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Oracle kills Solaris
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-09-04 22:16:16

Remember, back in December 2016, when there were rumours Oracle was killing Solaris? And how a month later, Solaris effectively switched to maintenance mode, and then to a "continuous deliver model"?

The news from the ex-Sun community jungle drums is that the January rumours were true and Oracle laid off the core talent of the Solaris and SPARC teams on Friday. That surely has to mean a maintenance-only future for the product range, especially with Solaris 12 cancelled. A classic Oracle "silent EOL", no matter what they claim.

With the hardware deprecated, my guess is that's the last of the Sun assets Oracle acquired written off. Just how good were Oracle's decisions on buying Sun?

Sun's Solaris is dead.

Bryan Cantrill on this news (this Bryan Cantrill):

As had been rumored for a while, Oracle effectively killed Solaris on Friday. When I first saw this, I had assumed that this was merely a deep cut, but in talking to Solaris engineers still at Oracle, it is clearly much more than that. It is a cut so deep as to be fatal: the core Solaris engineering organization lost on the order of 90% of its people, including essentially all management.


Judging merely by its tombstone, the life of Solaris can be viewed as tragic: born out of wedlock between Sun and AT&T and dying at the hands of a remorseless corporate sociopath a quarter century later. And even that may be overstating its longevity: Solaris may not have been truly born until it was made open source, and - certainly to me, anyway - it died the moment it was again made proprietary. But in that shorter life, Solaris achieved the singular: immortality for its revolutionary technologies. So while we can mourn the loss of the proprietary embodiment of Solaris (and we can certainly lament the coarse way in which its technologists were treated!), we can rejoice in the eternal life of its technologies - in illumos and beyond!

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-37
RE[2]: chronicle of a death foretold...
By ahferroin7 on 2017-09-05 12:18:32
Not quite certain how you think the CDDL isn't open source. It's FSF and OSI approved, as well as DFSG compatible, so by all industry standard measures, it's open source. Yes, it's a limited copyleft, and it's not GPL compatible, but that is not the same as not being open source.
Permalink - Score: 7
Not going to lie...
By ahferroin7 on 2017-09-05 12:24:39
I'm not all that sad to see Solaris die. I'm not happy either, just indifferent. I know a lot of people loved the platform, but I've not ever done much with it myself (and my limited experiences have been mixed, managing some of the really old versions at work has been a serious pain in the arse for example).

SPARC on the other hand, I will be sad to see go. It's a good ISA, and I'd take a SPARC CPU over an equivalent vintage x86 for a server or embedded system any day.
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RE[2]: chronicle of a death foretold...
By laffer1 on 2017-09-05 12:32:58
You're correct about GPL compatibility, although some Linux projects claim otherwise. However, several BSD operating systems ship ZFS (well now OpenZFS) with the OS.

Licensing is a tricky thing. Two developers reading the same license get a different feeling for what it means. We all really need lawyers for this and even then it would still be a mess.

Even Apple ships dtrace in Mac OS. I think that's an indicator the license isn't horrible.
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Fujitsu still makes SPARC64
By uridium on 2017-09-05 13:03:39
Sun/Oracun was only one sparc vendor. A lot of their systems were made by Fujitsu who traditionally makes SPARC64 rather than the T-Series. They also have an O/S license from the Sun era and still produce hardware called "PrimePower" .. they've not been allowed to sell around the world so it's hardly known but great hardware. Perhaps this will free them up?

Who knows.
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Another One Bites the Dust
By segedunum on 2017-09-05 13:41:36
Another prediction I've had for the past decade or so comes true. Solaris was always on borrowed time as soon as Sun's decline became irreversible. Sun's hardware has really been pointless since the late nineties, but peaked with the dot com boom.

Quite what Oracle was going to do with it was anyone's guess.
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RE: chronicle of a death foretold...
By segedunum on 2017-09-05 13:47:44
They never made any money out of that though. The protracted open sourcing of Java came about not because of Sun's benevolence but because they got to a point where they didn't have the faintest idea what to do with it.
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RE: Long Dead
By Bill Shooter of Bul on 2017-09-05 13:54:12
I don't think he killed it at all. I think after the dotnet boom and the maturation of Linux, Sun was a walking corpse. The products were too expensive to justify use. Sparc had no price/performance advantage over intel/linux for most use cases. By open sourcing everything Schwartz was trying to get more uptake. It was probably too late at that point, but a good effort.

When they started closing things up, that was the final nail in the coffin.

Its a shame, I always wanted to use Sun, but couldn't ever justify it. I was able to play around with some old sun workstations, which was fun but never used for any real work.
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RE[2]: Long Dead
By yerverluvinunclebert on 2017-09-05 16:10:20
> . Sparc had no price/performance advantage over intel/linux for most use cases.

Sweeping statements like this are always dangerous as they show the author is uninformed. This basically is untrue and all you have to do to disprove a statement like this is to come up with one use case.

Use case no.1: Solaris and Sparc could be hardened to become ft-Sparc, multiple processors working in lock-step to achieve fault tolerance. Used by Telcos for mediating data types between mobile telecom switches and trackside locations for control of points and signals. Not the sort of work you would want to be done by linux or Windows. BSOD resulting in lots of RFOD (red faces of death)...

Fault tolerance was one use case - I am sure we would not be hard pressed to come up with another. Don't even bother trying to argue that linux or Windows systems can be made fault tolerant. They simply cannot and by arguing such you would just be showing your lack of knowledge.
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RE[2]: chronicle of a death foretold...
By sergio on 2017-09-05 16:11:52
> They never made any money out of that though. The protracted open sourcing of Java came about not because of Sun's benevolence but because they got to a point where they didn't have the faintest idea what to do with it.

Oracle don't have the faintest idea of what to do with Solaris either, but believe me, they will not opensource it! That's difference, that's the point.

I praise Sun Microsystems and J. Schwartz because they opensource'd a lot of stuff and contributed with the cause. Having a Fortune 500 company like Sun speaking and acting in favor of the opensource movement was a huge help.
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By ebasconp on 2017-09-05 17:03:41
What about OpenSolaris et al. future?

What do you think guys on their future? Will they we viable and used in production somewhere? Or will they become as hobby OSes?
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