SmartOS is an OpenIndiana-based operating system specifically crafted to be deployed on server machines. It is comprised of the four most revolutionary OS technologies of the past decade: ZFS, KVM, DTrace and Zones.
The operating system reviewed here is not Linux or BSD, it’s a Solaris one that provides users with an arbitrarily observable and highly multi-tenant server environment, built on an enterprise-grade and reliable storage stack.
It can easily turn any server machine into a highly efficient hosting platform for machine-to-machine, multi-tenant, or storage apps, as it features unique and innovative utilities for software developers, data center operators and service providers alike.
Using ZFS, one of the most resilient and reliable file system for carrier and enterprise applications, SmartOS provides storage pools, adaptive replacement caching (ARC), end-to-end data validation, and copy-on-write filesystem snapshots.
As mentioned, it uses the Crossbow (dladm) software for network virtualization, the ZFS filesystem for storage virtualization, Zones for containment and virtualization, SMF for service management, DTrace for introspection, and BSM/RBAC for role based security and auditing.
It is available for download as a USB image, VMWare virtual machine, platform archive, as well as a Live CD ISO image that supports only 64-bit hardware platforms and can be deployed on both USB sticks and CD discs.
There are five different options to chose from on the boot prompt of the Live CD, allowing users to run the OS in text mode with or without the ability to install it, with kmdb (kernel debugger), as well as in ttya mode with or without kmdb.
The operating system seems to be based on SunOS 5.11, and will asks users if they want to configure the live environment from the get-go. For example, they will be able to add an IP address, netmask, gateway, DNS, NTP, and domain name.
SmartOS is a really smart and modern operating system based on Solaris and state-of-the-art technologies, such as ZFS, DTrace, Zones or KVM. It’s the perfect OS for servers!