Solaris improves security

Sun Microsystems is mapping out improvements to its Solaris Unix operating system which include enhanced security and network...

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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