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Mass Speculation Suggests Oracle May Kill OpenSolaris 205

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the corporations-excel-at-killing-thiving-communities dept.
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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Mass Speculation Suggests Oracle May Kill OpenSolaris

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  • Already Open (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Major Blud (789630) on Monday July 13, 2009 @02:46PM (#28681451) Homepage
    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.
  • Complete rubbish (Score:5, Insightful)

    by saleenS281 (859657) on Monday July 13, 2009 @02:47PM (#28681469) Homepage
    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:Already Open (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MightyMartian (840721) on Monday July 13, 2009 @02:57PM (#28681651) Journal

    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 loose too.

  • by javacowboy (222023) on Monday July 13, 2009 @03:06PM (#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.

  • by saleenS281 (859657) on Monday July 13, 2009 @03:09PM (#28681797) Homepage
    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.
  • by drummerboybac (1003077) on Monday July 13, 2009 @03:12PM (#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:Already Open (Score:5, Insightful)

    by (653730) on Monday July 13, 2009 @03:50PM (#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.

  • by davecb (6526) * <> on Monday July 13, 2009 @03:51PM (#28682391) Homepage Journal

    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 (;-))


  • Re:Already Open (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ttldkns (737309) on Monday July 13, 2009 @03:51PM (#28682397) Homepage

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

    ZFS, Nuff Said

  • This just in... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Temujin_12 (832986) on Monday July 13, 2009 @03:57PM (#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.

  • Re:Already Open (Score:3, Insightful)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Monday July 13, 2009 @04:31PM (#28682985) Homepage Journal

    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.

  • by saleenS281 (859657) on Monday July 13, 2009 @05:06PM (#28683457) Homepage
    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.
  • Re:Already Open (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ilgaz (86384) on Monday July 13, 2009 @09:03PM (#28685395) Homepage

    Isn't that some kind of justice that BSD in one form reached 10% Desktop use share as OS X?

    If we listened to what people said, iPod would never take off, Apple would release 5-10 tablets and go out of business like 5 times, it would be year of Linux on desktop, Microsoft would be dead like 10 times etc.

    Oracle is a OS company and produces Linux? I have gave up reading after it. Yes, I didn't read submission even and proud of it. Just like I just laughed at ''Java is doomed'' junk.

  • See what happens (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bill_mcgonigle (4333) * on Monday July 13, 2009 @10:37PM (#28686163) Homepage Journal

    You're right, and Oracle could hasten this: re-license OpenSolaris under GPLv3 (patents) and see what happens. Worst case, nothing.

    Likely case: the community ports everything great to Linux and they don't have to worry about what to do.

    I have to say, my one Nexenta box is very impressive and Linux does have some work cut out for it. Other parts are, eh, somewhat annoying.

    I do hope Sun's documentation team stays on - they do such a great job.

  • by upuv (1201447) on Tuesday July 14, 2009 @04:05AM (#28688025) Journal

    Solaris is not need for UltraSPARC. That's a myth.

    UltraSPARC needs Solaris to live on is the more likely scenario.

    In the next 12-18 months the we are going to see a fair amount of cheap x86/x64 multicore come on line. I mean more than 8 cores.

    For the most part this is going to obsolete the SPARC. Since SPARC development has slowed to a narcoleptic snails pace.

    I personally love working with Solaris. It's consistent and strong. Linux is still not up to the Enterprise levels that Solaris is. But man Linux has made massive progress in the last 24 months.

    In 36 months those Uber T2 SPARC machines are going in the tip. Sure there is going to be some lost tech when the SPARC dies. There is lots x86/x64 has to catch up on. But one thing it doesn't have to catch up on is price. I can solve the performance gap fairly quickly by tossing another Dell blade in the rack and still be cheaper.

    RedHat and Conical(Ubuntu) both are excellent contenders to usurp Solaris as the Enterprise OS in the server room. ( It could be argued that RedHat already has. )

    P.S. I won't miss Solaris package management give me a debian packaging any day.

Nothing succeeds like the appearance of success. -- Christopher Lascl