OmniOS: Open source OS for the Solaris community

OmniTI announced OmniOS, an open source operating system for application developers in the Solaris community looking for data-intensive application deployment.

OmniOS is a continuation of the OpenSolaris legacy and aims to address the longstanding issues that occurred when Oracle decided to discontinue open development of the operating system. OmniOS builds on Illumos to make a complete OS.

OmniOS provides users with a traditional, Solaris-like installable operating system with a minimal package set to ease regulatory compliance. It delivers a self-hosting, environment with simplified processes for ongoing maintenance. Most importantly, it brings third-party software components up-to-date within OmniOS. Third-party software has been a problem with previous attempts to evolve OpenSolaris, as some have not been updated in a decade. It served as a key driver behind OmniTI’s interest to develop OmniOS.

According to Theo Schlossnagle, CEO of OmniTI, “Other attempts in the past to continue OpenSolaris resulted in excruciating work that would involve more than a week just to get the system up and running. With OmniOS, you can get it installed with a single command in 60 seconds.”

Users can expect OmniOS to have a Solaris look and feel with an updated compiler tool chain (gcc 4.6.3), the latest OpenSSL (1.0.1) and a more consistent, dual instruction set support (x86 and x86-64). In addition, there are four key technologies that OmniTI included within OmniOS to bring significant business advantage to customers.

  • Solaris containers: combination of system resource controls and the boundary separation provided by zones.
  • Crossbow: provides the building blocks for network virtualization and resource control by virtualizing the stack and NIC around any service (HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, NFS, etc.), protocol or container.
  • ZFS file system: combined file system and logical volume manager with superior data integrity protection and scalability.
  • DTrace: provides increased visibility and aids in troubleshooting on any level of the application stack.

“OmniOS is our vision of what OpenSolaris could have been had it remained in the open. It runs better, faster and has more innovations,” continued Schlossnagle. “OmniTI did not want to lose the benefits that OpenSolaris technologies brought to customers, so we decided to pursue the continuation of the OS on our own. We’ve been running OmniOS in our data centers for six months and have seen tremendous results. We’re excited to announce our news at the DTrace conference because of its importance and relevance to this community.”

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