  We have got a true commitment from HP to continue business as usual for decades with all knew hardware offered to be supported by VSI on OpenVMS.

Also we have had always a very concerned community of exigent and competent customers. We have had always good users club. Reasons of the very good quality of the Bootcamp.


The very important ideas from the Bootcamp:

The new deal for VMS is well structured : real investment, true cooperation between HP and VSI, reasonable plans for the future.

The collaboration between HP and VSI make all the itaniums potentially usable by VMS customers, with HP before i4, with HP and VSI (directly or undirectly) for i4 Poulson and successors. Of interest for HP because VMS users will now consolidate their environment with new HP hardware. Of interest for VSI for sure. Of interest for us.

The plans of VSI are strongly structured. Everyone look for the new VMS on x86. But it is not worth dreaming that the day after tomorrow is tomorrow. So VSI has designed a two-phases plan:

Phase I: making comfortable VMS users with huge new performance of i4 on OpenVMS, permitting them reasonable investments for the 2 or 3 next years.

Phase II: offering the new VMS on the new x86s, for a new age of VMS.

What has been felt anew at the bootcamp is about port to x86. The presentations we heard demonstrate this port is not a vague project. It is a fundamental part of the overall strategy. It is already  on work.

But for now it is very important to reinforce all the OpenVMS ecosystem, and to prepare with serenity the future. The availability of i4 Poulson with the VSI 8.4-* new versions of OpenVMS opens for worthy investments in terms of stability, productivity improvements, gains of performance, energy economy, as we can understand.


HP-Interex France will do all could be done for help in this new situation.


Duane Harris the ceo of the new company opened his speech by a Ken Olsen quotation: “doing the right thing”.

Sue Skonetski concluded the bootcamp with this phrase “you depend on us, and we depend on you”.


In the VMS culture this is a truism. It is positive collaboration between a company exposing ethics and a loyal and competent community. The way to unexpected successes, we hope.


We will expose in our site all information, presentations, announces about this new VMS, and we are waiting for all commentaries. For the moment, have a look at this document : http://www.vmssoftware.com/pdfs/VSI_DrawerSt_v2.pdf.

And, have a look on the VSI site : http://www.vmssoftware.com

The first presentations at the bootcamp:  vsi commented roadmap 2014     vsi porting VMS to x86


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Something properly new : the new life of VMS announces dependable system resiliency

Everybody knows about Cloud, Big Data, successes or difficulties about new tablets or smartphones formats, etc...

We can call it usual innovations, which sounds a little bit like a paradox.

Perhaps there are events more subtle, that announces real novelty.

We had written here an open letter to Meg Withman, proposing her to take the OpenVMS train. The announce of 31st July 2014, is even more thrilling. Not only HP doesn't kill OpenVMS, but HP has been able to collaborate with another company to imagine (invent?) a new future for OpenVMS.

HP passes the baton to VSI, VMS Software Inc, which will deliver the new versions of VMS, beginning with a port on Itanium i4 Poulson announced for Q1 2015. VSI would deliver new versions for new intel Itanium hardware, and thinks about porting VMS on x86.

It is not the time now for analyses about of all the details of this innovative initiative of collaboration. HP and VSI, like in all the best stories, are now ensuring the cradle. They will inform us of all the details, because we will ask them.

Today, it is worth measuring the event itself. Something new is happening.

We were asking Meg Whitman to invent some new way of making together good business at a high-pace and preserving lower-pace markets necessities. The announce is about a collaboration which allows this two paces to cohabit. It seems it is anew possible to have a life where one can choose when to run, or when to walk when to have a rest. First innovation.

We were talking about decades of higth quality programming, not only black boxes assembly, just good and trustable programming. VSI has hired well known experts to create its team. These people are not been only historic creators of VMS, they have had some other lifes before to day. What will be developped will be a new alliance between « old » and « new » technologies. Second innovation.

We were talking, like the global VMS community has been talking. And this strong reaction of the VMS community is one of the reasons for this new alliance. How can a back bone community be of influence nowadays ? An almost universaly unknown community ? But our talks have had a little bit of impact. Third innovation.

What are these innovations about ? The new discovered reality is : there exists some resiliency for the dependable systems ecosystems.

And it is not a hazard that this resiliency could appear for the first time in an ecosystem which is an heir of the big business success of the 60's IT : Digital Equipment Corporation.

For sure VSI is not a new DEC, but we wish them a same big success, not the same, because we hope they even will last a little be more.

For now, we have to ensure the cradle, using the three aspects noted :

- being aware of all the details of VSI / HP collaboration, to ensure everyone would do its business fairly and surely,

- helping the creation of a new age of programming around VMS, helping newbies to get in, grey panthers to imagine innovation, ensuring we get the quality we always got,

- transforming our reaction into action : VMS users clubs have to play their part.

Beginning here our work, we invite both HP and VSI representatives to write us what they want to write. It will be an honour to publish them.

Even more urgent is to say how gratefull we are for all the people who made this possible. We know a lot of names. There is one impossible not to note : thank you Sue Skonetski !

Firsts links about the announce :

By HP :


VSI roadmap :


Duane Harris is the CEO of VSI. He is also the CEO of Nemonix, a company which maintains for decades a lot of tools and devices specific to VMS. Here a speach of Duane Harris on last december, which is event more of interest today, because we know here about the VSI founder philosophy :


In the press :









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