EDGE 2015 is starting in

Find out more EDGE 2015
Menu
Microsoft ending support for Itanium

Microsoft ending support for Itanium

The current version of Windows Server will be the last for the high-end Intel processor

Microsoft is ending its support for Intel's Itanium processor with the current version of its Windows Server OS, according to a Microsoft blog posting Friday.

"Windows Server 2008 R2 will be the last version of Windows Server to support the Intel Itanium architecture," Dan Reger , a Microsoft senior technical product manager, wrote on the Windows Server Division Weblog. "SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 are also the last versions to support Itanium."

The news will come as a setback for Intel, which has struggled to get its 64-bit Itanium processors more widely used by server makers. It released the latest, quad-core version of Itanium in February after several delays. By that time Red Hat had already announced in January that it would not support Itanium with the next release of its Linux OS distribution.

Burton Group analyst Nik Simpson said it was "no coincidence" that Microsoft announced its decision during the same week that Intel released its powerful new multicore Xeon 7500 series processors, which include high-end reliability features that Intel once reserved for Itanium.

"For Microsoft, reliability was the only thing that Itanium had going for it, the number of Windows licenses sold on Itanium is negligible compared to the x64 business. So the decision to drop Itanium was probably a relatively easy one," Simpson wrote in a blog post.

Microsoft's Reger said much the same. "The natural evolution of the x86 64-bit ('x64') architecture has led to the creation of processors and servers which deliver the scalability and reliability needed for today's 'mission-critical' workloads," he wrote.

Microsoft will continue to provide mainstream support for Itanium-based systems until July 2013, and extended support until July 2018, Reger said, in line with its standard support policy.

Intel recently committed to delivering at least two more generations of Itanium during the next four years, dubbed Poulson and Kittson. HP, which made a big bet on Itanium when it ended the development of its own PA-RISC processor, has repeatedly said that it is committed to Itanium's future.

But the end of support by Microsoft is sure to spark a fresh round of questions about the platform's prospects.

For Itanium, Microsoft's move is "bad, but not disastrous, at least for now," Simpson said.

Most Itanium processors are sold in servers running Hewlett-Packard's Unix variant, HP-UX, he noted. But there will soon be just a handful of OSes remaining for Itanium that have "enterprise-ready credentials," he wrote. Those include Novell's Suse Enterprise Linux (SEL), Groupe Bull's GCOS, and HP's HP-UX and OpenVMS.

"Of those operating system platforms, only HP-UX and OpenVMS actually require Itanium. GCOS and SEL are both supported on x64 processors, which will probably hasten the end of support on Itanium now that x64 can match Itanium for reliability," Simpson wrote.

"So HP is likely to be the last man standing in the Itanium systems business, but the new features and scalability of the 75xx Xeon beg the question, 'will HP adapt its Itanium hardware to support the Xeon 75xx and port HP-UX or OpenVMS to the x64 platform?'"

A Microsoft spokesman confirmed the company's blog post is accurate. Intel could not immediately be reached for comment Sunday.

EDGE 2015:: For all the latest on EDGE 2015 including the keynote speakers visit the EDGE mini-site now

Follow Us

Join the ARN newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftwindows serverapplication supportwindows server 2008intelItanium

Upcoming

Slideshows

In Pictures: 7 things we hate about Twitter

In Pictures: 7 things we hate about Twitter

You probably either love Twitter for its quirkiness and brevity or see it as a pointless waste of time. After nearly a decade on the social scene, Twitter still needs to improve its user experience and fill in notable gaps in the service. These seven problems are long overdue for a fix.

In Pictures: 7 things we hate about Twitter
IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 - Sponsor Briefing

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 - Sponsor Briefing

With EDGE 2015 rapidly approaching, ARN and Reseller News NZ held a Sponsors Briefing where ARN publisher and president, Susan Searle, and Events Manager, Alexandra West, ran through the considerable logistics in detail. Attendees then enjoyed some splendid canapes and drinks. EDGE is designed to bring the A/NZ channel together in a collaborative and educational environment. Themed around channel channel leadership, EDGE will be held at the Sheraton Mirage, Port Douglas, July 20-23. Photos by MIKE GEE.

IN PICTURES: EDGE 2015 - Sponsor Briefing
In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

Cooking, learning language and doing the laundry are a few of the human skills demonstrated by.real humanoid bots featured in the National Geographic movie Robots.

In Pictures: Robots that cook, clean, sing and dance

iasset.com is a channel management ecosystem that automates all major aspects of the entire sales, marketing and service process, including data tracking, integrated learning, knowledge management and product lifecycle management.

Show Comments