Oracle releases Solaris 11.2 cloud OS with OpenStack

A review and preview of the latest version of Oracle Solaris, Solaris 11.2.

Oracle released Oracle Solaris 11.2 on April 29. Oracle said Solaris 11.2 is a "cloud-based operating system" that has deep integration with Oracle Database and the OpenStack open source cloud computing project.

Markus Flierl, vice president of software development at Oracle, said the new release "takes Solaris from being an operating system to being a full-fledged platform."

According to Flierl, it took a few ingredients to make the jump from an operating system to a cloud platform. Solaris' integration with OpenStack, improved virtualization, and the capacity to manage other hypervisors were all essential, Flierl said. The last ingredient was full integration between Solaris and Oracle Database.

In 2013, Oracle became a funding backer for the Openstack Foundation. Oracle Solaris 11.2 is the fruit of the collaboration between Oracle and OpenStack, according to Flierl. In addition to Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure in Solaris 11, Solaris 11.2 offers OpenStack as a method for building a Solaris-based cloud infrastructure. A full distribution of OpenStack is part of the base Solaris 11.2 package.

Oracle Solaris 11.2 includes other new features, as well. Solaris 11.2 has built-in virtualization and can be run virtualized across the network. Software-defined networking drives network virtualization into network infrastructure. Solaris 11.2 is also fully integrated with the Oracle Database and Java, and is automatically configured to allow Java to take advantage of Solaris 11.2 as a resource. Flierl said Oracle Solaris 11.2 was designed for increased efficiency in virtualization to make it more competitive.

Oracle Database 12c automatically calls Oracle Solaris 11.2 into its framework, creating integration with the database. The pluggable database gets network resources on I/O and automatically identifies bottlenecks. A new in-memory system in Solaris 11.2 locks memory in the virtual machine subsystem and allows scalability. Flierl described the boundary between Solaris 11.2 and the Oracle database as "blurry" and whether you are using the Oracle Database or Oracle Solaris 11.2 at any given time comes down to "a question of where best to solve the problem." Oracle 12c database as a service and Solaris 11.2, working in conjunction, have a new interface and the ability to automatically scale System Global Areas and lock management from RAC in the Solaris kernel.

While Oracle Solaris 11.2 is mainly backwards-compatible, features like in-memory are only available for Database 12c. Otherwise, the optimization is generic and can work with any version of Oracle Database. Flierl said he considers Oracle Database and Oracle Solaris 11.2 to be essentially parts of the same product, and the same development team worked on both.

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