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SCI Runs OpenVMS on x86-64 (sciinc.com)
51 points by xeeeeeeeeeeenu 42 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 19 comments

VSI (now called VMS Software?) just uploaded a webinar talking about their roadmap for OpenVMS, including the new hobbyist program.


Oh cool! What are they doing for the new hobbyist program?

I am going to attempt to transcribe what was said about the Hobbyist Programme:

The last thing that I wanted to touch on has to do with a new community licensing programme. I have been with VSI almost 3 years and everywhere I've had a chance to talk to people or go to events, I am always asked about Hobbyist Licenses. I'm pleased to let you know we are introducing a new community license programme which will begin in the fall of 2020. As many of you are aware, HPE allowed those on the HPE Hobbyist License programme to make one additional request or purchase of the HP version of OpenVMS Hobbyist licenses towards the end of last year and with that programme winding down, we have gone ahead and decided to proceed with a similar programme called the Community Licensing Programme. The content available will be basically for Integrity users and for Alpha users. There will not be anything for VAX users, no VAX licenses. There will be some requirements placed upon the user in terms of agreeing to our end user license agreement, our EULA, and also the stipulation that these are not to be used for commercial gain or for commercial use and there will also be some limitations in terms of what the users get but we believe it will be robust enough for you to do the things that you wish to do. So again, we're delighted to announce this programme and delighted to be working with you for all of these changes that are going on and we're excited. We appreciate you, we appreciate the business that we receive, and the good news is that we are continuing to grow. And also regarding the community license we do anticipate the same for x86. So with that I would like to now turn the time over to Mr. Clair Grant. ...

(sorry for any errors or omissions, please do not regard my poor attempt at transcription as being accurate, I urge you to listen to this section yourself, it starts at about 7 mins 50 seconds)

Personally I'm very sad that VAX licenses will not continue to be provided, as I love the VAX architecture, and have great nostalgic fondness for it.

Thank you! Verily, the VAX omission is grievous.

They just can't do it due to licensing, without releasing their own VAX build of OpenVMS. That's not going to happen for obviously reasons.

I wonder, if you get from VSI an Alpha or Itanium license file for OpenVMS, would OpenVMS for VAX accept the same license file?

People long ago cracked the license key generation for OpenVMS. (Plus, there are various leaked license files floating around, including non-expiring perpetual licenses.) The OpenVMS hobbyist community has always opposed doing that – there is no reason to do that when there is a legal method to run OpenVMS, and there was a concern it would damage relations with HPE thereby threatening the future of the hobbyist program. But, if there stops being any legal way to run OpenVMS on VAX, I wonder if the community attitude would change on that topic?

They wont because the PRODUCER value is wrong in the VSI licenses. But you are correct, that for most uses outside of commercial museum systems, its probably not much of an issue since there are license generators out there in the wild.

It is really unfortunate, that a community which has always been highly adverse to software piracy, would be forced into such a situation by HPE to maintain their hobby systems though. At this stage, VAX VMS being out of support for so many years, and having such little commercial value even under emulation, it just seems silly HPE does not issue a perpetual non-comerical license for VAX systems.

On Oracle Cloud. Strange choice...

But running in a VM is a very good choice. Keeping drivers up to date with continually changing hardware is a fool's errand reserved for Linux, BSD, Apple, and Microsoft developers.

> SCI is a US-based company with over 33 years’ experience supporting OpenVMS, Oracle Rdb, and CODASYL DBMS database environments.

Looks like they have an existing relationship / shared customer base.

> Oracle High Performance Cloud inside an Oracle VM VirtualBox

> SCI is a US-based company with over 33 years’ experience supporting OpenVMS, Oracle Rdb

One wonders whether all this is an indication of porting Rdb to OpenVMS on x86-64?

In the presentation, they mentioned that Oracle was already using their x86 cross-compiler kit, so it seems likely.

They're running it on VirtualBox. That's just a normal desktop VM, nothing cloudy. It happens to be owned by Oracle (through their Sun aquisition), but it's an open source product.

Yes I know it's a strange thought. Someone just running something on their own machines with their own software ...

Disclaimer: I work at OCI — Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

> Within an hour of receiving the kit, SCI had OpenVMS V9.0 running in the Oracle High Performance Cloud inside an Oracle VM VirtualBox environment.

This is confusing. OCI doesn’t have a “High Performance Cloud” product. We do have high performance compute, but that is simply latest and greatest hardware via bare metal instances. High performance compute is a standard and long-time part of our portfolio. Perhaps SCI is referencing one of the legacy Oracle cloud products? (I doubt it, Oracle is sun-setting the previous generation of IaaS and migrating all customers to OCI.)

To GP, I don’t think choosing Oracle Cloud is a strange choice anymore. 5 years ago pre-OCI, certainly. Perhaps even two years ago when OCI was still new. But it has come a really long way. From feature, performance, and cost perspectives, it’s a compelling product.

There is this:


There’s a set of shell scripts linked in there to demo this all, but it uses some feature sets that I haven’t heard of at all.

Disclosure: I’m also an OCI employee, but this post is my own opinion.

> They're running it on VirtualBox. That's just a normal desktop VM, nothing cloudy.

You might be surprised.

If you have VirtualBox installed, try executing the CLI "front-end" without specifying any subcommands or options, e.g.,

  $ VBoxManage
and looking for the available parameters that start with "--cloud" in the output.


From "Journey to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure with Oracle VM VirtualBox" [0]:

> ... the great feature we've added to Oracle VM VirtualBox 6.0: the capability to export a Virtual Machine and get the same running as an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Emulated Instance.


[0]: https://blogs.oracle.com/virtualization/journey-to-oracle-cl...

I wrote many thousands of lines of VMS fortran. I had a lot of fun. Maybe I can do it again.

OpenVMS is truly remarkable in its journey through time, hardware, and owning corps.!

It's been ported onto different arch several times through its long existence. The previous migration was off Alpha onto Itanium IA64 (Itanic as is known). The port to x86-64 is what should've happened instead. Meanwhile, many companies may have migrated to emulators, or off OpenVMS altogether.

Oh, well, better later ...


Can't wait! Loved VMS, and still love it.

This is neat, what'll it cost?

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