Solaris 10 u10 has been released. What's new?
By Karoly Vegh on Sep 19, 2011
Solaris 10 u10 (8/11) has been released, including documentation, patches, DVD images, the whole package.
There are numerous featureupdates in performance-, networking-, security-, administration-, and HW-support-fields, let's see some appealing examples:
- ZFS diff:
It is well established, that ZFS is a Copy-on-Write filesystem, that is, if you snapshot/clone a filesystem, only the modified blocks will take up storage. But how do you know what exactly has changed between two snapshots among the files? That is where the 'zfs diff' subcommand comes handy, enlisting differences (files created/removed/modified).
- SPARC: Support for fast reboot
Repetitively having to wait for a larger server to reboot can be timeconsuming, because of the hardware testing (POST). Now you can skip certain tests, with the reboot -f option. You also have the possibility to set this behaviour as default for every reboot. The only question that remains to the latter is if you would want to run on not thoroughly tested hardware? One doesn't reboot a Solaris server that often. This feature is more about minimizing downtime.
- New tools to analyze CMT loads: pginfo and pgstat
With these two new tools one can display CPU structures and break down the more complex utilization of the ChipMultiThreading processors (SPARC-T Series). For examples see two blogposts:
by Darryl Gove: http://blogs.oracle.com/d/entry/pginfo_pgstat
and by Stefan Hinker: http://blogs.oracle.com/cmt/entry/solaris_knows_hardware_pgstat_explains
- Oracle Configuration Manager:
This agent will enhance supportability by collecting information about your server, optionally uploading it to the Oracle Support improving reaction times and supportability. Yes, it can operate in disconnected mode.
- Performance Improvements:
Just to pick two of the many: libmtmalloc, the multithreaded memory allocator library has been revised to provide better performance for 64bit applications with a large number of threads. That is, Java applications can gain a performance boost. Also [Dynamic] Intimate Shared Memory actions have been improved that will affect certain Oracle database operations.
Now, why would I mention exactly these two over the others? Because they make a point of how Oracle attaches importance to integration, effectively supporting database and application performance from the operating system level. Just like our own HW (T4, anyone?) is built to work tightly together with Solaris, that is supporting the application layer, to what our applications rely on.
- Security Enhancements:
For one, the Oracle Key Manager now cooperates with the Solaris CryptoFramework. (Have I mentioned integration already?)
Secondly, the SSH daemon supports now chrooting users to directories. Can come handy if you are hosting on a lower level where zones would be an overkill.
The "What's new" document reveals numerous additional new features about the Oracle Configuration Manager, VTS improvements to selectively test HW components (I/O buses, CPUs, disk performance...), the extended Intel SandyBridge instruction-set support, and so forth, see: http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E23823_01/html/821-2730/gijtg.html#scrolltoc ).
- What about support for the T4?
Well, the "What's New" doc doesn't explicitly mention it, but if you look into the README of kernelpatch 144500-12 bundled with u10, you will find the mos welcome message stating "Solaris support for SPARC T4 platforms". That is right, Solaris 10u10 supports the impatiently anticipated SPARC T4.
This is another important message. With the very-near-future release of Solaris 11 Solaris 10 will not be dropped. It just got an update to a platform that hasn't even been released yet. Of course, the features of Solaris 11 are very inviting. Upgrade if you can. But we also understand the safe-harbour-policy, never-touch-a-running-system corporate culture. See the Solaris roadmap, there will be more Solaris 10 updates. Or, see the Support Policy for HW and Operating Systems, Solaris 10 has premier support right up to 2015!
Solaris 11 is the future. But rest assured, that we stick to Solaris 10 too.