Oracle Solaris 10 1/13 - Key Features and Benefits

1. FEATURE: iSCSI installation supported by the Oracle Solaris installer

FUNCTION: The Oracle Solaris 10 8/11 installer supports installing Oracle Solaris on an iSCSI target in a secure manner.
BENEFIT: Booting a system from an iSCSI target has been supported since Oracle Solaris 10 9/10, however a special procedure was required for the initial installation of Oracle Solaris. Oracle Solaris 10 8/11 supports installations through the text installer, JumpStart, or WAN boot. The implementation supports CHAP authentication, providing protection against inadvertent access and corruption of data disks.

2. FEATURE: Automatic Resolution of Package Dependencies During Installation

FUNCTION: When customizing the set of packages to be installed, Oracle Solaris 10 1/13 now checks for dependency errors from other missing packages.
BENEFIT: Adding packages after installation invokes a package dependency check. With Oracle Solaris 10 1/13 this check is now done during installation so that, if desired, all desired packages can be installed during the installation process and not during a second phase post-installation.

3. FEATURE: Pre-Flight Checker for Oracle Solaris Live Upgrade

FUNCTION: A tool has been added to Oracle Solaris 11 to perform a check of various common Live Upgrade configuration requirements before beginning the Live Upgrade process.
BENEFIT: Oracle Solaris Live Upgrade is a very popular approach to reducing the risk and downtime from applying patches or even upgrading the OS. It provides a mechanism using boot environments that allows creating a copy of the OS prior to making any changes. After making the changes the System Administrator has the option of selecting either the new environment or reverting to the pre-changes environment. The Pre-Flight checker for Live Upgrade performs a number of checks to identify potential problems before beginning the Live Upgrade process, thus increasing the chance that when the Live Upgrade tools are invoked, the result will be successful.

4. FEATURE: Oracle Solaris Zones Preflight System Checker

FUNCTION: The Oracle Solaris Zones Preflight Checker performs a number of checks on a system that is to be migrated to an Oracle Solaris 10 Zone to increase the likelihood of a successful migration.
BENEFIT: The Oracle Solaris Zones PreFlight Checker allows identifying potential problems in migrating a workload from a physical system to an Oracle Solaris Zone to increase the likelihood of a successful migration. The tool is included in Oracle Solaris 10 1/13 for convenience, should a migration be planned at some future point. The tool is also available for releases prior to Oracle Solaris 10 1/13 from the Oracle Solaris 10 Downloads page.

5. FEATURE: SSH and SCP Speed Improvements

FUNCTION: Changes have been made to ssh to link its buffer size to 4X the system's setting for the TCP receive window size. In previous releases there was no dynamic relationship between the TCP receive window and the ssh receive buffer size. There was no mechanism to vary the ssh buffer size in previous Oracle Solaris 10 releases.
BENEFIT: It is now possible to dramatically decrease transfer times on high bandwidth networks exhibiting at least some latency by a simple adjustment to the TCP receive window (tcp_recv_hiwat) via the ndd(1M) command. Out-of-the-box comparisons of scp (which uses the underlying ssh service) transfer rates for a 48MB file for Oracle Solaris 10 8/11 vs 1/13 show no appreciable improvement at delays from 0ms to 200ms. However by simply increasing the TCP receive window value to 1MB, we see a consistent 7X transfer time decrease over the 50 to 200ms latency range. This change is also available in Oracle Solaris 11.1.

6. FEATURE: rsync(1M) now available on Oracle Solaris 10

FUNCTION: The rsync utility synchronizes files and directories between systems.
BENEFIT: Rsync is a popular add on to Oracle Solaris systems because of its ability to synchronize two systems while minimizing data transfers between them. Now that it is part of Oracle Solaris, it is also supported under the terms Oracle offers for 3rd party software.

7. FEATURE: USB 3.0 support

FUNCTION: USB 3.0 is supported by Oracle Solaris 10 1/13
BENEFIT: USB 3.0 is spec'ed at a maximum of 5 Gbits/sec, 10X faster than USB 2.0.


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