OpenVMS is an operating system that was designed and developed by Digital Equipment Corporation to run on their VAX hardware. The system was introduced in 1977 as VMS standing for Virtual Memory System. It was renamed to OpenVMS in 1992. The word “open” in the name refers to support of some open standards like POSIX. It also refers to that the system runs on multiple hardware platforms (VAX and Alpha AXP) at that time.

The operating system was ported to Alpha AXP hardware in 1991, to Intel Itanium in 2001. Currently it is being ported to x86-64 by VMS Software Inc.

Our product AlphaVM-Pro is an Alpha hardware emulator that allows to create a virtual AlphaServer system. It is designed to run OpenVMS/AXP. OpenVMS runs on the virtual system in the same way as it runs on the real hardware. AlphaVM emulates a specific type of Alpha system, specified in the configuration file. OpenVMS therefore “thinks” it runs on the real system of the specified type. It allows to run the layered product software and the application software unchanged.

Often it is asked whether AlphaVM emulates OpenVMS. It is not true, AlphaVM emulates hardware, where OpenVMS/AXP runs. It may look like OpenVMS runs directly on x86-64 hardware. However, there is an intermediate emulation layer implemented by AlphaVM running on Windows or Linux.

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