Sun releases update to Solaris 8

Sun Microsystems Inc. released an update to its widely used Solaris 8 operating system Monday, adding several tools designed to simplify the management of large numbers of servers.

Solaris is a flavor of the Unix OS developed by Sun and sits on many of the high-powered servers running the Internet. As many companies continue to build their Internet infrastructure, Sun added a number of new features to make the configuration of servers and the maintenance of the software running on them easier for network administrators to manage.

One of the new features added to Solaris is the Web Start Flash technology for transferring a single server configuration onto other machines. Administrators can replicate a reference server configuration onto multiple servers in less time than is currently required, according to a Sun statement. The base configuration can include not only Solaris but also an application stack and system configuration. The Web Start Flash tools also allow users to roll out needed updates or changes across a number of servers into one, consolidated action.

The new version of Solaris also comes with several tools for working with mobile IP (Internet Protocol). Sun added reverse tunneling technology to make it possible for remote workers and telecommuters to access and transmit information securely.

The additions to the Solaris OS come on the same day as the unveiling of IBM Corp.'s new version of its own Unix software. IBM's AIX 5L Version 5.1 is an attempt to bridge a gap between AIX and the Linux OS. IBM has now made Linux software more manageable and easier to use on AIX, according to a spokesman. Users can download the Solaris software at no charge for eight or fewer CPUs (central processing units) at Sun's Web site.