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Oracle Solaris 11: The First Cloud Operating System

Heralding it as the IT industry’s first cloud operating system, on November 9, 2011 Oracle released Oracle Solaris 11, the latest version of the most widely adopted UNIX server platform. Designed to handle both traditional data center workloads and the unique requirements of cloud-based environments, Oracle Solaris 11 enables IT organizations to run the most-demanding, mission-critical enterprise applications in private, hybrid, or public cloud deployments.

What makes Oracle Solaris 11 an operating system for the cloud? Oracle points to several key characteristics, including support for scalability, management capabilities, performance, and security.

Support for Extensive Scalability
Oracle Solaris 11 provides built-in virtualization capabilities for operating system, network, and storage resources. For example, Oracle Solaris 11 supports Oracle VM server virtualization on both x86- and SPARC-based systems, which gives IT managers the flexibility to deploy clouds and perform secure live server migrations on either of the two leading hardware platforms. In addition, with Oracle Solaris Zones IT administrators can scale virtualization to include hundreds of zones per physical node at 15 times greater efficiency than with other virtualization solutions and without artificial limits on memory, network, CPU, and storage resources.

Similarly, Oracle Solaris 11’s new integrated network virtualization allows customers to create high-performance, low-cost data center topologies within a single operating system instance, enabling better flexibility and bandwidth control.

Comprehensive Management
Oracle Solaris 11 provides extensive management tools for controlling an entire enterprise IT infrastructure. For example, Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center, now included as part of any Oracle system’s support, offers enterprisewide, centralized control over hardware, the operating system, and virtualization resources. New cloud management capabilities ensure that enterprises can quickly, easily, and reliably adopt the latest Oracle Solaris updates with dramatically lowered downtime. Software updates can be rapidly applied to multiple systems, and built-in dependency resolution simplifies and bulletproofs administration work for large-scale horizontal or consolidated deployments.

Oracle Solaris ZFS provides the data and storage management foundation for Oracle Solaris 11. IT administrators can use it to enhance data integrity, create tiered storage pools, implement encryption at line speed, and scale storage for unlimited amounts of data. With built-in Oracle Solaris ZFS deduplication, customers can reduce their storage requirements in virtualized environments by up to 90 percent, according to Oracle.

Outstanding Performance
At launch, Oracle Solaris 11 delivered a new world-record result on SPECjvm2008, a general-purpose, multithreaded Java benchmark. In combination with Oracle's SPARC T4-2 server and Java HotSpot VM, Oracle Solaris 11 delivers up to 41 percent improvement over the previous result using Oracle Solaris 10.

Superior Security
Advanced data protection features in Oracle Solaris 11 include “secure by default” protection from first startup, role-based root access, and low-impact auditing for both cloud and traditional data center deployments.

Oracle Solaris, Oracle software, and Oracle hardware development teams participate in joint engineering efforts to increase Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g, and Java-based security, application performance, availability, and manageability with the operating system. Combined with Oracle’s support offerings and Oracle Solaris’ binary and source code compatibility guarantees, Oracle Solaris 11 is designed from both an engineering and a business standpoint to deliver unique advanced cloud technology and a rock-solid enterprise foundation.

See additional details about Oracle Solaris 11.

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