According to HP Backs Red Hat in Government Biz Bid [1], “Lillestolen said, however, that HP has gone further than Big Blue by certifying a wider range of hardware.” Hopefully, this is just a mistake in the reporting and HP isn’t actually making such outrageous claims. As you can see in the Validation Report [2], HP tested on

  • Intel Xeon (HP DL360)
  • Intel Xeon/Pentium (HP Compaq dc7600)
  • Intel Xeon EM64T (HP DL360) – dualcore
  • Intel Xeon EM64T (HP DL360) – singlecore
  • AMD Opteron (HP DL 385) – singlecore
  • AMD Opteron (HP DL 385) – dualcore
  • AMD Opteron (HP DL 145) – singlecore
  • Intel Itanium 2 (rx 3600) – dualcore
  • Intel Itanium 2 (rx 2620) – singlecore

According to IBM’s Validation Report [3], the following platforms were tested:

  • System z Hardware: z900/z9 Host Operating system running: z/VM 5.1 or z/VM 5.3 within a PR/SM logical partition
  • Opteron Hardware: model 3455, Bladecenter LS-21
  • System p Hardware: p5 720 (9124), Bladecenter JS-21 Host system running: LPAR partition
  • System x 3550, HS-20 Bladecenter, HS-21 Bladecenter Hardware: Intel Xeon with Hyperthreading and EM64T

In both cases, 8 different machines were tested. However, IBM tested radically different architectures, whereas HP tested minor variations of a few themes. For those of you not familiar with IBM terminology, the IBM evaluation tested a mainframe, a POWER system, a POWER blade, a rack-mounted Opteron system and Opteron blade, two Intel Xeon blades, and a rack mounted, dual-core Intel Xeon server. For those unfamiliar with HP’s line of hardware as I am, their website shows that HP tested one desktop and 3 rack-mountable Intel Xeon systems, three rack-mountable Opteron systems, and two rack-mountable Itanium systems. None of the systems listed in their Validation Report is a laptop contrary to Lillestolen’s claim.

I am glad to see that RHEL5 has received so much testing in the MLS configuration. Perhaps widespread knowledge that many systems were tested in many configurations will help speed the adoption of the MLS configuration in the defense industry. But I hope that reporters won’t let HP get away with making such wild statements that are easily refutable via on-line documents.