HP releases 64-bit Unix file system for Linux open sourcing

In a move that could help boost the scalability of Linux for grids and other advanced 64-bit multiprocessor applications, HP has release its Tru64 Unix Advanced File System (AdvFS) source code to the open source community.

Originally limited mainly to 32-bit workgroup applications, Linux has been gaining ground on 64-bit platforms vs. Unix over the past few years, especially since the release of 64-bit processors from Intel and AMD.

Hewlett-Packard, once a major player in Unix, has been paying considerable attention to both Linux and Microsoft Windows in recent years.

But on the Unix side, HP still produces both HP-UX and Tru64, an operating system once jointly developed with IBM, the old Digital Equipment Corp. (later acquired by Compaq, which was itself acquired by HP), and others within the Open Software Foundation (OSF). Back in the '80s, the 64-bit OS was known as OSF/1, and the Foundation's final release was in 1994.

In July of last year, HP announced intentions to continue supporting Tru64 UNIX until at least 2012, with the next maintenance release, 5.1B-5, due in the second half of 2008.

Meanwhile, according to industry analyst firm IDC, HP led the Linux market with a 38.6 percent revenue share for the first quarter of this year. HP also held the number one Linux server market position in unit shipments, with a 36.4 percent market share.

HP is now contributing the source code for AdvFS under terms of the General Public License (GPL) Version 2 for compatibility with the Linux kernel.

The code contribution coincides, for example, with the current implementation of a Linux-enabled supercomputing grid environment on HP Integrity servers in southern Italy at the Southern Partnership for Advance Computational Infrastructures (SPACI), a previous user of Tru64 AdvFS on Unix.

Also built-in to HP's Tru64 Unix OS, AdvFS is designed to provide 64-bit performance benefits such as a transaction journaling environment for file recovery in seconds, regardless of the size of the file system, and volume configuration on a single disk partition, an entire disk, or an aggregated volume.

Source code, design documentation, and test suites for AdsFS are available at http://advs.sourceforge.net.

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