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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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Comment by kurkosdr
By kurkosdr on 2017-09-06 09:37:56
> Just how good were Oracle's decisions on buying Sun?

They got MySQL, which is probably all they ever wanted.

Yes, I know, the community will fork and fork, but they cannot get back the paid developers from Sun that MySQL had.

You must know that database software is the ultimate lock-in, because no serious business will risk all the micro-optimizations they have done to their queries (some of them accomplished with proprietary extensions to standard SQL), and you must also know that MySQL had reached a level it was seriously threatening Oracle's database software. Taking the paid devs from MySQL was a way to make MySQL stop evolving into a bigger threat to Oracle's database software.

Everything else was a distraction. Nobody really believed that some SPARC CPUs with an inefficient ISA (duplication of registers due to register windows, sorry RISC fans,RISC doesn't automatically mean good ISA) and stuck on an old 40nm node process could ever be a threat to AMD, or that Solaris could beat RHEL in anything.

Edited 2017-09-06 09:40 UTC
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RE[3]: Think about what Oracle wanted
By moltonel on 2017-09-06 15:00:01
Oracle *is* working on MySQL, just not as much as MariaDB is. Oracle only does enough so that existing users don't flee en masse.

I'd take a MariaDb support contract over an Oracle one any day : beside the price, you'll certainly get better support (speed and quality) from the company which only sells support (not paywalled features), has to "compete" with community support, and has many people on staff who have been working on MySQL before Oracle and even Sun bought it.

While not an exact superset, it tends to have more features and more focus on performance than MySQL. It also includes (many/all of ?) MySQL's contract-only features in MariaDb's open-source release. And it has no internal conflict about encroaching on Oracle DB's feature set (like simple multi-master replication).

Oracle-owned MySQL is not Free software. Development and even bugtracking happens mostly behind closed doors. The greater community is not involved. Not everybody will agree, but this is be a huge red flag against installing a database.

And lastly, a subjective opinion that is nevertheless shared by a huge chunk of the IT industry: Oracle is the last company you want to be dealing with, due to its horrible business practices.
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RE: Comment by kurkosdr
By moltonel on 2017-09-06 15:34:37
MariaDB is binary-compatible with MySQL, and while no DB migration should be taken lightly, the MySQL -> MariaDB one is likely to be completely transparent.

MariaDB attracted most of the original talent (paid and voluntary) behind MySQL. This is a trend that started before Oracle bought Sun, and dramatically accelerated once Oracle owned MySQL. The company behind MariaDB seems to be growing healthily, as are the contributions from the volunteer community.
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RE: Comment by kurkosdr
By tylerdurden on 2017-09-06 16:54:13
They bought SUN for Java. Period.
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RE[4]: Think about what Oracle wanted
By Bill Shooter of Bul on 2017-09-06 17:03:32
> has many people on staff who have been working on MySQL before Oracle and even Sun bought it.

Honestly, thats more concerning than reassuring. Mysql 5.1 for instance... pleh. Quality really did improve when Sun/Oracle took over. Everything else I agree with.
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RE: Comment by kurkosdr
By Bill Shooter of Bul on 2017-09-06 17:09:45
Eh, Mysql wasn't really an Oracle Competitor. It sorta was kinda trying for a while, but discovered replicating Oracle is really hard ( see the 5.0 features foreign keys, triggers, stored procedures, views, etc). While at the same time Mysql was really good at things Oracle was not ( speeeed!) .

No sane person would run something like peoplesoft/SAP on mysql. And your hipster social media/tech companies wouldn't touch Oracle with a fifty foot pole.


What many people forget is that postgres development was being supported by SUN. Postgres was much more of an oracle alternative, especially the commercial offspin Enterprise Db. So I think you have the right motivation, but the wrong victim.

Edited 2017-09-06 17:11 UTC
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RE[2]: Not going to lie...
By Darkmage on 2017-09-06 22:00:06
Man I wish we could get SGI to open up IRIX. It's so sad what's happened to UNIX. While I love Linux it feels sad seeing the big brothers falling one by one :(
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