Sun Delivers Next Level Of Solaris 10 Os Functionality Through Latest Release Of Software Express

Solaris 10 To Be Premiere Operating System For AMD Opteron(TM) Processor and Intel-based Systems, Where HP/UX and IBM AIX Don’t Play

April 7 , 2004

Sun Microsystems, Inc. today announced the sixth update to the Solaris 9 Operating System (OS) for SPARC and x86 systems, and the availability of next generation Solaris functionality through the next release of Software Express for Solaris. With the Solaris 9 update, customers will benefit from improvements to Solaris volume manager, performance enhancements and additional platform support for the new Sun AMD Opteron(tm) processor and UltraSPARC IV processor-based systems. Additionally, Software Express allows customers to begin early usage of new, innovative enhancements coming to the OS, including N1 grid containers, dynamic tracing (DTrace) and a cryptographic framework with process rights management, which can enable system administrators to achieve higher levels of utilization, performance and tighter controls for system and data security. To date, there have been more than 10,000 downloads of Software Express for Solaris.

“As the only Enterprise-class UNIX available on the x86 platform, Solaris 10 is uniquely positioned as the logical alternative for HP/UX and AIX customers that have been abandoned by their vendors on AMD Opteron processor-based and Intel systems,” said John Loiacono, executive vice president, software, Sun Microsystems, Inc. “Sun is able to help customers ensure a consistent, secure and high quality migration to the x86 platform on AMD Opteron processor-based systems, or expansion and growth on the SPARC platform.”

As Sun prepares to release Solaris 10 later this year – one Solaris for SPARC and x86 platforms – it continues to see growth and increased demand for the Solaris OS on x86 systems. Currently there are more than one half million registered licenses for Solaris 9 x86 and approximately 200 compatible third-party hardware systems, further enabling flexibility and choice for customers. In addition, through Sun’s alliance with AMD, the two companies plan to provide customers with a seamless growth path to 64-bit x86 computing at compelling price points, while enabling 32-bit and 64-bit application co-existence. Customer adoptions are also showing that Solaris x86 is providing the reliability and uptime that customers are looking for.

“As a long distance provider to more than 11,000 customers, bigredwire can offer some of the lowest rates in the country by keeping costs down and managing customer interactions through our Web site – including customer service, billing, services and account maintenance,” said Chris Cheshire, manager of software development and network operations, bigredwire. “The ability to offer lower rates and still remain profitable is a key competitive edge for bigredwire. To keep overhead costs down, we chose Solaris x86 as our operating system of choice, to protect our investment and help ensure future scalability and reliability. With the launch of Solaris 10 just around the corner, we expect to see new, innovative features that can offer additional cost savings and improved performance.”

Solaris 10 OS Released Through Software Express For Solaris

Today’s release of the latest update to the Solaris 10 OS is available through the Software Express program, which has provided customers with access to the latest code base from the Sun development team through regular monthly updates since last fall. New features in Solaris 10 include N1 grid containers, which can allow administrators to divide a given system into more than 8000 software partitions per single instance of the OS; predictive self healing technologies that enable isolation, diagnosis, and self-healing of both software and hardware faults; process rights management technology for new levels of security; and a new suite of dynamic tracing capabilities for analyzing and diagnosing elusive problems in real-time. New features added in the latest updates to Software Express for Solaris help reduce complexity and risk of the OS. These include an innovative web interface for installing and patching software, new technology that reduces SPAM email as it arrives from the network, and automatic file system logging which, by default, will increase performance and disaster recovery resilience.

Solaris 9 OS for SPARC and x86 Systems

The newest release of the Solaris 9 OS, designed to help customers drive down their cost of operations while delivering higher service levels, includes:

  • Significant Performance Improvements: Nearly double the performance for scientific workloads on x86-based systems and in many cases double the throughput on Sun’s new UltraSPARC IV-based systems. These improvements are mainly attributable to the inclusion of additional architecture-specific optimizations: SSE/SSE2 instruction support in both the kernel and the Java Virtual Machine delivers improved performance for both Xeon and AMD Opteron processor-based systems; Hyper-Threading support is now fully implemented for the Pentium 4 Xeon processor. In addition, the Solaris 9 OS has support for Sun’s Throughput Computing utilizing the chip multithreading (CMT) architecture of the UltraSPARC IV-based processors, multithreaded applications and Sun software which creates the most tightly integrated computing system available, with the power to double customer productivity at a fraction of the cost of competitive systems.
  • Improvements to the Solaris volume manager – Helps customers reduce complexity and risk through a simple yet powerful way to combine multiple disks into one new volume. Customers will no longer be tasked with knowing which disks are available, how they are configured and their attributes. Instead, a user can specify the service levels the data requires based on business needs and the Solaris volume manager creates the required configurations.
  • Expanded platform support: Solaris 9 now supports new Sun hardware platforms, from the Sun Blade(tm) 1500 and 2500 workstations and the Sun Fire V20z Opteron based server to the new Sun Fire E25K server, bringing all the benefits of Solaris to these new, high-performance, high-throughput systems.


The March release of Software Express for Solaris is available at: The April release will be available after April 12th. The sixth update to Solaris 9 is available immediately for download at:

About Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Since its inception in 1982, a singular vision — “The Network Is The Computer” — has propelled Sun Microsystems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SUNW) to its position as a leading provider of industrial-strength hardware, software and services that make the Net work. Sun can be found in more than 100 countries and on the World Wide Web at

Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, Solaris, N1, Sun Blade, Sun Fire, and The Network Is The Computer are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. in the United States and other countries. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. in the United States and other countries. Products bearing SPARC trademarks are based upon an architecture developed by Sun Microsystems, Inc.