Tag Archives: itanium

Raise the Itanic! (part 2)

Previously …

I finally got my HP Integrity RX2620 (dual core Itanium II) working, after a lot of messing around in the EFI shell. It is now running Debian-ia64 Wheezy. The thing is so noisy that you can’t stay in the room with it for very long, and I discovered that if you pull out the fans then it overheats and shuts down after a few minutes.

Here is lstopo output:

itanic-lstopo

and /proc/cpuinfo:

processor  : 0
vendor     : GenuineIntel
arch       : IA-64
family     : 31
model      : 2
model name : Madison up to 9M cache
revision   : 2
archrev    : 0
features   : branchlong
cpu number : 0
cpu regs   : 4
cpu MHz    : 1600.035
itc MHz    : 1600.035576
BogoMIPS   : 2390.01
siblings   : 1
physical id: 0

processor  : 1
vendor     : GenuineIntel
arch       : IA-64
family     : 31
model      : 2
model name : Madison up to 9M cache
revision   : 2
archrev    : 0
features   : branchlong
cpu number : 0
cpu regs   : 4
cpu MHz    : 1600.035
itc MHz    : 1600.035576
BogoMIPS   : 2390.01
siblings   : 1
physical id: 1

Also: Nooooooooooooooooooo!!!!11!!1

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Raise the Itanic!

Itanium was Intel’s attempt to cause all other workstation processor manufacturers to run around like Chicken Little until they ran themselves out of business. It worked surprisingly well. In the end, HP put down Alpha and PA-RISC, and MIPS sold itself for $100m.

But enough history, Itanic might have failed in the marketplace, but that means you can pick up servers on eBay for £58 (and that includes tax and delivery — all 22 kg of it).

money-shot
Above: Three 64 bit servers you probably don’t own: X-Gene (ARM 64 bit), HP Itanium RX2620, Mac G5 (PPC64)

This server has no hard drive, and requires UltraSCSI 320 disks, so I’m going to try PXE booting it [see below] into RHEL 5 and see if I can use a ram disk (it has a very generous 16 GB of RAM), or failing that, use a USB disk.

The interior is not that interesting as most of the important bits are covered up with ducting to push the incredibly noisy airflow to the right places:

interior

On the back:

back

  • Dual power supplies!
  • Dual 1 GbE, plus one 100 Mbps ethernet!
  • 3 serial ports! I’ve never seen that excessiveness on a server before.

The machine has dual CPUs running at 1.6 GHz and 16 GB of RAM. It was almost worth the cost just for the RAM.

I tried fairly hard to get it to PXE boot into ELILO, but it wasn’t having any of that, so now I’m downloading the RHEL 5.10 DVD.

Update Mainly for my own reference what I eventually ended up doing was copying the Debian netboot installer files to a USB key. The EFI shell can load files from this, allowing a relatively simple boot.

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