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Oracle Scraps Plans For Solaris 12 (theregister.co.uk) 127

bobthesungeek76036 writes: According to The Register, Solaris 12 has been removed from Oracle roadmaps. This pretty much signals the demise of Solaris (as if we didn't already know that...) From the report: "The new blueprint -- dated January 13, 2017 -- omits any word of Solaris 12 that Oracle included in the same document's 2014 edition, instead mentioning 'Solaris 11.next' as due to debut during this year or the next complete with 'Cloud Deployment and Integration Enhancements.' At the time of writing, search engines produce no results for 'Solaris 11.next.' The Register has asked Oracle for more information. The roadmap also mentions a new generation of SPARC silicon in 2017, dubbed SPARC Next, and then in 2020 SPARC Next+. The speeds and capabilities mentioned in the 2017 document improve slightly on those mentioned in the 2014 roadmap.
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Oracle Scraps Plans For Solaris 12

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  • And then... (Score:5, Funny)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Thursday January 19, 2017 @08:05PM (#53700337)

    To complete the mashing of jargon, in 2024 - "Objective SPARC Next++" (appending "On Rails" for rack systems).

  • Actually, Linux needs competition or it will start to run out of reasons to make it better. In future, it looks like the BSD family will be pretty much it.

    Thanks, Sun/Oracle for erecting barriers around DTrace, thus motivating even better tracing in Linux. Thanks also for doing the same to ZFS, thus saving the rest of us from that sprawling abomination.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Linux needs competition or it will start to run out of reasons to make it better. In future, it looks like the BSD family will be pretty much it.

      To some extent we're already seeing this happen, although it's not quite like you describe. Systemd, which is now present in pretty much every major Linux distribution, has caused a lot of problems for a lot of users. A lot of serious Linux users, who need systems that are reliable and robust, have had to switch to FreeBSD thanks to systemd.

      Running a Linux distro t

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Cmdln Daco ( 1183119 )

        I switched to NetBSD because of Red Hat 5.0. It was such a disappointment after Red Hat 4.3.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by dbIII ( 701233 )

        A lot of serious Linux users, who need systems that are reliable and robust, have had to switch to FreeBSD thanks to systemd

        Rubbish - although I utterly despise that flaky piece of shit of a mismanaged moving target SystemD that's not what has happened.
        We've just put up with using older versions of linux. When the experiment is over we'll upgrade.
        The move to FreeBSD is just due to ZFS being a lot more mature on that platform at the moment. If you have a lot of disks it's a massive incentive to move. If y

        • Yup. I'll stick with Centos 6 as long as I can.

          By the time it gets to EOLd they might have knocked most of the bugs out of it.

      • World domination right on schedule More like world domination has gone of the rails

        OpenBSD is the only OS apart from Solaris to support Sun/Oracle Logical Domains (LDOMs), and the OpenBSD support is extremely limited - for example I/O is restricted to the primary Domain - as there is no way to create an "I/O" domain in OpenBSD.

        If there is going to be new silicon and no new Solaris, then presumably Oracle will have to release some of their hardware documentation - and possibly fund some OSS developers!

        Cu

    • sprawling abomination.

      Let me guess... you hate Systemd too?

    • Actually, Linux needs competition or it will start to run out of reasons to make it better. In future, it looks like the BSD family will be pretty much it.

      Thanks, Sun/Oracle for erecting barriers around DTrace, thus motivating even better tracing in Linux. Thanks also for doing the same to ZFS, thus saving the rest of us from that sprawling abomination.

      Actually, Solaris was de facto a single platform OS - namely for SPARCs. Sun did have that experiment w/ OpenSolaris, but once Oracle sabotaged it, and even surviving forks like OpenIndiana were x86 only, it was a lost cause.

      I would like to see SPARC survive, though, w/ either Linux or *BSD on it. It would however be nice if it weren't something available only from Oracle

      • by Christian Smith ( 3497 ) on Friday January 20, 2017 @07:42AM (#53702449) Homepage

        Actually, Linux needs competition or it will start to run out of reasons to make it better. In future, it looks like the BSD family will be pretty much it.

        Thanks, Sun/Oracle for erecting barriers around DTrace, thus motivating even better tracing in Linux. Thanks also for doing the same to ZFS, thus saving the rest of us from that sprawling abomination.

        Actually, Solaris was de facto a single platform OS - namely for SPARCs. Sun did have that experiment w/ OpenSolaris, but once Oracle sabotaged it, and even surviving forks like OpenIndiana were x86 only, it was a lost cause.

        I would like to see SPARC survive, though, w/ either Linux or *BSD on it. It would however be nice if it weren't something available only from Oracle

        You can still get SPARC systems from Fujitsu [fujitsu.com].

        But frankly, the only thing SPARC ever had going for it was everything around it. SPARC succeeded despite SPARC, not because of it. Consider:

        - SUN produced some awesome workstations and servers.
        - Everything used to be open standards (covering SPARC, SBUS, OpenFirmware etc.)
        - Solaris stabilized into a nice enough UNIX.
        - Lots of Open Source implementations available (Linux, *BSD).

        But consider the downsides:
        - SUN was swallowed by Oracle.
        - SPARC is a nasty RISC architecture. Register windows were really a mistake, and most architectures eschew them as a result. Ditto for delay slots.
        - SPARC lagged behind all the other major RISC architectures save for perhaps ARM (which was aimed at low pwoer anyway) in performance.

        While SPARC lacked in RISC firepower, it still beasted contemporary x86 CPUs until the Pentium II era (christ, that was 20 years ago!). Since then though, it's just sucked SUN resources as they struggled to keep up with other CPU vendors. They only stayed on top while they could scale up to 64 CPUs when other vendors could not. Once Windows and Linux had caught up with that scaling, and x86 could be reasonable scaled to 16 or more CPUs economically, the writing was on the wall.

  • Oracle only ships ZFS on Solaris. Until Ubuntu added it (in Xenial was it?) you had to get it from a third party if you wanted it for Linux.

    Does this mean Oracle will add it to Oracle Linux and support it?

    • by guruevi ( 827432 ) <evi@e v c ircuits.com> on Thursday January 19, 2017 @08:24PM (#53700411) Homepage

      ZFS for Linux and pretty much every other OS (OpenIndiana, Nexenta, ...) except Oracle Solaris is now being developed by OpenZFS, a fork of the Solaris ZFS code and the two are no longer compatible (version numbers and feature sets have diverged quite a bit).

      Not sure what they will do with existing customers, probably bill them a heap load of money for future support, if you're lucky, your pool is old enough or you haven't activated Oracle's proprietary features so that it is still compatible.

      • I'm only guessing, but I doubt Oracle will simply kill off Solaris - there is a lot of good stuff in there, and they do, among other things, sell a ZFS based disk appliance, as far as I remember. I wouldn't be at all surprised if that runs Solaris. But I think the market for proprietary UNIXes as general OSes is all but finished, since the open source ones are now so good.

        • by guruevi ( 827432 )

          Well, it's Oracle, they won't kill it off but you will pay through the nose for a support contract. Last I looked, it was like $60k/server/year for their quad core SPARC support contract.

    • FreeBSD would like a word.

      FreeBSD10 allows you to install to root on ZFS with the default installer.

      • Oh, I know. I'm a FreeBSD user myself. Since 386BSD 0.1.

        But that isn't what I was asking about.

      • FreeBSD now uses OpenZFS, which as Guruevi mentioned, is not the same as ZFS.
        • The source bases between Oracle ZFS and OpenZFS are still probably 90% identical. The disk format has changed recently, but you can still create an old-format pool to facilitate data interchange between the two and it'll work without a hitch (if not, file a bug).
  • by Anonymous Coward

    This sadly reminds me of the demise of DEC VAX/VMS. Great operating system that faded with a slowly dwindling paying community. In a taste of irony.. Digital Equipment Company which sold this OS.. tried to compete with SunOS/Solaris with the release of Digital Unix which sadly never received much praise or acceptance and all but sealed the end of DEC/Compaq/HP's involvement in this legacy set of platforms. Now the FOSS community and its 'nix variants have led to the demise of what Sun Microsystems worked

    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      All the developers and funding for OpenSolaris went to OpenIndiana, if you're looking for the Solaris feature set and stability, use OpenIndiana. Hopefully one day Linux or BSD will catch up to the code stability (an OS that upgrades less than Debian Stable and kernel upgrades without rebooting), Fault Management Architecture, level of tracing, clustering and containers that Solaris has.

      • One thing - why did OpenIndiana become an x86 only OS, given that its parent OS was mainly there on the SPARC?
        • by guruevi ( 827432 )

          (Open)Solaris latest incarnations are/were mainly x86 since the architecture was so expensive, development lagged severely to Intel and many SPARC programs could be transitioned to much cheaper x86. SPARC was already on life support for years by the time Sun died, Oracle made it even more expensive even though eventually delivering the T7, deployments of it are rare (who plunks down 300k for a single 1U server anymore) and it ain't the same comparison as the UltraSPARC competing with the Pentium.

        • by guruevi ( 827432 )

          OI has SPARC builds although few are maintained by the core project there are a number of derivatives that do have support. The problem is going to be finding hardware.

    • by unixisc ( 2429386 ) on Thursday January 19, 2017 @11:04PM (#53701027)

      IMO, the thing that killed VMS was DEC giving more importance to OSF/1 or Digital Unix. Unfortunately for them, NT on Alpha never caught on, and they tried to make up the difference w/ OSF/1. Instead, had they focused on OpenVMS/AXP, they'd have been a lot better off. That, plus had they complemented NT/AXP w/ Linux/AXP and *BSD/AXP, Alpha might have survived, and w/ it, OpenVMS.

      Interestingly enough, Linux has killed off all corporate Unixes - AIX, HP/UX and now Solaris. Only ones left standing are the FOSS distros out there - OpenBSD, NetBSD and FreeBSD on the BSD side, and OpenIndiana, Schillix, Nexenta on the System V side. Ironically enough, it was x86 that enabled Linux to pull this off, even if Linux was cross-platform and supported on just about every CPU out there

      • Focusing on the Alpha was also a mistake. People learned UNIX by running it on cheap machines. Even during the heyday of proprietary UNIX systems, people were learning BSD on the Amiga and then going to work on SunOS, AIX, or whatever. In the i386, Intel added the 4-ring protection model to x86 because DEC said that they needed it for VMS. Instead of porting from VAX to i386, they ported to Alpha (which only had two rings). If they'd made a cheaper uniprocessor VMS (maybe missing some of the clustering
    • Digital Unix which sadly never received much praise

      Ken Olsen saying "Unix is snake oil" was not the best promotional message!

  • A new SPARC chip without a new OS? That looks odd, except perhaps if they just plan a minor Solaris 11 update to support it.
    • No, they can either run Linux (which still supports SPARC binaries, even if RedHat may have dropped support for it ages ago), or one of the BSDs - OpenBSD, FreeBSD or NetBSD

      • Re:New SPARC? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Friday January 20, 2017 @04:56AM (#53702023)
        or one of the BSDs - OpenBSD, FreeBSD or NetBSD

        or one of the BSDs - OpenBSD

        FTFY. Only OpenBSD supports Sparc64 on modern Sparc64 - ie with T-series processors. And even that does not support the hardware crypto kit (cos Oracle wont let it).

        Oracle need to think again FAST! OpenBSD on the new hardware could be a world beater for serving secure websites (something the world actually needs AND wants). However, they are currently engaged in supporting it in the Ellison traditional manner - with multiple stabs in the back!

  • Would this mean that illumos us now the de-facto standard Solaris distribution? https://wiki.illumos.org/displ... [illumos.org] It appears that they have quite a few of the old Solaris team members. https://wiki.illumos.org/displ... [illumos.org]
    • So the last of the System V Unixes is dead? The only other one I can think of was SCO, but Xinuos has switched completely to a FreeBSD based Unix. So on the BSD side of things, you have NetBSD, OpenBSD, FreeBSD and its derivatives, but is there anything left on the System V side? Just OpenIndiana, Schillix, Nexenta?

      So in the System V vs BSD wars, has BSD finally emerged the victor? Not counting Linux in this, and not factoring in OS X within BSD, just considering the above distros in the picture

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday January 19, 2017 @09:45PM (#53700685)

    Should really read the official line from Oracle for the reasons for the changes (taken from Register post)...

    Here is what Oracle is communicating to customers:

    The multi-decade record of SPARC and Solaris platform development and delivery continues with new innovations going forward. Engineering focus on SPARC and Solaris is being continuously applied to leadership in security, scalability, and enterprise reliability for mission critical computing for key customer adoption opportunities in the Cloud and on-premises.
    Future features and functionality in Solaris will continue to be delivered through dot releases instead of more disruptive major releases. This addresses customer requirements for an agile and smooth transition path between versions, while providing incremental innovation with assured investment protection. We are amending the Support lifespan for Solaris 11, to extend it considerably beyond any reasonable expected lifetime of use, through at least 2031 and 2034 for Premier and Extended Support, respectively.
    See page 37: http://www.oracle.com/us/support/library/lifetime-support-hardware-301321.pdf
    Linked off of this page: http://www.oracle.com/us/support/lifetime-support/index.html
    "Solaris 11 follows a Continuous Delivery model, where new functionality is delivered as updates to the existing release; upgrades are not required to gain access to new features and capabilities. As a result, Support dates are evaluated for update annually, and will be provided through at least the dates above."
    If any of Oracle's customers require an email communication from an engineering executive in summary of the above, Oracle are happy to do so.

    • by robinsc ( 84714 )

      I don't see the end of Solaris at all , Oracle still sells all its high end supercluster machines with Solaris, they recently brought out a Sparc based Exadata too running Linux on Sparc. All Oracle's ZFS storage systems are running Solaris on X86. And ZFS is a strtegic storage platform for many of Oracle's curent initiatives including the Oracle Public Cloud machine.

  • Seems apropos. Though I doubt it'd be a million voices crying out these days.

    As a unix sysadmin, I know some hard core Solaris bigots though.

  • So Oracle decides to name their next version of Solaris 11.next instead of 12. How does a random version numbering change spell demise for Solaris? Not that I think it has much of a future, but this is as silly as security ratings based on number of bugs. This tells us nothing about what features will ship with the next version.

  • I bet Oracle thinks its easier to sell Oracle Linux (and easier to write too since they basically ripped off RHEL) than to bother developing Solaris. The gap between successive releases of Solaris has simply widened over time. They probably think of it as a legacy platform at this point.
  • I've been administering since Solaris was a we babe.

    It used to be rock solid, but somewhere shortly after Java, it truly died and went in a direction of differentiating itself from the competition by layering trashpile over trashpile, over POSIX.

    Every time I get asked to fix or deal with a Solaris 10/11 server these days, I cringe and immediately start avoiding it. Mainly because basic tasks still aren't efficient, or even make sense in approach. It's like Oracle is determined to be stable, but different

  • Solaris (a.k.a. Slowlaris) had its run. In particular, networking still sucks and some other things are not good at all. If Oracle hat kept the experts on and had kept investing, it could have been improved to be a real alternative, but that time is over. After years of neglect, the best is to have it die now and to push for whatever was superior be integrated into Linux instead.

It was pity stayed his hand. "Pity I don't have any more bullets," thought Frito. -- _Bored_of_the_Rings_, a Harvard Lampoon parody of Tolkein

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