SmartOS - The Complete Modern Operating System

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SmartOS is a free and open-source SVR4 hypervisor, based on the UNIX operating system that combines OpenSolaris technology with Linux’s KVM virtualisation. Its core kernel contributed to illumos project.

It features several technologies: Crossbow, DTrace, KVM, ZFS, and Zones. Unlike other illumos distributions, SmartOS employs NetBSD pkgsrc package management.

SmartOS is designed to be particularly suitable for building clouds and generating appliances. It is developed for and by Joyent, but is open-source and free to use by anyone.

SmartOS is an in-memory operating system and boots directly into random access memory. It supports various boot mechanisms such as booting off of USB thumb-drive, ISO Image, or over the network via PXE boot. One of the many benefits of employing this boot mechanism is that operating system upgrades are trivial, simply requiring a reboot off of a newer SmartOS image version.

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In computing, virtualization refers to the act of creating a virtual (rather than actual) version of something, including virtual computer hardware platforms, operating systems, storage devices, and computer network resources.

Different types of hardware virtualization include:

  • Full virtualization – almost complete simulation of the actual hardware to allow software, which typically consists of a guest operating system, to run unmodified.

  • Partial virtualization – some but not all of the target environment attributes are simulated. As a result, some guest programs may need modifications to run in such virtual environments.

  • Paravirtualization – a hardware environment is not simulated; however, the guest programs are executed in their own isolated domains, as if they are running on a separate system. Guest programs need to be specifically modified to run in this environment.

In addition to the traditional Virtualization platforms such as VMware, HyperV, Xen and KVM, we also have expertise in the latest craze, containerisation. This is best exemplified by Docker but also exists in a very compelling form on the SmartOS platform.

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docker kvm containers smartos vmware hyperv xen linux virtualization