HP, Fujitsu Blade Servers to Run Linux

 
 
By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2005-02-14
 
 
 

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Fujitsu Computer Systems Corp. are looking to expand the Linux offerings in their blade server lines as well as some of their most powerful systems.

At the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo this week in Boston, HP is expanding the reach of its Linux Reference Architecture in several areas, including into its BladeSystem configurations, said Marin Fink, vice president of Linux for the Palo Alto, Calif., company. Linux is already available on HPs Itanium 2-based Integrity and x86-based ProLiant systems, and blade server customers will now be able to choose between HPs commercial and Linux software stacks. The demand is there, Fink said: By the end of the year, he expects that half of the BladeSystems will ship with Linux.

Also at LinuxWorld, HP, along with Novell, is opening up more code. Click here to read more.

In addition, HP is offering the reference architecture in a prepackaged, fixed-cost Express version, and extending its role in OpenView management software via Smart Plug-ins for MySQL, JBoss and Tomcat.

Fink also said that within the next few months, HP will announce that it can scale standard Linux implementations into its 64-way Superdome systems. Last year the company announced it could scale the operating system to 16 processors.

"Demand [for 64-way Linux deployments] is low initially, but there is demand," he said.

For its part, Fujitsu this week will unveil the Primergy BX620 S2 blade server, a four-way system powered by Intel Corp.s Xeon processors that can run Linux from both Red Hat Inc. and Novell Inc.s SuSE Linux unit. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company also will introduce a single-processor tower server, the Primergy TX150 S3, which runs on Intels Pentium 4 chip and also can run both Linux operating systems, according to Richard McCormack, vice president of product and solutions marketing for Fujitsu.

Click here to read eWEEK Labs review of the Primergy BX600.

The TX150 S3 can come with either Serial ATA or SCSI connectivity. It will be available later this month, starting at just under $1,200.

The BX620 S2 offers up to 12GB of DDR2 memory and two hot-plug Ultra320 SCSI drives. Available immediately, the blade system starts at less than $2,400 per blade.

McCormack also said that around midyear Fujitsu will roll out a mainframe powered by Intels 64-bit Itanium 2 chips that will scale a standard Linux OS up to 64 processors. Currently, the company can scale Linux up to eight ways in its high-end Primergy servers, he said.

Like HP, Fujitsu sees opportunity in the high end for Linux. Currently, several companies, such as Silicon Graphics Inc., can scale modified versions of Linux, but both Fujitsu and HP are pushing to get standard implementations to that level.

Fujitsu also will demonstrate its Shunsaku XML Search middleware, a module in its InterStage package that is currently used in systems in Japan, but is only now being released globally. Running on a Linux blade system, the software can bring together data from multiple sources, then enable users to search the data, McCormack said.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.

Rocket Fuel