Solaris 2.6: We've got the goods on the new features
Plus find out how this upcoming version fits in with Solstice HA and Sun's Full Moon clustering plans
San Francisco (March 12, 1997) -- Solaris Version 2.6, due to be released in August, is slated to include the Java Virtual Machine and Sun's HotJava browser, and the still-unreleased Sun WebServer -- Sun's first bona fide Web server that is supposed to include Java servlet APIs as an alternative to the Common Gateway Interface (CGI). Also expected in the new release are what Sun describes as "advanced features based on Solstice High Availability (HA) software."
The peek under Sun's operating system kimono was offered by Larry Wake, Sun Microsystems Computer Corp.'s marketing manager, speaking at the Sun Users Group conference here earlier this month. SPARC and Intel versions of the operating system are to be released simultaneously.
In a related announcement, Sun also disclosed that it intends to integrate this HA software into its next-generation clustering technology, called Full Moon (intended to drive Microsoft's competing Wolfpack clustering initiative crazy, get it?). This announcement was made at the Internet World conference in Los Angeles. (See SunWorld's SunSpots for more on Full Moon.)
Full Moon 1.0 is expected to ship in early 1998 and will be built upon HA, which Sun says already can support two-load failover. HA version 1.3 is due to ship next month and will be bundled with Netscape's server software. It will include "cluster APIs" for in-house developers to create their own clustered applications. Solaris Marketing Manager Sanjay Sinha says that the promised Sun WebServer/HA integration will come later and adds that the Full Moon technology will eventually be integrated into Solaris, though HA will be "separately orderable" from Solaris 2.6.
Meanwhile, Wake says the new version of Solaris will support the Network Time Protocol (NTP) -- the IETF standard for synchronizing clocks over the network. NTP organizes network hosts into various "strata," depending on their accuracy and then synchronizes all hosts to the most accurate.
Solaris 2.6 will be able to support terabyte-sized files (the current supported limit is two gigabytes), as well as a whole alphabet soup of services, including: WebNFS, Common Desktop Environment (CDE) 1.2, Unix 95 (spec 1170), and a X11R6 Server, which will provide graphical access to X applications. A feature Wake called the "Genie button" will allow users to install the OS through a Web browser interface.
Wake did not say whether Wabi or DiskSuite would be included. There have been hints of late within Sun that both applications may be nearing the end of their respective lives. Citrix WinFrame and Veritas Volume Manager have been named as likely successors.
Pricing details on Solaris 2.6 are not available. Pricing for High Availability 1.3 will start at $5,000 per node. The Internet bundle will cost $4,000 per node. RDBMS services for Oracle, Informix, and Sybase will cost $2,000 per database.
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