Solaris 11

Its 11 minutes past 11 pm here...

Solaris 11 was announced just before Oracle Open World this past month.  For many, it is the most anticipated Solaris release YET, primarily because of its introduction of a completely new package management system that Solaris engineers have been working on for the past number of years, known as Image Packaging System (IPS).  Contrary to many of the other features that are, while important and relevant, won't be as key in the user's initial introduction to the release, IPS is really really critical and essential.  It directly ties into the installation experience (which is, by itself, new and improved with Automated Installer technologies), as well as the presence of the ZFS file system being the root file system (not default, which may suggest a non-default option), but actually THE one and only option - THE root file system.  While other file systems for data devices are quite common, if we learned anything from releases of OpenSolaris distributions that had been out in the open for the last number of years, ZFS is absolutely key to solving software and data management challenges.  Its approach to handling storage as pool of storage blocks/devices and the operations possible on said devices illustrates the beginning of the next milestone in operating system innovation. Much of this has already been seen through products such as the Sun ZFS 7000 Storage appliance.  For a taste of other innovation that has been brewing, have a look at what OpenSolaris distributions have been offering for sometime - have a look and take a OpenSolaris for a spin.  This quick entry is not meant to be an exhaustive list of things to come - one could get a pretty good flavor of that by looking at OpenSolaris releases that had been trickling over the past few years.  If anything, Solaris 11 Express should be a great vehicle to get ISVs and most consumers of OpenSolaris back in the driver's seat to experience what cool new OS technologies will power the datacenters in the not-too-distant future.  If you are in the NY/NJ area, keep your eyes out on an event we're looking to be putting together in the months ahead - similar to the Developer Days we have previously held.  Better yet, make sure to subscribe to the NY OpenSolaris User Group mailing list to ensure you get an invite when the time is right.


i can't tell you what it really is i can only tell you what it feels like and right now it's a steel knife in my windpipe

Posted by Remi Online on October 09, 2010 at 01:05 AM EDT #

So to summarise, Oracles latest development on the Solaris front is what the opensolaris community developed a couple years ago, but the community. Is not worth Oracles respect!? Riiiight.

Posted by smyth_rj on October 09, 2010 at 03:35 AM EDT #

"IPS is really really critical and essential."

No, IPS is a catastrophe, because it does not support scripting, and that is so by design.

But not to worry, work is in progress to rip IPS out, as soon as Solaris 11 hits the Internet!

If there is one thing that spells certain doom for Solaris, it's IPS.

Posted by UX-admin on October 10, 2010 at 04:06 AM EDT #

smyth_rj - I am not sure I understand the derivation of your summarization.

UX-admin - Large enterprises have voiced the need for resolution of challenges that they've seen in dealing with thousands of deployed systems, whose software management infrastructure is based on SVR4 packaging. As you're alluding to ripping IPS out, what subsystem do you propose IPS be replaced with, in the context of a release that most such enterprises will look to consume and deploy?

Posted by isaac on October 11, 2010 at 04:46 AM EDT #

UX-admin, I imagine a would of enterprise delivery could be one based on snapshots of ZFS-based boot images. The concept of installing software and patching a host individually doesn't really fly for virtual machines, and this would bring the real iron installs into that same realm - maintain a "template" then pass that around to various hosts.

Posted by Charles Soto on October 11, 2010 at 09:30 AM EDT #

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Isaac Rozenfeld has been a Principal Product Manager for Oracle Solaris; responsibilities have included bettering the portfolio of networking and installation technologies - all with a focus on easing application deployments

You can follow Isaac on Twitter @izfromsun


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