DECnet is the collective name for the family of communications products (software and hardware) that allow Digital operating systems to participate in a network.

VSI DECnet for OpenVMS on Alpha and Integrity servers allows a suitably configured OpenVMS system to participate as an end node. With proper network planning, DECnet networks can contain up to 1,023 nodes per network area and up to 63 areas per network. The DECnet for OpenVMS License Product Authorization Key (PAK), when registered on an OpenVMS system, enables communication between systems using the DECnet protocols. DECnet for OpenVMS has been implemented in accordance with Phase IV of the Digital Network Architecture (DNA) product.

DECnet for OpenVMS is a layered product that ships with the Alpha and Integrity server operating systems. On OpenVMS Alpha systems, the DECnet for OpenVMS License provides the right to use the software product on a single CPU and includes the delivery of a License Product Authorization Key (PAK) to enable DECnet for OpenVMS software. On OpenVMS Integrity server systems, the DECnet for OpenVMS license is part of the Base Operating Environment (BOE), which is licensed on a per-core license basis. DECnet for OpenVMS is warranted only for use with Phase IV and DECnet-Plus (formerly DECnet/OSI) products supported by VSI.

DECnet for OpenVMS offers task-to-task communications, file management, down-line system and task loading, network command terminals, and network resource sharing capabilities using the Digital Network Architecture (DNA) protocols. DECnet for OpenVMS communicates with adjacent and nonadjacent Phase IV and DECnet-Plus nodes.

OpenVMS programs written in MACRO and native mode high-level languages can use DECnet for OpenVMS VAX capabilities.

The network functions available to a DECnet for OpenVMS user depend, in part, on the configuration of the rest of the network. Each DECnet product offers its own subset of Digital Network Architecture (DNA) functions and its own set of features to the user. Networks consisting entirely of DECnet for OpenVMS Phase IV nodes have all the functions described in this SPD. The functions available to users on mixed networks can be determined by a comparison of the SPDs for the appropriate DECnet products.


DECnet for OpenVMS offers the following features:

Latest Version



Integrity: BOE (DECnet Plus, Phase IV), Extended Function - per socket.