In 2011, Oracle will introduce a new version of the Solaris enterprise operating system, originally created by Sun Microsystems, which Oracle acquired in January 2010. The news was included in a presentation that detailed a five-year product road map for the combined companies. An early-release form of Solaris 11 will be available for enterprise customers and will feature improvements in scalability, networking, virtualization, maintenance and file systems management. Solaris 10 was introduced in 2005.
Solaris 11 "represents as large a product release as Solaris 10 was in terms of core capabilities and seminal changes to core parts of the operating system," said John Fowler, executive vice president of server and storage systems at Oracle, who held a similar position at Sun, in a presentation in Palo Alto, Calif.
Discussing other Oracle/Sun technology, Fowler reiterated the corporate message that the $7.4 billion Sun acquisition brings together Oracle's database and middleware software products with Sun's processors, servers and storage hardware to offer a co-engineered system of hardware and software optimized for performance and efficiency. "You are going to see us continue to push forward on building engineered systems where, for a particular Oracle workload, we will engineer the hardware changes as well as the software changes to give you better performance, manageability or cost of ownership," he said.
But while pushing the Oracle/Sun systems, Fowler also promised that the technology will be available a la carte, meaning customers can run other software on Sun hardware and run Oracle software on other servers and storage hardware. Going forward, Oracle will continue to offer Sun SPARC processors as well as industry standard x86 processors, and they will develop two basic processor series. The M series will be designed for highly scalable, mission-critical environments, and the T series will be designed for energy efficiency in volume server environments. On SPARC, specifically, Fowler said Oracle is committed to at least doubling application performance every two years.
Oracle plans other performance improvements for Solaris 11 over the next five years, including a 40-fold improvement in performance for online transaction processing (OLTP) systems technology that is used in many large enterprises. He also said storage capacity will increase 20-fold over the same time period.