Feeds

Red Hat pulls plug on Itanium with RHEL 6

More biz for Novell?

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Exclusive If you run Itanium-based servers in your data center, 2010 has a surprise for you. The dominant supplier of commercial Linux, Red Hat, is not going to be supporting its future Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 on any Itanium platforms, old or new.

An intrepid reader of El Reg sent us an email saying that some of the Bugzilla reports closed with a message saying that Red Hat were no longer supporting IA-64 - also known as Itanium and a bunch of other names, most of which you can't print in a family news site. Intel has been mum on the subject, as has Itanium's biggest cheerleader, Hewlett-Packard.

Here's what Red Hat had to say, officially:

Red Hat is committed to protecting Itanium customers' investments and to providing these customers with enterprise class support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 through March 2014. During this period, Red Hat will provide support, deliver new features, and enable new Itanium hardware in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 exclusively in accordance with the published RHEL product lifecycle (http://www.redhat.com/security/updates/errata/). In addition, extended support for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 for Itanium is available up to March 2017 from selected OEMs.

The next major release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (v6) will not provide support for the Itanium architecture; consequently, all Itanium related development will be incorporated into Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 exclusively.

Strike another blow for at Intel's Itanium processor, which was supposed to support Solaris and AIX but doesn't and which has been relegated to a database server on Windows.

The upshot is this: If you like RHEL 5, which is a perfectly fine operating system, and you have Itanium machines and like them in production running Linux, you are going to be liking it for a long, long time.

Unless Novell plans to continue to continue to support Itanium boxes with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12, of which, by the way, Novell has said very little. For all we know, SLES 12 wasn't going to support Itanium chips either. Perhaps Red Hat pulling the plug on Itanium with RHEL 6 will give Novell a niche it can support, much as it already does on IBM's System z mainframes: Novell claims to have sold 85 per cent of the Linux licenses on Big Blue's big iron.

By the way, RHEL 6 will be supported on IBM's Power-based servers and its mainframes, which have been supported with RHEL 4 and 5, as well as x64 servers. It is hard to say how much (or how little) support money comes to Red Hat through Power and mainframe platforms, but if Novell has the share it claims to on the mainframe, it would not have been at all surprising to see Red Hat drop IBM mainframes with RHEL 6 as well. But that's not the plan.

IBM, Red Hat, and Novell have never given any kind of shipment or revenue figures for Linux on Power, so it is just as difficult to figure how much money is at stake. But the plan is to support IBM's Power Systems with RHEL 6.

What IBM needs to do - and should have done a long time ago - is buy Novell, milk NetWare for every penny it still has left (there are some, but not a lot), embrace SLES as its preferred Linux on all of its platforms, and compete head-to-head with Red Hat. Acquiring Citrix as well would give IBM an x64 hypervisor (Xen) and application streaming platform, too, with which to compete with Red Hat and VMware in the enterprise and on clouds.

Someone will buy Novell and/or Citrix before too long, or the companies will merge if they have any sense at all. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.