Sun Microsystems released its first scheduled quarterly upgrade to the Solaris 9 Operating Environment for SPARC-based servers.
Version 9/02 is aimed mostly at enterprises that handle extremely large data centers, such as telecommunication vendors, universities, and the U.S. government, although Solaris 9 is also designed to work with a 10-year-old Sun SPARC Station 5.
The upgrade is free for customers with Sun support contracts. Everyone else starts at just under $50 for embedded use.
Primarily, Solaris 9 9/02 features MPO or Memory Placement Optimization. The technology allows for better memory placement on certain Sun SMP servers to take advantage of local memory. As a result, Sun said some customers will see marked improvements in servers performance.
"This can run on the simplest machines such as the V100 ($995) to the Sun Fire 15K 12K," said Sun product line manager Bill Moffitt. "For the bigger Sun Fire servers this will increase their performance 10 percent to 40 percent depending on what application they are running and what machines they are running. The nice thing is that customers can install the operating environment without having to recompile the system.
The quarterly enhancements feature a bandwidth management tool that Sun calls Solaris 9 IPQoS (IP Quality of Service). The idea is to let system administrators give different levels of network service to customers and to critical applications. Sun said system virtualization is another step in the delivery of Solaris Containers technology.
The improvements also include such Web services platforms as Sun ONE Portal Server (with a development license), Sun ONE Web Server (with a development license), Sun ONE Studio 4 (with a with try-n-buy license), and Sun ONE Studio 7, Compiler Collection (with try-n-buy license).
In addition, Solaris 9 9/02 features the latest development tools for Java, C++, and Fortran. The operating system also incorporates a carrier grade transport protocol (CGTP) benchmark tool for telcos.
As for fixing bugs found in the original Solaris 9, Moffitt did not specifically identify what was addressed but said there are 100 bug fixes on average in a quarterly release.
Sun said it is on track to deliver its Solaris 9 12/02, which is the next scheduled release.
Solaris 8 had seven upgrades to in its lifetime.
A stand-alone version of Solaris 9 based Intel x86 chip architectures is currently in production for non-Sun hardware. That controversial software release is expected to ship in January for $99 for a single CPU system. (See "Sun Commits to Solaris x86 (Again).")