Sun, Oracle Renew Their Solaris Vows

Reaffirming its allegiance to Sun Microsystems, Oracle said today that it
has picked Sun’s open Solaris 10 operating system (OS) as its preferred
development and runtime platform for most x64 architectures.

Oracle’s development group will use Solaris 10, and the Redwood Shores,
Calif., company also plans to ship 64-bit versions of all of its products on
the Solaris OS. Oracle’s support list for Solaris 10 includes x64 computer
systems based on AMD Opteron and Intel Xeon, and Sun’s UltraSparc chips.

The move comes at an interesting time. Oracle has a long-standing
partnership with Sun for Solaris, but that has been dulled in recent years
with the emergence of Linux.

For example, Oracle loves the
way Linux runs on its Real Application Cluster (RAC) grid technology and has
on press tours with Dell to trumpet the combo of Linux, Dell servers and
Oracle’s database.

But now that Solaris is offered under open source terms, Oracle can feel
comfortable picking the Sun software as its go-to platform for 64-bit
systems, said Larry Singer, senior vice president and strategic insight
officer at Sun.

Singer acknowledged that while Linux may still rule the day at Oracle for
32-bit computing systems, Solaris 10 is Oracle’s clear choice for 64-bit

“Following the bubble, with Linux becoming fashionable and some advertising
they’ve done with Dell, I think there has been some drift as to the
platforms they support,” Singer said in an interview.

Singer said Solaris has long been viewed as purely a Unix platform for
Oracle, but with the reaffirmation, Oracle is making it clear Solaris 10 is
its 64-bit platform regardless of the hardware it runs on.

“I think this re-commitment to Solaris as a base development platform for
64-bit computing will clarify for a lot of customers the continued
commitment of Oracle to the Solaris.”

In a press statement, Sun also alluded to high-performance features in
Solaris 10 that can’t be found in Linux, including Dynamic Tracing (DTrace),
Solaris Containers and TCP/IP performance enhancements.

The move is part of Sun’s competitive positioning as an open, but meatier
alternative, to Linux, something it has been doing since open
Solaris 10 in January. Singer said Sun has distributed more
than 3 million Solaris licenses free of charge.

In other x64 Sun news today, the Santa Clara, Calif., company said the Sun
Fire X4100 and Sun Fire X4200 servers are now available with AMD’s most
powerful multi-core AMD Opteron Model 285 SE processor.

In a separate announcement, the Tokyo Institute of Technology (Tokyo Tech)
has bought Sun Fire x64 servers to build Japan’s largest supercomputer.
Tokyo Tech will use Sun Fire x64 servers with 10,480 AMD Opteron processor
cores and Sun storage and to build the supercomputer.

The computer will help researchers run scientific applications, such as
analysis of the complex molecular structure of proteins, simulated blood
flow diagnosis in human brains, and clarification of the generation
mechanism of Earth and planetary magnetic field.

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