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July 10, 1991

UNIX, VMS ROUTES FOR DEC PDP-11 ORPHANS

By CBR Staff Writer

A couple more hardware tweaks – including an SCSI disk subsystem promised by the end of the year – and that will be it for Digital Equipment Corp’s 21 year-old PDP-11 range. Time for the integrators, software migration specialists and other Houdini acts to move in. Bedford-based Sector 7 Software Ltd offers to move PDP-11 applications over to a variety of Unix software and hardware systems. The firm’s Tony Airey reckons that there are around 15,000 PDP-11 sites in the UK that could usefully benefit by escaping to open systems – but admits that only a few dozen have so far employed his company’s services. He says most of those that have come across so far have been commercial users attracted to Unix because of the wealth of application software now becoming available on the system, and that they have done so for operational, rather than strategic Unix or open systems reasons. The average price of migrating PDP-11 workloads to Unix is between UKP10,000 and UKP15,000. PDP-11 users also have a route to VMS from the likes of Census Computer Services Ltd, Wolverhampton, West Midlands, which offers migration to VAX processors – and to DEC’s MIPS Computer Systems Inc RISC-based Ultrix line if required. Census’ Peter Webster says over 30 users have come over to VMS so far – and prices again are on average between UKP10,000 and UKP15,000.

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