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Mass Speculation Suggests Oracle May Kill OpenSolaris

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 4 years ago | from the corporations-excel-at-killing-thiving-communities dept.

Oracle 205

CWmike writes to point out that Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols is one of many people questioning where Oracle may land once the acquisition of Sun is complete. One concern that I have heard many people express is that there may be a good chance of OpenSolaris getting the axe for not fitting in with the overall corporate vision. "People outside of IT seldom think of Oracle as a Linux company, but it is. Not only does Oracle encourage its customers to use its own house-brand clone of RHEL (Red Hat Enterprise Linux), Oracle Unbreakable Linux, Oracle has long used Linux internally both on its servers and on some of its desktops. So, what does a Linux company like Oracle wants to do with its newly purchased Sun's open-source operating system, OpenSolaris? The answer appears to be: 'Nothing.' Sun, Oracle and third-party sources are telling me that OpenSolaris developers are afraid that they'll be either moved over to working on Linux or let go once the Sun/Oracle merger is completed."

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205 comments

Root is like crack (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28681435)

Root is like crack. Don't smoke it. I did once and got hooked. I ran Mac OS Updates as root. ****, I even had sex with my girlfriend as root. Man, that caused some permissions problems. When I started the road to recovery (logging in as Zacks) my girlfriend was all like: "**** no! You can't get any cause you don't own me an I don't go groups. You don't have the power to read, write OR execute so get out of my FACE" So I was all HELL NO bitch. And she wuz like you do not have root (superuser) privlages so get out of my TruBlueEnvironment! So then I went chown and chmodded her ass to me. Dat be-otch be up in my hizzouse. What what. Holla!

Re:Root is like crack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28681495)

This would have been funny as an XKCD comic.

Re:Root is like crack (0, Offtopic)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681587)

Been done [xkcd.com] .

Okay, you are a sandwich (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28681713)

From a late-70s/early-80s Saturday-morning cartoon public service ad touting healthy eating:

Cartoon Kid: "Can you make me a banana?"

Cartoon character touting good eating: *wave of magic wand* "Okay, you're a banana."

Re:Root is like crack (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28681731)

Sudo suck my dick.

lolcats (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28681771)

I only suck cut cock, you dirty eurofag

Already Open (4, Insightful)

Major Blud (789630) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681451)

It would be kinda hard to kill since the code is already "open" and out in the wild. Oracle can't prevent the current code base from being forked.

Re:Already Open (5, Interesting)

gomek-ramek (1340625) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681547)

The question, though, is whether a fork would be successful. Without the Sun-paid developers, would OpenSolaris keep its development momentum? My guess is that it would not.

Re:Already Open (1, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681651)

I agree. There isn't enough to set it apart from its competitors for it to survive without Sun's active support. I think OpenSolaris is dead dead dead.

I'm wagering it isn't the only Sun offering that's going to be given the boot either. I have a real suspicion that they'll cut OO.org loose too.

Re:Already Open (2, Interesting)

mewrei (1206850) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681793)

Maybe we'll all get lucky and Oracle will just GPL the OpenSolaris code and merge some of the more useful stuff like DTrace and (dare I say it) ZFS into the Linux kernel.

Re:Already Open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682073)

Or you could just move to FreeBSD.

Re:Already Open (4, Funny)

MadFarmAnimalz (460972) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682261)

Or you could just move to FreeBSD.

I would, but it keeps dying. Don't believe me? Ask Netcraft.

Re:Already Open (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682841)

I would, but it keeps dying. Don't believe me? Ask Netcraft.

Hmm, surely by the time you reach undead status, you have reached a kind of immortality? So if that is the case, maybe it is the only operating system we should use?

Okay, I will stop trying to over think this.

Re:Already Open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28683385)

Or you could just move to FreeBSD.

DTrace and ZFS are both primarily developed by Sun; FreeBSD just imported them.

While DTrace is basically feature complete, ZFS has a lot of stuff that would be useful to have. Built-in encryption is being worked on, and deduplication is rumoured to be coming along. One thing that isn't yet available is removing of devices (and booting off of ZFS is also fairly recent).

It's certainly possible that some company will pick up the Solaris developers and have them code this stuff up for FreeBSD, but it's unlikely.

Re:Already Open (1)

ajs (35943) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683209)

Maybe we'll all get lucky and Oracle will just GPL the OpenSolaris code and merge some of the more useful stuff like DTrace and (dare I say it) ZFS into the Linux kernel.

That's almost certainly the way they'll go. They already have their own Linux distribution, so there'd be no reason not to do this unless they felt that they were going to derive some value from these technologies being proprietary... again, can't see why.

Re:Already Open (1)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682143)

other than an enterprise situation where they are already running solaris, is there any reason for anybody to roll out new solaris installs? I am not trying to be a jerk, I really don't know the answer. Is there any essential function that solaris can do, but bsd or linux or whatever cannot do? Not only that, but is there anything that linux and or bsd can't do better, and with a larger community to support it? I could be wrong, but I know for my personal tinkerings I haven't heard anything exciting to me personally about solaris in 10 years. People need to understand that technology evolves quickly, and no matter how emotionally attached we are to an open source project, there is still a good chance that it will become irrelevant at some point.

Don't misunderstand, I am not trying to mitigate the huge pain in the ass this would be to people who are maintaining current solaris systems, but the hard truth is that if volunteers lose interest and there is no big corporate money backing a project, it will likely fall by the wayside. It becomes impossible to even fix security problems if there is not enough developers.

Re:Already Open (2, Insightful)

ttldkns (737309) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682397)

haven't heard anything exciting to me personally about solaris in 10 years.

ZFS, Nuff Said

Re:Already Open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682785)

ZFS can run on BSD and Linux (according to Wikipedia)

Re:Already Open (2, Funny)

Bandman (86149) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682109)

At the very least, it would diverge far enough from Solaris to be an almost entirely different product.

OpenSolaris....OpenBSD...

Maybe the next version could be called NetSolaris. We could install it on very large toasters.

Re:Already Open (2, Funny)

tenco (773732) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683151)

Maybe the next version could be called NetSolaris. We could install it on very large toasters.

I always wondered if they [wikipedia.org] would run Linux. But you cleared it all up now. It's just so obvious.

Re:Already Open (4, Insightful)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682373)

Without the Sun-paid developers, would OpenSolaris keep its development momentum?

Another similar question is: Even with the Sun-paid developers, can OpenSolaris keep its development momentum? I very much doubt it, in fact if you look at the trends, you could say that solaris lost that momentum years ago. The only thing that keeps the interest in opensolaris today is ZFS (which is great, but it doesn't make the traditional filesystems irrelevant - LVM and traditional raid suck, but it works and it can do almost everything that ZFS does, even if its a bit slower and crappier), and it's impossible to release big innovative features like ZFS every few years, things like zfs only happen one time every n-decades.

My take: Ellison is not going to follow the anti-Linux competitive attitude that the old Sun had. Its clear that Linux is here to stay, and Oracle couldn't win a fight against Linux, because pretty much everyone except Microsoft and Apple back it. I can't guess what they will do with opensolaris, but it's clear that they aren't going to start a war against Linux, because that would mean starting a war against the huge and increasing share of their Oracle Linux customers.

Re:Already Open (1)

elashish14 (1302231) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682387)

Also, you can't ignore the issue of where the workers are going to go. When companies restructure, many employees end up getting the axe.

Linux is the biggest fish in the "open" space. (4, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681773)

Unless Oracle explicitly spends resources to develop OpenSolaris, it will fade away and die in the "open" space as Linux is the biggest fish there. The typical geek who builds a freeware application builds it for Linux first since Linux is the dominant freeware operating system.

So, what is the chance that Oracle will spend resources on OpenSolaris? The probability is exactly 0.

Oracle -- along with Intel and Cisco -- is notorious for viewing engineers as dots on a graph and rating them on a bell curve, firing the bottom 10% annually. These companies do not waste any money or time on "underperformance" by either engineers or products. If a product does not produce any revenue, then it is abandoned.

This shark-like mentality has gained popularity in recent years among American companies.

Re:Linux is the biggest fish in the "open" space. (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682657)

No - linux is not the "biggest"

If you take the mass of all the things that call themselves "Linux" - then yes.

Linux is a kernel. But RedHat's efforts are different than Debians, which is a different set of efforts than Canonical, which is .....

And Apache, while running on GNU/Linux forks is not Linux. Nor is OpenOffice. Or .....

fuck you (3, Informative)

mungtor (306258) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682809)

you're probably right. As much as I wanted to find fault and prove you wrong, I can't and now I'm just bitter.

Re:Already Open (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681953)

They can cut off the project's oxygen pretty easily, actually. Most of the project's ecosystem consists of sun-sponsored resources (websites, source code repositories, they also host the mailing lists) and since Oracle will be purchasing Sun's rights they can easily revoke the rights to the binary-only blobs that are required to build a complete and bootable copy of the source tree (if you can't build it, you can't run it -can you?).

Oracle is in a great posistion to kill off Solaris. Considerting that there's little interest or expertise outside of Sun that would be able (much less willing) to maintain Solaris all they'd really have to do is shut down the projects resources and assign the people working on solaris to other projects.

It's sad that Solaris never really took off as a truly free Unix, but it didn't, and now it never will.

Re:Already Open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682177)

Somewhere, Ben Rockwood is crying silently in a corner...

Re:Already Open (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681993)

It would be kinda hard to kill since the code is already "open" and out in the wild.

That makes it hard for them to stop anyone who has the resources and desire from starting their own product based on the OpenSolaris code, but it doesn't make it that hard for them to kill OpenSolaris as an actively developed Sun project.

Not, I should hasten to add, that I think they will do that, just that they can. And if they did, I doubt there'd be a big community keeping OpenSolaris alive after they did. It might survive, but it would become obscure compared to its current status.

Re:Already Open (1)

elgaard (81259) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682023)

And why would Oracle want to prevent if from being forked?

But maybe they could release it also under GPL.

Re:Already Open (2, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682985)

True, but unless you have the powerhouse ( with a vested interest ) like sun working on it, it might as well be dead as it will stagnate.

Re:Already Open (4, Interesting)

harlows_monkeys (106428) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683361)

It would be kinda hard to kill since the code is already "open" and out in the wild. Oracle can't prevent the current code base from being forked

The notion that once you make something open source, you can't revoke that, is interesting. It's widely believed, but I've seen very little legal analysis to support that belief. What little I've seen from open source lawyers has said that it might NOT be true. I'd love to see a test case.

Some of the factors that would affect a particular case are whether or not the open source license involved is a contract or a bare license. Bare licenses ARE revokable at will by the licensor. In Rosen's book on open source licensing, that is one of the reasons he recommends against using them, in favor of making sure your license is a contract. This is interesting, because one rather prominent open source license, GPL, is not a contract, according to its authors. They are quite insistent about that.

If a particular open source license IS a contract, then whether it is revocable or not will depend on the terms of the contract. Even then, it may be possible to revoke it, if the licensor is willing to suffer a penalty for breach of contract. Contract penalties are almost always just monetary damages, not an order of specific performance. I'll leave it to others to speculate how that would work out.

Another issue is sublicensing. With some open source licenses, if you give me your software, I get my license from you. If I then give the software to a third person, they get their license from me. With other open source licenses, the third person gets their license from you, rather than getting a sublicense from me. GPLv3 is one of the latter kinds of license--it has a specific statement in the license that you cannot sublicense it.

For licenses that are not sublicensible, what happens if the original licensor simply announces that they are giving out no new licenses? People who have the software could still distribute it, free of risk of copyright suit, since they have a license to distribute. But the recipients would not have a license, so they could not redistribute. It might take a way to kill off some open code this way, because it could take a while for all the current owners of copies to stop distributing, but those would probably eventually go away.

Note that I am NOT saying that open source licenses ARE revokable. Just that no one has given a convincing reason that they are not, and that almost nothing else in contract/licensing law is irrevocable, so the notion that open source licenses are irrevocable should be treated with skepticism at this point.

Complete rubbish (4, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681469)

Oracle aligned with the Linux project because they could have a say in the direction the OS went, and put back code to the project that they wanted/needed for the wares they were selling to be successful.

Now that they own an entire OS stack, they have no need. If nothing else, I expect unbreakable Linux to fade away rather quickly once the acquisition is complete, as well as Oracle shifting the focus of all future DB enhancements to have a Solaris focus with Linux as a secondary, as was the case historically.

Re:Complete rubbish (1)

gomek-ramek (1340625) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681701)

While this is a good observation, I believe there is an argument against this. Oracle has a wide variety of supported platforms. Wouldn't it be more cost-effective to focus development efforts on Linux rather than keeping Solaris alive? They are going to have to maintain Linux either way.

Re:Complete rubbish (3, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681797)

They can't control Linux, and they know that. Larry wants to own the entire stack, and he's made that very clear for a very long time. There's some choice quotes out there to support that initiative, unfortunately I appear to fail at finding them.

Re:Complete rubbish (4, Insightful)

drummerboybac (1003077) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681855)

Solaris needs to exist to support the Sun SPARC64 and UltraSPARC T2+ processors, the latter of which is a multithreading whiz. It is used extensively where I work, and I hope they keep making it, as 128 simultaneous hardware threads in a 1U can be some powerful stuff when programmed for appropriately.

Re:Complete rubbish (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682001)

Not really, they could quite easily adapt Linux to support those processors, it already runs on Sparc and supports the T1 at the very least, i wouldn't be surprised if it already supported the T2+... And the SPARC64 processors these days are made by Fujitsu anyway..

Re:Complete rubbish (4, Insightful)

davecb (6526) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682391)

There's a good proof of concept Linux that's run on a T2000, but how many years, how many staff and how many debates on LKML would it take to get from a POC to something you could bet your company on?

Honorable bird in hand beats however many in the South Atlantic (;-))

--dave

Re:Complete rubbish (1)

argosreality (923829) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683301)

While they could add in support for the processors, Linux support for sparc (atleast when I played with debian on an older sun sparc based machine) was pretty poor. Somehow I dont see the architecture being fully supported or as scalable as it is under Solaris. Also, how good IS linux at dealing with 128 threads on the fly in one go? I know Linux is used fairly heavily in supercomputers but thats because its cheap and customizable and generally scaled OUT...not up like the T1/2 does

Re:Complete rubbish (2, Insightful)

saleenS281 (859657) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683457)

Not to mention SPARC is the cash cow for Oracle. All the Linux deployments in the world STILL do not equal the amount of money Oracle makes on their legacy SPARC licensing.

Perhaps FUD - Complete rubbish (2, Interesting)

davecb (6526) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682303)

If I wanted to capture business from Sun, I'd start a rumor that Oracle was going to get rid of big parts of Sun.

And, just to add insult to injury, the rumor would have them laying off the people Oracle most wants to retain!

--dave

Re:Complete rubbish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682573)

Oh my god!! It has started already!! Sun's legendary inability to make up its mind on Linux will infect Oracle. We'll start hearing that Linux is evil, and then Linux is the saviour. Maybe it will be like Solaris/X86 too. Praise it. Kill it. Resurrect it.

We're planning rollouts of RHEL and OpenSolaris/Solaris is nowhere on the horizon.

As a former Sun admin I appreciated SunOS/Solaris because it paid for my first house. Alas, they dropped the ball when it came to small and fast and cheap (funny, considering how Sun was once the small/fast/cheap alternative). They got niched between the really high end and the low end.

I could see Unbreakable Linux going away, but I don't see a benefit to replacing it with Solaris. There are so many deployments happening on x86/x64 Linux that it would be like shooting themselves in the foot.. But hey, Sun was very good at that.

Re:Complete rubbish (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683119)

It's nice to own your own OS stack. It's nicer to offer what you customers want. Sun owned the same stack and they still had to offer Linux support, because it would have hurt their x64 sales big time if they hadn't. Management will have changed, but not the needs of customers. If anything, there will be a stronger emphasis on Linux, because management will lose a lot of its Solaris-uber-alles bigotry.

All these prognostications about Sun under Oracle are ridiculous. They're all made by people who don't know the first thing about the computer systems business. We start out with people assuming that Oracle will shut down Sun's hardware business "because Oracle is a software company." Now it's a lot of bugs either-or logic about OS choices.

Come to think of it, all of the prognostications people make when Oracle makes an acquisition end up being pretty lame. They're usually based on lame assumptions, like "oh, this acquisition also does databases, they must be buying it in order to shut it down." Which never turns out to be the case.

Don't believe it.... (3, Interesting)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681515)

opensolaris - the regular SXCE builds are Sun's testbed for new updates, patches, fixes and technology updates...

It's noted as 5.11 for the version, codenamed Nevada.

It's very similar to the way the unix kernel builds happened at one time (to be honest I haven't looked lately to know if they still do this or not) - in that the even number release is production and the odd numbered release is development...

Unless Oracle intends to kill off Solaris altogether, I don't see them killing OpenSolaris.

Re:Don't believe it.... (2, Interesting)

GPLDAN (732269) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681745)

I agree here. The exact opposite may be true. Unbreakable Linux will become Unbreakable UNIX - and it will be increasingly based on OpenSolaris. There are a lot of developments in Solaris - and I think Ellison is perhaps unhappy with his relationship with Linux.

I can tell you as a IT Director in finance that they have come pushing Unbreakable into big accounts, and want to cut Redhat off at the knees as much as possible. So the opening salvos have already been sent, and sinking Redhat and getting all Oracle installations off it is the goal.

Re:Don't believe it.... (1, Troll)

afidel (530433) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683157)

Man, them trying to cut Redhat off at the knees is so short sighted because
A) their support organization sucks (maybe this will get better if they use the Sun side of the house to answer non-DB questions)
B) Redhat employs a bunch of people that work on linux without costing Oracle a dime.

Re:Don't believe it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682299)

It looks like you've misinterpreted the Solaris version numbering scheme. 5.10 is the current Solaris 10 range, which was preceded by 5.9 (Solaris 9). 5.11 is most likely Solaris 11. My current Solaris box, for example is running Solaris 10, update 6, and looks like this:

-bash-3.2$ cat /etc/release
                                            Solaris 10 10/08 s10s_u6wos_07b SPARC
                      Copyright 2008 Sun Microsystems, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
                                                Use is subject to license terms.
                                                        Assembled 27 October 2008
-bash-3.2$ uname -a
SunOS logan 5.10 Generic_139555-08 sun4u sparc SUNW,Sun-Blade-1000
-bash-3.2$

Re:Don't believe it.... (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682565)

There's no mis-interpretation.

If you would care to read, and get an understanding, please try the following link..

http://whacked.net/2005/06/21/confused-so-was-i/ [whacked.net]

Solaris 11, will continue to be the development cycle, Solaris 10 is (as put by one of the developers) *THE LAST VERSION of SOLARIS EVER*... They may achieve Solaris 10, Update 535 in time, but as of this moment, Solaris 10 is the highest production version we'll see.

So Nevada 5.11 build xxx are all development releases.

Just wondering (1)

JonJ (907502) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681561)

Has Nichols ever hit a homerun on his speculations? Most of the time, he seems to me like an old man that just can't seem to connect the dots.

time to steal features (3, Interesting)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681585)

For anyone already committed to OpenSolaris, there are some obvious things to do: (1) Celebrate the fact that it's open-source, which limits how badly you can be screwed. (2) Write a plan to start transitioning to Linux or FreeBSD or whatever. (3) Help to organize a community operating outside of Oracle that will coordinate on maintaining the OS with security patches for the rest of its lifetime.

For anyone else, now would be a good time to think about stealing features. I know a lot of people really like DTrace. Well, it's already been ported to FreeBSD, and the Linux port seems to be nearing completion.

Re:time to steal features (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681691)

How much penetration did OpenSolaris ever achieve? I know a few guys that through it up just to take a peak, but I doubt very much that there are that many production machines out there. It always struck me as more of a curiosity. But I dunno, maybe it's all over the place.

Re:time to steal features (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28681813)

I work work for a 40,000+ person company and we have many dozens of production OpenSolaris servers and tons of workstations.

Re:time to steal features (1)

Tanktalus (794810) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682183)

Really, I thought that anyone watching Larry go about his regular routine that the appropriate response might just be to abandon Larry-ville the same way /. seems to advocate abandoning Balmer-ville. But maybe that's just me (running IBM DB2 on Linux...)

My final bid for Open Solaris: +1, Ingenious (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28681751)

is U.S. $ 1.00 and all rights and attachments of Open Solaris.

Yours In Capitalism,
Kilgore Trout

Makes absolutely no sense (5, Insightful)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681769)

Why would Oracle kill Solaris? Their first public pronouncement on the Sun takeover specifically mentioned Solaris next to Java as the reasons they want to acquire Sun. Killing Solaris would be almost as much of an about face as killing Java.

Solaris represents one of Oracle's differentiators. It has features that Linux can't due to licensing concerns, namely ZFS and DTrace. It gives them the opportunity to add value to their offerings, as opposed to being simply a reseller, which is what they'd be if they'd favour Linux.

What's more, Oracle's database is well-known to run better on Solaris than on any other operating system. Killing Solaris would remove that competitive advantage.

The only reason Oracle supported Linux so strong is that they didn't have an OS of their own. When they acquire Sun, they will.

Re:Makes absolutely no sense (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681781)

I don't think anyone doubts that Solaris will go on. But I see little advantage in Oracle's case for continuing to dedicate resources to OpenSolaris.

Re:Makes absolutely no sense (1)

javacowboy (222023) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681871)

In the same vein that StarOffice is built on top of OpenOffice, Solaris is now built on top of OpenSolaris. The next version of Solaris will be cut from a version of OpenSolaris.

Besides, if you RTFA, the author is trying to argue that Oracle will kill all of Solaris, not just OpenSolaris.

Re:Makes absolutely no sense (1)

jeffstar (134407) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681895)

What was the advantage to Sun to have OpenSolaris? Whatever it was, Oracle will likely have the same reason to continue dedicating reasources to OpenSolaris as Sun did.

Re:Makes absolutely no sense (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682103)

I don't think anyone doubts that Solaris will go on. But I see little advantage in Oracle's case for continuing to dedicate resources to OpenSolaris.

OpenSolaris serves to help promote Solaris, which is why Sun introduced it. There would be little sense in Oracle killing OpenSolaris if they intended to try to continue Solaris as an OS.

Re:Makes absolutely no sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682323)

To what extent did it accomplish that goal? That is the question Oracle is going to ask.

Re:Makes absolutely no sense (1)

$RANDOMLUSER (804576) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682013)

What's more, Oracle's database is well-known to run better on Solaris than on any other operating system. Killing Solaris would remove that competitive advantage.

Indeed. Also, support for Solaris will be a revenue stream for Oracle as well. Solaris on big-boy hardware in the data-center isn't going anywhere any time soon. However, OpenSolaris only attracts people trying to do it on the cheap. Oracle can move those people to Unbreakable and plug up the money drain that is OpenSolaris.

Re:Makes absolutely no sense (3, Funny)

UID30 (176734) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682153)

What you talkin 'bout Willis? Oracle's primary development platform has been Linux for years now. I think the vague "runs better" test is pretty much a wash when you compare optimized code builds running on similarly powered hardware.

I think Sun hardware is really more of a vanity thing in business nowdays ... so "company a" can look down their nose at "company b" and say "we dont use Dell servers, we're a Sun house"...

OMG! THANK you for making me post this! I NOW understand the Oracle-Sun merger! They're both "vanity" business models! Its been bothering me since the merger was announced ... but now I see the synergy plain as daylight. Its all about super large corporate businesses and absurdly high maintenance contracts.

Wow. That is some kind of evil genius. I'm going out to buy some Oracle stock.

Dead?? (2, Interesting)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681805)

OpenSolaris will not be completely dead. The community at large will pick it up and it will take on a life of its own much in the same way as BSD UNIX was when the Berkeley CSRG group disbanded. OpenSolaris is still important and used heavily throughout industry. It is not my intention to start a flame war, but Solaris is even more mature as a platform than Linux. I am a fan of all open source operating systems and software because it takes computing out of the power of the corporation and puts it in the hands of the users.

They should spin it off - as a non-profit? (1)

davidwr (791652) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681811)

It's open-sourced, so theoretically anyone can pick it up.

However, to be good corporate citizens, if they don't plan on keeping it they should spin it off and provide enough seed money to let a few employees go with it for a year or so.

One of my favorite quotes... (4, Interesting)

UID30 (176734) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681841)

I had enough exposure to Solaris in the 90s ... I remember when a Sun install team put in the 1st e4500 16 processor high availability box at my employer ... they had powered it up and had a bunch of our company VPs standing around the cold room oogling it ... the Sun rep was giving an executive overview of its HA features, full hot swap of processor boards, power supplies, yadda yadda yadda. My (then) boss, a lowly manager in the VP crowd, walks up to the e4500 and pops a processor card out ... the whole system seg faults an UGLY death. Ahhh ... good times.

If operating systems are weapons, Solaris is a World War II German railway gun with a cracked breech block.
- Charlie Stross

Re:One of my favorite quotes... (1)

drummerboybac (1003077) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681901)

the 90's.....that was, like, 10 years ago. Take a look at most OS's 10 years ago and see how much difference there is.

Re:One of my favorite quotes... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682123)

Compare how Linux handles the same processor offline event.... ten years ago. :)

Seriously, the E4500, so that was probably Solaris 2.6, which didn't support the RAS features, regardless of what you were told. I have actually removed memory and CPU boards from a running Solaris 8 system (after they had been properly offlined)... on SunFire hardware.

There's so much FUD surrounding Solaris or Linux or Windows by various zealots. I hate you all.

Re:One of my favorite quotes... (2, Informative)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682063)

You sure you had 16 cpus?
The E4500 has 8 slots, 2 cpus per slot, but you need to use at least one of those slots for an IO board otherwise you have no scsi and no networking, so the practical limit is 14 cpus...

Re:One of my favorite quotes... (1)

UID30 (176734) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682273)

Not entirely sure, no. Just like now, back then I was a lowly developer ... not fit to bathe in the glory of Sun reps or gawking VPs.

I'm just glad I was close to the right number ... it was a mixed house of e250, e450, e4500 ... i think there were a few e6500s and one or two e10ks floating the data center also.

... and for some reason, with all that hardware, I seem to remember complaining about disk space on a daily basis.

Re:One of my favorite quotes... (1)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682285)

Maybe they passed all of the I/O through the Two RS-232/423 ports on clock board...

Re:One of my favorite quotes... (4, Interesting)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682223)

I had a similar experience when I was at N.E.C. We were showing off one of our fully redundant servers to some execs from a Wall St. firm (I won't name them, but they are still in business, but with a merger). While my manager was talking about how fail-safe the server is one of the execs walked around behind the rack and just jammed his pen through the fan in the back to see what would happen.
Luckily back-up fans spun up and everything was fine, but there were a lot of sweaty foreheads in the room...

Look at the bright side -- ZFS for Linux! (2, Interesting)

Wrath0fb0b (302444) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681915)

I've long been immensely frustrated that you can't get kernel-space ZFS (sorry FUSE) compiled into a Linux kernel because of inane licensing issues*. Someone should write a patch for those of us that want to compile it ourselves on the theory that the FSF would be insane to sue a personal user of open-source software for daring to compile it with other open source software of a different flavor.

* Porting ZFS to Linux is complicated by the fact that the GNU General Public License, which governs the Linux kernel, prohibits linking with code under certain licenses, such as CDDL, the license ZFS is released under. [Wikipedia]

Re:Look at the bright side -- ZFS for Linux! (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682065)

Porting ZFS to Linux is complicated by the fact that the GNU General Public License, which governs the Linux kernel, prohibits linking with code under certain licenses, such as CDDL, the license ZFS is released under. [Wikipedia]

Nothing in the GPL prohibits linking with code under any other licenses, per se, however, many other licenses do not give one the rights one would need to relicense the code under the terms in the GPL (either instead of the terms in the other license, which is required under the GPLv2 [under which the Linux kernel is licensed], or in addition to the terms of that license, which is an option in certain cases under the GPLv3).

Re:Look at the bright side -- ZFS for Linux! (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682097)

Yes, someone should port it and only provide it as source or a diff, there shouldn't be any licensing issues there since it isn't linked yet, and the GPL does not apply to anyone who just compiles it for their own use and doesn't distribute the binaries...

Re:Look at the bright side -- ZFS for Linux! (4, Informative)

The-Pheon (65392) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682175)

I've long been immensely frustrated that you can't get kernel-space ZFS (sorry FUSE) compiled into a Linux kernel because of inane licensing issues*....

Well it is a good thing FreeBSD does not have a restrictive license like that. FreeBSD 8.0 will have ZFS with zpool 13, and here is how to use it.

http://wiki.freebsd.org/ZFSQuickStartGuide [freebsd.org]

Cheers!

Re:Look at the bright side -- ZFS for Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682227)

Can't you just patch it yourself and use it yourself? I've often wondered about rogue code warriors patching up their own Dr. Frankenstein's Monster Linux/BSD.

Any of you guys exist in reality or just in my head?

Re:Look at the bright side -- ZFS for Linux! (3, Informative)

diegocgteleline.es (653730) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682733)

The problem with that is that ZFS is not just a filesystem, it's a complete "IO stack". It's everything that does from the VFS to the device drivers. Sun didn't improve their old stack, they wrote a new brand system and they left the old system there.

Such thing would not be tollerated on the Linux main tree, it would be considered a very ugly design mistake. For them, the IO stack would need to work for ZFS and for FAT, and they would never buy the logic of "ZFS is special and needs special treatment to be better than the rest". If ZFS was released, Linus & co wouldn't accept it until ZFS is modified to fit the Linux IO stack, and/or they modify the Linux I/O layer to fit what ZFS needs.

Re:Look at the bright side -- ZFS for Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28683413)

Which is why it actually fits pretty well with FUSE.

The ZFS-FUSE port is pretty good when you consider it was basically written by one guy during a Google SoC. If it had a dedicated developer team behind it, it might be usable for production loads eventually.

People who suggest 'just write a patch' to put ZFS in Linux don't realize how much work it would be. Even after all that work you'd end up with a legally-questionable, difficult to distribute, suitable for personal use only version of ZFS which would probably be less reliable than the FUSE version. I can't imagine why nobody has stepped up to do it yet!

One word: Dtrace (3, Informative)

seifried (12921) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681931)

One thing Linux is lacking (and will possibly never have due to politics) is Dtrace, which is sad because a) Dtrace kicks ass, b) it's mature and works well and c) system tap is... well.. one day when a vendor ships it I guess we'll find out how well it works. This is one spot OpenSolaris and Solaris (and Mac OS X which now has Dtrace) really shine, you can extract useful telemetry and performance data from the system easily.

GPL ZFS (0, Flamebait)

TyFoN (12980) | more than 4 years ago | (#28681985)

Maybe we finally will see GPLd ZFS now even though btrfs is superior in design. I wouldn't really trust ZFS to hold my data given all the ignored bug reports about data corruption.

Old unix'es rarely ever really dies. (1)

DUdsen (545226) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682053)

AIX is still somewhat in support, HP-UX the same no OpenSolaris will be around for decades to come we might see Oracle stop pushing it actively for new customers but you dont kill a prodoct like that not with the price some organisation is willing to pay for sevice and support deals for existing systems.

Sometimes it's not about the strategic game of cat and mouse and all about the cash flow.

Re:Old unix'es rarely ever really dies. (1)

UID30 (176734) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683031)

I beg to differ. Case in point: Ultrix. I think it is safe to pronounce DEC Ultrix as D E A D. *grin*

GPL... (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682135)

If Oracle don't want to commit resources to developing solaris, they should triple license (including GPL) it... Solaris is too widely used to die, so third parties will continue developing it and having it GPL licensed will allow drivers to flow from linux (which linux has a lot more of and solaris is very much lacking) and zfs/dtrace to flow back.

This just in... (4, Insightful)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682477)

This just in: "Mass Speculation" also suggests:
1) The world will end in 2012
2) Man never landed on the moon
3) Vaccines cause autism
4) Technology = magic
5) Science is infallible
6) Religion is infallible
7) Windows is better than Mac
8) Mac is better than Windows
9) Mac is better than *nix
10) *nix is better than Mac
11) Windows is better than *nix
12) *nix is better than Windows

I really need to meet this "Mass Speculation" guy. He seems to be all over the board on things.

Oh, no, Not that!!! (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682491)

Quote: "OpenSolaris developers are afraid that they'll be either moved over to working on Linux or let go"

Let see, Job and Paycheck working on something with a future, or sulking at home working on a dead end?

Decisions....

Solaris internal to Oracle (4, Interesting)

panic (86053) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682517)

I think most people underestimate how much solaris oracle uses internally...

There is marketing hype.. then reality

OpenSolaris == Fedora (4, Interesting)

jregel (39009) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682523)

The value of OpenSolaris to Sun is the same as Fedora is to Red Hat Enterprise Linux; it's the cutting edge release that allows the new features to be added without compromising the stable release. It's improving as a desktop operating system, but that's not the real point of OpenSolaris. Solaris is primarily a server operating system and that's where it excels. It manages to include things today such as ZFS and Dtrace that will one-day have equivalents in Linux. These technologies are already mature on Solaris. Code from OpenSolaris is also used by the Sun OpenStorage platform and presumably will be the basis of the Sun OpenNetwork platform.

Before I'm modded down as a Linux-hating, Solaris fan-boi, I'm posting this from my home Linux workstation, sat next to my OpenSolaris server. Sometimes it's about the technology itself and not technology religion.

Re:OpenSolaris == Fedora (1)

Super_Z (756391) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683069)

Code from OpenSolaris is also used by the Sun OpenStorage platform

OpenStorage is basically OpenSolaris plus a kickass web-gui.

Personally I like Open Solaris (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682525)

I have the latest version, which I've not tried yet, I can't decide which system is less of a hassle to back up and install a new OS on.

It had a few issues upon it's release but it's very nice. Most stuff works I need works with it and it has some nice thins not found elsewhere (ZFS, DTrace). Personally I think it'd be dumb to get rid of it. They should promote it more and hopefully get it to grow and then control what they can't through Linux.

Who cares? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682655)

The 104 users?

Unlikely -- Oracle optimizes for Solaris 10/SPARC (1)

crmartin (98227) | more than 4 years ago | (#28682927)

Their highest capacity versions and licenses are all for Solaris 10 and SPARC. And, as someone else noted, it would be hard to kill OpenSolaris, because it's already Open. Like MySQL, if they tried to close it, it would just branch (as MySQL already is.)

WHO GIVES A SHIT? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#28682997)

That's right. Nobody.

First of many (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#28683009)

I see most of Sun's work going away the same way. No real business reason for Oracle to keep it. ( and they are just bastards anyway )

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