What's a "Cloud Operating System"?

What's a "Cloud Operating System"?

Oracle's recently introduced Solaris 11 has been touted as "The First Cloud OS". Interesting claim, but what exactly does it mean? To answer that, we need to recall what characteristics define a cloud and then see how Solaris 11's capabilities map to those characteristics.

By now, most cloud computing professionals have at least heard of, if not adopted, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Definition of Cloud Computing, including its vocabulary and conceptual architecture. NIST says that cloud computing includes these five characteristics:

  1. On-demand self-service
  2. Broad network access
  3. Resource pooling
  4. Rapid elasticity
  5. Measured service
How does Solaris 11 support these capabilities? Well, one of the key enabling technologies for cloud computing is virtualization, and Solaris 11 along with Oracle's SPARC and x86 hardware offerings provides the full range of virtualization technologies including dynamic hardware domains, hypervisors for both x86 and SPARC systems, and efficient non-hypervisor workload virtualization with containers. This provides the elasticity needed for cloud systems by supporting on-demand creation and resizing of application environments; it supports the safe partitioning of cloud systems into multi-tenant infrastructures, adding resources as needed and deprovisioning computing resources when no longer needed, allowing for pay-only-for-usage chargeback models.

For cloud computing developers, add to that the next generation of Java, and you've got the NIST requirements covered. The results, or one of them anyway, are services like the new Oracle Public Cloud. And Solaris is the ideal platform for running your Java applications.

So, if you want to develop for cloud computing, for IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS, start with an operating system designed to support cloud's key requirements…start with Solaris 11.

Comments:

edeeeeeeeeeee

Posted by guest on August 04, 2012 at 08:01 AM EDT #

You say:
!hypervisors for both x86 and SPARC systems.
I am aware of LDOMs for SPARC, whats the hypervisor for x86 ? Xen ? If so that does not run on Solaris 11.

Posted by jacob on September 09, 2012 at 07:28 PM EDT #

> jacob wrote:
>
> You say:
> !hypervisors for both x86 and SPARC systems.
> I am aware of LDOMs for SPARC, whats the hypervisor for x86 ? Xen ?
> If so that does not run on Solaris 11.

Perhaps that wasn't clear...Oracle offers OVM hypervisor on x86 systems, based on Xen.

Posted by guest on September 10, 2012 at 08:47 AM EDT #

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About

The purpose of this blog is to highlight and to explore general issues around "Cloud Computing" -- its benefits, risks, and component technologies -- and how they are evolving. I'll also periodically comment (of course!) on Oracle's Cloud Computing capabilities, resources, and cloud-related events. -- Harry J Foxwell, PhD, Principal Consultant for Cloud Computing, Oracle Public Sector HW

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