Sun's OpenSolaris on Amazon's 'cloud' begins in beta

OpenSolaris -- Sun's open source version of the Solaris kernel first announced in 2005 -- has been made available on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) distributed computing service.

Today at the CommunityOne Developer Conference in San Francisco, California, Sun Microsystems debuted its new OpenSolaris distribution which includes a small core operating system, a network package repository, application packages, and the Sun-developed Image Packaging System (IPS). The root file system of OpenSolaris is ZFS, which promises continual checksum capability and instant rollbacks to chosen states.

The OS is available free of charge, and Sun's official blog today said that many have experienced difficulty downloading the image from dlc.sun.com. Additional mirror sites and torrents have therefore been opened to facilitate the demand.

The EC2 platform leases Amazon's high bandwidth servers on a bandwidth-per-hour basis, giving small businesses a way to host their applications even when they don't have servers of their own. OpenSolaris on Amazon EC2's private beta is available for only the cost of Amazon's services, which start at 10 cents per CPU-Hour.

Using OpenSolaris 2008.05 or Solaris Express Community Edition, testers will be able to configure one of two Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) and their operating systems, software stacks, and mounted applications, with the ability to provision as much as 1,690 GB of instance storage and 8 EC2 "compute units" (4 virtual cores with 2 EC2 units each.) Each compute unit is the equivalent of a 2007 model 1.0-1.2 GHz Opteron or Xeon processor.

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