Oracle has released version 11 of Solaris, the Unix-based operating system the company acquired when it purchased Sun Microsystems in 2010.
The software, made generally available on Wednesday, was billed by Oracle in a statement as "the first cloud operating system". Over 20 million development hours and 2,700 individual software products have gone into the system, Oracle said.
"With built-in server, storage and now, network virtualisation, Oracle Solaris 11 delivers the industry's first cloud OS," John Fowler, Oracle's executive vice president of systems, said in a statement. "Customers can simplify their enterprise deployments, drive up utilisation of their datacentre assets, and run Oracle and other enterprise applications faster all within a secure, scalable cloud or traditional enterprise environment."
Solaris 11 has been in development for six years since the release of Solaris 10 in January, 2005.
New features include built-in virtualisation across storage and networking via Oracle Solaris Zones; a management system that amalgamates data from across the stack; and compatibility with over 11,000 applications. The new approach to virtualisation should help Solaris 11 scale across multiple IT environments so it can run better in a cloud, Oracle said. It also has failover features to keep applications going in case of a fault when running on distributed infrastructure.
The operating system is engineered to run on Oracle's Sparc processors, along with x86-based ones from companies like Intel and AMD. A notable feature is Solaris Packaging which is an image packaging system that automates installation, updates and upgrades of Solaris packages. The filesystem, ZFS, has received an upgrade as well with built-in de-duplication, encryption, compression and thin provisioning.
Administrators can use a fast reboot feature to bypass boot loaders on x86 systems and skip tests on Sparc systems and firmware to boot up quickly.
Pricing was not disclosed.