OpenVMS 8.2 is the version of the Vax operating system due for release by the end of the year that will run on HP's Itanium 2-based Integrity server.
It is seen by Vax users as a milestone as it will allow them to move applications from Alpha-based and ageing Vax hardware onto a modern platform. HP is planning to stop selling the Alpha processor by 2006.
The HP User Group organised an event last week in London to explain to users how they needed to plan for the migration. Colin Butcher, board member of the HP User Group, who presented at the workshop, said migration should be relatively straightforward so long as users first port code from their Vax systems to the Alpha processor and then move the Alpha code to the Integrity server.
"Based on my experience, Alpha and Integrity share the same code base so will remain in step. In most cases [moving Alpha code to Integrity] requires a simple recompile, relink and run," he said.
Butcher said users needed to be aware that the Integrity's C and C++ compilers were more stringent than the Vax's, which means compilation of legacy Vax applications could produce errors that would require source code to be corrected. "I suggest users first compile with the latest Alpha compiler then move to the Integrity compiler," he said.
Users of the Vax will be supported until 2018, according to HP, but if ageing hardware such as disc drives and power supplies fail, users could find it difficult to source replacement parts.