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Oracle Shuts Older Servers Out of Solaris 11

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the hope-you're-done-with-them-'cause-we-sure-are dept.

Operating Systems 203

PCM2 writes "The Register is reporting that Oracle has decided not to allow Solaris 11 to install on older Sparc hardware, including UltraSparc-I, UltraSparc-II, UltraSparc-IIe, UltraSparc-III, UltraSparc-III+, UltraSparc-IIIi, UltraSparc-IV, and UltraSparc-IV+ processors. The Solaris 11 Express development version released in November did not have this restriction, which suggests that the OS would likely run on these models. Unfortunately, the installer won't. All generations of Sparc T series processors and Sparc Enterprise M machines will be able to install and run Solaris 11, however."

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Sounds like good news (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608664)

Because it will force companies to re-evaluate their position with Oracle, why Oracle is even relevant in today's market is still a mystery

Re:Sounds like good news (5, Interesting)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608708)

Because it will force companies to re-evaluate their position with Oracle, why Oracle is even relevant in today's market is still a mystery

We ARE talking servers from 2005-2007 here. Servers unlikely and unsuitable for production or any other professional use anyway.
Also, no end-of-support date for Solaris 10 has even been published yet.

Oracle is relevant since it still provides some advantages over the competition, no mystery there. However, I know what you mean. :-)

Re:Sounds like good news (4, Interesting)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608734)

Servers from 2005 to 2007 are unsuitable for production?

The usual life cycle for a server may be slightly longer than 4 years. When i worked in the computing center there were single solaris machines which had specific tasks which were about 10 years old, even the solaris terminal/web servers were in use for 6-8 years.

For a serious (not in terms of the size) database server i would hope that its possible to operate it for longer (but obvious that does not mean you need a new OS, if the old one is still patched).

Re:Sounds like good news (3, Interesting)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608788)

3, or at the most, 4 years is what at least I am used to, and AFAIK what most servers are specified to run reliably for.
Of course, one could run servers for longer than that if one wants to take some chances, however there are usually very small gains in doing that.
"Specific task" servers are typically virtualized, nowadays, so those barely exist.

Anyway, as I said, older servers can continue to run Solaris 10 if they want.
And if I were their operators I would not take the risk of doing major updates on them anyway, since 10-year servers often run old software rely on stuff that is likely to have changed in later operating system versions.

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

JasterBobaMereel (1102861) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609984)

Some Webservers have uptimes of 4 years ... ! I would hope this not also the lifespan ..?!

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609996)

Really? 3 or 4 years? I see plenty of ancient AS400 and Alpha servers in production all the time. Damn near the rule rather than the exception.

Re:Sounds like good news (2)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608898)

Strange, most place I dealt with the server was gone when the support ran out, which was typically 3 to 5 years depending on the contract. Sure you could run them longer, it isn't like milk where it is just gonna "go bad" but frankly computers are machines just like any other and servers do get more use than your average desktop so I can see businesses not wanting to trust unsupported hardware.

Now since i'm sure Oracle doesn't sell support for this hardware anymore I bet most companies have already shitcanned them or sold them off, so I bet this will only affect a minority at best. For those that are still running what is frankly in computing terms ancient hardware it isn't like there aren't free Linux distros that will run on these machines, and if you are so concerned about money you are running actual business on a server that old frankly I doubt you're gonna pay for an upgrade to the latest and greatest Solaris anyway.

So I don't see this as any different than say MSFT saying they wouldn't support running Winserver 2K10 on a P4, since that is the age we are talking about here. I just don't see old servers getting expensive new OSes, that just wouldn't make any sense. Maybe someone can chime in here and say why they'd buy new server licenses to run on 6 year old tech?

Re:Sounds like good news (4, Informative)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609006)

The University i studied at bought a (As far as remember, its the only system matching the spec which i remember) Ultra Enterprise 4000 in around 1996 or 1997.

Please direct your view to:

http://www.oracle.com/us/support/library/lifetime-support-hardware-os-337182.pdf [oracle.com]

So the regular supported time would have been 14 years and the extended supported time would have been longer.

Re:Sounds like good news (5, Insightful)

buchanmilne (258619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609026)

Strange, most place I dealt with the server was gone when the support ran out, which was typically 3 to 5 years depending on the contract.

So, you didn't have any "big iron" then?

Now since i'm sure Oracle doesn't sell support for this hardware anymore

They do.

I bet most companies have already shitcanned them or sold them off, so I bet this will only affect a minority at best. For those that are still running what is frankly in computing terms ancient hardware it isn't like there aren't free Linux distros that will run on these machines,

You want to run an unsupported, experimental port of Linux on an E6900, or an E10000, or an E20000?

and if you are so concerned about money you are running actual business on a server that old frankly I doubt you're gonna pay for an upgrade to the latest and greatest Solaris anyway.

In this market (midrange servers), it's usually not about the money, but the supposed "stability". And, you wouldn't pay to upgrade, you've been paying premium software support to be able to run whatever version of Solaris is supported.

So I don't see this as any different than say MSFT saying they wouldn't support running Winserver 2K10 on a P4, since that is the age we are talking about here. I just don't see old servers getting expensive new OSes, that just wouldn't make any sense. Maybe someone can chime in here and say why they'd buy new server licenses to run on 6 year old tech?

Our company bought new UltraSparc III and IV servers (V215s, V445s) in 2008 (bad decision, I didn't support it). At the same time we bought Sun X4450 Intel-based servers. Guess which ones will still have a supported OS in 7 year's time? The cheaper ones with 4 times the cores.

Re:Sounds like good news (2)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609248)

So, you didn't have any "big iron" then?

Well, *really* big iron servers are usually partially replaced to achieve longer lifetimes, so it is really a somewhat unfair comparison.
Anyway, If one runs a Sun Enterprise server, a major operating system upgrade late in the life of the server seems quite pointless as well. It sure doesn't add to stability.

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609660)

The reason that Sun failed is because they failed as at being a Dell or HP and sell cheaper x86 linux based stuff like Dell and HP does. Almost nobody needs an E10k, E15k, E25k, and most of the people that think they need one are wrong. Remember that compute capacity goes up and power usage goes down, whereas the maintenance price of an E*k stays the same or goes up over time, and its relative computing power goes down.

Most everyone today does replication (optionally geographically as well) and hardware redundancy. And E*k is not going to give you geographical redundancy. I've never seen the point in having a 3-5 year server's lifetime cost more than 2x the cost of a regular server when having 2x of them is usually preferable. Sure the most expensive guy may have hot swappable CPUs and motherboards, but so does complete hardware redundancy.

Re:Sounds like good news (2)

drolli (522659) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609938)

No, absolutely. Please order a server from Dell (i mean, HP sell *serious* Servers) which should serve as the central file server for 10000s of users.

I think sun failed because they strayed from the path, namely to focus on a client-server architecture which avoids decentralized maintenance tasks.

When i worked with suns they had 2 or three major bonus points and none was related to price, all related to software features which reduced the TCO. It was easily possible to maintain a *lot* of machines for CIP pools without putting much work in.

And they were the first to promote thin clients heavily after the rise of the PC. Since Windows dominated the PC market back then totally, these remained niche solutions.

The other bonus points were the excellent documentation. Even *if* i worked with linux for a long time, when testing opensolaris ten years after working with solaris, i still found it easy to *reliably* figure out how to accomplish a specific task by reading the manual - and *not* hitting in the core of the management functions on undocumented programs (hello, linux networkmanager on Ubuntu).

Their economic failure was connected to the incapability to use java for getting some serious money in. I.e. they did not manage to establish j2me as a visible standard (it *is* in many phones). In some sense i see the charge of oracle against google as a late attempt to correct this.

Re:Sounds like good news (3, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608956)

(but obvious that does not mean you need a new OS, if the old one is still patched).

I would rather strongly suspect that this will be the bigger factor in customer ire, or lack thereof. Given that SPARC gear has never been cheap, systems of that vintage still in operation were, presumably, purchased because there was some important task to be done that was done best on Solaris and/or SPARC. If that was a matter of performance, an upgrade to some newer hardware is likely in the cards. If it was a matter of specific application compatibility, they are unlikely to be switching OS versions until the present one loses support.

If 10 is supported for a nice long time, people likely won't care much. If they find that both their existing hardware and their existing software are being ditched, they will be Less. Happy.

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

buchanmilne (258619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608764)

We ARE talking servers from 2005-2007 here. Servers unlikely and unsuitable for production or any other professional use anyway.

In some environments, the only reason SPARC boxes were bought was for their longer support lifetime (e.g. "minimum of 7 years support") than competing x86 models.

Since virtualising old installs is more difficult on Solaris for SPARC, I predict this will just accelerate migrations to x86, or for environments that need midrange servers, PPC or Itanium.

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

zig007 (1097227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608834)

I predict this will just accelerate migrations to x86, or for environments that need midrange servers, PPC or Itanium.

I don't think so, at least not for that reason.
I mean, I really don't see much reason to go Solaris 11 on those old boxes. Now that's perhaps not a good thing either, but I suspect most will try to change the hardware at the same time.

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

d3vi1 (710592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609302)

Virtualizing old installs is quite easy actually, you can migrate to branded zones in Solaris 10. As such, regarding your prediction, I can only recommend that you don't go bet your savings at race track. Itanium is dead and PPC is going only in consoles. There's no incentive to run Linux on PPC, and AIX is moribund, going the way of Ultrix, Tru64, Unixware and HP-UX, unlike Solaris that is still kicking arse.

Re:Sounds like good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609408)

where does it say these machines are being desupported? Solaris 11 may only be supported on some platforms but there is no mention of desupport for solaris 10

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

yourmommycalled (2280728) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609522)

Since virtualising old installs is more difficult on Solaris for SPARC, I predict this will just accelerate migrations to x86, or for environments that need midrange servers, PPC or Itanium. Itanium? Itanium? You are kidding me right? Don't read /. often do you. It seems that HP is pissed at Oracle because Oracle is dropping Itanium support and Intel is dropping Itanium as well. PPC? IBM is the only current vendor of PPC servers and they aren't cheap. Since the Ultrasparc IV is now past the 7 year mark and the Ultrasparc III+ is closing in on the 10 year mark seems you got your longer support life

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

Z00L00K (682162) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608856)

If you had stated servers from 1995 to 1997 it would have made sense, but a server made in 1995 is modern enough for some tasks, and older servers are fairly common as test platforms for new application versions.

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609102)

older servers are fairly common as test platforms for new application versions.

This is the "shoot yourself in the foot" moment for Oracle. We MUST have test and dev servers running the exact same code and OS as the production servers. We can't afford to replace "everything" just because Oracle would like more money this quarter. Therefore, buh bye Oracle, would love to keep you around, but you MUST go now... Of all the ways I've seen to flush a company away, I guess this isn't the worst way to go.

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

d3vi1 (710592) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609314)

And lack of hardware accelerated encryption and hardware assisted virtualization (LDOMs) doesn't impact your dev/sandbox/test environment? In ours, moving to a T series with the same otherwise cpu specs (8x 1,4GHz) made a huge difference that we couldn't account for until we noticed the hardware encryption engine.

Re:Sounds like good news (2)

ThePhilips (752041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609014)

We have here some Sun Fire V440s which top list of the problem-free servers. Those are SPARC IV chips and they work and run fine since the

Oldest Sun server we had IIRC was ~12yo and it was recycle simply because per chance it was noticed that (1) Sun stopped support for the server few years ago (that was me who noticed that) and (2) several business critical apps still ran on the server. (Can't tell you the model number because nobody from IT could recall it.) At least in the past, one has expected 10 years of support for hardware and OS from the commercial UNIX vendors.

Yeah, lack of new major versions is understandable, but still for my employer would be a major PITA. But luckily we have started move to x64/Solaris 10 (servers made by HP no less!) right now, and the news would only hasten the transition. I doubt Oracle would see any H/W sales from us (and our customers) anymore: as much as I dislike the HP, over past few years their Services proved to be very cooperative: idea of running Solaris on HP x64 hardware (instead of previous HP-UX on Itanic) came from them and they do provide support for both H/W and OS.

Re:Sounds like good news (3, Informative)

buchanmilne (258619) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609050)

We ARE talking servers from 2005-2007 here.

The V490, V890, E6900, E20000, E25000 stopped shipping in April 2009 [blogspot.com] . The V445 is Ultrasparc IIIi, was announced in 2007, I think first shipped in 2008, with Solaris 10. So it won't even make *one* OS upgrade?

Re:Sounds like good news (3, Interesting)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609090)

Yeah, but if you upgrade your 2005 era server to newer hardware, you have to lube up for what your new Oracle license for the more powerful hardware is going to cost you. And if your server from that era is fast enough for running a small database, why go through all that pain?

Re:Sounds like good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609554)

if you upgrade your 2005 era server to newer hardware, you have to lube up for what your new Oracle license for the more powerful hardware is going to cost you.

Oracle charge extra for lube.

Re:Sounds like good news (3, Interesting)

jgrahn (181062) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609096)

We ARE talking servers from 2005-2007 here. Servers unlikely and unsuitable for production or any other professional use anyway.

We aren't talking just servers, but also workstations. A workstation from 2005 is not old or unsuitable in any way. Universities and workplaces which went Solaris rather than Windows back in the 1990s may have plenty of them.

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609190)

2005-2007 is still within the expected lifespan for many large cap-X information technology infrastructures. Unlike the "age of fleet" expectation for small to mid-range departmental servers, or isolated Internet-facing infrastructure on single-application duty or virtualized (allowing for the movement of the application logic away from the hardware), complicated IT infrastructure found typically in the Fortune 500 is expected to function well past five years without a refresh, and unfortunately for Oracle, this is their primary marketplace.

I doubt we'll see Oracle as a meaningful entity in five years. They're determined to out-do Digital and other predecessors who raced towards extinction given their inability to understand the needs of their customers, placing their ever-growing revenue needs (based on uncontrolled expenses) ahead of their market. Some of us have already initiated or completed the migration away from Oracle DB, something that was necessitated by their absolute refusal to be competitive in the marketplace. Now that they're doing the same with Solaris will make it easy to rationalize this migration as well.

That said, I do appreciate their decision, given that it helps large entities consolidate off of Solaris and make the capital investment now that lowers operating cost over time. They've provided the necessary nudge to complete the closure and removal of their technology from many large infrastructure spaces.

Re:Sounds like good news (2)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608718)

Because it will force companies to re-evaluate their position with Oracle, why Oracle is even relevant in today's market is still a mystery

Because if you need Oracle, you need Oracle. What I do wonder is why so many that don't need Oracle use it, because it's a beast in every way. Even if I went all big and enterprisey I think the costs of running two database systems is lower than trying to be an all-Oracle shop.

Re:Sounds like good news (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608892)

"Need oracle" has changed significantly with the buyout of Sun. We've got an assload of software that's only certified to run on Ultra-60's. That wasn't a bad decision when it was made, but it's a problem now. If you all taxpayers want to pony up more cash to migrate, I'd love to, but between now and then, we're stuck with what we got.

Re:Sounds like good news (3, Interesting)

mswhippingboy (754599) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609204)

No mystery to large enterprise database users. Oracle absolutely trounces every other DBMS out there for large BW applications in terms of performance and scalability, and naturally it performs best on Solaris.

Don't bother pointing out the M$ funded benchmarks that claim SQL Server out performs it, I've seen them and I don't buy it (actually, I haven't seen these in a while - could be that M$ has given up on that battle).

The organizations I work with have large farms of both SQL Server and Oracle DBMS systems. Both have their own teams of DBAs constantly working to optimize these systems, so both are tweaked for max performance. The fact is for the really large DBs Oracle is the only choice as the difference in performance between SQL Server and Oracle is not even close. As an example, I recently worked on a project that migrated a large DB from SQL Server to Oracle (the SQL Server team could not get it to perform well enough to satisfy the requirements). One of the queries (multi-table join on tables with one table containing billions of rows) that ran for 2-3 hours in SQL Server runs in under an hour on Oracle (on roughly equivalent hardware).

What is a mystery to me is why they run SQL Server at all. Maybe because M$ is cheaper? I don't usually deal with purchasing so I don't know the relative costs, but my experience in a recent engagement I had with a small shop installing SQL Server clued me in on how expensive Sql Server is. It might well be cheaper than Oracle, but it's by no means cheap.

Re:Sounds like good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610034)

All well and good, but I've know at least three medium size companies (5-20k people) to buy-in Oracle DBs and DBAs to run their content management systems. Totally stupid.

Re:Sounds like good news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609778)

Also because it means that there will be a lot of cheap Sun hardware tossed onto the second hand market?

Phirst Poast - Obama Regime (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608668)

If you support Obama and his regime, you support a Statist authoritarian who is an empty suit who speaks in platitudes who is beholden to the NWO globalists, oligarchical collectivists and banking cabals. You are against freedom, liberty and our constitutional republic and the notion that all of our rights are inborn and are given by our creator - natural rights. Some autocrat in Washington does not grant rights - the constitution simply enumerates them for added protection. The constitution also limits the Powers of the Federal Government yet an expansionist authoritarian view is used in modern times contrary to what Madison had intended. If you support Obama you support the biggest threat to our free will in our history, and when the last bastion of freedom in the USA falls, there is nowhere else to go.

Re:Phirst Poast - Obama Regime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608692)

It's kinda funny that you spam here bragging about the order of your post and once you go back and look - no so much.

Re:Phirst Poast - Obama Regime (0)

MemoryDragon (544441) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608704)

Man this guy is in serious need of medication.

Re:Phirst Poast - Obama Regime (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608706)

did people do this during the Bush presidency? I really don't remember.

Re:Phirst Poast - Obama Regime (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608742)

Yes, but since Bush is white, those people were seen as crazy.

You can say anything you want about a black guy. No matter how crazy you sound, the fact that he is black (and therefore worse than you) is still true. To people who are driven mad by the fact that we have a black president at least.

Brilliant (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608670)

Nice idea, since much of the value of Sun rests in its brand reputation and loyal customer base, why not extract that value by degrading the brand and pissing off the customers? Presumably many of them are locked in to our products, at least for a little while, right?

Re:Brilliant (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608832)

They are just milking the old cow before the barbecue.

Re:Brilliant (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608870)

This is called "unparalleled level of service [despair.com] ".

Crack incoming in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608672)

3...
2...
1...

Re:Crack incoming in... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609390)

That's all well and good, but how about a crack that gets you support for Solaris 11 on older hardware?

See that? (0)

clickclickdrone (964164) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608710)

Running off into the distance? That's your credibility, that is.

Re:See that? (0)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608730)

Is it any worse than Mozilla saying, essentially, a big "fuck you" to every one of their users that will listen?

More people will be affected by Mozillas new stance than this, and they don't seem to give a shit.

Re:See that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608754)

I do like the new Firefox update policy, if that's what you're talking about.

Re:See that? (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608826)

How much of your money did you spent on Mozilla?

How many of your software runs only on Mozila?

(Do you see what I mean, don't you?)

Re:See that? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608854)

Ahh, the common excuse given for whenever Mozilla fucks someone over.

Also, your point doesn't really hold - I have invested time and money in plugin development, and many of the plugins I use myself haven't don't work elsewhere.

Re:See that? (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608876)

I`m not excusing Mozilla for nothing.

I'm just explaining because their users don't give a damn about it. Or about your plugins.

Re:See that? (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608888)

I need some more sleep. X-(

Where I wrote I'm just explaining because, please read I'm just explaining WHY .

Re:See that? (1)

Lisias (447563) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608916)

By the way, you are not locked down.

It's really that important to you? Checkout the source code and fork the thing.

Does not worth it? Well, this is another problem!!

Freedom to choose does not implies in any guarantees that your choices will be profitable. Or even right.

Re:See that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609274)

Well, if somebody wants continued support for a platform that they've just completed months qualifying, then it is a lock-down if they are told that they have to start qualifying a new version or stick w/ their existing version but risk losing maintenance support.

Fork the thing? Yup, they could go w/ IceWeasel, but would that be of any use? Better idea - just go w/ Opera. Too bad Flock disbanded - they were staying w/ a version much longer than Firefox was

Re:See that? (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609128)

Ahh, the common excuse given for whenever Mozilla fucks someone over.

Also, your point doesn't really hold - I have invested time and money in plugin development, and many of the plugins I use myself haven't don't work elsewhere.

Developers are always being screwed over. End users invested very little. I think they've lost the plot at Mozilla. Version 2 was probably the pinnacle. They lost me with Awfulbar.

Re:See that? (0)

silanea (1241518) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608838)

Yes. Firefox costs nothing, every platform on which version 4 ran is also supported by 5, Firefox is seldom mission critical software and I very strongly doubt that corporate IT base their planning for the next X years with volumes well into the tens or hundreds millions of Euros/Dollars on Mozilla's release cycle. The only issue I see with Mozilla's version number hopping - aside from rendering version numbers meaningless - is the needless disabling of perfectly compatible extensions. This needs to be rectified ASAP.

Re:See that? (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609080)

Yes. Firefox costs nothing, every platform on which version 4 ran is also supported by 5, Firefox is seldom mission critical software

I think you vastly underestimate the number of companies who use mission critical software via a browser these days, which makes the browser mission critical. Just like a server isn't much use if the app is fine but the OS is broken.

Re:See that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609214)

No, the issue is terminating all support -- even security fixes -- for the old version the day the new version comes out.

Home users can just install the new version, and everything will work. In the unlikely event that some site they depend on breaks, they can switch back and wait for the next dot release to fix it, or until the site itself is fixed.

Small businesses can often do the same, but as you get larger, there's more cost associated with the rollout and re-rollout of the old version, so there's usually policies requiring the new version to be tested with your inhouse webapps before deployment, which takes time in the best case (everything's fine), and even more time if an incompatibility is discovered (not likely, but you need to have a plan if it does happen). Meanwhile, all your desktops are sitting ducks with a browser for which security flaws are being found (and publicized, if only by the security fixes committed to the new version), but guaranteed to be unpatched in that version. Think nobody's targeting them? Think it isn't your ass on the line if they get compromised when you're the one who recommended Ff 2 years ago?

News Flash! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608716)

Corporation is in the business of making money!

- For more on this, we now go live to Tom. Tom, I understand you've talked to some suits over there. What's your take on this?
- Charlene, my mind is blown. They seem to have this idea that they aren't running a charity. Also, they say they to increase sales in order to continue funding development. I don't understand why they don't just get a bailout from the government.

Re:News Flash! (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608772)

NEWS FLASH!

BUSINESS SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON REPEAT CUSTOMERS. ENFORCED OBSOLESCENCE WILL MAKE PEOPLE GO ELSEWHERE, LIKE A COMPETITOR. LIKE IBM IN THIS CASE.

It's not as if Solaris support is free, ya know. They make money even on the old equipment. This is just Larry being a dick.

One of the reasons for buying Sun equipment in the first place, and paying for the premium over generic white box equipment, was its longevity. If this is no longer the case and the customers are forced on an upgrade path, why stay with Sun/Oracle equipment when there is a supplier that will actually do long-term support? IBM is going to love this.

--
BMO

Re:News Flash! (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608882)

IBM is going to love this.

I just hope they'll be going to love Java strong enough to take it before Larry goes busted.

Java (2)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608906)

IBM has it's own JVM implementation, which is fully compliant to the Sun Java specs, so it's safe from patent lawsuits. I don't see how much more they could "love" Java.

Re:Java (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608930)

IBM has it's own JVM implementation, which is fully compliant to the Sun Java specs, so it's safe from patent lawsuits. I don't see how much more they could "love" Java.

Owning the Java specs and stewarding the JCP. If not IBM, maybe Google (even Larry will make Google pay through the nose for them).

Re:News Flash! (2)

wisty (1335733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608988)

NEWS FLASH!

BUSINESS SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON REPEAT CUSTOMERS. ENFORCED OBSOLESCENCE WILL MAKE PEOPLE GO ELSEWHERE, LIKE A COMPETITOR. LIKE IBM IN THIS CASE.

It's not as if Solaris support is free, ya know. They make money even on the old equipment. This is just Larry being a dick.

One of the reasons for buying Sun equipment in the first place, and paying for the premium over generic white box equipment, was its longevity. If this is no longer the case and the customers are forced on an upgrade path, why stay with Sun/Oracle equipment when there is a supplier that will actually do long-term support? IBM is going to love this.

--
BMO

Larry doesn't make money despite being a dick. He makes money by being a dick. He saw Sun's behavior not being dickish enough, and decide to arbitrage it.

Paraphrasing Steve Jobs, for Sun (now Oracle) to win, IBM doesn't have to lose. In this case, the customer can lose instead!

Oracle wants old SPARC customers to upgrade... (1, Insightful)

IYagami (136831) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608738)

... but they can lose them.

Currently, Linux x86-64 offerings are cheaper and faster than Oracle SPARC Servers, and Dell and RedHat will welcome their money to make the migration.

Re:Oracle wants old SPARC customers to upgrade... (1)

1s44c (552956) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608800)

... but they can lose them.

Currently, Linux x86-64 offerings are cheaper and faster than Oracle SPARC Servers, and Dell and RedHat will welcome their money to make the migration.

Oracle are pushing sun customers onto their upgrade treadmill. The smart ones will see this coming and jump ship right away, the stupid ones will be bled dry.

What oracle is doing to sun is a tragedy but sun has run its course. Oracle brought sun knowning it was a company with a dim long term future.

Re:Oracle wants old SPARC customers to upgrade... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608902)

Oracle are pushing sun customers onto their upgrade treadmill. The smart ones will see this coming and jump ship right away, the stupid ones will be bled dry.

'Tis called insight [despair.com]

Re:Oracle wants old SPARC customers to upgrade... (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609736)

Lose who? Why are people who don't upgrade for years still considered customers?

Re:Oracle wants old SPARC customers to upgrade... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609934)

Lose who? Why are people who don't upgrade for years still considered customers?

Support contracts. For large SPARC servers, BIG $upport contracts.

Re:Oracle wants old SPARC customers to upgrade... (1)

ender- (42944) | more than 3 years ago | (#36610008)

Because we pay every year for support on that old hardware.
Because unlike disposable x86/X64 hardware, when you drop $20-50k [or more] on a good SPARC server, you expect it to be fully supported for more than 3 years.

Just 2 years ago we completed a hardware refresh, coming off of SPARC hardware which had first gone into service 8-10 years prior. We still have one server in service, though not supported, which is 11.5 years old. One of the other servers had a 6.5 year uptime when we finally powered it down [internal caching nameserver]. The last person who had logged into the box hadn't worked here in 4 years... [NOTE: These servers were all from before my time here. I don't let my servers go that long without being patched].

While I think a 10 year service cycle is a bit excessive [we aim for 5 years now], it's not that uncommon when you pay for premium hardware, and that hardware has historically been fully supported for well more than the 2-3 years common with x86 hardware.

The really strange thing is that the annual support costs on our Sun hardware are cheaper with Oracle than they were with Sun.

Re:Oracle wants old SPARC customers to upgrade... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609882)

Yep. Just like Linux wants people to upgrade from ISA when the 3.0 kernel is released.

Computer company considers old hardware obsolete. News at 11.

Oracle is profitable for decades. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608752)

Sun couldn't make any money and now Oracle in all probability will get what they paid back in addition to future profits and the fact that they conveniently own Java which powers most of their stuff. A lot of feral hippies like bruce perens always like to think that evil corporations are digging their own grave when in actual reality they're laughing all the way to the bank.

I remember a month or two ago a story about rupert murdoch trying to sell myspace and everyone having a good laugh in the comments about how he paid hundreds of millions of dollars for myspace in its prime. True but in addition to all the profit myspace made the 3 year google contract alone got them 900 million $ which is almost 3x what they paid for it. Is it a sign of failure that someones site tanks after they've already paid back the initial purchase and made over half a BILLION $ in profit?

Sun will be the same ... everyone will say how this furthers the end of Oracle and everyone will run away when in reality they'll keep taking a fortune from people who actually have money (ie: not bruce perens.).

Re:Oracle is profitable for decades. (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609256)

Sure the investors get rich off of it, that doesn't mean they aren't running the company into the ground. See SCO for an extreme example.

But dev/testing usually use older hardware (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608758)

The problem with that decision is going to be as much development and test teams having to get new hardware as production servers.

Most organizations tend to penny pinch on dev & test these days anyway - so this is going to hurt Oracle in terms of perceived reliability as well as in direct costs. (If the shit don't get a pre-production workout the production fails will be more spectacular).

 

Linux to the rescue (1)

cyberthanasis12 (926691) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608798)

At least they can run Linux.

Re:Linux to the rescue (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608942)

Yeah, and Oracle's database on top of that. In reality, most companies don't actually NEED to upgrade to Solaris 11 to begin with, so it is kinda moot to begin with. The only real issue to me is the policy itself, Oracle being ham-fisted with their customers and forcing them to upgrade more often. Might be a good time for companies to consider migration away from all Oracle products.

Re:Linux to the rescue (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608978)

You don't run Linux on Sun equipment. Especially Sparc.

You don't know what I went through when I tried going through the (flawed) Gentoo-on-Sparc instructions and install. You get a system that builds itself for a week, chroots out, attempts to reboot, and becomes unbootable to the point where it will no longer recognize the disks. Thank gawd for little miracles and Sun's boot ROM and the built in dd to nuke the first 1000 blocks.

Linux on Sparc? Not if it's Gentoo. Don't do it.

--
BMO

Re:Linux to the rescue (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609052)

Worked great the time I did it with Debian and because Sparc is little endian some buggy software will hard crash on it rather than corrupting memory so it made a great testing box for some of my C software.

Re:Linux to the rescue (1)

gmack (197796) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609226)

correction: Sparc is Big endian

Re:Linux to the rescue (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609058)

NetBSD however runs really well, even on old 32bit SPARC.

It was actually how I learned UNIX many years ago. When I moved to Linux on x86 some things (X configuration for example) felt distinctly primitive.

Re:Linux to the rescue (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609134)

I'm not sure if it's still the case, but last time I bothered running SPARC32 gear, NetBSD was noticeably faster than Linux. Apparently Linux did something wrong with the TLB (not supporting the page cache maybe, or not using the tagged TLB?) and so context switches in Linux were causing a complete TLB flush, but were very fast on NetBSD.

Re:Linux to the rescue (1)

MareLooke (1003332) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609272)

Gentoo was the only distro I got to work on my Sparc and it worked wonderfully. Also if Gentoo won't work on it what makes you think some other distro will? The chance of another distro with most likely older software working better than Gentoo on badly supported hardware is pretty small.

Re:Linux to the rescue (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609574)

IBM will welcome them with open arms to AIX, if those customers want to remain on UNIX proper (I know several companies already migrating Sun to AIX and Linux (a split between P, X, and Z variants).

YAY !! ORACLE FIUCKS 'EM IN THE ASS AGAIN !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36608802)

Leave it to ORACLE to fuck you in a hole and laugh while you squeal like a pig !! Ellison is a hillybilly through and true !!

Not Nice to Emerging Markets (1)

retroworks (652802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36608936)

Planned Obsolescence in hindsight. This may not seem a big deal in the USA, but the rate of growth of internet access in 3B3K nations (3 Billion People Earn $3K Per Year) is 10 times the rate of growth in developed nations. Emerging markets like Cairo and Bombay and Peru, where per capita income is around $3k GDP per capita, keep servers and PCs in use much longer. I hope that Linux is a solution, my dealings with Geeks of Color in emerging markets is that they tend to find creative ways around software bottlenecks. Here's a slide show about how internet growth in emerging markets http://tinyurl.com/6xz9lnk [tinyurl.com] which is leading to things like the Arab Spring revolutions. We need to stop seeing support of legacy tech purely through the eyes of rich nations.

Re:Not Nice to Emerging Markets (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609582)

Planned Obsolescence in hindsight. This may not seem a big deal in the USA....We need to stop seeing support of legacy tech purely through the eyes of rich nations.

And we need to stop expecting companies to support unbearably-old platforms with new software, handicapping the new environments, when those older pieces of hardware can continue to run the older software successfully.

Re:Not Nice to Emerging Markets (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609894)

I hope that Linux is a solution, my dealings with Geeks of Color in emerging markets is that they tend to find creative ways around software bottlenecks.

Just stick with the 2.6.x kernels and you should fine. Don't expect the world including Linux kernel 3.x to keep supporting your older hardware.

OpenSolaris, Linux & BSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609010)

Does the same apply to OpenSolaris? Wouldn't users of the above machines be able to install that on their unixstations/servers?

If no, why not go to either Linux (RHEL, Debian) or one of the bsd (OpenBSD, FreeBSD, NetBSD)? In fact, use this opportunity to roll out a version that works on these. Incidentally, do various vendors who are members make either these, or earlier 32-bit versions?

Is Oracle still committed to the Sparc platform, or no? If yeah, they should at least support all 64-bit Sparc processors. If no, why have Solaris either - EOL it, and just promote their Linux. I mean, on an x86 platform, there is no reason to prefer Solaris (open or not) to Linux, is there?

Re:OpenSolaris, Linux & BSD (3, Informative)

greg1104 (461138) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609066)

There is no more OpenSolaris; Oracle already kicked that project in the nads back in August. You might use the derived OpenIndiana [wikipedia.org] distribution instead, but there's a whole different path to uncharted territory.

Basically this means everyone on older hardware will be stuck with Solaris 10 on it until they can plan a migration to something else, probably a whole new server running Linux instead. After all, what kind of idiot would make the mistake of buying new Sun hardware now that they've seen how things are going to work? All of the database server customers I deal with are replacing what used to racks full of Sun boxes running Solaris with Dell + Linux as fast as they can afford to replace the hardware. And my PostgreSQL conversion business is really picking up too. Go Oracle!

Another brick in the wall. (2)

zhrike (448699) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609198)

Oracle has been alienating its customer base (particularly small to mid-level organizations) since they acquired Sun. Our university (mid-size 'business,' fairly large university) is jettisoning Oracle as a hardware/software platform, and I know other organizations that have already done so. Previously we were Sun/Oracle across the board, hardware (including SAN), software, and DB. While our hardware refresh cycle wouldn't be hurt by this decision, I can easily see many organizations which would be hampered to adopt new functionality in perfectly functional hardware. Adieu, Oracle, adieu.

Re:Another brick in the wall. (1)

VolciMaster (821873) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609612)

Oracle has been alienating its customer base (particularly small to mid-level organizations) since they acquired Sun. Our university (mid-size 'business,' fairly large university) is jettisoning Oracle as a hardware/software platform, and I know other organizations that have already done so. Previously we were Sun/Oracle across the board, hardware (including SAN), software, and DB. While our hardware refresh cycle wouldn't be hurt by this decision, I can easily see many organizations which would be hampered to adopt new functionality in perfectly functional hardware. Adieu, Oracle, adieu.

I was instrumental in getting my old university to start moving off *both* HPUX and Solaris while a student worker in the sysadmin group 5 years ago: I didn't expect Sun to be bought-out, I just expected it to die, but either way - Sun is gone, and Oracle's acquisition and recent activity against other platforms (HPUX comes to mind) shows that Larry's got his eyes on one thing ... money, and taking everything he can from his customers along the way.

Re:Another brick in the wall. (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609676)

Oracle's acquisition and recent activity against other platforms (HPUX comes to mind) shows that Larry's got his eyes on one thing ... money

A couple of years ago an actual Oracle employee told me that Oracle stands for "One Rich Asshole Called Larry Ellison".

Given that he was about to tell us how much something cost, I found the joke rather on point. I know lots of people who suddenly found themselves with older Sun equipment which wasn't on a maintenance program which suddenly didn't have access to updates and patches any more -- because Oracle won't give away anything for free.

It really is a shame to see the demise of Sun hardware, I have such fond memories of it from years ago. Though, truthfully, I haven't personally seen an operating Sun machine in several years (but I'm sure they're out there in droves). Pity to see Oracle speeding up that demise in the name of squeezing out more profit.

And Then There's IBM: They Get IT (5, Informative)

BBCWatcher (900486) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609202)

Meanwhile, IBM's newest AIX 7 supports systems all the way back to POWER4 [ibm.com] -- systems which were introduced a decade ago [wikipedia.org] . Moreover, IBM just lengthened the standard priced support periods for AIX 6 and AIX 7 [ibm.com] . And IBM introduced support for AIX 5 running in AIX 7 PowerVM [ibm.com] .

Re:And Then There's IBM: They Get IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609822)

then you've got a nice coffee table with excellent support.

Re:And Then There's IBM: They Get IT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609932)

Meanwhile, IBM's newest AIX 7 supports systems all the way back to POWER4 [ibm.com] -- systems which were introduced a decade ago [wikipedia.org] . Moreover, IBM just lengthened the standard priced support periods for AIX 6 and AIX 7 [ibm.com] . And IBM introduced support for AIX 5 running in AIX 7 PowerVM [ibm.com] .

Sun likewise supported legacy systems. The Java language even has a deprecation capability in it that allows you time to gracefully drop obsolete code instead of being forced to do so the minute something newer and better comes out, a la Microsoft.

Sun may have been a real money-loser, but Oracle has proven really adept at trashing all the things that made Sun valuable to its users. Their continued attempts to squeeze the franchise for all it's worth may actually cost them more that if they'd simply let well enough alone.

Upgrade? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609208)

Come on, seriously, who upgrades old Solaris hosts? If its not broke don't fix it. And if it is, and it's that old, replace it.

Apple shuts older macs out of OSX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609382)

They spent years of marketing how PPC was "better" than x86, then shut them out from their newest cats, and they won't even let you run PPC software in emulation starting from Lion. But Apple fanboys queue up for hours for the latest iShiny anyway.

Oracle will have its fanboys as well.

Alternative OS for SPARC (2)

cpghost (719344) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609444)

I'm using FreeBSD/sparc64 on UltraSPARC IIIi-based SunBlades (single and dual processors), and it's running just fine. I've also installed OpenBSD/sparc64 on some of them, and Debian Squeeze for sparc is running fine too (though I never found out how to netboot that one). It's sad the OpenIndiana hasn't produced a SPARC-release yet out of the frozen IllumOS code-base, but I hope they will eventually be there. As for Oracle as the steward of Solaris, let's forget 'em: they're the abomination they turned out to be the first day they took over.

Re:Alternative OS for SPARC (1)

jmitchel!jmitchel.co (254506) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609940)

That's not really the point. The reason you buy the Solaris/SPARC combo in the enterprise is to get a fully supported platform for running specific applications. Alternate OSes break the center out of that. The OS isn't supported by one vendor on the hardware, the application isn't supported on the OS. It turns an enterprise platform into a toy for geeks. Nothing against toys for geeks - I've done a lot of tinkering on random hardware at the edges of the organizations that have employed me. But there aren't many Libraries (my customers) who would be willing, let alone able, to move their operations onto FreeBSD.

Seriously, what's the problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609484)

Solaris 10 will keep getting feature updated in 2012, support will last at least to 2017 by then you should probably have switched to new gear. Keeping running on a v490 when there will be machines which are 10 times faster while consuming less power does not sound like a good idea. SPARC(R) hardware are often live-cycled after around four years, the T and M series have already been around longer that that.

That said I also like playing around with old hardware and install current operating systems on them, but that is not something used in a business. If your are not going to use it for anything important you might even run Linux on your old hardware ;)

Now, I'm not Oracle biggest fan when it comes to other thing, but this is not a real problem for their paying customers.

Its only a matter of time... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36609706)

before someone disassembles the installer and throws a NOP in the appropriate place to skip the check, and reassembles the binary.

Money. Always. (1)

xnpu (963139) | more than 3 years ago | (#36609768)

I once quadrupled the pricing of one of our services. Yes we lost more than half of our customers, but were making more money while doing less work. It's not unlike Apple's strategy.

vs Ubuntu (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36610046)

At least they broke it intentionally, unlike Ubuntu 10.04 LTS that you can't install without already having a 10.04 system with which to write the boot flash drive.
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