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Open Source Oracle

OpenSolaris Governing Board Closing Shop? 234

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the so-it-comes-to-this dept.
echolinux writes "Frustrated by Oracle's refusal to interact with the OpenSolaris community or speak with the OpenSolaris Governing Board, the OGB has issued an ultimatum to Oracle: designate a liaison to the OGB by August 16th or the board will 'take action at the August 23 meeting to trigger the clause in the OGB charter that will return control of the community to Oracle.'"
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OpenSolaris Governing Board Closing Shop?

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  • Re:Why the silence? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Doc Hopper (59070) <slashdot@barnson.org> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:14AM (#32902174) Homepage Journal

    Oracle removed the ability to download and use Solaris 10 for free.

    Thanks for playing. Please try again.

    1. Register at sunsolve.sun.com.
    2. Click "Downloads & Trials", and select "Top Downloads".
    3. Under "Servers & Storage Systems" select "Solaris".
    4. Download the option most suited to your needs. For certain releases, you may be asked some survey questions first. If you're not certain you want Solaris full-time on your workstation, I'd suggest going with the VirtualBox image.

    The assertion that Oracle no longer allows you to download and use Solaris 10 for free is completely FALSE. I hate seeing this canard repeatedly trotted out as if it were true. There were a couple of days during the support transition and shutdown of legacy Sun data centers when Solaris downloads were affected, but that's been fixed for quite a while now.

  • Re:Sad (Score:5, Informative)

    by Doc Hopper (59070) <slashdot@barnson.org> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:29AM (#32902444) Homepage Journal

    Oracle could leverage Open Solaris as the ideal Oracle platform.
    They could push for high end web solutions to use Oracle+Solaris+Java.

    Actually, Oracle DOES leverage OpenSolaris as an Oracle platform. The 7410 storage platform exclusively runs OpenSolaris under the hood. Bog-standard Solaris wasn't up to the job. We've bought a number of these storage platforms and are testing them out right now; other than annoying production delays due to unavailability of really-honking-big SSDs, they are extremely cool and high-performance storage solutions.

    Also the newer T5240 boxes run way better on OpenSolaris than on stock Solaris 10. No ifs, ands, or buts. Better hardware support and faster I/O. You have to be running the 10/09 release of Solaris 10 to even support these boxes at all, and OpenSolaris supported them before they were even released.

  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Informative)

    by Doc Hopper (59070) <slashdot@barnson.org> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:35AM (#32902572) Homepage Journal

    Oracle doesn't care about you unless you're willing to spend a lot of money.

    Correction: Oracle wants you to spend a lot of money, but they care about you as a potential paying customer. For instance, you can pick up a two-user license of Oracle Database for free and run a large production web site on it if you want. Think about your typical MySQL deployment: One user for the web site, and maybe a second user for the administrative user (usually "root"). Oracle gives this away for free for unlimited use.

    The goal is to eventually rope you into a larger deployment with more capabilities so you become a paying customer. Always has been.

    But I can assure you the sales guys "care" to get your money even if you're only spending a little bit of it. And Oracle spends a ton of money on trial programs, free software (Oracle Enterprise Linux, for instance), and other promotions to eventually drive revenue.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:49AM (#32902804)

    Actually, the CDDL does allow forking.

  • by arth1 (260657) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @11:53AM (#32902872) Homepage Journal

    The road to the perfect OS sure has a lot of big roadkills:

    - DEC OSF / Digital Unix / Tru64 - gave us 64-bit and support for more than one CPU type.
    - Unicos - gave us NUMA and threading that actually worked.
    - IRIX - gave us xfs, OpenGL, mixed 32/64-bit environments and tonnes of new GUI features now found in all OSes.
    - NeXT - gave us heartburn, upset stomach, indigestion and envy of those who could actually BUY a system.

    and now OpenSolaris goes too, and will undoubtedly drag Solaris with it in the long run.
    With HP-UX on life support, HURD being just a wet dream, and BSD evolving as quickly as granite, there's not a lot to choose from anymore, at least not for servers.

  • Re:Sad (Score:2, Informative)

    by CAIMLAS (41445) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:19PM (#32903294) Homepage

    We're moving the OpenSolaris installs to FreeBSD

    That, is a mistake. I strongly recommend you do some reading about the base requirements for ZFS on FreeBSD as well as its many shortcomings (at least compared to the OpenSolaris implementation).

    Just a couple of the shortcomings I've hit against in the past couple months:

    * stability issues. Even with the supposed "stable" 8 RELEASE and the 'required' ZFS tuning and hardware, I've had ZFS lock the system. It would appear the only significant difference between the 7.3 and 8 ZFS implementations is that in 8, they've removed the "EXPERIMENTAL!" warning on the opensolaris driver.
    * boot mechanisms. There is no 'official' way to boot off a ZFS zpool, and all the ways that exist to get around that shortcoming are poor compromises, won't work from one release to another, or require use of unstable code (USB boot device, grub2, etc.)
    * ZFS requires a *minimum* of 4GB of RAM for supposed stable operation. It will use that memory, even on an infrequently accessed file server. You will have stability issues with less, even with the recommended FreeBSD ZFS tweaking.
    * Compared to Linux or OpenSolaris, FreeBSD stability - largely related to device drivers - is pathetic and amateur.
    * A general "unprofessional asshole" attitude on the mailing lists. "I've discovered a bug, here it is" seems to result in things like "we're not going to fix that, we'll replace the system in the next release" or similar - if any response is made at all (admittedly, the only list I'm currently following is freebsd-usb).
    * ALong those lines, the inclusion of incomplete/dysfunctional systems (presumably) simply on the basis of superior design.

    Zones, however, would probably be pretty well implemented via jails. Those are cool. But ZFS is, IMO, not a good choice for picking FreeBSD. FreeBSD does a subset of things very well (networking, documentation, infrastructure design and naming), but ZFS is, unfortunately, not one of them (yet).

    I'm very concerned that Oracle is going to kill ZFS off. It is one of the coolest, most useful things to come to storage in a long, long time. Hopefully the Linux folks can pull their pants up quickly and come out with something feature comparable.

  • Re:Uhhh... (Score:4, Informative)

    by anilg (961244) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @12:46PM (#32903762)

    Though a fork (in the sense of OpenBSD/FreeBSD) is not possible, a fork in the sense of Linus's tree, and Alan Cox's tree is possible. The Nexenta project itself already maintains such a tree (nexenta-gate) for the Nexenta and derivative distributions.

    In short, though Oracle develops a major part of the kernel, it's open source nature still allows for multiple paths the community can take. The healthy Nexenta community is a testament to that.

    We do have some plans for OpenSolaris in the near future. If you're attending DebConf in the first week of August, look me up (and my talk).

  • Re:Why the silence? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Doc Hopper (59070) <slashdot@barnson.org> on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @01:56PM (#32904728) Homepage Journal

    What buttons do I have to click to get my free patches? Oh that's right, they don't supply patches for free anymore.

    Wrong again. You get LOTS of free patches with a free install of Solaris. RedHat set the pace for this: if you install RHEL, you have to use up2date which requires a registered system with the RedHat Network (RHN). If you don't want to register and pay for RHN, you wait for the next release and do your upgrade from that. Sun implemented a similar system -- in planning, testing, and preliminary deployment LONG before the acquisition -- requiring registration and a support contract number before allowing entitlement to certain patches in a more timely fashion than the traditional six-month release cycle.

    Maybe you just re-install every 6 months when the new media set is released? right!

    Actually, you can upgrade off the install CD from the media sets, too, without reinstalling. Always have been able to, and it's a simple, easy way to keep up-to-date, though it requires some downtime to install. Downside: no zero-day exploit fixes. Upside: free patch sets every six months. As long as I've been working with Solaris -- since 1999, and up through right now while I'm downloading the latest kernel exploit & StarOffice 8 security patch on my Solaris box -- the zero-day security exploits are listed in the patch entitlement for ALL Solaris systems, not just those with a support contract.

    Upgrade old release (7, 8, 9): http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/817-3799/6mjcan1v6?l=en&a=view [sun.com]
    Upgrade newer release (10): http://docs.sun.com/app/docs/doc/817-0544/6mgbagb1c?l=en&a=view [sun.com] (x86 on this page; the SPARC install instructions are also in the documentation)ma

    To get your security patches, go to Launch-> Applications -> Utilities -> Update Manager. Go through the registration wizard. Choose "Continue without providing a Service Plan Number". Accept the software license agreement. Finish the registration; if you want to use this as a base image for mass-deployment, click the "enable auto registration" option.

    Next select all updates, and install them.

    I understand you're concerned with not having the latest-and-greatest usability and functionality updates to your OS on a faster-than-6-month schedule. If it's of sufficient concern to you, register for a cheap Solaris support contract through SDN and be done with it. But for the rest of the world that wants to continue using Solaris for free, CRITICAL SECURITY PATCHES ARE AVAILABLE TO ANYONE WITH A SUN ONLINE ACCOUNT.

    Free security updates online as soon as you get around to installing them. Free every-six-month usability and functionality updates. What exactly is the problem with this patch schedule? That those who choose to pay nothing for a great operating system don't get usability and functionality updates on the same schedule as paying customers?

    OpenSolaris exists to fill that niche: customers who need bleeding-edge features on a very timely schedule and don't want to spend a lot of money. You can even patch production Solaris boxes from OpenSolaris patches if you wish, though I understand some assembly is required. Never done that myself. Never felt the need.

    Overall, I think the Oracle acquisition of Sun has been a good thing for both companies. Sun gets to keep the lights on and payroll flowing, Oracle gets a bunch of hardware & software products in its portfolio.

  • Re:Why the silence? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @02:05PM (#32904856)

    Unfortunately, you are both correct and incorrect. I've dropped Solaris (my favorite OS) as it's no longer free to use. The OS still is a free download, HOWEVER, read that license agreement... It says that the license is only valid if a support contract is purchased!

  • Re:Sad (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:06PM (#32905684)

    Wow. You must be kidding. See below:

    We're moving the OpenSolaris installs to FreeBSD

    That, is a mistake. I strongly recommend you do some reading about the base requirements for ZFS on FreeBSD as well as its many shortcomings (at least compared to the OpenSolaris implementation).

    Just a couple of the shortcomings I've hit against in the past couple months:

    * stability issues. Even with the supposed "stable" 8 RELEASE and the 'required' ZFS tuning and hardware, I've had ZFS lock the system. It would appear the only significant difference between the 7.3 and 8 ZFS implementations is that in 8, they've removed the "EXPERIMENTAL!" warning on the opensolaris driver.

    The limitations of running ZFS on 32-bit systems is well-documented. Try an amd64 box instead with the same amount of RAM you would get in a Sun box, like, oh, 8 GB or so. ZFS is *ported* to FreeBSD. It isn't magically shrunk down to require less resources.

    * boot mechanisms. There is no 'official' way to boot off a ZFS zpool, and all the ways that exist to get around that shortcoming are poor compromises,
    won't work from one release to another, or require use of unstable code (USB boot device, grub2, etc.)

    Untrue. Our production SAN boxes are all GPT/ZFS-boot. Nothing compromising about it, it's rock-solid and quick. You have to follow some easy directions (the install program won't do it for you, and you must restore the boot code with gpart if you overwrite it). Google "FreeBSD Root on ZFS" for the instructions.

    * ZFS requires a *minimum* of 4GB of RAM for supposed stable operation. It will use that memory, even on an infrequently accessed file server. You will have stability issues with less, even with the recommended FreeBSD ZFS tweaking.

    Yes, which is less than an equivalent Sun box would require, isn't it?

    * Compared to Linux or OpenSolaris, FreeBSD stability - largely related to device drivers - is pathetic and amateur.

    You ignore historical Netcraft surveys which show BSD boxes run longer than Linux on average. Our own FreeBSD servers have a 99.99% uptime. We stick with name-brand devices which may explain our lack of driver issues. I would put driver quality in FreeBSD up against Linux any day, since I run both in our data center. Linux requires more care and feeding than FreeBSD. This has been my experience for over 15 years.

    * A general "unprofessional asshole" attitude on the mailing lists. "I've discovered a bug, here it is" seems to result in things like "we're not going to fix that, we'll replace the system in the next release" or similar - if any response is made at all (admittedly, the only list I'm currently following is freebsd-usb).

    There aren't as many folks working on the BSDs - no Fortune 500 companies employing armies of kernel developers like Linux. Sorry you got that impression. We're just overworked, not assholes. It sounds like someone was focused on a new system rewrite and didn't have the bandwidth to address a minor bugfix. Major bugs are addressed as a matter of course.

    * ALong those lines, the inclusion of incomplete/dysfunctional systems (presumably) simply on the basis of superior design.

    There's an old generalization which is fairly true: "BSD is developed by those coming from a Unix software background. Linux is developed by those coming from a PC software background." Superior design is part of the Way of Unix. It pays off handsomely later on. I wouldn't expect youngsters to understand.

    Zones, however, would probably be pretty well implemented via jails. Those are cool. But ZFS is, IMO, not a good choice for picking FreeBSD. FreeBSD does a subset of things very well (networking, documentation, infrastructure design and naming), but ZFS is, unfortunately, not one of them (yet).

    I'm very concerned th

  • Re:Sad (Score:2, Informative)

    by Cramer (69040) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:17PM (#32905796) Homepage

    The more recent sun machines... are "PCs" -- AMD and Intel (Xeon) based. The one's actually made by Sun -- the earlier ones weren't, btw -- are nice hardware. But they aren't exactly cheap. And in the Oracle world, you need a support contract just to see a picture of one. 4 year old BIOS updates -- that had always been free -- now require a contract. Documentation of any kind now requires you login -- even for free crap.

  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Informative)

    by afabbro (33948) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @03:40PM (#32906098) Homepage

    Oracle doesn't care about you unless you're willing to spend a lot of money.

    Correction: Oracle wants you to spend a lot of money, but they care about you as a potential paying customer. For instance, you can pick up a two-user license of Oracle Database for free and run a large production web site on it if you want.

    Uh, you can? I thought Oracle Express Edition was free (1 cpu max, 1GB RAM max, 4GB DB size max), but anything past that cost money. And if you hook it up to the Internet, you're paying per-processor, not-per-user.

  • Re:Sad (Score:3, Informative)

    by CAIMLAS (41445) on Wednesday July 14, 2010 @06:37PM (#32908056) Homepage

    Apparently you haven't read this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/zfs

    Hell, even XFS is closer despite its lacking features, if only because it's stable and available. btrfs fits neither of those.

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