Consider the latest advances to Oracle Solaris 11.2, which was launched April 29 at an event in New York City. Solaris was the result of AT&T T +0.52% and Sun’s collaboration to make UNIX a true enterprise-class OS. Today, Oracle Solaris has evolved into much more than a computer OS—it’s now a complete, enterprise-class cloud platform.
Oracle Solaris 11.2 includes an integrated hypervisor for virtualization, software-defined networking, and, perhaps most notably, a distribution of OpenStack, the popular, open software stack for cloud computing.
Oracle announced its intent to deliver OpenStack capabilities in a range of Oracle products, including Oracle Solaris, in December 2013. For more on that, see “How Oracle’s Embrace Of OpenStack Will Help Customers Adopt The Cloud,” here on Forbes.
Oracle Solaris 11.2 is an example of that commitment. These are the kinds of features that help IT organizations transform old-school data centers into modern IT service centers where resources are delivered as needed and much more quickly.
Here are 7 key advances in Oracle Solaris 11.2 that technologists and business people should know about.
1. It’s fully integrated with OpenStack. OpenStack is an open source cloud management and service deployment platform, and an emerging industry standard for private and public clouds and for cloud interoperability. For this reason, OpenStack experts are in high demand, and they can be both expensive and scarce. This streamlines cloud deployments and helps alleviate the skills crunch.
2. System administrators will be more efficient. Oracle Solaris 11.2 integrates management tools familiar to Unix and Linux administrators, such as Puppet, an open source tool for managing configurations across systems, and Chef, for applying repeatable practices from one system to the next. With these tools, you can leverage your existing talent pool, and more easily grow it when you need it.
3. It’s more secure. Oracle Solaris already had some of the best security in the industry and Oracle Solaris 11.2 makes it even better. Oracle Solaris 11.2 includes the ability to test against industry and de facto standards such as PCI and Oracle’s best practices. Another capability included is Immutable Zones, which lets you deploy protected environments for your organization’s most critically sensitive services.
4. Software Defined Networking is built in. CIOs don’t have to worry about a forklift upgrade to add more networking capabilities; Oracle Solaris 11.2 comes with application-driven SDN. Network configurations are software-controlled and work with existing network infrastructure, making it easy to dynamically adjust network quality of service.
5. Existing applications will run in the cloud. With Oracle Solaris 11.2, your existing Solaris applications are cloud-ready without the need for additional work. And it’s the same platform whether you’re inside the cloud or not.
6. Full-featured virtualization saves money. The built-in Oracle Solaris Zones virtualization technology now includes an integrated hypervisor feature. Because the hypervisor requires minimal overhead, it’s possible to save at least $500 per virtual machine instance, compared to some other VM solutions. For companies with thousands of instances, that could add up to millions of dollars in savings.
7. It’s available now. With the April 29 launch of Oracle Solaris 11.2 beta, IT pros can now download it and start building a cloud today.
By integrating more of what an organization would have to piece together, Oracle Solaris 11.2 makes it possible to quickly deliver efficient, open and affordable cloud services.
Scott Genereux is Senior Vice President for Oracle’s Hardware Systems Business Group.