Oracle held a release event today for the next version of Solaris, 11.2. They posted a series of videos explaining the new features on the event site. I am not expert enough in things Solaris to comment in depth but a few things caught my attention.
The new features seemed to have a strong operations focus. Oracle added a new imaging capability called the unified archive which looks like its intended for rapid and highly secure provisioning. This allows administrators to deploy secure, read-only zones. They added support for OpenStack. This, I assume, allows them to compete as a best-of-breed OpenStack implementation.The trend, it appears, is for corporate IT to move away from large-scale virtualization management to a true private cloud infrastructure (i.e., infrastructure as a service). OpenStack APIs on top of a Solaris core would be a powerful architecture.
I was intrigued by the new compliance features such as the built-in compliance reporting. I think features like these are aimed at companies with a lot of infrastructure that needs careful management. This fits in well with a disciplined DevOps approach. The challenge is how to do things quickly but with care and rigor. Too fast is just as bad as too slow.
I was surprised to see that Oracle has chosen Puppet as its automation tool. I’m not sure what this means in practice since it wasn’t mentioned in the keynote. Puppet is good tool (as are most of them) and I anxious to learn what level of integration will be provided.
Solaris continues to look amazing. I hope to revisit it one day if the updates license for development use ever changes.