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Sun retools Solaris

New to the Sun Solaris operating system will be the PostgresSQL database, a 128-bit file system, the ability to run Red Hat Linux applications and server virtualization.

Boston - With a new open source database, a 128-bit file system, a container in which to run alternate operating systems and a virtualized server environment, Sun Microsystems Inc. yesterday unveiled its latest improvements in the Solaris 10 operating system, gearing up to play in a re-architected world.

You won't be stuck in one stack.
John Loiacono
Executive Vice President of SoftwareSun Microsystems Inc.

John Loiacono, executive vice president of software for Sun, announced the newest additions to Solaris and he said they are targeted at offering a complete, easy to unplug development stack. The newest functionality, particularly the addition of the PostgresSQL database, gives Solaris a breadth similar to LAMP stack development.

The latest additions to Solaris 10 include:

  • Integration of and support for the PostgresSQL database
  • The 128-bit Solaris ZFS file system, which includes self-healing data and 16 quintillion times more capacity than 64-bit systems
  • Solaris Containers, which will allow IT shops to run Red Hat Linux applications unmodified on Solaris
  • The open source Xen virtualized server environment, which allows multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on a single hardware system and to migrate operating systems between hardware environments with minimal downtime

Sun executives added that additional open source databases and container support for different operating systems, particularly Linux flavors, likely will be coming in the future. All the newest tools will be available as part of the freely downloadable OpenSolaris operating system in December and then bundled into Solaris updates in May and September of 2006.

Loiacono stressed the combinatory potential of the latest offerings with existing Solaris functionality such as DTrace performance tuning and Service Manifest.

"You've got the ability to describe services end-to-end and quickly restart dependent components when part of the chain goes down," he said.

For Java developers and SOA architects, Loiacono said the ZFS file system, with a purported 19 nines of reliability, and open database will create a more flexible backbone for rapidly changing Web services.

Also, the operating system container and server virtualization will enable developers to decouple their applications from parts of their underlying infrastructure as needed.

"You won't be stuck in one stack," Loiacono said.

For more information

Learn more about Sun's open source initiatives

Read about how grid may prove crucial for SOA

While Sun plans to offer soup-to-nuts inside Solaris -- Loiacono called it "the aggregation point for many of the projects going on at Sun software" -- the intention, according to Sun execs, is to avoid making it an either/or proposition.

"If you don't want to use my development tools, say you want to use Eclipse, everything else still works," Loiacono said. "We're trying to establish an easy barrier to exit."

The continued addition of open source projects also follows through on a promise Sun made during the JavaOne conference this summer. Loiacono emphasized his belief that the true value of open source comes from building an active community capable of designing new user-centric tooling faster than proprietary research and development labs.

"Giving away code means nothing," he said. "It's the community that's important."

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