System News
Solaris: Often Imitated, Seldom Bettered
Presentation Slides: A Brief History of Solaris OS
July 9, 2007,
Volume 113, Issue 2

If Linux is faster, it's a Solaris bug

-- Phil Harman

Phil Harman posted his slides from his talk about the history of the SolarisTM Operating System (Solaris OS) at the Sun HPC Consortium in Dresden despite the fact that his slides are "pretty minimalist" by his own admission.

He says his main point is "although Solaris is a good place to be because it has a consistent track record of innovation (e.g. ONC, mmap, dynamic linking, audaciously scalable SMP, threads, doors, 64-bit, containers, large memory support, zones, ZFS, DTrace, ...), the clincher is that these innovations meet in a robust package with long term compatibility and support."

Another Sun blogger, Josh Simons, described the talk Harman gave as "informative and amusing." Since the slides do not have notes, here is some of the text from Simons:

"Phil began his history of Solaris by reminding us of some of the "prehistoric" innovations in SunOS. For example, who but Sun was doing open network computing back in the 1980s with innovations like NFS, NIS, the automounter, XDR, and RPC? How about the STREAMS abstraction? mmap?"

Harman discussed innovations from Sun such as loadable configurable kernels and dynamic systems domains. Recent innovations noted include "Hierarchical Lgroup Support (HLS), Multiple Page Size Support (MPSS), containers, Service Management Facility (SMF), zones, BrandZ, ZFS, and DTrace." The talk ended with a discussion of ZFS.

See Harman\'s blog for the slides.

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