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Sun plays hide and seek with key Solaris 10 goodies

ZFS and Janus go missing

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Sun Microsystems continues to suffer from a nasty case of over-promising technology months and even years before it can deliver the goods. The latest such instance of this condition appeared today as a company official admitted that a much celebrated file system and highly touted Linux software tool won't arrive for Solaris 10 until 2006.

During an online chat with Sun executives, a questioner with the handle stshank asked, "With which Solaris update will ZFS and Janus be released?" Sun's vice president of operating systems Glenn Weinberg replied, "These features are not scheduled for specific updates at this time. Our intent is that they will be released in CY06 (calendar year 2006)."

Many Sun watchers might have thought ZFS - the sophisticated file system - and Janus - a tool for running Linux software on Solaris - were already shipping as part of the new Solaris 10 operating system. It would be easy to have that impression. Sun executives have highlighted ZFS and Janus as key parts of the new OS again and again and again, making it seem like the technology was already present in the software.

Is it self-sustaining?

"Am I already shipping? I thought so."

But what first looks like a rabbit often turns out to be a duck at Sun - something that would have horrified Wittgenstein had he lived to watch the network become the computer.

Sun's most notorious product delivery flaps were usually centered around its chip division in years past. Processors meant to arrive in 2000 would actually ship in 2003. In recent times, however, Sun's software team has been responsible for a host of delays. The N1 hardware management platform, Sun ONE application server and Open Solaris come to mind as products requiring serious patience.

Impatient and big spending customers often get their chance to try out Sun's latest technology ahead of the plebs via the Software Express program and that is the case with ZFS and Janus. Stshank is reporting at CNET that ZFS will be available to test by year end and that Janus is just about to be previewed.

Sun has touted the 128-bit ZFS as the Zettabyte file system of the future. It's meant to up overall system performance and make tasks such as storing data across a wide variety of hardware more efficient and stable. The Janus software is more straightforward as it should help Linux-happy customers stick with Solaris. They can run both Linux and Solaris applications on the same server. ®

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