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OmniOS Wants To Fill The OpenSolaris Void

Web app development company OmniTI has released a new version of the OmniOS open source operating system for application developers. With a focus on infrastructure level architecture, OmniOS is something of a continuation of the OpenSolaris legacy; i.e., after Oracle's discontinuation of open development with Solaris, we are now invited to regard OmniOS as an OS that builds upon Illumos to now offer a complete open alternative to Oracle Solaris 11.

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NOTE: Illumos is a free and open source operating system with roots in UNIX and is itself an open source fork of Sun's OpenSolaris.

This new release is detailed as the "best-available" version of OmniOS for production deployments.

"OmniOS has been well received by the Open Source community since our launch last spring," said Theo Schlossnagle, CEO of OmniTI. "This new version enhances the stability and security of OmniOS, giving customers flexibility in a stable, robust environment. OmniOS fills a need in the post-Solaris world for a lightweight installation focused on traditional enterprise environments as well as cloud deployments."

Key new features include multiple ZFS enhancements. OmniTI has added support for ZFS feature flags as well as a new ZFS pool format designed to facilitate portability of zpools among Illumos distributions. This is intended to help developers avoid vendor lock in and allows distributors to integrate more features, such as ZFS I/O throttling capabilities. ZFS I/O throttling also provides more consistent I/O latency to competing zones, and is now available in OmniOS.

NOTE: ZFS is best described as a combined filesystem technology and logical volume manager that was originally designed and developed by Sun Microsystems.

New features also include a Kayak Network Installer: a richer tool set in the mini-root environment, allowing administrators to diagnose and correct issues encountered during network installations. There is also updated DTrace functionality — the dynamic tracing framework now supports time-ordered output (-x temporal), making results easier to understand on multi-processor systems.

Finally, with improved IPMI support in place, we can allow ipmitool to operate via the local BMC device rather than being limited to LAN operation. Administrators may now interact with their IPMI modules directly from the OS, even those that may not be configured with network access.

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