Sun Ray on Solaris 10, and on x64/x86 platforms

Often when talking to customers (for example, in our Beta programs and at conferences like USENIX, LISA, etc.) we've heard a strong, legitimate complaint: no Sun Ray Server on x64 or x86 platforms; no support for Solaris 10. I even witnessed Jonathan get hassled by a customer over this at one point (he correctly pointed out that support was under development).

As a minor digression, Sun Ray is an interesting case study for OS designers, as it returns many of the classic UNIX problems of old to modern hardware-- a Sun Ray server is essentially a large timesharing machine. And lots of groups at Sun-- Solaris, GNOME, Staroffice, and others-- have contributed OS and applications fixes to make Sun Ray servers go faster, and scale to more users. For an excellent anecdote about this, see gtik2_applet2 in the DTrace paper, Dynamic Instrumentation of Production Systems.

Well, we're getting there. I just spotted that we have fresh bits, hot off the factory floor. The Sun Ray Server 3 Update 1 Alpha release is available for download. This brings Sun Ray support for Solaris 10 and Solaris x64/x86 support to the "alpha" (i.e. testing) stage. So for those who want and need this, now is your chance to participate! Pull down the alpha release, and test it out! Let us know if you have problems, so we can fix them!

Other enhancements include (see ThinGuy's 'blog for all the details):

  • "Regional" hotdesking
  • Administrator authentication improvements and new security settings
  • VoIP low-latency optimizations [dp: whoa]
  • QoS enhancements [dp: reading the description of how this is done with "zero administration", it's rather brilliant]
  • Serial port support on the SunRay 170
  • XKB support, improving accessibility
Pretty cool!
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