As a leading provider of technology services to the financial sector, and one of the largest title insurance companies in the US, Fidelity prides itself on having the most innovative technologies. Its system relied heavily on about 60 VAXes used for production, as well as several others used for development. Three years after HP officially retired the VAX, it became clear that these VAX systems would have to be replaced, as the risk of hardware failure was growing by the day, and parts were becoming scarce.
Fidelity’s IT department started looking for a solution that would solve their maintenance problems, increase the system’s storage and expansion capacity, and decrease its footprint. They first approached HP about migrating to the Alpha platform. After assessing their existing system, however, they determined that this would necessitate re-writing or re-compiling approximately seven million lines of code, written over a period of 20 years. Though not impossible, that would be an exceptionally expensive, risky, and time-consuming process. The business-critical systems involved were essential to Fidelity’s day-to-day operations. A more efficient alternative was needed.