Oracle Offers Preview of Solaris 11.3 Unix OS Features

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Oracle Offers Preview of Solaris 11.3 Unix OS Features

By Sean Michael Kerner

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Solaris Enables Private VLAN Creation

In the modern world of software-defined networking, virtual LANs (VLAN) still play a key role, enabling organizations to segment networks. With private VLAN (PVLAN) in Solaris 11.3, a logical VLAN can be segmented into an arbitrary number of sub-VLANs, providing more networking options.

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SMB 2.1 Improves Microsoft Windows Interoperability

Oracle is updating its folder-sharing technology that it includes in Solaris to support SMB version 2.1, which provides more scalable performance. Server message block (SMB) protocol support is integrated directly into the Oracle Solaris kernel, enabling data to be shared across Windows and Oracle Solaris systems.

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ZFS Gets Compressed With LZ4

Oracle's ZFS (Zettabyte File System) has always been focused on performance, and now it gains LZ4 compression. According to Oracle, LZ4 support in Solaris 11.3 can provide a 2x compression ratio, which helps reduce CPU overhead as well as storage requirements overall.

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GRUB Boot Menu Gets Secured

GRUB, or GRand Unified Bootloader, is often the first thing that users will notice when a system loads. With Solaris 11.3, Oracle is now adding optional support to password-protect the GRUB menu to protect against unauthorized modification.

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Named Threads Improve Debugging

For developers, there is now the included capability to name application threads, which can help make it easier when debugging an application.

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Users Get SSH Choice

Secure Shell (SSH) is commonly used across Unix and Linux operating systems for remote access. The default SSH application in Solaris has always been SunSSH, but starting with Solaris 11.3, there is now also the optional choice of using the open-source OpenSSH application.

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OpenStack Upgraded to Juno

In the Solaris 11.2 release, Oracle integrated the OpenStack Havana platform, and with Solaris 11.3, the company upgraded the cloud platform to OpenStack Juno, which was released in October 2014.

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SPARC Silicon Features Land in Solaris 11.3

Solaris 11.3 is supported on both x86 as well as Oracle's SPARC, though some features are specific to SPARC. Among them is support for ADI, a silicon feature on the SPARC M7 that can help developers troubleshoot memory issues.

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China's Tianhe-2 Heads Static List of 10 Fastest Supercomputers

In the current world of supercomputers, the more things change, the more they stay the same. For the fifth consecutive time, China's massive Tianhe-2 (also known as Milky Way-2) system topped the Top500 list of the world's fastest supercomputers, essentially doubling the performance capabilities of Titan, a U.S.-based system that came in second. In fact, the roster of the top 10 fastest systems looks familiar, with only one new system—Shaheen II, at the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia—breaking into the ranks since the twice-yearly list was last released in November 2014. The organizers of the Top500 list—released July 13 at the International Supercomputing Conference in Germany—noted several trends within the high-performance computing space. While the total combined performance of all 500 systems on the list grew from 309 petaflops in November to 361 petaflops,...