Oracle released on Monday Solaris 11 Express, a version of the Unix operating system that is aimed at developers and also serves as a preview for the upcoming release of Solaris 11 next year.
Solaris 11 Express has improved availability features that can cut planned system downtime by up to half, Oracle said. Boot times are down to "tens of seconds."
The release also adds network virtualization capabilities; telemetric integration with Oracle's online support portal, which allows "proactive and preemptive" support measures; and enhancements to the ZFS file system.
It has binary compatibility with more than 11,000 applications developed by third parties on some 1,000 SPARC and x86-based systems, according to Oracle.
Solaris 11 Express presents system administrators with a number of changes in installation, patching, application delivery and other areas, according to Oracle. The company is providing a series of resources to help with the transition. In addition, a webcast is scheduled for Dec. 7.
The release cannot be used in production or commercial environments under the terms of the developer license.
Its release comes a few months after Oracle announced it would no longer support the OpenSolaris project, an open-source distribution of Solaris, in order to focus on the commercial version.
Oracle's decision followed public frustration by members of the OpenSolaris governing board over the vendor's perceived lack of interest and participation in the project. The board ultimately dissolved.
But some community members are working on Illumos, a derivative of the OpenSolaris codebase formed in August.
Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com