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Sun adds enterprise features to OpenSolaris

A new support contract, processor support, and networking and storage technology are designed to put the open-source OS on an footing alongside Solaris.

Sun is set to launch the latest version of OpenSolaris, tuning it for the enterprise with a new support contract, processor support, and networking and storage technology.

Sun, which is in the process of being acquired by Oracle, is expected to introduce OpenSolaris 2009.06 on Monday at the CommunityOne developer conference in San Francisco. OpenSolaris is the open-source version of Solaris, and previously it has been aimed mainly at developers and as a platform for testing features that will later make their way into Solaris itself.

The new version, however, will be offered with an enterprise-grade support contract that puts it on an equal footing with Solaris 10, and it now supports Sun's high-end Sparc processor. The support contract is a sign that OpenSolaris is becoming enterprise-ready, the company said.

The new operating system will include networking technology from the Crossbow project--a rewritten networking stack designed to improve performance through techniques such as network virtualization and resource control.

The Crossbow technology is aimed at multithreaded and multiprocessor applications that have been tailored to newer processors and to high-speed network interfaces, Sun said.

In addition, Sun's ZFS file system now has native solid-state drive (SSD) management technology, meant to allow system administrators to fine-tune SSD performance.

Sun has also given ZFS native support for Microsoft's CIFS networked file system via the OpenSolaris CIFS Server project. This will let people use and share files across Windows, Linux, and Solaris. ZFS also supports other Microsoft file systems, such as NFS (Network File System).