The Monterey/64 operating system has come a step closer to commercial reality, with last week's announcement by IBM, SCO and Sequent that it is the first Unix OS to run on Intel's Merced chip.
And according to Simon Chapple, IBM's RS 6000 product manager Australia/NZ, the announcement means that developers will be able to maintain a single source code that can be recompiled for execution across three architectures - Power PC, IA-32 and the anticipated IA-64.
Project Monterey was announced in October last year and was described as a major UNIX operating system initiative led by IBM, SCO, Sequent and Intel. The objective of Project Monterey is to establish a volume, enterprise-class, UNIX product line that runs across Intel IA-32 and IA-64 processors and IBM's POWER processors in systems that range from departmental to large data centre servers.
As part of this initiative, a volume UNIX operating system is being developed for Intel's IA-64 processors using technologies from IBM's AIX, SCO's UnixWare and Sequent's enterprise technologies.
"The latest version of AIX [4.3.3] can be considered to be Monterey 1," Chapple explained. "This delivers the robustness and scalablity of AIX and SCO onto the 32- and 64-bit architecture."
And the Monterey partners are excited about the project. "Getting Monterey/64 up and running on Intel hardware in such a short time is an extraordinary achievement," said Rajiv Samant, general manager of Unix for IBM. He claimed that Monterey will become the lead Unix OS, ahead of Sun, HP and others.
Mike Fister, vice president of the Intel architecture group and GM of the enterprise server group for Intel, said: "Monterey/64 will be a leading enterprise UNIX operating environment for customers and independent software developers. This represents the first major step for Monterey/64 to be available with Merced processor systems when Merced ships next year."
According to Mike Orr, senior vice president, worldwide marketing of SCO: "Having the Monterey/64 operating system operational on real silicon enables us to get to the next level of engagement with our common ISVs and OEMs, and we will now see an acceleration in 64-bit hardware design and development." He also predicted that more ISVs will be actively porting to UnixWare 7 on IA-32 platforms and AIX on POWER platforms as they prepare for the release of Monterey/64.
IBM's AIX version 4.3.3 is available now from distributors Tardis Services (02) 9817 6888 and MUA (02) 9928 5111.