Last week, Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun Microsystems Inc. released a new version of its Solaris 10 operating system with enhanced support for virtualization and Intel Xeon processors, and an updated ZFS file system.
The new version, Solaris 10 10/08, is born of a collaboration between the OpenSolaris community and Sun engineers. Solaris 10 10/08 is now available on Sun systems and will be available for download in early November.
In addition to the support of Intel's latest Xeon processor line, Solaris 10 10/08 includes the following new features:
- ZFS file system enhancements. The ZFS file system has been improved by the OpenSolaris community for better data management. The new version of ZFS can be integrated with disaster recovery functions and can also be used as the sole file system for any class of system, with support for booting and/or for use as a root file system, Sun reported.
- Virtualization and Solaris Containers updates. With Solaris 10's virtualization functions (open source Solaris Containers and Sun Logical Domains [LDoms]), with new features for easier workload migration, Sun has upped the ante. Users can move a container between unlike systems.
Evolutionary, not revolutionary
But according to Gordon Haff, an analyst at Nashua, N.H.-based Illuminata Inc. the updated Solaris 10 doesn't offer groundbreaking new features, but rather small improvements. "Especially these days, operating system releases tend to be more about incremental improvement than big change and that's pretty much the case here," Haff said. "It's not about new directions but about optimizing things like performance and management."
As it has done since launch of the OpenSolaris project three years ago, Sun released Solaris 10 10/08 to the open source community for testing before making it commercially available on Oct. 31.
Users can use the Solaris OS update model to upgrade to Solaris 10 10/08 without additional hardware or software upgrades or any recertification of existing projects and applications, according to Sun.