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The Solaris 10 top 11-20

July 12, 2004

Solaris 10 has way more features than any release of Solaris that I can remember, and Sun’s been marketing the hell out of them. Here’s my top 10 list roughly in order of how cool I think each is:

  1. DTrace– of course…
  2. ZFS– the amazing new file system
  3. AMD64 Support– Opteron is so obviously great
  4. Zones– N1 Grid Containers for those of you keeping score at home
  5. Predictive Self Healing– never worry about flaky hardware again
  6. Performance– Solaris 10 is just faster, faster networking, faster everything
  7. Linux Compatibility – run linux binariesunmodified, ‘nuf said
  8. Service Management Facility– managing a box just got much easier
  9. Process Rights Management– super-user is no longer a binary proposition
  10. NFSv4 – nfs++ (++++++)

Blah blah blah. That’s for sure amazing stuff, but there are dozens of places where you can read about it (I was going to include some links to news stories, but I’m sure google can find you the same stuff it found for me).

But is that it for Solaris 10? Not by a long shot. There are literally dozens of features and improvements which would have cracked the top 10 for the last few Solaris releases. Without further ado, I present my Solaris 10 top 11-20 list:

  1. libumemthetool for debugging dynamic allocation problems; oh, and it scales as well or better than any other memory allocator
  2. pfiles(1) with file names – you can get at the file name info through /proctoo; very cool
  3. Improved coreadm(1M)– core files are now actually useful on other machines, administrators and users can specify the content of core files
  4. System V IPC– no more clumsy system tunables and reboots, it’s all dynamic, and — guess what? — faster too
  5. kmdb – if you don’t care, ok, but if you do care, you really really care: mdb(1)‘s cousin replaces kadb(1M)
  6. Watchpoints – now they work andthey scale
  7. pstack(1) for java– see java stack frames in a JVM or core file and through DTrace
  8. pmap(1) features– see thread stacks, and core file content
  9. per-thread p-tools – apply pstack(1) and truss(1)to just the threads you care about
  10. Event Ports – a generic API for dealing with heterogeneous event sources

There were some other features in the running (Serial ATA support, vacation(1) filtering, other p-tools improvements, etc.), but I had to draw the line somewhere. Remember this is my list; Solaris 10 has fancy new java and gnome stuff, but, while it’s cool I guess, it doesn’t do it for me in the way these things do. I’d be doing these features an injustice if I tried to summarize them all in one weblog entry, so I’ll bite off one at a time and explain them in detail over the next few days; stay tuned.

3 Responses

  1. I don’t think we’re going to be rewriting most of the core p-tools as DTrace scripts — pstack(1), pmap(1), and pflags(1) are really about static state analysis rather than observing dynamic behavior. However, truss(1) is a good candidate for using DTrace as its underlying instrumentation methodology; we’re thinking about how to do that…

  2. [Trackback] We are almost there now… 🙂
    There is so much at stake, a glimpse of it is at:
    Adam Leventhal’s Weblog ->
    “The Solaris 10 top 11-20” .
    Others outside Sun are excited too and have more to say about Solaris 10
    “The Importan…

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