With Sun's Project Janus, a mix of Linux and Solaris applications will be able to run on the Solaris 10 operating system.
SAN FRANCISCOSun Microsystems Inc. will be adding Linux application compatibility to its forthcoming Solaris 10 operating system with its new Project Janus.
With Janus, administrators can create environments for running a range of Linux applications at near-native speeds on Solaris 10 running on x86 architectures. "With Project Janus, any company with a mix of Linux and Solaris applications can run them side by side on the same platform with the assurance that the underlying Solaris infrastructure will be stable and secure," Dr. Berny Goodheart, engineering project lead for Project Janus, said in a statement.
Click here to read eWEEKs interview with Suns Jonathan Schwartz on the companys open-source Solaris plans.
Sun claims that this is a new approach to running Linux with other operating systems, since it operates at the kernel level. However, this approach is reminiscent of The SCO Group Inc.s old LKP (Linux Kernel Personality) for OpenServer and UnixWare, which allowed users of those Unix platforms to run Linux applications.
On the operating system level, Janus will operate as an optional kernel service of Solaris. Project Janus is designed for compliance with the Linux Standard Base specification. In particular, Janus is designed for 100 percent compatibility with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3. The technology will include installation tools to easily activate the feature of the Solaris 10 OS.
This new functionality is included in the Solaris 10 Operating System license price. The technology includes installation tools to easily activate the feature of the Solaris 10 OS.
Linux under Janus can run in Solaris 10 N1 Grid Containers. This is Suns new software partitioning technology thats used as both a virtual machine and as a way of shifting entire operating system and software stacks from machine to machine over a grid to produce a highly flexible and secure environment.
Sun executives said users will be able to safely run Solaris and Linux applications side by side in the same container or in separate containers that isolate the Solaris and Linux applications from each other and from system faults.
It is Suns contention that by using Project Janus and N1, companies will be able to lower administration and maintenance costs by reducing the number of managed systems. In addition, Janus increases server utilization because multiple Solaris and Linux workloads can run on the same system simultaneously.
"If you stop and look at it, IBM has been doing this kind of thing with AIX 5L, and [Hewlett-Packard Co.] has also offered similar capabilities in the last several versions of HP-UX," said Dan Kusnetzky, International Data Corp. vice president for system software research, That said, "I think this will be increasingly important as Linux starts taking over more low-end Unix jobs. This is a necessary step for Solaris to fit in the middle tier in a multiple operating system environment."
Check out eWEEK.coms Linux & Open Source Center at http://linux.eweek.com for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is editor at large for Ziff Davis Enterprise. Prior to becoming a technology journalist, Vaughan-Nichols worked at NASA and the Department of Defense on numerous major technological projects. Since then, he's focused on covering the technology and business issues that make a real difference to the people in the industry.