Monday, June 1, 2009

OpenSolaris 2009.06 Release - What's On The Horizon

OpenSolaris 2009.06 Release - What's On The Horizon?

Sun has announced OpenSolaris 2009.06 as well as third-party news related organizations like The Register.

It is nice to see more features getting bundled into OpenSolaris!

OpenSolaris offered robust kernel and file system integrated CIFS for some time (something that no other operating system has done as well, besides Windows) - a beautiful thing for integrating Solaris, Linux, and Windows environments onto a single underlying file system.

Since OpenSolaris is the core infrastructure which the Sun Storage platforms are based upon, adding faster networking and processor enhancements (both CPU throughput as well as power efficiency) provides performance boosts for Sun integrated storage systems.

In the area of integrated storage systems, being able to release OpenSolaris under UltraSPARC T1/T2/T2+ means being able to leverage octal crypto engines for both encrypted network transfers of storage data as well as encrypted disk reads/writes for storage data. Additional performance on encryption from client to disk would give a great boost in performance to the storage line. If Sun decided that this would be of interest to the U.S. DoD. - an UltraSPARC T OpenStorage product would be sensible.

Seeing the inclusion of SPARC RocK code seems to indicate that the next generation silicon is moving forward, otherwise programmers would not have wasted their time including code for a processor that would not be released (to undergo another set of silicon revisions.)

Also, seeing OpenSolaris boot under SPARC is a good indication that Solaris 11 is right around the corner, since OpenSolaris is basically the Solaris 11 release. The GUI install integration of OpenSolaris for SPARC is tantalizing - this would possibly make Solaris 11 one release-away.

The only other thing the market would want, on a future wish-list, is full clustering integrated into ZFS (with Sun's acquisition of HPC clustered file system, it is just a matter of time.) One would hope the market will not have to wait until Solaris 12 to run a zpool command sequence to configure a clustered ZFS file system! :-(

What does this have to do with Network Management?

With wide-spread network management, the need for massive storage systems to hold historical data of ever larger networks drive the need for substantial and redundant storage. Technologies lke ZFS enables this.

The re-engineering of the TCP/IP stack in OpenSolaris is a tremendous boon to network management infrastructure. SNMP will be able to be leveraged more effectively for managed servers, TCP/IP stacks will be faster with better QoS on management servers, and integrated hardware acceleration in UltraSPARC T2 processors will provide management systems substantially increased performance in network management systems with multiple virtual machines.

With Sun historically targeting the Telecommunications Industry, it is good to see this focus has not deviated as Sun has reached out to Storage (purchase of StorageTek, Open Storage initiative, etc.) - rather it is good to see the convergence of the silos as it benefits all communities.

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