OpenSolaris Arrives in a New Version
In conjunction with its CommunityOne event, Sun Microsystems has announced a new version of its OpenSolaris operating system. Dubbed OpenSolaris 2009.06, it features networking improvements, storage management and virtualization features. Here's more on what's under the hood, and how Sun will proceed with a free open source version of OpenSolaris, and a paid version featuring new lower support fees.
Virtualization support in OpenSolaris built directly into the operating system kernel, and users can maintain a one-application-per-server deployment model while simultaneously sharing hardware resources. You can read more about how to run hypervisors like Xen in Solaris Containers here.
According to Dan Roberts, director of product management for OpenSolaris, speaking with ZDNet, the paid version of OpenSolaris will have reduced costs for support, with three tiers available, "$324 for basic, $720 for standard and $1,080 for premium." Roberts also told ZDNet that Sun wants to unify the open source and paid version of the operating system. You can find more about OpenSolaris support here.
OpenSolaris 2009.06 has many enhancements to Sun's ZFS storage technology. Flash storage is fully integrated, which means that flash devices can be designated as write accelerators and read accelerators. There are more file and storage protocols supported, and many other types of performance improvements throughout the OS. Sun has also added a collection of networking features, dubbed Project Crossbow, designed to limit the amount of networking hardware that users need.
OpenSolaris, like many other technologies from Sun, has lots of open questions surrounding it as Oracle digests Sun. Hopefully Oracle will preserve the openness of the operating system. The company has already stated its intention to offer servers pre-loaded with software stacks, and OpenSolaris is likely to be a key component in those stacks. How free and open will it stay as that happens though? That's an unknown at this point.
You can download OpenSolaris 2009.06 here.