Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 18th Dec 2009 17:27 UTC
Red Hat "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."
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It's interesting to note that the CentOS team (who rebuild RHEL without the Red Hat name/logos) dropped the Itanium platform (in fact, all platforms other than Intel 32/64-bit) when they released CentOS 5. Could this have contributed to the decision by Red Hat to drop Itanium for RHEL 6?

I suspect the CentOS team did it simply for reasons of manpower/hardware availability - they have limited resources and have to concentrate on the most popular platforms. Without CentOS 5 on Itanium, there was no way to easily test RHEL 5 on Itanium without paying (at least for the final release) and that could have resulted in a drop in RHEL 5 Itanium subscriptions.

To be honest, the Itanium 2 platform is too expensive and too slow for general purpose server use - it has a niche in the area of floating point operations, but even Red Hat agree that niche isn't profitable enough to continue developing for.

Red Hat dropping Itanium is a major blow for the platform - you suspect RHEL 5 was as big a seller as Windows Server 2008 on the Itanium platform (does anyone know the Itanium sales figures of those two?). It looks like Itanium Enterprise Linux was handed lock, stock and barrel to Novell with its SuSE Enterprise distro...time will tell how long that one lasts too (no word from Novell on Itanium SuSE 12 yet). I think this marks the beginning of the end of Itanium as a Linux platform, IMHO.

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