Compatibility is a crucial element for Sun customers such as Boyd Fletcher, a systems engineer at management and technical services provider EG&G Inc., in Norfolk, Va. "Compatibility with Solaris 9 and 8 is also very important—as in the U.S. government, the only accredited version of Solaris is Version 8. Many Department of Defense applications are also just now being ported from Solaris 2.5.1 to Solaris 8," he said.
From a strategic standpoint, the DFS could be a blow to software partners such as Veritas, whose VxFS (Veritas File System) and VxVM (Veritas Volume Manager) are used in many enterprises to enhance performance and capabilities of the Unix File System and Solaris Volume Manager in previous versions of Solaris.
Loiacono downplayed the immediate effect of the new file system on Sun partners businesses, saying these transitions "are not made overnight. Is this going to supplant all of our major partners? By no means."
Veritas, of Mountain View, Calif., has itself downplayed the potential effect of Suns move on its business, saying that while a small number of Solaris users might find the Sun solution adequate, companies that continue to scale their data centers will still need Veritas solutions.
"I think Sun is a bit nervous about Veritas increasing support for Linux and Windows and probably feels that it would be a good idea to have critical functionality built into the core operating system, especially if Veritas Solaris support starts to diminish," said EG&Gs Fletcher.
The DFS will be made available to customers in September through Suns Software Express mechanism, which delivers code for Solaris 10 to users. Express delivery lets developers receive code earlier in the development process and offers monthly snapshots of future software features under development.
About 80,000 users will preview Solaris 10 through Software Express in September, and 30 developer partners have begun preparing and testing their applications to support Solaris 10.