Oracle Solaris goes to 11

Oracle has just released a new version of its Solaris operating system which it claims is capable of dealing with these new fangled cloud workloads.

The Unix-based Solaris 11 has also been integrated with the rest of the Oracle product range.

Solaris was developed by Sun, which Oracle bought. Oracle has been marketing Solaris as a cloud-friendly OS because users can set up different partitions inside a Solaris implementation which can allow different workloads to run simultaneously on one machine.

As part of making the software more cloud-friendly, Oracle has added new features to ease the administrative headaches. One new feature, called Fast Reboot, allows the system to boot up without doing the routine set of hardware checks. This can make the system boot times up to two-and-a-half times faster. Such software can be handy when an administrator applies a patch or software updates across thousands of Solaris deployments.

The new Solaris has something called an Image Packaging System that will keep track of a program’s dependencies, or the libraries and other software. The Image Packaging System keeps all the software packages in a system up to date, including those in a virtual environment.

Charlie Boyle, Oracle’s senior director of product marketing said that Oracle engineered out some of the complexity in managing cloud infrastructure, and made it possible to run any Solaris application in a cloud environment.

It seems also that Oracle is marketing itself against VMware and claims that its Solaris Zones has 15 times less overhead than VMware. Zones had no artificial limitations set on memory, network, CPU or storage resources either.

Other Oracle products have been adapted so that they can be better merged into Solaris, including the Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g and the Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center administrative software package.

It is all part of the reason why Oracle bought Sun. It means that it can control an entire stack of software and a user can decide which part of the stack would be best suited to tweak to gain performance improvements.

Solaris 11 will run on both x86 and Oracle’s SPARC-based processors.