Virtual VAX hardware under Windows.

Migration Specialties Europe provides virtual VAX solutions hosted on Windows to replace legacy Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) VAX hardware. OpenVMS software is fully virtualized with no changes to the legacy applications. Replacing a legacy VAX system with a virtual VAX is equivalent to a VAX hardware upgade. You benefit from modern hardware while retaining important legacy applications intact.


VAX Virtualization Advantages

  • Professional services from a company with 20 years of VAX experience.
  • Free Virtual VAX software
  • Virtual OpenVMS environment
  • Quick deployment: Three to five day implementation
  • Modern hardware: Improves reliability, performance & efficiency
  • No change in operation or user environments
  • Binary compatibility: Application source code not required
  • More Space: Enlarge existing disks and add more disks
  • VM's: Supported on VMware®, Sun VirtualBox, Apple Boot Camp & others
  • Allows multiple instances on a single host
  • Lower operating costs with a smaller data center footprint
  • Improved integration with Microsoft Windows
  • High ROI: Preservation of investment in software & vested employee knowledge

Virtualization Solutions for VAX

Migration Specialties Europe utilizes the open source SimH VAX to upgrade legacy VAX hardware. This solution replaces the underlying VAX CPU, memory, and mass storage devices with virtual equivalents while maintaining binary compatibility with VAX O/S's and layered products. SimH VAX can be deployed on Windows and Linux-based servers.

SimH VAX runs as a 32-bit application. Standard peripherals such as serial ports, disk drives, and CD-ROM drives are emulated or mapped to equivalent host hardware. For example, RD54 disk drives can be emulated as container files, a CD-ROM can be mapped to the host's CD-ROM drive, and serial ports can be mapped to network ports.

Each emulator is binary compatible with the VAX O/S and layered product software. No modification, translation, or recompilation of code is necessary. An image of each VAX disk is transferred to the emulated system, where the code executes as it would on the physical VAX. The emulator runs as a single application within the Windows environment.


SimH is an open source application. Migration Specialties Europe materially participates in its ongoing development. SimH supports a limited set of VAX processors. It is a suitable VAX replacement when performance is not critical. Additional SimH information is available at

Porting to a VAX Emulator

Porting applications to a VAX emulator is similar to porting them to new VAX hardware. The emulator installation is first configured to look like the VAX system it is replacing. The O/S, software applications, and data are then copied to the emulated VAX system. With the O/S and applications in place, the emulated VAX is ready to boot and run.

VAX emulators create a virtual VAX environment within the context of the host O/S. The VAX operating environment is indistinguishable from the legacy VAX being replaced.

Turnkey Solutions

Migration Specialties Europe offers turnkey porting services. Turnkey services include system configuration, software porting, and onsite installation. Remote porting services are also feasible with direct access to the VAX and virtual VAX host hardware.

Obtaining a Quote

To obtain an virtual VAX porting quote, run the DCL procedure VMS_INFO.COM. E-mail the results to Migration Specialties Europe for review. All customer data is treated as confidential.

If you would like additional information about a VAX upgrade via virtualization This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. See our our Porting page for other VAX replacement options.