NEW YORK -- SEPTEMBER 18, 1990 -- AT&T's UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. (USL), in response to UNIX International's "UNIX System V Roadmap," today unveiled plans for major enhancements to UNIX(R) System V Release 4 that the company said will keep the operating system the cornerstone of the Open Systems movement.
The "UNIX System V Roadmap," a document issued by the UNIX International industry consortium in January 1990, describes the features that the Open Systems industry and users want to see included in UNIX System V. By entering into strategic development partnerships with a number of industry vendors, USL will deliver these features ahead of the timetable set in the "Roadmap," while maintaining complete forward compatibility for the applications customers are using today.
"Our work with UNIX International has made UNIX System V Release 4 (SVR4) the best open systems platform on the market," said Larry Dooling, President, USL. "We have benefited immensely from the technology input through UI of industry vendors, manufacturers and end users. As a result, we have decided to partner with a number of industry vendors on "Roadmap" enhancements that meet all of UI's requirements for a robust, reliable, secure Open Systems platform that will support commercial and government computing environments through the 1990s."
The plans announced today address a number of key issues identified in the "Roadmap" and addressed in depth by UI technical workgroups. Issues include the security and reliability of computer systems; standard ways for vendors and customers to capture the performance benefits of multiprocessing computer architectures; a next-generation operating system architecture that will let developers and end users build distributed database and transaction processing applications for next-generation multiprocessing architectures; and ways to interconnect and manage distributed computer systems.
In keeping with the "UNIX System V Roadmap," each of the enhancements to SVR4 will be compatible with industry standard interfaces and existing versions of the operating system, giving the Open Systems industry a logical, economical path into the future that protects investments in hardware, software and training. KEY ELEMENTS OF USL'S PLANS INCLUDE:
"The product timetable that USL is announcing today represents an extraordinary achievement," said Peter Cunningham, president of UNIX International (UI). "This announcement demonstrates that the industry now has a system to define its common needs and then develop the products that meet those needs. We applaud the speed and creativity with which USL, our partner in this unique system, has moved to respond to the market's demands."
The "UNIX System V Roadmap" calls for a B2-level secure operating system release in 1991 that would protect against unauthorized system or data access, and thereby limit the chance that systems can be halted or corrupted or improperly disclose valuable data by unauthorized users.
In the first half 1991, USL will introduce an enhanced security SVR4 release (SVR4 ES) that will allow customers to configure their systems at different levels of security, ranging from the C2 level to the B3 level with government-evaluated, assured B2 level security. AT&T was the first company to receive B1 certification from the NCSC for a general purpose UNIX Operating System product, System V/MLS based on System V Release 3. USL participates in the IEEE POSIX and X/Open efforts to define standards related to security; it is expected that SVR4 ES will be consistent with the future results of these efforts.
"Properly administered, today's UNIX System V base operating system is as secure as any commercial operating system and perfectly suitable for general commercial use," Dooling said. "UNIX System V and System V/MLS provide the assured security demanded in government B1-level procurements and increasingly in the financial and insurance industries, which depend on secure on-line transaction processing. SVR4 ES is the logical migration path to an assured B2 level for vendors addressing government and high security segments of the commercial marketplace. SVR4 ES will provide B3 security features, and the assurance, gained through formal evaluation, that it will stand up to attack at the B2 level," Dooling said.
Developed in conjunction with Amdahl and Motorola, SVR4 ES has already been submitted to the NCSC for official evaluation at the B2 level. It has been available to UI members through the UI Early Access program since February 1990.
Eric Miles, Vice President, Amdahl Systems Software, said, "In the high security market, customers understand that the assurance of security is worth a great deal more than the assertion or appearance of security. Our work with USL has been aimed at getting formal assurance that SVR4 ES not only has security features, but that it meets or exceeds B2 level security criteria."
Tom Beaver, corporate vice president and general manager of the Motorola Computer Group, said, "Motorola's contributions to the enhanced security and multiprocessing capabilities of SVR4 ensure applications will retain unimpeded functionality in secure, single and multiprocessor environments. To use a home security metaphor, we've helped USL assure there are locks on all the possible entrances and the alarms are set to keep out all intruders."
HIGH AVAILABILITY DATA AND FILE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
UI's "UNIX System V Roadmap" calls for enhancements to the disk and file management capabilities of the UNIX System in 1992 in order to improve SVR4 capabilities for supporting data intensive applications. USL has teamed with VERITAS to develop a family of disk and file management products for commercial users of on-line transaction processing, database management and network server applications. These extensions to SVR4 improve performance, enhance data integrity and data availability, and simplify the administration of on-line information systems.
The first product from the partnership, the Volume Manager (VxVM), allows UNIX System V file systems to span multiple disks. It supports disk mirroring for data protection, supports the movement of file systems and data to different disks without interrupting users, and supports increasing the size of file systems without interrupting users. It also provides on-line disk storage reorganization and disk striping to improve performance. VxVM is available immediately from VERITAS. It will be available from USL in fourth quarter 1990.
"Our arrangement with VERITAS will enable us to respond to the "UNIX System V Roadmap" with a standard implementation of some of the commercial data processing features they've asked for, such as extent-based files and disk mirroring, a year in advance of what was expected," said Dooling.
"UNIX System V continues to gain momentum in the commercial marketplace," said Mark Leslie, chief executive officer of VERITAS. "Our products should accelerate market shift to open systems by bringing UNIX System V Release 4 to parity with proprietary operating systems in the disk and file management areas. In addition, the VERITAS products will enhance the appeal of UNIX System network servers by improving data integrity, data availability, and performance."
The two companies are exploring joint development in areas beyond disk and file management, for example, the development of graphics-based, visually-oriented tools that will help system administrators tailor the performance of disk and file systems to meet user and application needs. The companies also are developing an installable, UFS compatible file system targeted at applications that require: instantaneous file system recovery following a system failure; file system structural integrity to prevent loss of data; on-line reorganization to improve file system performance; and improved support for transaction processing and database oriented applications. In keeping with the philosophy of the "UNIX System V Roadmap," all of the products developed under the partnership will be available for SVR4 and future releases.
The "UNIX System V Roadmap" calls for availability of a fully parallelized, secure base, multiprocessing UNIX System V environment, compatible with X/Open's XPG and capable of supporting tens of processors with user level multiprocessing access and a full multiprocessing application programming interface (API). The goal is to enable applications programmers to apply parallel programming algorithms to speed up the performance of critical business applications, such as multiuser relational database applications and on-line transaction processing involving high activity database servers. At the same time, recognizing the complexity of such an undertaking, UI members also have asked USL to satisfy today's needs for a leading edge, standard implementation of multiprocessing features in SVR4 that would be compatible with SVR4 and upwardly compatible with the secure multiprocessing release. In response, USL will introduce multiprocessing capabilities in phases, beginning in early 1991 and extending through 1992. These will be developed in concert with many UI members having current or planned multiprocessing offerings in their product lines.
In the first half of 1991, USL will introduce a standard implementation of multiprocessing capabilities on SVR4 so hardware vendors can deliver better price/performance to their customers without spending time and resources modifying UNIX System V source code to support multiprocessing features. USL is working with the Intel Corporation, Ing. C. Olivetti and Co., S.p.A., Motorola Computer Group, NCR Corporation, Oki Electric and Unisys Corporation to provide the release, which will be called SVR4 MP.
SVR4 MP will adhere to all relevant current standards, including X/Open's Portability Guide, Issue 3 (XPG3), the System V Interface Definition (SVID) and the Device Driver Interface/Device Kernel Interface (DDI/DKI) at the source code level, and will be ABI conformant at the binary level. As a result, current and future SVR4 applications will run unchanged on SVR4 MP, thus protecting customer investments.
As specified in the "UNIX System V Roadmap," an enhanced DDI/DKI specification will be made available from USL by the end of 1990 so OEMs and ISVs can develop device drivers that can take full advantage of MP capabilities. The enhanced DDI/DKI specification will be the standard interface for USL's near term and future MP products and will provide the UNIX System industry a standard way to capitalize on current-generation multiprocessing systems and a stepping stone to the next generation of multiprocessing business applications.
SVR4 MP will be available to UI members through the Early Access program in first quarter 1991. It will incorporate multithreading of the base operating system kernel as well as multithreading of the I/O and STREAMS systems, RFS, NFS and TCP/IP to ensure that the base operating system and its extensions deliver performance improvement without bottlenecks. SVR4 MP will be architected for greater than 10 processors.
Thomas A. Mays, senior vice president, NCR General Purpose Products Group, representing the SVR4 MP partners, said, "We are excited about being a technology partner with USL on multiprocessing. Because SVR4 MP interfaces will be compatible with both existing SVR4 and SVR4 ES/MP interfaces, customers and software vendors will be able to develop and move their applications forward without change. The SVR4 MP architecture will allow hardware vendors to focus development resources on enhancing their MP solutions for the commercial market, thereby providing customers the best price/performance options."
The SVR4 MP release will be available on the Intel 386/i486, Intel i860 and, in partnership with Unisys and Motorola, on the Motorola 88000 microprocessor architectures. Several vendors who are implementing their own multiprocessing versions of the UNIX System in compliance with all SVR4 interfaces -- including ICL, Sun, Pyramid and AT&T Computer Systems for different architectures -- have agreed to make their implementations compatible with the device driver interface, device kernel interface and the STREAMS interface in SVR4 MP. As a result, independent software developers and end users will be assured that applications and device drivers written to standard interfaces will run without difficulty, but with improved performance, on different multiprocessing architectures.
"Unisys is pleased to be working with key technology leaders such as USL, Intel and Motorola on this technology, which will provide organizations with more flexible enterprise-wide computing solutions. That's the bottom line of Open Systems," said John Chen, Unisys UNIX System Vice President and General Manager.
In 1992 USL will introduce an advanced architecture multiprocessing release, built on the enhanced security base, that supports small, medium and large-scale SMP systems. The system, to be known as SVR4 ES/MP, will meet all of the requirements specified in the "UNIX System V Roadmap" for the "Multiprocessing Plus" release.
Peter Cunningham, president of UNIX International, said, "SVFR4 ES/MP requirements were put together by experienced MP developers from 43 organizations, including industry and university representatives, participating in the UI workgroup on multiprocessing. Those developers were asked to specify what they wanted in a next-generation multiprocessing operating system. As a result, SVR4 ES/MP is the most advanced MP architecture yet set out in the industry, a major step beyond any implementation in the market today. It will be the obvious architecture of choice for the generation of applications we will be seeing in the 90s which will call for even greater processing power, such as those for distributed environments and for commercial transaction processing. At the same time, because of our shared and very real concern with compatibility, SVR4 ES/MP remains source code and binary code compatible with existing SVR4 products. That means customers can buy existing product today that complies with SVR4 standards and be completely confident that they can move their applications forward to the price/performance benefits of SVR4 ES/MP. Since SVR4 ES/MP will be available to all industry players in the same time frame, the industry can be assured that the UNIX System will continue to be a level playing field for vendors."
Applications developed for the standard interfaces of SVR4 MP will run unchanged on SVR4 ES/MP. Applications developed for SVR4 ES/MP will be able to capitalize on user-level access to multiprocessing features in order to improve performance of appropriate applications, such as on-line transaction processing or relational database applications. SVR4 ES/MP will be available to UI members through the Early Access program beginning in third quarter 1991 and will be generally available in 1992.
USL is developing the multiprocessing features of SVR4 ES/MP in conjunction with Sequent Computer Systems, and other partners, including AT&T Computer Systems, ICL, Intel, Motorola, Unisys, Fujitsu and Pyramid, who are contributing technology and/or development support to the effort. This release is architected to scale up to 30 parallel processors. Development will be done on Sequent's Symmetry platform. As with past UNIX System V releases, SVR4 ES/MP will be made available in reference ports for industry standard Intel, MIPS, Motorola and SPARC architectures; a reference implementation of SVR4 ES/MP for the Intel i386/i486 family will be made available on Sequent Symmetry systems.
Dooling said, "We are pleased with our partnership with Sequent and with the contributions of Pyramid, Intel, Fujitsu, ICL and others in this effort. SVR4 ES/MP is breakthrough technology that will draw on the skill and contributions of all companies involved. The output of this effort will be available to all companies at the same time. Because so many vendors have committed to building SMP implementations that conform to existing SVR4 interfaces and will conform to SVR4 MP interfaces, customers can be completely confident that SVR4 products are the safest buys they can make today and tomorrow. In the Open Systems industry, the advantages accrue to those who build the best implementations and the best business solutions based on UNIX System V."
Casey Powell of Sequent, said, "We are delighted at our partnership with USL for the SVR4 ES/MP release, and proud to contribute our eight years of expertise to this important project. We are committed to deliver, through USL, a high quality product that represents the next step in the evolution of the UNIX System to higher performance levels. More than that, because we are building to the technology requirements of leaders in multiprocessing, defined through the UI process, we're confident we will produce the "premiere" commercial computing standard for this decade and beyond."
KEY FEATURES OF THE SVR4 ES/MP RELEASE INCLUDE:
OPEN DISTRIBUTED COMPUTING
The "UNIX System V Roadmap" calls for SVR4 enhancements in a number of areas to support the move toward open distributed computing environments. Among the "Roadmap" requirements are enhanced support of OSI protocols, transaction processing enablers, and enhancements in the management and administration of computing networks. As is the case with all "Roadmap" requirements, the enhancements must be compatible with existing environments so customers will have a smooth, non-disruptive, cost-effective migration path. A UNIX International technical workgroup, which is studying in depth the requirements for advanced distributed computing networks, is in the process of producing a coherent, long-term architectural vision spanning local area and wide area networks, that will deliver simple, transparent access to all applications and resources in connected networks.
USL today said that, under a framework it termed "Open Distributed Computing," it would implement both the short-term and long-term requirements described in the "Roadmap" and developed by the workgroup.
USL has already begun to implement many of the short-term requirements specified in the "Roadmap," including the Kerberos authentication scheme, and the NTP network timing protocol. These enhancements will be available through the UI Early Access program beginning in 1991. In addition and in concert with UI and other companies, USL is exploring long-term "Roadmap" requirements, including enhancements to the distributed file system that will yield improved resiliency, functionality and performance, as well as enhancements to RPC (Remote Procedure Call) technology to present programmers with API capabilities that are more powerful and make RPC programming more like writing local routines. USL is addressing requirements for fully parallelizing RPC, NFS/RFS and the STREAMS I/O subsystems, while retaining compatibility with existing interfaces, in the development of the SVR4 MP and SVR4 ES/MP releases.
Third party vendors have already built a suite of tools that have made UNIX System V the accepted Open Systems PC integration platform. More than a million PCs are now integrated in distributed environments via UNIX System V servers using software such as AT&T Computer Systems LAN Manager/X, the Locus PC Interface, Novell's Portable Netware, Sun's PC NFS, and other products. USL also announced its partnership with Locus Computing Corporation to incorporate the PC Interface Server into all of the UNIX System V Release 4 reference ports to further promote industry networking. In addition, there are over one million PCs, workstations, servers and minicomputers equipped to run the SVR4 ONC-based RPC, making it the largest installed base for multivendor distributed computing technology in the industry.
USL addressed many of the OSI "Roadmap" requirements in May, when it said it would develop with Retix a complete, fully integrated OSI Communications platform, OSI applications and software tools that will make it easier for vendors and users to migrate from today's TCP/IP networks to OSI networks. Among the OSI products to be introduced in 1990 and 1991, are:
"We're committed to tracking and implementing OSI standards as they emerge, including migration toward OSI RPC and OSI transaction processing standardization," Dooling said. "Until OSI standards are complete our goal is to provide a commercial quality system software platform with clearly defined `hooks' for third party vendors who are building innovative distributed computing technologies based on present or extended capabilities of SVR4, including RPC, NFS/RFS and other STREAMS-based USL products. In keeping with the "UNIX System V Roadmap," we will continue to make UNIX System V the foundation for universal connectivity."
"Major corporate and government entities committed to open systems and OSI standards can invest with confidence in USL's Open Distributed Computing platform," said Peter Cunningham. "It complies with both U.S. and U.K. GOSIP specifications. It assures users of applications compatibility. It supports a complete spectrum of PC integration strategies. It will provide all the functionality of OSI over the next few releases. It is the strongest, most flexible, most standards-conformant and safest approach to distributed computing in the industry."
In order to help customers administer distributed computing systems, USL said it will provide in 1991 Enhanced Administration and Networking Facilities software that supports the remote execution of many common system administration tasks.
"Customers can't build distributed systems without also building in ways to manage and maintain them," Dooling said. "Our improved administration and maintenance capabilities will help them get on with the business of operating their networked computing systems today, and give them a smooth path to the operations, administration and maintenance capabilities supported in our OSI offering."
The Enhanced Administration and Networking Facilities for UNIX SVR4 help administrators: