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SuSE Linux is to tie its fortunes to Intel's Itanium processor, prepping a 64-bit release of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for the chip.

SuSE will ship the new OS at the end of next week and join HP-UX, Red Hat and Windows as the available options for Itanic 2. The company also plans to roll out product for AMD's x86-64 bit Opteron processor when it arrives next month.

SuSE has been working closely with IBM on both the Itanic and Opteron fronts.

This week, it announced a deal in conjunction with IBM to ship Itanic 2 systems for the TeraGrid scientific computing project. As has been the case with any deal involving IBM and Itanic 2, the hardware is actually an Intel white-box with a Big Blue logo on it. IBM continues to keep its own Itanic 2 box - the x450 - moored to the design room docks even though it promised a system last year.

SuSE estimates that the TeraGrid deal will bring in several hundred thousands of dollars. The cluster will use Myricom's Myrinet interconnect to link the systems.

Being a polite software vendor exec, SuSE's Holger Dyroff, US general manager, said the Itanium and Opteron ports require equal amounts of effort.

"For us, it wasn't any different," he said. "We are working together with both vendors."

According to Dyroff, Itanic has not quite reached the panacea of price/performance perfection that its backers so often tout. Still, he clung to prophecies of Itanic's success in the long run, as we both envisaged Intel's hulking tanker ripping through chips from Sun and IBM. ®

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