Comparing Sun Solaris 8 and Microsoft Windows 2000 Server Technologies
This paper compares the differences between the Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Server family and Solaris 8 from Sun Microsystems. The paper concentrates on four main areas: hardware device support, Internet services, reliability, and manageability.
The information contained in this document represents the current view of Microsoft Corporation on the issues discussed as of the date of publication. Because Microsoft must respond to changing market conditions, it should not be interpreted to be a commitment on the part of Microsoft, and Microsoft cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information presented after the date of publication.
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White Paper 1
Hardware Support 3
CPU, SMP and Clustering Support 3
Device Support 5
Hardware Summary 9
Internet Services 9
Internet Standards Support 9
Web Application Development Environment 11
Internet Service Management 15
Internet Service Summary 20
Core System Reliability 21
Fault Tolerant Device Support 21
Failure Recovery 22
Dynamic Configuration 24
Windows Datacenter Program 26
Reliability Summary 27
Management Interface 28
Directories and User Authentication 30
Managing the Desktop 32
System Deployment 34
Manageability Summary 34
For More Information 37
Today, a modern operating system must be highly focused on providing applications—locally within a LAN or Intranet, as well as globally over the Internet. These requirements demand specific features and capabilities from the base operating system, including the provision of Internet services, and high reliability, availability and serviceability. And the OS must integrate with the hardware required to support these facilities.
The modern data center is made up of much more than multiprocessor machines and large data storage solutions. For the data center to work effectively it must provide maximum availability, while also being optimized for performance, and it must do all this at the lowest possible total cost. Data center applications are expected to be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and unscheduled system downtime is not tolerated. Accomplishing this requires systems that are capable of supporting clustering and device fail-over, such as that offered by modern storage systems.
Many of these features had previously been the exclusive preserve of mainframe platforms. UNIX platforms, led by Sun Microsystems’ Solaris operating system running on the SPARC architecture, have successfully encroached on this territory. This is especially true in the Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) and especially within the data center. However, the Microsoft® Windows® 2000 platform offers many of the features offered by Solaris as standard facilities. Windows 2000 supports Symmetric Multi-Processing (SMP), clustering, and advanced network and resource management tools and extends this to include an integrated service for providing Web and Internet applications.
Both operating systems support the Intel platform, which offers a much lower TCO than traditional UNIX workstations and servers. Both platforms offer SMP on Intel hardware. Windows 2000 supports clustering of Intel hardware, while Sun has only expressed an intention of doing so some time in the future. The Solaris 8 OS is also supported on Sun SPARC and UltraSPARC systems, and Sun markets the SPARC systems preferentially to the Intel systems.
In today’s business environment, the most important criteria to use when comparing the two operating systems include:
Hardware Support. With the cost of hardware falling every day, a modern operating system must be able to take the best advantage of all the different hardware available. Support for system clustering, SMP, and Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID) should be built into the OS.
Internet Services. The ease with which companies can both deploy and manage their Internet presence affects how customers and clients perceive their company. Access times, availability, and feature-rich sites are all critical components of a company’s Internet presence and the operating system should provide a comprehensive foundation on which to build Internet-enabled services.
Reliability. Companies no longer work eight hours a day, five days a week. Services, especially on the Internet, must be available 24 hours a day. To support this, the operating system must be able to provide maximum reliability and availability through both software-level services and hardware support.
Manageability. With distributed servers over multiple networks and locations, administrators need tools that enable them to centrally manage their servers and provide a comprehensive service to their users.
The Solaris 8 Server product line is composed of:
Easy Access Server. An SME-level solution that includes tools for ease of management, integration into existing networks and the Sun WebServer product for Internet services.
ISP Server. Includes the iPlanet Server suite which provides coherent directory, Web, email and group calendar and discussion group facilities. The iPlanet software is a replacement for the Netscape SuiteSpot server package and has been produced by the Netscape/Sun alliance.
Enterprise Server.Includes clustering and resource management features in addition to improved RAS and scalability tools. The Enterprise Server package also includes improved system/network-wide security and authentication features.
All Solaris 8 Server products include support for the main Internet protocols for TCP/IP networking, e-mail, domain name services, and file transfer in addition to remote management capabilities and high RAS features.
The Windows 2000 product line includes:
Windows 2000 Server. Includes four-way SMP capabilities and is optimized for the SME, incorporating Web publishing tools and high RAS features.
Windows 2000 Advanced Server. Supports eight-way SMP and large memory configurations and is optimized for database intensive applications, integrating support for two node clustering and network load balancing.
Windows 2000 Datacenter Server. Supports 32-way SMP hardware, up to 64 gigabytes (GB) of physical memory, and 4-node clustering. In addition to the clustering and network load balancing features, it is also tuned for data warehouses supporting On-Line Transaction Processing (OLTP).
All Windows 2000 Server products support standard Internet protocols for TCP/IP networking, domain name service, file transfer, and remote management. In addition, all Windows 2000 Server products incorporate the Active Directory service for managing the services on the network, the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) for enterprise management and IntelliMirror management technologies for managing user files and configuration settings.
The Windows 2000 Datacenter Server is unique within the current marketplace in that it’s supplied only through authorized Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) who, cooperating with Microsoft, rigorously test the integrated systems they offer. Through the Windows Datacenter Program, OEM’s offer guarantees starting at 99.9% availability, and support through joint support queues, staffed by both OEM and Microsoft personal to help resolve problems quickly with a single call.