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Oracle Solaris 11.1 Updates Unix for SDN and the Cloud

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted October 5, 2012


Oracle is releasing its first major update to the Solaris 11 Unix server operating system this week at the Oracle Open World conference.

Solaris 11 was first released by Oracle in November of 2011, after a lengthy development cycle. From the outset, Oracle has positioned Solaris 11 as a cloud operating system, and it's a theme that has been enhanced in the Solaris 11.1 update.

One of the macro industry trends that relates to cloud is the move towards Software-Defined Solaris 11Networking (SDN) for cloud infrastructure. In SDN, networks are programmable, enabling more flexible deployments of both networking hardware and applications. Solaris 11.1 includes support for SDN as well as the IEEE 801.Qbg Edge Virtual Bridging (EVB) standard. With EVB, Virtual Machine traffic is sent to a network access switch, and for traffic that is headed to another virtual machine connected to the same switch it can be returned via the same port.

Additionally Solaris 11.1 now supports Data Center Bridging (DCB). DCB provides a standardized way for both LAN and SAN traffic to be converged onto a single fabric. Oracle also sees the combination of EVB and DCB as being mechanisms to help maximize network resource utilization and manage bandwidth in cloud environments

As part of that cloud optimization effort, Solaris 11.1 includes the Federated File System (FedFS). FedFS is an open standard approach to building a cloud file system and was first proposed back in January of 2010 as IETF RFC 5716. According to Oracle, FedFS provides a unified namespace for cloud-scale data environments.

Cloud scale is also all about the ability to move across virtual environments quickly. That's where improved performance for Oracle Solaris Zone virtualization containers plays a key role. With Solaris 11.1, Oracle is promising Zone performance updates of up to 4x over Solaris 11. The key benefit will be more rapid movement of automated shared storage for Zone across multiple Solaris systems.

From a security compliance perspective, Solaris 11.1 now supports OpenSCAP. OpenSCAP is an open source implementation of the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP) framework for creating a standardized approach for maintaining secure systems.

With OpenSCAP, administrators can measure and track systems compliance against a standardized baseline approach. Linux vendors, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, have supported OpenSCAP for several years.

"Oracle Solaris 11 is the best UNIX operating system to run Oracle applications, deploy mission critical cloud infrastructure and protect customer investments," said John Fowler, executive vice president, Systems, Oracle in a statement.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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