Sun have released their flagship Unix operating system, Solaris, into the open source arena, as Open Solaris
The latest version of Solaris 10, is now available free for download and use.
This clearly is a huge move for Sun, as this is their (up until now) proprietary OS that they have spent years (and probably millions) developing, now available for anyone to use for free. Time will tell how this will affect adoption of Linux, as now Solaris offers an interesting alternative, backed by years of development by Sun. Red Hat recently went in the opposite direction with their release of Red Hat Enterprise, and decided to offer their Linux distribution with additional features as a commercial product for sale, rather than free (they do still however back the open source development of RedHat Fedora Core, their free distribution of RedHat).
Solaris 10 offers some key advantages (I believe) over Linux:
- Native Linux apps can run on Solaris without recompilation, enabling easy migration to the Solaris platform
- Dynamic Tracing – all aspects of the system and software running on the system can be monitored, even on a production live system, aiding performance and problem determination
- Solaris Containers – a feature where individual applications can be compartmentalized into their own isolated spaces, so that one application will not affect another
- Predictive Healing – the system monitors itself to predict failures and gives advance warning if systems and expected to fail