USL extends UNIX System V platform with microkernel strategy

SUMMIT, N.J. --  JUNE 14, 1993 -- As part of its overall operating system strategy to address the expanding needs of enterprise users, UNIX System Laboratories (USL) today announced an evolutionary microkernel strategy and architecture that will extend the UNIX* System V platform while ensuring protection of current investments in UNIX system applications.

USL announced it will focus on allowing users to continue to run their applications of choice, providing integration and support for diverse UNIX system and non-UNIX system applications in a single operating environment.

Using microkernel technology, USL will extend UNIX System V to address the technical demands of today's and tomorrow' commercial environments, including support for nodal computing, high availability and fault tolerance, massively parallel systems and real time embedded systems.

USL's approach provides an evolutionary path to address today's customer needs while assuring easy access to enhanced functionality as it becomes available. Systems builders can continue development today with SVR4.2 and SVR4.2 MP knowing that USL's future UNIX system implementations will provide compatibility and consistency with today's systems and leverage these investments into the future.

Unlike other technologies, USL's evolutionary migration path ensures systems compatibility and the migration of applications from SVR3.2 to SVR4.0 to SVR4.2 and beyond to microkernel with no recompilation required.

"Just as we did with the SVR4.2 family, we will protect the application investment of UNIX system users. This broad compatibility is only available within the System V family," said Roel Pieper, President and CEO of UNIX System Laboratories.

"Additionally, USL recognizes the investment of users in applications outside of the UNIX system, and today is providing a simple solution allowing organizations to run PC and UNIX system applications on a single system. With these capabilities, the UNIX system is the only universal applications platform available."

Key to USL's strategy is the integrated support of UNIX systems, DOS, Windows* and Macintosh* applications, as well as NetWare* or other environments. With UNIX System V, users may run their entire suite of applications on a single enterprise-wide platform.

This direction is a natural extension of USL's work in partnership on Merge* with Locus Computing and the co-development of Wabi* with Sun Select, products which provide support for DOS and Windows applications on the UNIX system today.

While requiring access to productivity applications, today's commercial enterprises demand mature and advanced platforms which allow them to confidently distribute mission critical data. USL's microkernel product implementation will deliver these advanced features in a commercial quality product by leveraging the technology and expertise of other industry leaders.

"Users face too many challenges and the market is too competitive to risk mission critical applications or high availability on research projects or unproven technology," said Pieper.

In enhancing System V, USL is integrating commercially proven microkernel technology from Chorus Systems as well as incorporating single system image technology from Unisys Corporation. USL currently is a development and distribution partner with Chorus Systems for the Chorus MiX* UNIX System V-base microkernel product offering.

USL will also incorporate Veritas journaled file system technology and will provide support for industry standard multi-threaded APIs as defined by UNIX International. Key players are lining behind USL's microkernel strategy and additional technology partners will be announced in the near future.

"The UNIX system is the standard in the enterprise today for distributing mission critical applications. The System V microkernel will take the leading enterprise environment and enhance its ability to deliver the complex functionality required as users take advantage of evolving hardware and networking technologies," said Hubert Zimmermann, Chairman and CEO of Chorus Systems.

"Unisys views USL's commitment to the microkernel architecture as a major milestone in the ongoing commercialization of UNIX System V," said Hugh Lynch, Unisys Executive Vice President and President, Unisys Computer Systems Product Group.

"This initiative establishes UNIX System V as the most flexible and robust microkernel-based operating environment for deployment of distributed applications in enterprise environments. Unisys is proud of the technology contributions the company has made to the microkernel architecture and looks forward to continually enhancing the UNIX System V microkernel through our alliances with USL and Chorus Systems."

USL also plans to use the microkernel product to allow the UNIX system and NetWare to operate efficiently together. This is one of the first steps in providing a set of integrated technologies from Novell and USL optimized to meet the performance and functionality demands of the enterprise.

USL is committed to working closely with the industry to ensure that as we evolve our UNIX System V microkernel architecture that we ensure compatibility with other microkernel architectures. USL continues to examine all technologies to ensure that we can offer the "best of breed" market-ready technologies.

"Novell supports USL's operating system strategy in continuing to address the needs of enterprise users, and will partner with USL to develop to the UNIX System V microkernel. Over time, the integration of NetWare and UNIX System V within a microkernel architecture will provide users with the best of enterprise networking and mission critical application support," said Jan Newman, Executive Vice President of Novell's Netware Systems Group.

Microkernel-based architectures provide highly efficient support for scalability of applications from high-end parallel to distributed nodal architectures, and will also provide fault tolerance and high availability, modular system software expandability, hard real time applications and integration of multiple application environments.

By moving to microkernel, system builders will enjoy reduced development costs and faster time to market for their OS products.

These benefits result from the modular design of the microkernel architecture. Additionally, system builders will find products which offer easier tuning, increased reliability and optimization on a lighter weight OS. ISVs will be able to add value more easily and will bring products to market faster and at reduced cost. End users will receive better solutions faster with easier customization and assurance of interoperability and investment protection for both proprietary and UNIX systems.

"We are pleased to be working with USL in bringing the benefits of microkernel to the System V markets in response to the requirements laid out in UNIX International's System V Roadmap," said Peter Cunningham, President and CEO of UNIX International. "We will continue to work closely with USL in defining structural and performance requirements as the technology evolves."

UNIX System Laboratories, Inc., headquartered in Summit, N.J., develops and supplies UNIX System V technology adopted by eighty percent of Open Systems vendors worldwide. Other USL products include the TUXEDO* Enterprise Transaction Processing System, Open Networking Platform OSI software, and the C++ Language System.

* UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and elsewhere, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Ltd. Chorus is a registered trademark and CHORUS/MiX is a trademark of Chorus systems. Macintosh is a registered trademark of Apple Computer. Merge is a registered trademark of Locus Computing Corporation. Netware and Novell are registered trademarks of Novell, Inc. Wabi is a trademark and Sun Select and Sun Microsystems are registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems. Unisys is a registered trademark of Unisys Corporation.