Saturday Jan 31, 2015

10 at 10

Can it have been so long already?  Today is the 10th anniversary of the first release of Solaris 10. This was a breakthrough release for Solaris, Sun, and really, the industry -- it breathed new life into a class of systems software that some companies had written off long before.  How did it do that?  By including a wealth of groundbreaking new features that raised the bar for what an enterprise operating system should be.  To use one of my favorite phrases: innovation matters, and the operating system is too critical a place in the application delivery stack not to innovate.

Many of these features are still ahead of the curve even 10 years later, and form the core of yet more innovation in Oracle Solaris 11: Zones and ZFS in particular stand out as enabling technologies that give our customers the power of zero-overhead virtualization, "nineteen 9s" data integrity, and simple, fast, reliable provisioning and service management.  If you look at the underpinnings of OpenStack as deployed in Oracle Solaris 11 today, innovation that's still fresh from Solaris 10 will be staring right back at you.  And it's exciting to see that the same fundamental concepts like these that we thought were important to build into the OS in 2005 are starting to come into vogue with operating systems from other companies just ten short years later.

Thanks to everyone who has contributed to the success of Solaris 10 and beyond!

Friday Feb 08, 2013

Introducing Oracle Solaris 10 1/13

Solaris 10 sculpture, San Jose Tech MuseumWhen Solaris 10 was released in 2005, it reset expectations for what an open systems enterprise OS should be. Groundbreaking new features such as DTrace, ZFS, Solaris Containers (aka Zones) and Predictive Self Healing not only caught the attention and fired up the imaginations of developers and businesses around the world, it sent a message to our competitors that maybe they were a little short sighted in putting their UNIX distributions to bed (and in just a few short years, they were able to start responding).

Of course, there have been a few happenings since then, most notably the release of Oracle Solaris 11 and 11.1, where we continue to stay at least a generation ahead of the competition -- but given the huge number of systems out there running Oracle Solaris 10, we want to make sure we're providing investment protection in as many ways as we can.

Today we're releasing Oracle Solaris 10 1/13. This update provide supports for new systems and additional devices, some enhancements to existing features, as well as performance and stability improvements.

Some highlights:
  • Oracle Configuration Manager: reduces time to resolution for support issues, improves system health monitoring, and simplifies access to best practices and Oracle's knowledge base
  • Oracle Solaris Live Upgrade and Zones Preflight Checkers: allowing for dry runs ahead of a live upgrade or moving applications from a physical or virtual system to Oracle Solaris 10 or 11
  • iSCSI boot support has been expanded to include system installation, with CHAP and SNIA support for increased security and interoperability

Oracle Solaris 10 provides both guaranteed binary compatibility, plus application environment compatibility with previous releases, as well as comprehensive virtualization support via Oracle Solaris Zones and Oracle VM Server. To make it easy and cost effective for customers to support their existing environments and deploy new applications, Oracle not only offers leading-edge support for the current Oracle Solaris 11 release, but also offers the highest level of support for Oracle Solaris 10.  This gives customers even more choices and confidence when consolidating legacy application environments on the latest SPARC and x86 based systems, including physical-to-virtual and virtual-to-virtual migration tools.

With the integration of the latest Oracle Configuration Manager, My Oracle Support customers can now view Oracle Solaris 10 and 11 system configurations, asset inventories, and change history on the support portal.  Customers can view the results of continuous system health checks and easily obtain system and software component certification information.  This is the foundation for a range of new support capabilities for Oracle Solaris and Oracle Systems customers.

Along with the new release, we're also announcing that Oracle Premier support for Oracle Solaris 10 will be available through 2018, followed by Oracle's standard three years extended and indefinite sustaining support.  See the Oracle Lifetime Support Policy for more information.

Learn more:

Watch the original Solaris 10 launch video:

Friday Sep 16, 2011

Oracle Solaris 10 8/11 Released

All the big news has been around Oracle Solaris 11 for awhile now, but now it's Oracle Solaris 10's turn for some attention.

Oracle Solaris 10 8/11 just came out, and it has some cool enhancements:

·      ZFS speedups and new features
·      Oracle Database optimization
·      Faster reboot on SPARC systems

This update not only makes the #1 enterprise OS even faster and easier to manage; it also helps sets the stage for the planned release of Oracle Solaris 11 later this year.

Let’s start with ZFS. First off, it’s now possible to use either the text installer or Oracle Solaris Live Upgrade to install a ZFS Flash Archive (flar). This is useful in disaster recovery scenarios, or for organizations that use flars to distribute install images.

This is something you only used to be able to do with UFS. ZFS now not only has an incredible range of advances beyond UFS, it doesn’t leave any capabilities behind.

One longstanding Solaris feature that ZFS now makes even better is Live Upgrade.  Live Upgrade is a great tool for reducing system downtime, but each time you use it, its first step is “make a copy of my current Solaris environment.” With a traditional file system such as UFS, that can take an hour or more.

With ZFS as your root file system, that copy takes around 10 seconds; ZFS cloning means we no longer have to copy the entire file system.  Plus, you don’t have to have an entire disk slice pre-allocated for that new boot environment. Suddenly Live Upgrade moves from “I’d love to do that, but it’s a lot of work and time to set up,” to “why wouldn’t I do that?”  It’s a risk-reduction safety net for a wide variety of system change scenarios, ready to get you immediately back to a “known-good” state if any problems crop up.

Oh, and it gets even better in Oracle Solaris 11, but you’ll hear more about that elsewhere. Just know that this is a great way to get familiar with one of the more significant advances in Oracle Solaris 11—ZFS root—way ahead of time.

We’ve also backported the ‘zfs diff’ capability from Oracle Solaris 11, to make it easy to see the changes between two ZFS snapshots—or two Live Upgrade boot environments. See the Oracle Solaris 8/11 “What’s New” document for examples, and info on other new ZFS features.

Meanwhile, check out what we’ve done for ZFS performance:


(We used the dd command to simulate lots of sequential I/O by copying 8 GB at different block sizes.)

We’ve also been working with our Oracle Database colleagues more closely than ever before to streamline performance. In this update, we took an existing Solaris/Oracle DB optimization and made it even better.

Intimate Shared Memory (ISM) was an early Oracle Database performance project on Solaris to optimize memory use, especially with the SGA, in a number of ways.  In this update, we’ve changed ISM to get Oracle Database to start up almost 4 times faster than before on a SPARC T3-2, and 2.5 times faster on a Sun Fire x4800.

We’ve sped up OS restart time, too.  In 8/11, it’s now possible to bypass the Power On Self Test (POST) on SPARC systems on non-power-on reboots.

Finally, we’re making it even easier to get and deploy the OS. You can download a regular or VirtualBox-ready image, or order physical media, from the usual places.

And now you’ll find something new:  encapsulated virtual environments: “Oracle VM Templates for Oracle Solaris Containers.” It’s Oracle Database pre-installed in an Oracle Solaris Container; download a single file and execute it, and it unpacks itself into a container on your Oracle Solaris 10 10/09 or later system.

We’re not trying to steal Oracle Solaris 11’s thunder; we'll have a lot to say about it at Oracle OpenWorld in just a couple of weeks. But it was time to give Oracle Solaris 10 another turn in the spotlight. Enjoy!


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