OpenVMS - Originally developed by Digital Equipment Corporation was released in 1977 as VAX-11/VMS and then VAX/VMS and in the early 1990's with the release of the Alpha 64-bit processor came OpenVMS, later bought by Compaq and subsequently Hewlett Packard. Renowned for its legendary performance, reliability and fault tolerance features, it became and still is in many cases the platform of choice for large scale mission critical workloads.
VMS and OpenVMS have been around for nearly 40 years and I have been working with it for 30 of those. I can't help but to smile every time I come across a Client that is still running their line of business processes on aging VAX or Alpha hardware, very scarily some of which I helped to install ! Today I still provide support and configuration services to a number of Clients and together with one of my long standing maintenance partners help these clients support and maintain their systems.
Virtualization - It is now possible to host your Alpha or VAX based OpenVMS system on current Intel and AMD based hardware without the need to re-compile or re-engineer any of your applications. Several software companies now provide emulation software that allow you to do just this. I recommend Charon from Stromasys as the platform of choice to do just that, Charon enables you to create a virtual VAX or Alpha operating system environment on current hardware running under a Windows or Linux based operating system which in turn may also be virtualized in a VMware environment. No changes are needed to your software, layered products or licences.
The platform supports most if not all of the legacy hardware and adds up to date technologies such as SAN, ISCSI, virtual disks and virtual tape some of which were not available on Alpha systems and definitely not on VAX based systems. Features such as clustering and volume shadowing are supported, business continuity, backup and disaster recovery are greatly enhanced. I have successfully migrated a number of Alpha and VAX based systems for Clients using this solution from Stromasys.