The Minden plant plays an important role within ABB. Although the company has long outsourced the bulk of its IT systems to IBM Global Services, “there are still production environments that we cannot outsource,” said Horst Krückemeier, head of system integration, IT support, and logistics for Energietechnik-Systeme at ABB Minden. Decades ago, the Minden facilities were set up with automation processes developed, documented, and transcribed to a proprietary automation system created in-house. For almost three decades, ABB Minden kept two redundant VAX-11/750 in operation. They continuously updated the VAXes with hardware refreshes and software updates, including cluster technology, after it was introduced by Digital in 1998.
Using the latter technique, they upgraded the operating system from VAX/VMS V4.0 to VAX/VMS V5.0, and later to OpenVMS VAX V7.2. All systems ran steadily, serving engineering, and allocating function and connection plans to workstations.