X86 Host Systems

OpenVMS or Tru64 will not run on modern X86 hardware out of the box, due to the architectural differences between the old Alpha or VAX platforms and modern X86 hardware.

In order to let your OpenVMS/Tru64 based applications run in this new X86 environment without changes, you a need a "translator" to bridge the gap between the old and new worlds. And that is where vtAlpha and vtVAX come in. These products handle the connection between the two worlds, without causing complications for your software.

It is referred to as "Emulation" or "Hardware Virtualization".

Total Virtualization

vtVAX and vtAlpha enable the original Alpha and VAX software to communicate with device types that were never supported by the original versions of OpenVMS and Tru64.

Simply attach a SATA disk to your VAX running VMS 5.5, or iSCSI. The VAX software won't notice that anything has changed, it still thinks it is using MSCP or DSSI storage.

Or you can use modern networking (i.e. 10 Gbps, VLAN).


vtAlpha works in a similar way for Alpha replacement. Emulation of the Alpha hardware interface allows you to connect to modern hardware. For example, you can leave your old and tired MSA/EVA SAN behind and connect instead to 3PAR or other SAN technology.

In the example a virtual Alpha runs inside the vtServer Hypervisor, connecting with the modern IT-infrastructure through vtAlpha and vtServer. OpenVMS interacts with what it thinks is KZPBA SCSI and DE500 Ethernet. On the X86 host that its data is stored on SATA disks or the company SAN (3PAR, EMC, Hitachi, and others). Or networking via a 1 Gbps network link, perhaps shared with other virtual Alpha and VAX instances on the same host.

Bare Metal Host

The vtAlpha and vtVAX products will install directly on top of the X86 host computer. There is no need for a separate Windows or Linux layer. Everything you need to control the virtual products via the host is included in our product (Bare Metal Installation).

The Bare Metal approach brings the following benefits:

  • No purchase or maintenance costs for extra operating systems;
  • No superfluous layer between your virtual Alpha/VAX and the hardware they run on, providing increased stability and security;
  • No compatibility issues due to the various layers evolving independently of one another;
  • A true virtual VAX/Alpha, not a Windows/Linux application that is managed under its own regime.

Virtual Machine Host

Many of our customers use some type of Virtual Machine product as the IT infrastructure in their organization. For this reason we offer support for the most popular Virtual Machine brands that run vtAlpha and vtVAX.

Special Virtual Machine functions like Live Host Migration are supported when the tolerance levels for host hardware time-outs in OpenVMS/Tru64 are properly managed.


The installation and daily operation of vtAlpha and vtVAX on either Bare Metal or Virtual Machine are the same.