Re: Opteron killed Itanium
Very good observation...I had a very similar experience working on migrating another critical airline system from a Unisys mainframe onto Itanium around the 2003-2004 timeframe. Itanium on Linux was the only game in town if you needed 64-bit support (for high memory use applications) and didn't want to lock yourself in to IBM or Sun.
It's really interesting to see this whole thing slowly unfold over a decade or two. I'm assuming HPE is going to either port HP-UX and the Superdome to Xeon hardware or kill it entirely. However, it's not clear they can do this in one shot -- there are three OS platforms running on Itanium now (HP-UX, OpenVMS and NonStop.) Systems running on these OSes are pretty long in the tooth and usually critical to a company or government agency's business...
It would be cool to see these legacy OSes survive on x86-64, but HPE isn't exactly thrilled about supporting them, so I assume they're going to slowly wither and die.