Sun Updates OpenSolaris

Sun announced the latest release of the OpenSolaris 2009.06 operating system, delivering features in networking, storage and virtualization, along with significant performance enhancements and developer productivity updates.

Central to the new release is the inclusion of Project Crossbow, the most significant networking technology development to Solaris in this decade. Extending the features that made the Solaris Operating System the world’s leading technology platform, OpenSolaris 2009.06 is a major step forward for enterprises looking to deploy the next generation of Solaris that includes the latest innovations from Sun and the OpenSolaris community.

As a follow on to Sun’s ZFS technology, which reinvented the fundamental concept of file systems, Project Crossbow’s complete re-architecture of the network stack becomes the new standard for how networking at the operating system level is done. This project delivers, for the first time, the networking capability designed for virtualization in combination with highly scaled, multiple-core, multi-threaded processors connected with extremely fast network interfaces. More information on Project Crossbow is available at: http://opensolaris.com/learn.

Project Crossbow’s virtual network interfaces provide full resource management to simplify administration of complex deployments of multi-tiered applications on a single machine or an entire datacenter. Combined with the ability to scale the workload of single or multiple network interfaces across multiple core and processor systems, up to the largest systems available in the world today, customers can increase network efficiency and performance. Available today, both of these networking enhancements are major milestones for an enterprise operating system and are likely to set a new standard for next generation operating system platforms.

OpenSolaris 2009.06 provides dozens of enhancements to the breakthrough technology of ZFS and encompasses it with a complete architecture of connectivity and protocol support. New, fully integrated flash storage support in ZFS helps to optimize large scale pools of very high performance storage by designating flash devices as write accelerators and read accelerators. These pools are automatically managed by ZFS to achieve extreme levels of performance across many workloads, making the need for small caches on RAID controllers obsolete.

Native support for Microsoft CIFS has been added as a full peer to NFS, as a high performance kernel with integrated features and support for Microsoft Windows semantics for security, naming and access rights, allowing transparent use and sharing of files across Windows, Linux and Solaris environments. To round out the complete storage capability, Sun has designed new, very high performance support for iSCSI and Fiberchannel block protocols into the Solaris kernel, allowing systems running OpenSolaris to participate as a client and a target for virtually any storage topology.

All of these storage features are integrated into the Solaris platform and take full advantage of its core functionality including: fault management, networking, multi-threaded scaling, performance, security and resource management capabilities.

With this announcement, Sun continues to deliver on a holistic, built-in virtualization design for networking, storage and application abstraction, raising performance and scale to new highs for the industry. Building on the advances in networking storage virtualization, the OpenSolaris platform delivers key server virtualization technologies in the form of Solaris Containers, Logical Domains (LDoms) for Sun CMT systems and the Xen-based hypervisor to give users a complete virtualization platform built directly into the OpenSolaris OS. One of the most widely deployed virtualization technologies in the world, Solaris Containers provide lightweight, agile, software-defined boundaries that can be used to create virtual servers for consolidating hundreds of existing enterprise-class workloads onto a single system. More information on the built-in virtualization capabilities of OpenSolaris is available here.

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I'm a blogger, entrepreneur, conference organizer, social media consultant, startup advisor and allround web addict, based in Belgium, Europe. I'm a writer at TechCrunch and managing editor of Virtualization.com.

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