Compaq has promised users they can expect three major new releases of OpenVMS, thus assuring the future of its Digital Equipment acquisition's operating system for the next four and a half years.
Rich Macello, who heads up Compaq's OpenVMS effort, told an audience at the Decus US conference in San Diego this week: "This is the most hopeful I've been [for the operating system]. The commitment has been clearly articulated by the management."
He promised that Compaq would release major new versions of OpenVMS every 12 to 18 months to help it to break into the ebusiness world from its traditional database server base.
Version 7.3 is scheduled to appear by the end of next year, while versions 7.4 and 7.5 will follow at 12 and 18 month intervals.
Macello said Compaq was also putting front end Web technology into the operating system (OS) to enable client devices to access OpenVMS based databases.
Application server technologies from companies such as BEA and Information Builders will also be added to enable user organisations to connect their servers to their partners' machines to help create an ebusiness platform.
Officials also released details of future versions of Galaxy, an iteration of OpenVMS that provides shared memory and clustering to enable users to replicate copies of the OS and/or Linux and to cluster them in one box. OpenVMS 7.2 currently enables three versions of an OS to run in the same box, but version 7.3 will be able to deal with eight.
Although users had feared for the future of OpenVMS after Compaq canned the development of Tru64 Digital Unix on Intel's Merced processor and Microsoft Windows NT on Alpha earlier this year, Macello claimed that they now understood the reasons for the decisions. He added: "We were spending millions of dollars developing NT on Alpha, but when we looked at the value proposition when compared to NT on Intel, it didn't differentiate NT on Alpha. So we have taken the money and redirected it into Unix and OpenVMS on Alpha."
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