Linux distributor SuSE is shipping Enterprise Server 8, designed specifically to run on Intel's Itanium processor family.
The product vies directly with similar offerings from Red Hat and SCO, and will no doubt help to strengthen the open source operating system's competitive edge on the 64-bit platform.
"The availability of SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 8 for Itanium 2-based systems broadens the scope of Linux offerings on the Itanium processor family," said Lisa Graff, director of enterprise processor marketing at Intel's Enterprise Platform Group.
"It provides customers with an even greater opportunity to develop and deploy high-end 64-bit Linux solutions."
One of the first projects the software will handle is to drive parts of the 'TeraGrid'.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the TeraGrid is an interconnected series of clusters which enables scientists around the US to share computing resources over the world's fastest research network.
The servers will be based on Intel Itanium 2 processors and the system will have a storage capacity of more than 600 terabytes of data.
Linux Enterprise Server 8 for Itanium will be available at the end of the month for around $749 (£475) per server. A desktop version of the software is scheduled for release next month.
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