Digital Introduces First Generation of OpenVMS Alpha-Ready Systems

Leadership Solutions Today... Alpha-ready for Tomorrow

MAYNARD, Mass., July 15, 1992 -- Digital Equipment Corporation today unveiled a new open systems environment designed to provide customers with the most advanced platform for leadership business solutions today and a smooth transition to the open, client-server environments needed for 21st-century computing.

The OpenVMS environment is delivered through an entirely new generation of 13 OpenVMS Alpha-ready systems, new open software enhancements, flexible business practices, and full-function ADVANTAGE-SERVER systems.

"As demonstrated at DECWORLD'92, Digital is focused on helping businesses and organizations succeed. The computing environments we provide must fill today's needs and have a clear path to the future. The Alpha-ready OpenVMS family of systems announced today helps us do this better than any other vendor in the industry," said Kenneth H. Olsen, President, Digital Equipment Corporation.

"We're raising the standard," continued William R. Demmer, Vice President, VAX VMS Systems and Servers. "Only Digital can supply complete data protection and networking from the desktop to local servers to global networks. Other vendors make you choose between this kind of functionality, price performance, and openness; only Digital provides no compromise computing," he said.

OpenVMS Environment Leads in Performance, Openness and Functionality Today

The OpenVMS environment, along with the OSF/1 and Microsoft's Windows NT operating systems, forms the foundation of Digital's strategy for 21st-century computing. These products address the broadest range of customer needs, from easy-to-use personal computers to the most complex, business-critical data processing applications. Together with Digital's Network Application Support (NAS) integrated software products, they form the basis for the industry's most open client-server computing environment.

The new OpenVMS systems use Digital's NVAX microprocessors, which run at faster clock speeds than any microprocessors being sold in any CMOS system today -- including all RISC systems from IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and Sun Microsystems.

In the full-system TPC-A open benchmark tests, the new systems offer exceptional performance and price/performance from top to bottom. TPC-A performance and price/performance benchmarks include 51.95 tps and $8,013/tps for a desktop server -- the best price/performance in the industry -- and 123.83 tps and $8,938/tps for a datacenter server. In addition, a new workstation offers double the performance of the current model.

The price/performance of OpenVMS systems is further improved by new flexible business practices which enable customers to choose exactly how many interactive users they want to have licensed on the operating system. Customers can start with any number of users and move up to an unlimited user license when their business needs dictate.

Digital is officially changing the name of "VMS" to "OpenVMS," to reflect Digital's "Open Advantage" -- open technology, open business practices, and open services. Digital's open business environment allows customers to optimize their computing environment with a mixture of solutions needed to run their day-to-day businesses.

The OpenVMS operating system has received XPG3 BASE branding from the X/Open consortium -- the first premier, commercial operating system to achieve this level of open systems conformance. Digital's commitment to become a full open systems vendor will open new market opportunities for Digital, especially in Europe, where branding is often a requirement.

"Digital's recent success in obtaining XPG3 BASE branding for OpenVMS illustrates their commitment to support open systems. Companies and governments worldwide look to the X/Open brand as an assurance to conformance of open systems standards, safeguarding the investment of current and future OpenVMS users. OpenVMS is the first American non-UNIX operating system to achieve the XPG3 brand and the second non-UNIX operating system worldwide," stated Mike Lambert, vice president and chief technical officer of X/Open Company Ltd.

The cornerstone of Digital's client-server strategy is the ADVANTAGE-SERVER family of value-priced packaged systems that come complete with the hardware, software, and service options many customers require. Sixteen different configurations ranging from a desktop MicroVAX to a mainframe-class solution are available, with prices starting at $26,650. Through the standards and capabilities supported by OpenVMS and NAS 300 software (POSIX, XPG3, OSI, TCP/IP, LAN Manager, AppleTalk, SQL, X.400, and Motif) ADVANTAGE-SERVER systems provide the industry's most standards-compliant, function-rich platform.

Digital also provides a unique capability in the industry through its ACCESSWORKS family of servers. These pre-configured hardware and software client-server solutions give customers the ability to manage data from many different corporate databases from their desktop systems. With the introduction of new platforms, entry prices now start at $10,000.

OpenVMS Systems are Alpha-ready

The new OpenVMS systems are designed to upgrade easily to future VAX or Alpha systems in a way that protects customers' significant investments in personnel and training, software, networks, and peripherals. Typically, more than 80 percent of a customer's OpenVMS investment is preserved at no incremental cost.

The "Alpha-ready" program is designed to help Digital's current and prospective customers manage their Information Technology investments, including current systems and future VAX and Alpha systems. Elements of the program cover services, lease programs, CSO programs, and education and training, as well as processor trade-in programs.

Alpha is Digital's new, full 64-bit computing architecture, designed to allow high-speed implementations that scale in performance by a factor of 1,000 through Alpha's 25-year design horizon. Alpha also was designed to support a broad family of systems and multiple operating environments -- OpenVMS, OSF/1, and Windows NT to date. The first implementation of the Alpha architecture is the DECchip 21064, the world's fastest microprocessor, running at clock speeds of 150-200 MHz.

Application developers recognize the value of Alpha. Already, nearly 700 companies are migrating more than 1,200 applications to Alpha. Digital expects these numbers to grow significantly as Alpha-based systems begin shipping and gaining market share.

OpenVMS Systems Moving Into the 21st Century

"Everything we've done with OpenVMS systems in the past five years --delivering standards, developing the fastest microchip, enhancing functionality, designing leadership Alpha technology with unparalleled software compatibility, forging third-party agreements and increasing our range of products and services -- has been directed to meet our customers' requirements and protect their investments as they plan ahead," said Demmer.

"Customers tell us they want open systems, maximum choice, unbeatable price/performance, the most functionality, and a means of protecting their investments as they plan ahead," he continued. "Our Alpha-ready OpenVMS environment gives our customers leadership in performance, price/performance, open multi-vendor computing, and functionality for years to come -- opening new business opportunities for Digital," he said.

"We believe these new OpenVMS systems will be very well received by our 10 million users and users of other vendors' systems," said Demmer. "They will be the leading solution for us to provide a strong backbone to the client-server networks that are revolutionizing computing, both in our traditional markets and new industries we are targeting aggressively."

Digital Equipment Corporation, headquartered in Maynard, Massachusetts, is the leading worldwide supplier of networked computer systems, software, and services. Digital pioneered and leads the industry in interactive, distributed, and multivendor computing. Digital and its partners deliver the power to use the best integrated solutions -- from desktop to datacenter -- in open information environments.


Note to Editors: ACCESSWORKS, ADVANTAGE-SERVER, DEC, DECchip, Digital, MicroVAX, OpenVMS, VAX, and VMS are trademarks of Digital Equipment Corporation.

OSF/1 and Motif are registered trademarks of the Open Software Foundation, Inc.

AppleTalk is a registered trademark of Apple Computer, Inc.

X/Open is a trademark of X/Open Company Limited.

TPC-A is a trademark of the Transaction Processing Performance Council.

Editorial contact:

Sarah Miller