SunSoft Announces New Version of Solaris 2

Highest Networking Performance In Industry

Fine-Tuned For Enterprise-Wide Computing

UNIX EXPO, New York -- Sept. 21, 1993 -- In continuing with its expansion into the global enterprise-wide computing market, SunSoft, Inc. today announced a new version of its Solaris 2 software environment. Called Solaris 2.3, the new version boasts the highest networking performance in the industry, and significant performance increases in the areas of database transaction, graphics and windows system. In addition, the software features new Adobe Display PostScript, security, networking, system administration and multimedia capabilities, making Solaris the most powerful software solution for the enterprise today.

The new software delivers a more than 20 percent increase in networking performance over any software in the industry and a 150 percent increase in networking performance compared to the previous Solaris version. It offers the leading price/performance ratio for multiprocessor systems at less than $5,000 per tpsA (Transaction Processing Performance Council Benchmark A), lowering the overall cost of system ownership. Other performance boosts include a 60 percent improvement in graphics performance over the previous version, enhanced multimedia features for full-motion video and on-demand video, and a 59 percent performance gain in the windows system over the past Solaris version.

SunSoft recently shipped its millionth unit of the Solaris software, making Solaris the world's number one UNIX product. The software is deployed by some of the world's leading companies including Amoco Production Company, AT&T, Cathay Pacific, Du Pont, Federal Express, JP Morgan, Munich Airport and the Swiss Bank. Already, more than 8,000 32-bit applications -- the largest base in the world -- are available for the Solaris environment. More than 1,300 applications are currently shipping for the Solaris 2 software including packages from Autodesk, Computer Associates, Frame, Interleaf, Lotus and Oracle. In addition, the new Solaris 2.3 environment includes a binary compatibility package that allows Solaris 2 users to run most of the third-party and internally-developed Solaris packages on their desktop today.

"Today's announcement marks an important milestone for SunSoft," said JanPieter Scheerder, vice president of software engineering at SunSoft. "The new Solaris -- with its industry-leading performance, increased quality and robust features -- delivers a fine-tuned software machine geared to meet the demanding needs of the enterprise computing market."


The new performance and features announced today add to the already robust Solaris 2 software environment. The software, based on System V Release 4 (SVR4), offers symmetric multiprocessing, multithreading, built-in networking, a suite of software development tools, system administration, security, ToolTalk interapplication software, LIVE! multimedia, and a user-friendly interface.


Networking: highest reported NFS server performance in the industry at 2575 SPECnfs_ A93 operations per second on the LADDIS industry benchmark, more than 20 percent greater than any package on the market today and over 150 percent greater than the previous version of Solaris.

Database Transactions: 15 percent performance improvement over Solaris 2.2 in tps benchmarks, increasing application throughput, particularly for database packages. Solaris 2.3 combined with the eight-way processor SPARCserver from Sun Microsystems Computer Corp. (SMCC), running the Oracle 7 Cooperative Server database recently delivered 400.47 transactions per second and $4,972 per tpsA, delivering the industry's premier price/performance ratio. The performance increases in symmetric multiprocessing greatly enhance multiprocessor scalability across systems and add to the new gains in networking.

Graphics: 34 percent increase in 2D and 16 percent increase in 3D rendering for XGL graphics performance over Solaris 2.2. The new graphics capabilities also include a 50 percent gain in wireframe and a 60 percent gain in solid manipulation performance for PEX over Solaris 2.2, allowing technical users to access and manipulate complex graphics quicker with minimal hardware accelerators.

Windows System: 59 percent performance improvement in paint/refresh rates compared to the past Solaris version, giving customers greater windows manipulation and making the user environment more responsive.


Adobe Display PostScript: incorporates industry-standard imaging model that offers Solaris users an advanced graphics software component bringing the full power of the PostScript language to computer displays. The new DPS allows customers to use graphics, type and imaging to create feature-rich documents. DPS is compliant with MIT X11 R5, enabling all X applications to run unmodified. The Solaris AnswerBook help facility, Page Viewer command and the Image Tool graphics software have been enhanced to work with DPS.

Cache File System: uses local disk as cache to eliminate traffic over the network, dramatically speeding up application response time. This new feature off-loads networking traffic and makes greater bandwidth available, lowering the overall cost of ownership. In addition, it supports twice the number of clients per server as compared to the previous Solaris version, decreasing the number of servers deployed in an enterprise-wide computing environment.

Asynchronous Point-To-Point (PPP): allows the connection of workstations and networks at different locations using inexpensive modems and telephone lines. With PPP, users with workstations at home or in remote offices can connect to on-site networks, and access all of the corporate computing resources.

Multimedia: improved XIL imaging library that features high-performance graphics software compression and decompression, allowing for full motion video across networks with no additional hardware. The new Solaris environment supports MPEG and H.261 in addition to JPEG file formats, enabling existing XIL applications to read/write multimedia data into these industry-standard formats without modification. In addition, XIL provides a new CellB compression/decompression format, designed for high-performance interactive video applications, such as video conferencing.

C2 Security: mainframe-class security for auditing, system tracking and access controls, critical for banking, finance and the government, is now standard in Solaris 2. C2 meets the U.S. Federal Government's NIST specification for operating systems.

Networked System Administration: host of system administration tools to increase the number of systems supported by a system administrator, lowering a company's overhead costs and enhancing overall network and system management. These include a serial port manager to allow simple networked modem and terminal administration and management, and decreased installation time to deliver increased system administrator efficiency. In addition, enhanced data and disk management enables system administrators to take disks off-line for maintenance in minutes rather than hours, significantly reducing time spent and increasing cost savings for a corporation. This adds to the system administration capabilities already offered in Solaris such as disk mirroring that provides users with uninterrupted service even in the event of disk failure; disk striping that accelerates I/O intensive applications; and large file systems that give system administrators greater flexibility in managing data.

Software Applications:

The new Solaris version offers an enhanced binary compatibility package (BCP) that enables users to run most of their Solaris 1 applications unmodified on their Solaris 2 systems. The BCP supports dynamically-and statically-linked applications, enabling users to run existing applications with no loss in performance, particularly important for in-house developers and corporate end users.

In addition, Solaris 2 users are now able to run more than 1,300 third-party applications including software from Autodesk, Computer Associates, Lotus and Oracle.

The Wabi software from SunSelect, a sister company of SunSoft, will also be available for the Solaris 2.3 environment, allowing users to run many off-the-shelf Microsoft Windows applications with no performance compromise.

World Ready:

SunSoft's Solaris 2.3 is fully localized for the worldwide commercial market, providing users with a consistent desktop environment in their native language. Addressing the needs of the growing South American market, the software will now support Latin American Spanish. In addition, the product is localized in German, French, Italian, Swedish, Japanese, Korean and two version of Chinese: PRC (People's Republic of China) and ROC (Republic of China).


The new Solaris 2.3 software environment includes a single Compact Disc (CD), documentation and a coupon for the Wabi software. It will be generally available in early November. Upgrades are available through OEMs and distributors. Solaris software prices are as follows:

Solaris Desktop for the client desktop priced at $795 in single quantity.

The package contains the Solaris software including SunOS 5, ONC+ networking, multiprocessing, system administration, installation, DeskSet, and run-time support for OpenWindows, ToolTalk, graphics and LIVE! multimedia capabilities.

Solaris Workgroup Server for the small to mid-range departmental server priced at $1,995 in single quantity.

The package includes all of the Solaris Desktop features and additional technologies such as server networking, naming services and remote system administration.

Solaris Enterprise Server for the enterprise server priced at $5,995 in single quantity.

This product incorporates all of the Solaris Workgroup technologies and adds advanced system administration, commercial grade I/O, and enterprise-wide installation.

The localized versions will be available 30 days after the shipment of the domestic Solaris 2.3 version.

Product inquiries should be directed to SunSoft at 1-800-SUNSOFT in the United States and to local SunSoft offices in Europe and Asia.

SunSoft, headquartered in Mountain View, Calif., is a subsidiary of Sun Microsystems, Inc., the exclusive computer supplier to World Cup USA 1994. The company has offices in North America, Europe and Asia. SunSoft is a leading supplier of 32-bit system software solutions for SPARC and Intel 80386/486-based computers. The products are licensed by SunSoft and distributed through major computer manufacturers and resellers worldwide.


Networking Benchmark Test:

LADDIS benchmarks results were obtained on a SMCC SPARCcenter 2000 configured for an eight-way multiprocessor system.

TPSA Benchmarks:

All of the tpsA benchmarks indicated were derived from tests conducted at SunSoft, Inc. and are expected to be certified by the end of November.

(c)1993 Sun Microsystems, Inc. SunSoft, Solaris, SunOS, ONC+, XGL, XIL, PEX, ToolTalk, Open Windows, DeskSet, LIVE! and Wabi are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. UNIX is a registered trademark of UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. SPARC is a registered trademark of SPARC International, Inc. Intel is a registered trademark of Intel Corp. Adobe, Display PostScript and PostScript are trademarks of Adobe Systems, Inc. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. All other products or service names mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective owners.