The Future of OpenVMS: Risks and Opportunities
Blog //15-05-2023

The Future of OpenVMS: Risks and Opportunities

by Tim Jones, Managing Director - Application Modernisation

The OpenVMS operating system has been the driving force behind numerous mission-critical business applications worldwide for decades. Although OpenVMS applications continue to provide indispensable business process refinement, the expense and complexity of supporting outdated languages and hardware signal the need for modernisation and integration with modern IT systems.

End of Life Hardware

Running OpenVMS on outdated hardware poses several challenges for companies. Outdated hardware results in slow, unreliable processing, reduced memory capacity and an inability to handle modern workloads. Moreover, it exposes organisations to risks associated with hardware failures, as well as the inability to replace broken components. These issues can cause multiple problems such as system crashes or data loss.

In the wake of this reality, VMS Software, Inc. (VSI) has ported OpenVMS to run on Intel x86-64 processors, providing users with an avenue to continue its use atop new hardware. However, companies running OpenVMS on older DEC, HP, or Intel-based hardware must incur the expense of hardware replacement to utilise this recent iteration. Although emulators are available, this conundrum presents a prime opportunity to evaluate migrating away from OpenVMS and onto modern environments with contemporary programming languages, tools, and limitless possibilities.

Security, Compliance, and Integration Challenges

Security and compliance requirements are also an issue for OpenVMS users. It lacks the ability to integrate into a broader, modern security and control framework. Additionally, maintaining integration points can become expensive and prevent businesses from achieving a standard architecture for application interoperability.

OpenVMS Skills Shortage

The growing OpenVMS skills shortage is another headache for businesses relying on these legacy systems. As each year goes by, there are fewer OpenVMS developers in the market, and those that do remain can command increasingly high salaries.

Opportunities for Application Modernisation

All of these factors and accompanying risks can be addressed with well-designed application modernisation solutions. New business requirements can be implemented using modern technologies once the OpenVMS applications are running in an open systems environment such as Linux or Windows in the cloud or on premises. With the right approach, modernised legacy systems can become the bedrock for a business to thrive in the digital era, maintaining their tailored value and providing a return on investment. Discover Advanced’s modernisation process for OpenVMS.

If you’re interested in learning more, our eBook gives further details the available options for migrating and modernising applications currently running on OpenVMS and highlights the benefits that your organisation can achieve through modernisation.

Ready to take the next step?

No matter what kind of modernisation plans you’re considering, Advanced can help you meet your objectives and drastically reduce project risk by harnessing the power of unmatched modernisation expertise and powerful proprietary tools. Get in touch today.

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Tim Jones

Tim Jones


Managing Director - Application Modernisation

Tim has a track record of success in mission-critical Application Modernisation projects. He is renowned for helping organisations maximise their investment in critical legacy applications.

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