New Unix OS on track for IA-64

New Unix OS on track for IA-64

Some mist lifted from the inchoate operating system known as Monterey last week, as collaborators IBM, Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) and Sequent Computer Systems reported successful initial tests, the launch of a developer program, software vendor support and an accelerated roadmap for the forthcoming shrink-wrapped Unix OS.

Announced last October, Project Monterey is an alliance between the companies to produce new Unix operating systems based on SCO's UnixWare and Sequent's DYNIX/ptx OS for the low end, and on IBM's AIX OS for the high end. The OS will run across Intel's IA-32 and IA-64 architecture.

IBM, Sequent and SCO announced the successful completion of initial tests of Monterey running on the Merced simulator for IA-64. Much of the subsequent work will derive from the results of these tests, according to Rajiv Samat, general manager, Unix, for IBM.

"We have achieved the first milestone," Samat said.

In addition, the companies announced a developer program aimed at encouraging ISV (independent software vendor) development of applications for the Unix OS for IA-64. Developers will be offered porting guides and a common set of APIs (Application Programming Interface) for IA-32, IA-64 and IBM Power processor platforms, according to the companies. Porting centres around the world will provide developers with technical support, performance testing and technical education on Monterey on IA-64, the companies said.

The companies also said that they will use consistent APIs, operating system services and Web-based system management so that customers and ISVs will have a consistent environment. For example, Sequent will add AIX technologies, including Web system management, to its operating system, which will be renamed UnixWare ptx Edition, according to Dan McGee, senior director of business programs at Sequent. UnixWare ptx Edition will provide API and ABI compatibility with the UnixWare family of products, he said.

Monterey will be enhanced further by the announcement that Compaq will support the new OS, according to IBM's Samat. Compaq's position and experience in the PC server space "are assets that will really help this [Monterey] initiative", Samat said.

Compaq will use the OS on its IA-64-based ProLiant servers and will also be a sponsor of the Unix Developer's Guide to Programming Interfaces initiative announced earlier this month, according to a statement from Compaq. The guide aims to make available guidelines that system manufacturers and software developers can use for Unix operating systems running on Intel's architecture, the statement said.

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