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Cloud Operating Systems Oracle Sun Microsystems Unix

Solaris 11 Released 224

Posted by samzenpus
from the new-and-improved dept.
angry tapir writes "Oracle has updated its Unix-based operating system Solaris, adding some features that would make the OS more suitable for running cloud deployments, as well as integrating it more tightly with other Oracle products. While not as widely known for its cloud software, Oracle has been marketing Solaris as a cloud-friendly OS. In Oracle's architecture, users can set up different partitions, called Zones, inside a Solaris implementation, which would allow different workloads to run simultaneously, each within their own environment, on a single machine."
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Solaris 11 Released

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  • Cloud hosting (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nepka (2501324) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @08:55PM (#38007364)
    I know it is the usual thing to hate on slashdot, but Solaris combined with cloud hosting works wonders for our company. It's generally much more easier to deploy than Linux based distros, and comes with extra performance. Our sites usually have a stable amount of traffic, but sometimes it peaks, and those are the times we really want the website to perform well. Solaris+Cloud hosting is perfect for that. As fallback, we have Azure, which also performs really good, but it requires extra work as it's different platform. But generally, scalable cloud hosting really is good for hosting big traffic sites.
    • Re:Cloud hosting (Score:5, Interesting)

      by hawguy (1600213) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @09:21PM (#38007550)

      What platform are you running Solaris on? Last time I ran it on an x86 platform (which admittedly was over 6 years ago), performance under load was worse than a comparable Linux box. (at the time, I blamed it on the NIC drivers).

      i thought the whole point of cloud servers was that when the load peaks, it's easy to spin up additional servers, so it doesn't really matter what the performance of any individual server is?

      How is Azure a fallback for Solaris+Cloud hosting? If you have a Solaris cloud that is scalable and reliable, why do you need an Azure fallback?

      But generally, scalable cloud hosting really is good for hosting big traffic sites.

      But why is Solaris more suitable to having cloud hosted servers than Linux? While I can see why Solaris zones would make my own private cloud easier to implement, I can have a script spin up EC2 Linux instances on demand and have them serving traffic within minutes. Why would Solaris be any better at that?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        What platform are you running Solaris on? Last time I ran it on an x86 platform (which admittedly was over 6 years ago), performance under load was worse than a comparable Linux box. (at the time, I blamed it on the NIC drivers).

        Worth checking out at least; works reasonably well in a VM (vmware-tools are available last I checked).

        Generally I've found Solaris to be better under load that Linux (been using both for at least a decade). When things are light Linux may be more responsive, but I've found it gets bogged down when the going gets tough. On average I've experienced at least one live-lock a year with Linux, but have never with Solaris (even on an Sun Ultra 10 with a load avg of over 300 I could still get in and fix things). I

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          i thought the whole point of cloud servers was that when the load peaks, it's easy to spin up additional servers, so it doesn't really matter what the performance of any individual server is?

          The better each individual server performs, the less you have to pay for more of them.

          But at $1000/socket for Solaris), even an extra 50% performance benefit is lost in the licensing costs. (does Solaris really cost that much? That's the only price I could find out Oracle's website). A 2 socket X2270 Sunfire is around $3000 more than an equivalent Dell.

        • Re:Cloud hosting (Score:5, Interesting)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @08:17AM (#38010958) Journal

          When things are light Linux may be more responsive, but I've found it gets bogged down when the going gets tough

          I'm astonished at how bad Linux is under load. My former university's computer society has had to reboot their Linux server several times over the last couple of months because Apache + PHP managed to completely kill it with what was effectively a fork bomb (a little bit more complicated, lots of short-lived processes were being created). I thought that kind of thing didn't happen with modern operating systems. Even OS X hasn't been susceptible to that kind of thing since 10.5 (10.4 was pretty easy to kill).

          • by Shaman (1148)

            This is a crap post, sorry. There is no modern OS that can mitigate an application that is bad. The only thing that can do that is a good operator (which re-nices the forking process or better yet, fixes the bug that is causing it or adds new capacity).

            Solaris won't ride its golden winged horse down out of the heavens to save you from this kind of problem, trust me.

            • Re:Cloud hosting (Score:5, Informative)

              by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @11:58AM (#38013038) Journal

              There is no modern OS that can mitigate an application that is bad

              Of course there is! That's the entire point of the OS. If an application can bring down the OS, then that's an OS bug. The responsibility of a time sharing system is to ensure that no process and no user monopolises the resources to the extent that others are unable to do anything. The correct behaviour in this case (and the behaviour I've seen on Solaris, recent OS X, and FreeBSD), is for the Apache process to slow right down and other users to experience a noticeable amount of degraded performance (unless they're running with elevated privileges). Being unable to log in from the console because of the actions of an unrelated userspace process is simply unacceptable.

      • If you have a Solaris cloud that is scalable and reliable, why do you need an Azure fallback?

        This question, at least, is easy. There's no such thing as "too big to fail". If you ever have to start counting your nines on more than one hand or you have to start planning for century events, you might need to think about multiple redundant hosting. The hosting company could fail or be shut down by court order, or the hosting location could be hit by natural disaster, or there could be a catastrophic accident. What if the Asian slice of the global database you're mandated by law and by mission to ha

        • by hawguy (1600213)

          If you have a Solaris cloud that is scalable and reliable, why do you need an Azure fallback?

          This question, at least, is easy. There's no such thing as "too big to fail". If you ever have to start counting your nines on more than one hand or you have to start planning for century events, you might need to think about multiple redundant hosting. The hosting company could fail or be shut down by court order, or the hosting location could be hit by natural disaster, or there could be a catastrophic accident. What if the Asian slice of the global database you're mandated by law and by mission to have always available is located in Fukushima because the power supply was convenient?

          I don't understand your answer. Solaris and Azure are not hosting providers, they are technologies. You can have geographical diversity with either one.

          • I don't understand your answer. Solaris and Azure are not hosting providers, they are technologies. You can have geographical diversity with either one.

            Azure is both a technology and a cloud hosting service, and in the question I was responding to it wasn't being compared to Solaris. It was being compared to a hypothetical Solaris cloud. Whether or not if it makes any technological sense to program across two platforms wasn't the question I was answering. The point is that a cloud service still has a geographic location and a service from a single hosting company could still be shut down by bankruptcy or court order.

    • [quote]But generally, scalable cloud hosting really is good for hosting big traffic sites.[/quote] No really big traffic site gets hosted "in the cloud" except for netflix... who doesn't actually use as much EC2 as they say they do. Its great for modestly small startups though.
      • by nepka (2501324)
        Actually, there's shitloads of big sites hosted on Amazon and other big platforms. On their last outage (which really doesn't happen often, compared to other solutions) they were named out. Look at the older stories here on slashdot regarding Amazon cloud.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @09:40PM (#38007712)

      Let me quote from an email that an associate of mine recently sent me on his experience with Oracle.

      "Oracle Solaris Cloud leverages core skillsets and world-class synergy through teamwork to provide clients worldwide with robust, scalable, modern turnkey implementations of flexible, personalized, cutting-edge Internet-enabled ebusiness application product suite esolution architectures that accelerate response to customer and real-world market demands and reliably adapt to evolving technology needs, seamlessly and efficiently integrating and synchronizing with their existing legacy infrastructure, enhancing the sodomy-readiness capabilities of their ecommerce production environments across the enterprise while giving them a critical competitive advantage and taking them to the next level."

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by syousef (465911)

      I know it is the usual thing to hate on slashdot

      No, it is usual for people who frequent slashdot to hate companies and products that have made some portion of their life miserable. The hate is not random.

      • Re:Cloud hosting (Score:5, Insightful)

        by SomePgmr (2021234) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @12:57AM (#38008806) Homepage
        Nonsense. I've been watching people on slashdot trash things they know absolutely nothing about for something near a decade.

        I come here for the ones that can call them out on it. :)
        • by syousef (465911)

          Nonsense. I've been watching people on slashdot trash things they know absolutely nothing about for something near a decade.

          I come here for the ones that can call them out on it. :)

          Well in that case you may wish to find something more constructive to do, like watch reality TV. You'll find much more bitching there.

          • by SomePgmr (2021234)
            Nah, you learn a lot when folks who know what they're talking about come out of the woodwork.

            Also, I'm not particularly interested in the end result of any argument over, "best hair product".
      • Re:Cloud hosting (Score:5, Interesting)

        by ILongForDarkness (1134931) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:06AM (#38008844)
        Really than why don't they hate linux? After all as a linux admin my life was made hard by linux much more often than windows or Solaris. Tech is like choosing a car and saying I don't drive trucks trucks suck. Well it depends. Solaris/SPARC might be slow on single threaded apps but high concurrency they kick butt. They are a tractor trailer where as linux might be a Porche. Both are worth about the same but have different features and limitations. Best to use the right tool for the job rather than get all religious on means of delivery, techinical implementation, or one area of performance. I realize other vendors equipment might have it now but I seem to recall back in the day (not dinosaur era but maybe 1995) finding out that you could hot swap CPUs on a Sun box. That's crazy. Maybe other people can do that but it is typical of Solaris as a whole, it is very very rare that you need to restart a Solaris box usually if you do it is a 3rd party device manufacturer that causes the reboot (a FC card that just insists on restart because so crazy reason it doesn't work properly after being bounced in the OS for example). That is pretty cool stuff. Whether it is worth the money and relatively small user base/app base is up to the usage scenario.
        • Re:Cloud hosting (Score:5, Insightful)

          by TheRaven64 (641858) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @08:26AM (#38011012) Journal

          Really than why don't they hate linux? After all as a linux admin my life was made hard by linux much more often than windows or Solaris

          Some of us do. And if you think Linux makes your life difficult as an admin, spare a thought for developers. Poor standards compliance, convoluted APIs (e.g. no unified kernel event mechanism, unlike *BSD and Solaris), a massive overdose of NIH (e.g. OSS, which works everywhere and is a simple userland API, vs ALSA which only works on Linux and is a mess), and a deprecation-happy team that seems to delight in deprecating APIs as soon as you've started using them.

  • by sethstorm (512897) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @09:03PM (#38007416) Homepage

    Given how much they've done negatively to OpenSolaris (taking it from developer-friendly to "we don't care how many people get compromised, we're not going to hand out security updates without a large-fee contract", Oracle's made it worse than AIX.

    • AIX at least runs on decent hardware. SPARC sucked for years before the acquisition, and continuing to beat that particular dead horse seems unwise.
      • I don't think you've seen recent SPARC hardware, then.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          I think I have. I've seen that the "latest and greatest" SPARC64 VII+ still gets regularly spanked by Power7 and Itanium and even commodity systems in performance, despite being considerably more expensive - and I've seen vague roadmaps for the future of M-Series. I've seen that the T1/T2/T3 performance promises never really panned out (see: SPEC results vs the much cheaper Magny-Cours), and that the T4 has so far largely been hidden behind the veil of vague benchmark-fu while being far more expensive than
      • by sethstorm (512897)

        That, and it has run on a wider range of IBM's own hardware versus Solaris and SPARC.

    • Heck, they even restrict the driver downloads for Sun hardware.

    • by ralphart (70342) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @09:45PM (#38007762)

      Ever seen the Dementers in the Harry Potter films? Larry Ellison was the model. In terms of Corporate Evil, Oracle is the Prince of Fucking Darkness. They make Microsoft look like a bunch of panty-waists.

      • IBM destroyed the mainframe clone market. While I don't know much about it, Amdahl and others had machines compatible with the 360 architecture that would run IBM's operating systems. IBM has been successful in even keeping the free Hercules emulator from legally running their OS.

        Larry Ellison has never destroyed a major competetor - Sybase and Informix still stand.

        Ellison also did not build Union Carbide, Dow Chemical, or Monsanto. Ellison can sleep at night, deservedly so.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      OpenSolaris was a cool project, don't get me wrong, but from a business perspective it had pretty much zero benefit and arguably a negative one. There was little to no community contribution back to the Solaris code base. All of the stuff that made Solaris great was developed in-house and the only thing that opening the source code did for Sun/Oracle is that it enabled a number of other projects and startups to profit off of Sun's investment in developing Solaris. A number of storage vendors have forked or

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @09:06PM (#38007452)

    10 years and counting and still no ZFS bp rewrite implemented. For those that care, this presumably is required to implement such uninteresting things as vdev removal and defragmentation. And please, no defrag-denialists here... ZFS fragments like a cheap suit dipped into liquid nitrogen.

  • Zones have been around in Solaris 10 for years. They're very nice, btw.
    • by rnturn (11092)
      Ah... but these zones go to (Solaris) 11.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by spacey (741)

      They're OK... until you try to manage different (commercial) applications on them. When app 1 requires a kernel patch, well there's no real virtualization there - the zones still run the same kernel, so when app 2 requires a different, incompatible patch, you get the throw up your hands and become the IT that says "no".

      These are old issues, but trying to sell zones as the end-all be-all, or as even much more interesting than a BSD jail, is bogus.

      Let's get to real issues that this doesn't change: patch mana

      • If they require different kernels, then you move one to an LPAR. You can, unless they were removed since I last used Solaris, use branded zones to run different kernel personalities in different zones, so one looks like Solaris 8, one looks like RedHat Linux, and one looks like Solaris 10 to anything in userspace.
  • Partitions in solaris are so.... 1996.

    e10k was a POS.... though it was trying mighty hard to keep up with LPARs under AIX...

  • by jmcbain (1233044) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @09:15PM (#38007510)
    I only use real Unix, like Solaris and Mac OS X, rather than cheap, reverse-engineered, and possibly illegal copies like Linux. At my age and high salary, I should be living like an adult and not steal digital content (like Unix software, movies, or music). I guess if you're young, stupid, and/or poor, then you can go ahead and do immoral things (like touching yourself at night as you stroke your neckbeard, which is what 90% of you do).
  • Oracle has messed up Solaris and pretty much everything they have acquired (Java, Vbox, OO).
    • by afabbro (33948) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @10:30PM (#38008124) Homepage
      How exactly has Oracle "messed up" VirtualBox?
      • by kimvette (919543)

        Oracle has been messing up everything else they have acquired that they haven't had time to get around to Virtualbox yet. Don't worry, they'll eventually get around to it - they are fucking up the products in the order of most users to fewest users. ;)

      • It's only recently that VirtualBox has been hanging guest threads on my workstation/laptop. Version 3 was fine, the 4.0 tree was fine, but the last two releases have been, quite frankly, liquid crap in comparison.
      • I'm not sure what they did, but shutting down a VirtualBox VM on my new Mac seems to have about a 10% chance of causing a kernel panic. They've released three new versions since I got this machine, and none of them fixes this.
      • by TheLink (130905)
        AFAIK it started giving problems on my machine soon after they renamed it Oracle VirtualBox. Hangs of VM and misc weirdness.

        When I reverted to a previous version the problems went away. I haven't bothered to check recent versions since (I did try one or two but reverting was the only way).
  • by Dice (109560) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @10:04PM (#38007924)

    I guess Ellison changed his mind about cloud computing... here's him a year or two back ranting about how stupid the idea is.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0FacYAI6DY0 [youtube.com]

    • by dbIII (701233)
      It's a meaningless and deliberately nebulous bullshit buzzword so it deserved a rant.
      Remember Sun's "the network is the computer" from quite a few years ago? That fits most definitions of "cloud computing" so if you are already on the bandwagon that others are jumping on, why not let others know? They've provided "cloud" services such as Sun Grid Engine on rentable remote hosts since some time before the cloud hype happened.
    • by evilviper (135110) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @11:26PM (#38008432) Journal

      I guess Ellison changed his mind about cloud computing...

      Quite the opposite. In your own link he summarized by saying:

      "I'm not going to fight this thing." but "I don't understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud computing, other than change the wording on some of our ads."

      And sure enough, their ads now show how great Solaris is for cloud computing. Based on what?... zones, which have been in Solaris for a number of years.

      • What do you expect? At least Larry is being honest. "Cloud" is nothing but a marketing term. Everytime it comes up in a meeting I want to stab myself in the face with a spork.
      • More than that, Ellison was decrying in 1995 how stupid it is to put software onto a piece of plastic, put the plastic in a box, put the box onto a pallet, put the pallet in a truck, drive the truck to a store, take the pallet out of the truck, take the box off the pallet and put it on a shelf, have someone pick it up off the shelf and put it in their car, drive their car home, take the box out of the car, take the plastic out of the box, and then get the software out of the plastic onto your computer.

        I gue

  • I think what I'm most excited for with this release is seeing if Oracle follows through on their promise to put out the source for the up-to-the-date work on ZFS. While ZFS at v28 has proven to be both a lot of fun and very useful for many of us, the updates since (first available for general use with Solaris 11 Express last year I believe) add a few really nice features, including crypto and work on block pointer rewrite. While the illumos project could certainly fork it if required, it would be really gre

    • by spacey (741)

      > I don't see that Oracle has anything to lose here by staying open with that component, filesystems benefit a lot from widespread use and lots of testing, but, well, it is Oracle.

      I believe netapp still believes, somehow, that zfs is wafl, and that they should be paid damages for distribution of their IP.

      I know that Daniel Philips has claimed at conferences way back when that he has seen prior art on WAFLs patents, but he still stopped working on Tux2 instead of fighting it. I don't know if Larry and th

    • Re:ZFS v31+ at last? (Score:4, Informative)

      by nrozema (317031) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:39AM (#38008994)

      While ZFS at v28 has proven to be both a lot of fun and very useful for many of us, the updates since (first available for general use with Solaris 11 Express last year I believe) add a few really nice features

      Careful, they've also abruptly removed a few really nice features in later versions that have caused major headaches for me and many others. For example the "aclmode" property was completely removed from version 31 - completely breaking a lot of deployments that made extensive use of ACLs. Version 33 released today with Solaris 11 thankfully restores that feature after significant outcry from affected customers (I believe Illumos went forward and restored it on their own as well) - but the damage has been done in a lot of cases.

      Just a word of warning to be very careful before running "zpool upgrade" as Oracle's philosophy on backward compatibility and stability of existing features seems to be quite different than that of Sun.

  • by Bluecobra (906623) on Wednesday November 09, 2011 @11:01PM (#38008304)

    Ever since Oracle bought out Sun, they went overboard with the licensing costs for Solaris. Remember a few years back when Sun will let you run Solaris 10 for free? Well no more, if you have a non-Oracle two processor server it will cost you $2,000 per year. You don't own a license, you are basically renting the privilege to run Solaris on a server for one year. Also, you only get one flavor of support which they laughably call "premium". Their support is a joke now, and in my experience the good Sun engineers left a long time ago. For starters, you now get to talk to an overseas helpdesk which logs your call and for severity one issues, they give you a call back in an hour (if you're lucky). It used to be you will call an easy to remember number (1-800-USA-4SUN) and you will get a live transfer to a knowledgeable engineer to fix your problem. A few years ago I used to be a staunch supporter of Sun and Solaris but it seems like Oracle has done everything to drive me away from Sun's hardware and software. I am pretty sure I am not the only one either.

    • by renegadesx (977007) on Thursday November 10, 2011 @01:31AM (#38008944)
      Suddently SCO's "$699 so we won't sue you" is sounding like a bargin.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ender- (42944)

      Ever since Oracle bought out Sun, they went overboard with the licensing costs for Solaris. Remember a few years back when Sun will let you run Solaris 10 for free? Well no more, if you have a non-Oracle two processor server it will cost you $2,000 per year. You don't own a license, you are basically renting the privilege to run Solaris on a server for one year. Also, you only get one flavor of support which they laughably call "premium". Their support is a joke now, and in my experience the good Sun engineers left a long time ago. For starters, you now get to talk to an overseas helpdesk which logs your call and for severity one issues, they give you a call back in an hour (if you're lucky). It used to be you will call an easy to remember number (1-800-USA-4SUN) and you will get a live transfer to a knowledgeable engineer to fix your problem. A few years ago I used to be a staunch supporter of Sun and Solaris but it seems like Oracle has done everything to drive me away from Sun's hardware and software. I am pretty sure I am not the only one either.

      I don't know where people are getting this $1000/socket bullsh*t. Maybe that's some ridiculous list price, but unless you're a moron, you won't pay anywhere close to that for full HW and OS support on Sun/Oracle hardware. The last time we renewed our support, I believe it was in the realm of $400-800/yr for HW/OS support on our x86 servers [dual socket Opterons and quad-socket Xeons]. The SPARC servers were a bit more expensive, closer to $2000 for support on a T5240 [dual-socket 8-core x 8-thread/core T3+

      • by Zemplar (764598)

        I don't know where people are getting this $1000/socket bullsh*t. Maybe that's some ridiculous list price, but unless you're a moron, you won't pay anywhere close to that for full HW and OS support on Sun/Oracle hardware.

        The $1000/socket/year is straight off of Oracle's website. As a small shop, Oracle hasn't been willing to cut us a deal or negotiate, and only offers us what's on their website. Too bad, I used to use and really like OpenSolaris.

        Since the acquisition I had somewhat lost hope in Solaris with Oracle as the overlord, however, I've recently found OpenIndiana [openindiana.org]. It looks very promising!

  • ... use the SmartOS fork instead. Do you really trust Oracle?

  • Come on Slashdot: surely the headline should have been "Solaris goes up too 11" !!

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Solaris Zones have been around for years... more stupid "it's new & cloud-based" crap when is just re-marketing their old technology.

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