Oracle officially release the Solaris 11 Unix operating system, the first major Solaris release under Oracle’s ownership and first major update to Solaris since Solaris 10 back in 2004. Oracle has been testing and previewing the new Unix release in a Solaris 11 Express build that has been available since the end of 2010.
Oracle is positioning Solaris 11 as the world’s first Cloud OS, integrating in multiple types of technology and processes that help to enable the cloud paradigm.
“As you’re going from hundreds of physical nodes to thousands or tens of thousands of virtual nodes there are huge scalability and administrative challenges,” Markus Flierl, vice president of software development at Oracle told InternetNews.com. “We’ve built a lot of features into Solaris 11 to deal with those challenges.”
From an application packaging perspective, Solaris 11 has a new packaging system that is built on top of the ZFS filesystem. Flierl explained that Solaris 11 simplifies the way upgrades are handled. Only the incremental changes that are necessary to get to the next patch or upgrade level are executed.
“By using ZFS as the underlying technology it allows us to do that and rollback to the older version if necessary,” Flierl said. “So if for example there is a security patch that changes a single line of code, ZFS will figure out where you have to make a change and it will only download the minimum amount of data that you need to make the change.”
Virtualization also undergoes a major overhaul in Solaris 11. Flierl noted that Solaris 10 used the Solaris Zones virtualization infrastructure which is now being greatly expanded.
“With Solaris 11, we have a fully virtualized OS on the compute, network and storage sides,” Flierl said. “From a customer perspective that means Solaris 11 provides full isolation.”