Sun Previews Linux Interoperability For Solaris 10


Sun Microsystems on Tuesday previewed a glimpse of its Solaris 10 Linux interoperability technology, known as Project Janus.

In a briefing at its San Francisco offices during LinuxWorld, Sun demonstrated how Janus--a feature in its upcoming Solaris 10 Unix operating system--will run Linux applications natively and enable customers to run Solaris and Linux applications side by side.

"Janus is very clever technology and will give our customers many more options with their Linux applications in terms of hardware portability onto Solaris," said Marc Maselli, president of Back Bay Technologies, a Boston-based solution provider. "Sun is stepping up its integration with Linux in a major
way."

Sun first discussed Janus last April. The technology stands to allow customers to support virtual Linux images next to Unix workloads as well as let Linux users take full advantage of key features within Solaris 10. Important new features include N1 grid containers--an advanced form of dynamic partitioning--plus provisioning and management services. Solaris 10 remains on track to ship by the year's end.

Sun executives said the company has successfully run applications such as Adobe Acrobat Reader, Oracle 9.2.i, SAS and BEA WebLogic using Project Janus. Linux applications will run unmodified without the need to recompile, they said, despite acknowledging that there will be some exceptions. The technology is compliant with the Linux Standards Base (LSB) and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3, and it's slated to be tested against Novell SuSe Linux, executives said.

As competitors Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Unisys try to lure Solaris customers to their Linux servers, Sun is doing what it can to keep customers and partners happy by allowing them to run open-source Linux, even as they use Solaris. Sun executives said they remain committed to providing an open-source version of Solaris this fall.

John Fanelli, product line director of Sun's Network Systems Group, said Janus manages Linux libraries on Solaris and will be more seamless than other technologies that allow developers to recompile Unix applications for the Linux environment.

"The application has no idea what operating system is running," Fanelli said. "You can create multiple Solaris and Janus environments on same server."