RYAD—Soviet Bloc Clones of the IBM System/360

In 1966, realising the Soviet Union had fallen far behind the West in computing technology, planners decided that rather than continuing existing Soviet computer lines, they would abandon them and instead copy the IBM System/360 architecture, providing a worked example of software compatibility across a broad range of hardware performance and access to a large library of software developed in the West and ready for the industrial espionage plucking.

This was a tremendous blow to Soviet computer designers and engineers, who were forced to play catch-up to the rapidly-evolving IBM architecture, starting from an industrial and electronic component base which was years behind IBM. Work on the systems was divided among Soviet bloc Comecon countries, with different countries providing specific components.

The systems were put into production, with more than 15,000 installed, but few achieved 100% compatibility with IBM products, had a reputation for quality problems and unreliability, and were generally years behind IBM in introduction of features such as timesharing and virtual memory.

Here is more on the Soviet IBM 360 clones, variously called ES EVM, YeS EVM, Unified System, or Ryad.

The presenter in the video does not know how to pronounce “peripheral”.