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Solaris improves security

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.

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


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