Microsoft ditches support for Itanium architecture

Microsoft will be halting support for Intel’s Itanium architecture on its upcoming Windows Server, SQL Server and Visual Studio 2010 platforms.

According to MS senior technical product manager Dan Reger, 2008 R2 will be the last version of Windows Server to support Intel’s Itanium architecture. 

“SQL Server 2008 R2 and Visual Studio 2010 are also the last versions to support Itanium. [However], current support for Itanium remains unchanged,” Reger confirmed in an official blog post.

“Each of these products represent the state of the art of their respective product lines. Each fully support Itanium, support the recently-released Itanium 9300 (‘Tukwila’) processor and Microsoft’s support for these products will continue.”

Reger noted that mainstream support for Windows Server 2008 for Itanium-Based Systems (and R2) will end on July 9, 2013, while extended support is expected to continue until July 10, 2018.

“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,” explained Reger.

“Just this week, both Intel and AMD released new high core-count processors and servers with 8 or more x64 processors have now been announced by a full dozen server manufacturers. Such servers contain 64 to 96 processor cores, with more on the horizon.”

He added that Windows Server 2008 R2 supported up to 256 logical processors (cores or hyper-threading units) and was “ready” for an ever-increasing number of cores.

“It [also] supports technologies such as Intel’s Machine Check Architecture, which allow for the detection and correction of bit-level hardware errors,” said Reger.