Suns Solaris 10 Finally Ready to Roll

Sun is set to unveil its next-generation Unix operating system, which execs say reflects 3,000 engineering years and contains more than 600 new features.

Senior executives from Sun Microsystems Inc. will take the stage Monday at the companys last quarterly Network Computing event at the Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose, Calif., to finally unveil the Solaris 10 operating system, which is scheduled to ship by the end of January 2005.

Solaris 10, which Sun officials say reflects 3,000 engineering years and an investment of more than $500 million in research and development, contains more than 600 new features. Sun also plans to make Solaris 10 available for SPARC, x86, AMD64 and EM64T systems as a free download by Jan. 31, 2005.

Sun also on Monday will announce a new services-led business model with a complete set of service and support models to expedite and ease user transition to the new Solaris 10 operating system.

The operating system itself will be offered for free, alongside a new, flexible subscription-based offering and set of support, migration and education services.

John Loiacono, Suns executive vice president of software, told eWEEK the new model will cost between 30 percent and 50 percent less than the leading Linux distribution, but he declined to give specific figures before Mondays event.

Customers will be able to choose from standard or comprehensive premium offerings, which range from lower-level subscriptions that provide just software updates and upgrades to higher-level subscriptions that provide increased levels of support and services to the highest-level subscriptions that provide the most comprehensive level of support available for the most demanding business operation, Loiacono said.

"Solaris 10 is a vendor-neutral operating system that runs on more than 270 different hardware systems from vendors as diverse as Dell, Fujitsu, IBM and HP," he said, adding that Solaris 10 was designed for modern datacenter workloads and is the fastest operating system ever released by Sun—more than 40 percent faster in Web server performance on both SPARC and x86.

Among the key new features are DTrace, which gives developers new diagnostic tools so they can zero in on performance issues and hard-to-find bugs. This allows problems to be diagnosed in minutes rather than in hours or days, Loiacono said.

Also new are the Solaris Containers, multiple software partitions with more than 8,000 containers on one instance of the operating system. Resources can be automatically reallocated, achieving up to 80 percent system utilization.

Next Page: The latest on Project Janus.