Sun Microsystems is mapping out improvements to its Solaris Unix operating system which include enhanced security and network performance.
The Solaris 10 will feature role-based access control and provide for compartmentalised instances of the OS via "trusted containers", said Mark Tolliver, Sun's chief strategy officer and executive vice-president for marketing and strategy, speaking at at the SunNetwork conference.
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Trusted containers will provide security and fault isolation.
"It's really a straightforward approach. We configure a trusted container with one set of commands, deploy it to a particular server, and run it," Tolliver said.
As many as 4,000 containers can be run on a system. The net result is boosts in server utilisation and lower operating costs. Accompanying trusted containers is a virtualisation of the file system to support multiple applications.
Sun's Trusted Solaris will also feature a highly secure version of the OS for applications such as military and government use. It is uncertain whether Trusted Solaris will continue as a separate product.
Network performance is to be improved in Solaris via the TCP/IP stack, Tolliver said.
"We're now targeting to give wire-speed network performance in our versions of Solaris" to provide for a tenfold increase in TCP/IP performance, he said.
Also planned for Solaris 10 is advanced tracing to boost troubleshooting.
Solaris 10 is due to ship in 2004.
Paul Krill writes for IDG News Service