Sun Sets Solaris 10 Free

After more than a year of sneak peeks, nightly builds, and beta tests, Sun Microsystems is set to formally announce the launch of its Solaris 10 operating system.

The Santa Clara, Calif.-based network computer maker is scheduled to outline the features, benefits and near-immediate partner support of the next-generation OS during its Network Computing ’04Q4 event in San Jose Monday.

The platform has been available in bits and pieces since July 2003, courtesy of Sun’s Software Express program and is compatible with SPARC-based servers as well as x86 environments from Intel and AMD.

Sun is also expected to announce that Solaris 10 will be available as a free download by January 31, 2005.

As previously reported, the operating system itself will not be available until the end of the year. Sun’s promise of an Open Source version of Solaris is also not expected to emerge for several months after that.

The upgrade includes more than 600 improvements. The so-called “Big Five” additions to Solaris 10 include a partitioning technology (N1 Grid Containers); a diagnostic tool for system administrators (DTrace), Predictive Self Healing, Crypto Infrastructure based on the PKCS#11 standard and ZFS (short for Zettabyte File System), which gets its roots from the classic POSIX-compliant Unix file-system.

Solaris 10 also includes technology from the “government-grade” Trusted Solaris operating system as well as a Linux Application Environment (code-named Project Janus), which allows the OS to run Solaris and native Linux binaries. Already, Sun has prepared its developers with the release last week of beta versions of Java Studio 10 (JS 10) and Java Studio Enterprise 7 (JSE 7).

Sun’s biggest change, however, is to its software pricing structure. The company started the trend with its Java Enterprise and Java Desktop offerings by offering a per-user license. With Solaris 10, subscription-based offerings will be offered with a range of support structures that range from lower level subscriptions that provide just software updates and upgrades to higher-level subscriptions that provide increased levels of 5×12 phone/e-mail/patch support and services to the highest level service level agreements (SLAs).

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