Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 23:18 UTC
Sun Solaris, OpenSolaris "Sun's CEO Jonathan Schwartz loves to splatter the media with the line that Windows, Red Hat Linux and Solaris stand as the only operating systems of significance in the server kingdom. We've spent the last few years struggling to appreciate the seriousness of that claim. Sun's declining system sales failed to inspire much optimism about the company conquering the data centers of tomorrow with a deflating 'venerable' OS. A couple of recent items, however, have tweaked our view of Schwartz's favored claim. It could well be that Solaris - of all things - provides the 'iPod moment' Sun seeks." In the meantime, Sun upped the speed of some of its SPARC chips.
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The turning point
by zizban on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 23:26 UTC
zizban
Member since:
2005-07-06

Two things really turned Solaris around: First was a full commitment to x86, instead of the lukewarm if-we-must attitude they had prior to Solaris 10 x86. They now treat x86 the same as the Sparc version and it shows.

Second was open sourcing Solaris; it wasn't GPL but it created a huge buzz and a flourishing community.

Reply Score: 5

RE: The turning point
by butters on Wed 4th Apr 2007 01:11 UTC in reply to "The turning point"
butters Member since:
2005-07-08

Sun is the first major platform vendor to rediscover the fact that although investors and analysts mostly care about the whiz-bang hardware that drives the revenue for the vendor, developers and IT professionals care about the less glamorous operating systems that drive the revenue for the customer. Expect other major platform vendors that have traditionally been hardware-oriented to place more emphasis on their operating systems going forward.

What we have had in the recent past is hardware that was literally running away from the software--hardware that was getting too wide and too big for software that was designed to manage scarcity. Today the high-end is topping 128 hardware threads and 1TB of memory. The question isn't how to give each process its fair share of the resources, but how the heck we're going to keep those pipes busy and what in the world we're going to cache in that ocean of memory. How to we let software take advantage of these beasts, and how do we make them easy to manage?

As soon as CIOs began using words like utilization instead of bandwidth, the OS became arguably more important than the hardware. Mediocre OS vendors (i.e. Microsoft) began to lose market share (slowly but surely), and the hardware vendors that outsource their OS (Dell) became weaker. It's a whole new ballgame today, and the OS is on the pitcher's mound.

Solaris has a lot of things going for it, but Linux is going to be a challenging competitor unless Sun can expand the scope of Solaris to encompass more of the market. They need an attractive desktop OS and a powerful workstation OS to go along with the the server OS that sells the hardware and services. The OS is not a niche product that can be targeted to a particular market segment. It's a brand that is central to the vendor's systems strategy and a set of technologies that must be widely used and supported throughout the industry.

Consider the three major UNIX variants today. Linux runs on damn near anything, they give it away to whoever wants it, and it's equally suitable for everything from cell phones to mainframes and everything in between. Every qualified administrator and developer coming out of school today is familiar with Linux and its customary set of tools. Solaris runs on commodity PC hardware and a midrange server architecture, they have free and proprietary versions, and it's suitable for servers and workstations. The vast majority of admins and devs coming out of school are aware of Solaris and many have used it. AIX runs on midrange to high-end proprietary servers, it's licensed as a part of the hardware purchase and support contract, and it's suitable mainly for databases and high-performance computing. Many admins and devs coming out of school have never even heard of AIX and learn it on the job.

Linux followed the strategy of flood the low-end of the market where most of the mindshare is developed and hope the larger accounts follow, and they've been very successful. Solaris wants to appeal to the middle of the market where most of the server volume is positioned and hope the mindshare follows, and they're been pretty successful. AIX wants to lead the high-end where the profits are the biggest and hope the competition stays off their heels, and they hold onto a small lead in UNIX revenues.

What we have here are three distinct approaches, although Solaris keeps drifting closer to the Linux strategy as mindshare seems to be more important than revenues and as Linux is quickly gaining enterprise-friendly features such as virtualization. Now that HP-UX and the late Tru64 are falling by the wayside while SPARC is becoming weaker in the high-end and stronger in the low-midrange (Niagara), AIX and System P are basically competing with IBM's resurgent mainframe systems.

I think the "turning point" is not specific to Solaris but general to the entire IT industry. Before, there were various levels to the market that you could target individually. Today, you're either ubiquitous and driven by mindshare or a committed niche vendor driven by high margins. Sun found itself in no-man's land with Solaris, deciding to challenge Linux on its home turf (de facto standards) instead of challenging IBM's strength (technical leadership). They've got a long road ahead of them, but at least they stopped and asked for directions.

Edited 2007-04-04 01:16

Reply Score: 5

RE[2]: The turning point
by kaiwai on Wed 4th Apr 2007 01:40 UTC in reply to "RE: The turning point"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Just a couple of points:

1) I agree with the push on the desktop, laptop and workstation; I've pushed an idea through the marketing mailing list for a "Solaris Workstation Edition" where by there are periodic re-spins every 4 months, and packages for the distribution are available on a respository so that upgrades and updates can be done without needing to download an entirely new iso. I also have pushed through the idea that ON builds, not only include sources but pre-build packages so that novice users, and developers who have little time to compile, can download the latest and greatest, and test it in every day user - thus expanding the pool of testers.

2) Desktop/Laptop/Workstation is at the heart of attracting developers; attract them with a good desktop operating system, and they will come, learn the operating system, become excited about the direction, and mindshare is added to the developer community.

There seems to be a disconnect that you're a developer and a user, and they occupy seperate spaces; what about the developer sitting there writing code who wants to listen to his mp3's whilst working? what about the developer who does some part time programming at home, but also likes watching DVD's and movies on his computer?

This is where Sun falls down, assuming you can neatly catagories people into pigeon holes, and they never leave them - all the developer does is write code; I'd love to meet a programmer who only doesn't programming on his computer.

3) AIX is going to hang around simply because there are alot of IBM shops still out there - generally speaking, if you're a big IBM customer, it makes no sense mixing and matching, you just go with them, and they'll provide you with a 'great deal'.

This will be further entrenched with the move to standardise their whole high end on a single processor, where by you'll have from mainframe to server all using the POWER processor - thus leaving it up to the customer to decide what is suitable for which job - but beyond that, I don't see AIX expanding much, it just sits there, adds little revenue to the bigger picture.

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: The turning point
by binarycrusader on Wed 4th Apr 2007 19:03 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: The turning point"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Just a couple of points:

I've pushed an idea through the marketing mailing list for a "Solaris Workstation Edition" where by there are periodic re-spins every 4 months,


That's what Solaris Express Developer Edition is now.

...and packages for the distribution are available on a respository so that upgrades and updates can be done without needing to download an entirely new iso.


Unlikely to ever happen. The whole point of Solaris Express is that it isn't upgradeable easily between versions so Sun can invest more resources into building it and less resources on trying to support it. What you're asking for is for free support. They might be willing to do this under a paid scheme, but I don't think it is worth their time. Upgrades aren't always possible between these versions because packages are split, etc.

I also have pushed through the idea that ON builds, not only include sources but pre-build packages so that novice users, and developers who have little time to compile, can download the latest and greatest, and test it in every day user - thus expanding the pool of testers.


They have already started to do this with JDS, so it isn't a new idea. As far as sources, I think most people would want those on a separate set of media. The download is pretty big already. I don't see how source code will expand the pool of testers.

You can already download the latest and greatest as often as it is available -- from the individual community's pages or when it becomes part of the next ISO release.

There seems to be a disconnect that you're a developer and a user, and they occupy seperate spaces; what about the developer sitting there writing code who wants to listen to his mp3's whilst working? what about the developer who does some part time programming at home, but also likes watching DVD's and movies on his computer?


You can play mp3s and some video formats out of the box on Solaris Express editions with RealPlayer (I think S10U2 and newer as well).

This is where Sun falls down, assuming you can neatly catagories people into pigeon holes, and they never leave them - all the developer does is write code; I'd love to meet a programmer who only doesn't programming on his computer.


Remember their original target audience. The corporate world. At my employer, we're not allowed to have mp3s, etc. at all on the workstations. So yes, the only thing I can do on my "workstation" is work.

Most of these ideas have been around for a while. They aren't new really, no offense ;)

Edited 2007-04-04 19:04 UTC

Reply Score: 3

RE[4]: The turning point
by ormandj on Wed 4th Apr 2007 20:34 UTC in reply to "RE[3]: The turning point"
ormandj Member since:
2005-10-09

I understand/agree with a lot of what you're saying. However, in reference to the dev/desktop version:

That's what Solaris Express Developer Edition is now.


... snip snip ...

Unlikely to ever happen. The whole point of Solaris Express is that it isn't upgradeable easily between versions so Sun can invest more resources into building it and less resources on trying to support it. What you're asking for is for free support. They might be willing to do this under a paid scheme, but I don't think it is worth their time. Upgrades aren't always possible between these versions because packages are split, etc.


Those two are contradictory. What developer/workstation user wants to have to do a complete install every time there is a new version/updates available? That's counter-productive, and a great way to waste time.

I love Solaris, and I'm a big supporter of the "new" Sun (and I like the direction they are headed, as well) - but their workstation/desktop/developer push quite frankly sucks right now. They're headed in the right direction, but until there is an OS release that is modern enough to use on a day to day basis as a desktop/workstation (which is easily upgraded) available, nobody is really going to want to run it.

I'd love to have a Solaris workstation right now, but I can't - on a clean install (Sol10 11/06), on a fully supported system, using the included browser/etc, even going to sun.com and moving over the image rollovers "lags" the display. Installing nVidia's drivers doesn't fix the problem, either. Various other "niggles" of this sort exist. This isn't just on one machine, it's on all workstations I've given Solaris a shot on. I've seen things like this commented on repeatedly, and repeatedly been told it's a known issue and will be fixed sometime in the future. Not a good answer to hear!

Not to mention the outdated software, not slightly, but severely. I forget the version number offhand, but Mozilla? Come on...

When Sun can iron these issues out and provide a usable and at least somewhat modern OS, it'll appeal more to desktop/workstation/developer users. Right now, I have to dual boot (actually, I use vmware) Solaris, because it's unusable as a day to day desktop for me, even in a "workstation" capacity. Being upgradeable without ISO downloads and so forth is a major component of usability.

Sure does a heck of a lot right, though! That's why I'm so interested and hopeful things keep moving forward in the right direction. Maybe one of the XX/07 releases will finally answer with FF2 and so forth. ;) An updated Gnome from SX wouldn't hurt, either!

Just checked, here's the info on the web browser in Solaris 10 11/06:

PKGINST: SUNWmozilla
NAME: Mozilla Web browser
CATEGORY: MOZ17,application,JDS3
ARCH: i386
VERSION: 1.7,REV=10.0.3.2004.12.21.11.47

Mozilla 1.7. Yikes.

Edited 2007-04-04 20:53 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: The turning point
by Robert Escue on Wed 4th Apr 2007 22:06 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The turning point"
Robert Escue Member since:
2005-07-08

At least Sun is shipping Mozilla 1.7 in Solaris 10 as opposed to Netscape 4.79 with Solaris 9 and 4.78 in Solaris 8. Solaris Express DE Build 56 ships with Firefox 2.

Reply Score: 2

RE[5]: The turning point
by binarycrusader on Thu 5th Apr 2007 00:25 UTC in reply to "RE[4]: The turning point"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Those two are contradictory. What developer/workstation user wants to have to do a complete install every time there is a new version/updates available? That's counter-productive, and a great way to waste time.

Consiering that new versions / updates are only released quarterly, not very often. The point of the Developer version is to allow developers to experiment with new technology. It is *not* a fully supported stable release intended for developers that are looking for a hassle-free maintenance environment.

You misunderstand the purpose of Solaris Express.

I love Solaris, and I'm a big supporter of the "new" Sun (and I like the direction they are headed, as well) - but their workstation/desktop/developer push quite frankly sucks right now. They're headed in the right direction, but until there is an OS release that is modern enough to use on a day to day basis as a desktop/workstation (which is easily upgraded) available, nobody is really going to want to run it.

That is subjective at best. I used Solaris 10 GA (not express) on my workstation every day for a year or more before my work changed that I needed functionality only found in the Express releases. Therefore it fit my definition and need of a "modern" OS. It is far from accurate to imply that Solaris 10 (even the general release) is not a "modern" OS.

By your reckoning, Windows XP, and Windows 98 would also probably not be a "modern" OS since they didn't come with out of the box (originally) DVD or full mp3 support.


I'd love to have a Solaris workstation right now, but I can't - on a clean install (Sol10 11/06), on a fully supported system, using the included browser/etc, even going to sun.com and moving over the image rollovers "lags" the display. Installing nVidia's drivers doesn't fix the problem, either. Various other "niggles" of this sort exist. This isn't just on one machine, it's on all workstations I've given Solaris a shot on. I've seen things like this commented on repeatedly, and repeatedly been told it's a known issue and will be fixed sometime in the future. Not a good answer to hear!


Installing the nVidia drivers fixed that problem for me. I can only assume there is something else going on.


Not to mention the outdated software, not slightly, but severely. I forget the version number offhand, but Mozilla? Come on...


Solaris is an *enterprise* level operating system. Not your break-my-gentoo-fedora-whatever OS. This means just like RedHat Enterprise Linux, Debian Stable (arguably enterprise) and others, yes, things are NOT bleeding edge and by some people's reckoning "severely out of date."

When Sun can iron these issues out and provide a usable and at least somewhat modern OS,

They already have a "usable" and more than "modern OS"...just not by your definition which is rather inaccurate.

Mozilla 1.7. Yikes.


Oh whoopee doo. Seriously. RedHat has the same thing with RedHat Enterprise Linux, so does SuSE with their Enterprise distribution.

You want a newer browser? There are newer versions available that Sun contributes from ftp.mozilla.org, and from www.opera.com!

Finally, it is hardly fair to complain about the versions of software found in Solaris 10 considering it went "gold" a few *years* ago. Their customers demand stability, support, and compatibility. Yes, that's right, their *paying* customers. This means certain restrictions are in place on what can be updated and how often.

Edited 2007-04-05 00:28

Reply Score: 3

RE[6]: The turning point
by ormandj on Thu 5th Apr 2007 01:47 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: The turning point"
ormandj Member since:
2005-10-09

Consiering that new versions / updates are only released quarterly, not very often. The point of the Developer version is to allow developers to experiment with new technology. It is *not* a fully supported stable release intended for developers that are looking for a hassle-free maintenance environment.

You misunderstand the purpose of Solaris Express.


I do understand the point of SX, hence me saying it wasn't a good option...

That is subjective at best. I used Solaris 10 GA (not express) on my workstation every day for a year or more before my work changed that I needed functionality only found in the Express releases. Therefore it fit my definition and need of a "modern" OS. It is far from accurate to imply that Solaris 10 (even the general release) is not a "modern" OS.

By your reckoning, Windows XP, and Windows 98 would also probably not be a "modern" OS since they didn't come with out of the box (originally) DVD or full mp3 support.


I'm glad you were able to use it daily, most developers I know are unable to. I suppose if you *only* used it as a workstation, in the strictest sense of the term, you could be "ok".

I don't believe I mentioned anything about DVD or mp3 support, nor am I claiming Solaris isn't a modern OS. Technically, it's very sophisticated and has amazing technology. That's why I run it on my servers, all gazillion+ of them. It's just not a modern desktop OS. It passes as a workstation, but only if you only use it for work.

Installing the nVidia drivers fixed that problem for me. I can only assume there is something else going on.


I'm glad it worked for you, it hasn't worked for me and many other people on the support forums. I'm told it's related to PCI Express.

Solaris is an *enterprise* level operating system. Not your break-my-gentoo-fedora-whatever OS. This means just like RedHat Enterprise Linux, Debian Stable (arguably enterprise) and others, yes, things are NOT bleeding edge and by some people's reckoning "severely out of date."


Really? Thanks for clarifying that, I forgot why I use it at the enterprise level in my data center.

I'm commenting on Solaris as a desktop OS. It's beyond "not bleeding edge", it's stone age. I understand stability concerns, I very much appreciate backwards compatibility, etc - I know all the trumpeted logic behind the stale software. Some things go beyond "stale" though, it becomes apparent focus is put into the bread-winners for Sun (for obvious reasons) and other areas lack due to it. I can't say I blame Sun for spending their engineering $$/time where they do, but if they actually do want to appeal to the more common/average desktop user, they'll have to become a reasonable modern desktop OS - at this point - they are not. Don't mistake my comments as insults, or as some kind of misunderstanding. I do understand. I'm simply pointing out what Solaris/Sun will have to do in order to become more of a player on the desktop front.

They already have a "usable" and more than "modern OS"...just not by your definition which is rather inaccurate.


It's a modern OS for servers. It's not modern for a desktop OS. I hope I don't have to break down the separation for you, I've always generally agreed with you in the past and I think we are just having a disconnect here. I am not talking about Solaris as a whole, I am discussing it purely from the aspect of a desktop user.

Oh whoopee doo. Seriously. RedHat has the same thing with RedHat Enterprise Linux, so does SuSE with their Enterprise distribution.


Huh? Even RHEL4 had Firefox, let alone 5. I believe RHEL4 went gold Feb of 2005. I don't know what you're getting at here.

You want a newer browser? There are newer versions available that Sun contributes from ftp.mozilla.org, and from www.opera.com!


If Sun wants desktop market share, this mentality of "if you want it, do it yourself" has to stop. That doesn't fly with joe blow desktop user, and even most entry-level developers. The entry-level devs, especially, are the people Sun needs to appeal to if they want to survive. Those are the people who will either love or hate sun when they are in management positions 10 years down the road. Sun is moving in the right direction with all the "cool" stuff in Solaris as it is, they just need to keep it up and make sure they cater to their future, not just the current installed base. This isn't mutually exclusive!

Finally, it is hardly fair to complain about the versions of software found in Solaris 10 considering it went "gold" a few *years* ago. Their customers demand stability, support, and compatibility. Yes, that's right, their *paying* customers. This means certain restrictions are in place on what can be updated and how often.


A few years ago, Mozilla 1.7 was terrible. It still is. I'm well aware of how Sun works internally, as well, thank you very much. I'm also aware how they make their money and why people stick with them. Many of those reasons are the reasons I deal with them and why my company does business with them. They just need to start pushing their OS to new users so it maintains mind share.

Little things, like default paths being basically a blank slate, and so forth can make the difference between somebody giving Solaris a fair shot, or installing something over it. I had to force myself to keep working with Solaris for the first month or so I was using it because of all the counter-intuitive things that I was used to not worrying about becoming an issue. This was server-side, since that's the capacity I deal with Solaris in. I can only imagine what it must be like for somebody who's been using Debian/RHEL/whatever for some time to attempt to give Solaris a shot.

What's sad about this all, Solaris truly is a wonderful, advanced, and capable OS. Absolutely no doubt about this. You just have to wrap your head around all the oddities and the steep learning curve. There is no reason for it to exist in the form it does now, and simple things such as including a modern (yet stable and tested extensively) browser, setting a sane default path, etc would truly make the OS that much easier for new users/potential switches to grasp onto and embrace. They are the ones who will make or break Sun in the future.

So, in summary, I think we see things generally the same, just somehow I conveyed my opinions in the wrong manner and came across as calling Solaris (as a whole) trash. I absolutely do not mean any such thing.

# uname -srv
SunOS 5.10 Generic_125101-04
#

:)

Reply Score: 2

RE[7]: The turning point
by Steven on Thu 5th Apr 2007 20:58 UTC in reply to "RE[6]: The turning point"
Steven Member since:
2005-07-20

If Sun wants desktop market share, this mentality of "if you want it, do it yourself" has to stop. That doesn't fly with joe blow desktop user,

What makes all you people so sure sun *wants* joe blow desktop user using their product? That doesn't help anybody, sun or otherwise. Joe Blow doesn't write software, he doesn't control the server room, and even in the odd case that he happens to be a manager... most managers don't say "I use windows 98 on my desktop, therefor we should put it on a server!" and they won't do it if they end up using solaris for whatever reason either.

This "joe blow desktop user" and "developer based unix system" combination people keep trying to make doesn't really work...

That aside, Sun deals with Solaris, not the distributions. Do you get onto Linus for not including Firefox with every copy of the linux kernel?

Or, do you bitch and moan about the fact that Free/Net/Open/DragonFlyBSD come with just the base system and make the user do the rest?

Hell, Sun is doing a lot more toward making a "complete" system than these other people do, and they don't have to. They do it because porting things like X.org and Firefox are a pain in the butt and no normal user wants to take up that task... but it's still a waste of their developer time which *should* be going into the base system... porting of applications, installing the "newest and best" and all that nonsense you keep asking for is a job for the distributions (belenix, nexenta, martux, schillix, etc.)

That being said, it's not really something that takes more than 30 seconds to download the OSS sound drivers, install blastwave, then get any "desktop" program you might need... Firefox, audacious, etc... they are all there if you aren't a lazy slug with the "whah, find it for me!" attitude.

Reply Score: 1

great news to hear
by riha on Tue 3rd Apr 2007 23:34 UTC
riha
Member since:
2006-01-24

Also, the upcoming Niagara 2 chip will really speed up their sales even more.

Reply Score: 4

Solaris is just good
by flanque on Wed 4th Apr 2007 02:47 UTC
flanque
Member since:
2005-12-15

It may not have the absolute most bleeding edge technology that say fedora or other named "bleeding edge" Linux distributions do, and it may not release as often as Linux, but for my needs (and they're big) it is very well suited as a solid platform, with solid hardware.

With Linux I get this feeling of "we're moving so fast it's hard to keep up", whereas with Solaris I get, "we're moving forward at a great pace with a solid future".

With Linux I feel as though things are so rushed to get them out, that there many rough edges appear. I don't get that with Solaris.

Reply Score: 5

Linux compatibility is horrible
by stephanem on Wed 4th Apr 2007 03:00 UTC
stephanem
Member since:
2006-01-11

How can you develop a system where if your library is off a 0.0.1 from a required version, the app doesn't run?


It's not only Linux kernel but the library developers who need to be taken behind the woodshed!.


We bitch and moan about Microsoft and DLL hell?. Try installing an RPM from Fedora 6 to CentOS 4 - they both have the same lineage - aka Redhat EL4.



Really, had this been any other industry there would be a govt/senate inquiry about why things aren't compatible!. Imagine if automakers didn't all comply with steering wheels on the left and shifter to the right of the steering?. Imagine if none of the gas providers produced compatible gasolene?. Imagine if Hostpitals only made beds for short people? Imagine if fast food joints had ordering windows on the right hand side?


Why isn't there a congressional inquiry about Linux being soo incompatible?

Reply Score: 0

Shaman Member since:
2005-11-15

How can you develop a system where if your library is off a 0.0.1 from a required version, the app doesn't run?

Very damned seldom. Flamebait? Let's continue...

It's not only Linux kernel but the library developers who need to be taken behind the woodshed!.

Looking likely...

We bitch and moan about Microsoft and DLL hell?. Try installing an RPM from Fedora 6 to CentOS 4 - they both have the same lineage - aka Redhat EL4.

So, packages from an alpha/beta quality test version of RedHat's OS (that's what Fedora is... ask them, they are not shy about it) won't work on an alternative look-alike distribution of the stable RedHat platform (NOT alpha/beta quality) from a different vendor? You don't say? So you mean to say that Vista-specific applications will install and run as expected on Windows for Workgroups? That's a pretty similar analogy to what you're complaining about.

Why isn't there a congressional inquiry about Linux being soo incompatible?

I'm more interested in a permit system that you have to pass in order to be allowed access to the Internet. And another one that allows you to post on web forums, USENET or blogs.

Edited 2007-04-04 03:20

Reply Score: 5

B. Janssen Member since:
2006-10-11

Wow, you almost fooled me into thinking that you know what you are talking about. But luckily you wrote this gem:

stephanem: We bitch and moan about Microsoft and DLL hell?. Try installing an RPM from Fedora 6 to CentOS 4 - they both have the same lineage - aka Redhat EL4.

Just to bother you with some facts, CentOS 4 is a clone of RHEL 4, not a descendant. Fedora Core 6 on the other hand is only a descendant of RHEL 4 if you turn the development process around, which, as Red Hat likes to say, uses Fedora as a testbed for hot, new technology which will slowly migrate into RHEL.

Really, had this been any other industry there would be a govt/senate inquiry about why things aren't compatible!. Imagine if automakers didn't all comply with steering wheels on the left and shifter to the right of the steering?.

Mother lode!
1) Imagine the willful abuse of syntax of the english language. Gomorrah!
2) A small hint for lemmings like you, that scream for state control at every corner: there are no ANSI standards for the layout of control utilities in cars.
3) Why isn't there an inquiry by the government into the fact that the convicted violator of the Sherman Act, Microsoft, is not complying to existing ISO and ANSI standards?

Edited 2007-04-04 11:45

Reply Score: 1

Different strokes for different folks...
by IanSVT on Wed 4th Apr 2007 03:01 UTC
IanSVT
Member since:
2005-07-06

I disagree with the notion that those three operating systems are the only ones that matter. If you used his logic, you could continue on to say that the only operating system that really matters is Windows, and the market tends to show that.

Although exec-u-speak isn't always well grounded. There are things that Windows does well that I would go near using Solaris or Red Hat, email and directory services. Well, that might be too nice of a comment for Active Directory, seeing as it's not very flexible at all. But it's requirement for other Microsoft products require it and they are what drives AD among other things.

The reality is, the IT world is really a venn diagram, which covers more than Schwartz likes to admit.

Reply Score: 1

Bring it on!
by sbergman27 on Wed 4th Apr 2007 08:23 UTC
sbergman27
Member since:
2005-07-24

I welcome Solaris as competition to Linux in areas outside of pure server usage.

I'm a Linux advocate. But for a community that is always going on about the value of competition, our kernel needs some.

There are the BSD's, of course. But, for whatever reason, the BSD's don't seem to be competing head to head with Linux. (My own guess is that the Linux world finally got half a clue about the basics of marketing, resulting in our shooting ourselves in the foot somewhat less frequently.)

OpenSolaris is just getting off the ground. But it has the potential to be a major contender. Of course, Sun may be shooting themselves in that particular foot by carefully maintaining license incompatibility with Linux. Despite the major differences in their respective kernel internals, drivers seem to me to be one area where code might effectively be shared. And drivers are what Solaris needs most.

But, as I say in the subject line, bring it on!

I absolutely adore Linux. But I'm not married to it.

Sun, after a long period of corporate multiple personality disorder that would have put "Sybil" ( http://tinyurl.com/3atevt ) to shame, has finally rallied its resources and seems ready to join the community as a full-fledged member.

Edited 2007-04-04 08:25

Reply Score: 4

RE: Bring it on!
by binarycrusader on Wed 4th Apr 2007 11:59 UTC in reply to "Bring it on!"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

OpenSolaris is just getting off the ground. But it has the potential to be a major contender. Of course, Sun may be shooting themselves in that particular foot by carefully maintaining license incompatibility with Linux. Despite the major differences in their respective kernel internals, drivers seem to me to be one area where code might effectively be shared. And drivers are what Solaris needs most.


Sorry, but this argument doesn't hold water. Even if you got past licensing, the driver model for Solaris and *BSDs is extremely different from that of Linux. You would pretty much have to rewrite most drivers from scratch to get them working. As such, there would be little benefit driver wise from changing the license.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Bring it on!
by IanSVT on Wed 4th Apr 2007 12:21 UTC in reply to "RE: Bring it on!"
IanSVT Member since:
2005-07-06

Wouldn't or couldn't FreeBSD's Linux compatibility layer help with this issue?

Reply Score: 3

RE[3]: Bring it on!
by binarycrusader on Wed 4th Apr 2007 19:05 UTC in reply to "RE[2]: Bring it on!"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Wouldn't or couldn't FreeBSD's Linux compatibility layer help with this issue?


Nope. That only helps with executables, and doesn't help at all with the driver layer (practically speaking).

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Bring it on!
by sbergman27 on Wed 4th Apr 2007 14:37 UTC in reply to "RE: Bring it on!"
sbergman27 Member since:
2005-07-24

"""
Sorry, but this argument doesn't hold water. Even if you got past licensing, the driver model for Solaris and *BSDs is extremely different from that of Linux. You would pretty much have to rewrite most drivers from scratch to get them working.
"""

I would be interested in further commentary from others on this point. The reason I made that statement is that sometime back I made a comment arguing your point. i.e. I was contending the the internals were so different that almost nothing could be shared, for technical, rather then legal reasons.

Someone, I can't remember who it was, disagreed with me on the point that drivers could not have significant portions of code shared. It was someone that I felt probably had a better technical grasp of the situation than did I. It may have been Butters or Rayiner, but like I say, I can't remember for sure.

But I would be interested in further informed commentary on the matter.

Edited 2007-04-04 14:41

Reply Score: 2

I'm starting to love Sun.
by kajaman on Wed 4th Apr 2007 09:03 UTC
kajaman
Member since:
2006-01-06

While I'm a Linux user for a long time, and I consider this OS very good, I would like to see more free OSes in the market. The more you can choose from, the best. It is an issue of choice, competition (which is a Good Thing) and security (I can imagine viruses spreading across world where 99% of machines run Linux on the same processor architecture).
I got my Solaris 10 Developer edition yesterday, installed it on Qemu... it looks heavy and kind of old in comparison with Gentoo or even Debian, but while comparing it to RHEL... that is another thing. What I would like to see is version of Solaris that wouldn't compete with RHEL, but with Debian/Ubuntu, because this is what most people are looking for nowdays. Anyway, Solaris looks like it is a good choice for servers considering it's high-end features such as zones, zfs etc. and excellent Java integration.

Reply Score: 4

RE: I'm starting to love Sun.
by agrouf on Wed 4th Apr 2007 11:50 UTC in reply to "I'm starting to love Sun."
agrouf Member since:
2006-11-17

What about Solaris as a kernel?
sudo aptitude install openSolaris

There Solaris doesn't compete with Ubuntu, but with Linux.

Reply Score: 2

RE: I'm starting to love Sun.
by Flatland_Spider on Wed 4th Apr 2007 14:55 UTC in reply to "I'm starting to love Sun."
Flatland_Spider Member since:
2006-09-01

What I would like to see is version of Solaris that wouldn't compete with RHEL, but with Debian/Ubuntu, because this is what most people are looking for nowdays.


I would like to point you towards Belenix. http://www.genunix.org/distributions/belenix_site/?q=home

I think it might be what you are looking for. Works quite well, and is rather speedy. It does have an odd tendency to only recognize 80GBs of a hard drive though.

Reply Score: 1

RE: I'm starting to love Sun.
by shykid on Wed 4th Apr 2007 15:12 UTC in reply to "I'm starting to love Sun."
shykid Member since:
2007-02-22

For the tech enthusiast, I think Solaris beats the pants off of RHEL if for no other reason than it's more fun to play around with. You have DTrace, Zones, et al., and and it's just plain something different--it's not "just another Linux distro". Solaris is clunky and old compared to Linux, and I wanted to pull out my hair trying to install it alongside SUSE and Windows, but it still seems new and fresh compared to RHEL because most people have never given it a try.

One of the closest things we have to a "desktop" Solaris is Nexenta OS (http://www.gnusolaris.org). Hell, it is Ubuntu sitting on top of the Solaris kernel. I've been playing around with Nexenta lately. I couldn't install it on my actual hardware, unfortunately, but it runs fairly well in Parallels Workstation.

By starting OpenSolaris, Sun has finally realized what they should have known from the start: if they would release Solaris's source code in the wild, the geeks would flock to it by the droves. The geeks would toy around with it and might just learn to like it, and the resulting geek-power would drive sales of the "real" product; the geeks would deploy it where they work or recommend it to other geeks that are likely to deploy it. By gaining usage of their OS on x86, they increase the likelihood of their customers purchasing SPARC hardware when it comes time to upgrade. The moral of the story is a company should never undestimate the marketing power of their enthusiast community.

I believe this is something Microsoft desperately needs to learn. If they would just release Windows Server in the wild--hell, they don't have to release source code or even the full product, just maybe a free-for-non-commercial-use Windows Server Enthusiast Edition or something of the like--their enthusiasts would do the rest. I think the risk of losing money by doing this is a non-issue for MS. First of all, they don't have to offer technical support for the free product, and secondly, if someone wants to use Windows Server and can't afford it, they pirate it anyway--or worse: move to Linux/BSD/Solaris.

I am the God of rambling and off-topic comments.

Edited 2007-04-04 15:15

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: I'm starting to love Sun.
by phil4 on Wed 4th Apr 2007 23:59 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm starting to love Sun."
phil4 Member since:
2007-04-04

Couldn't agree more with you!

Reply Score: 1

RE[2]: I'm starting to love Sun.
by yak8998 on Thu 5th Apr 2007 06:16 UTC in reply to "RE: I'm starting to love Sun."
yak8998 Member since:
2006-07-28

I'm not sure how much the MS suggestion would help. We run all the flavors of it at work, and I'm not overly impressed. Don't get me wrong, it isn't bad by any means, but I'll take AIX any day of the week over it (or another *nix...or openVMS is pretty sweet)

Reply Score: 1

Nice and all...
by korpenkraxar on Wed 4th Apr 2007 11:16 UTC
korpenkraxar
Member since:
2005-09-10

I too am quite excited by the upcoming Free products that Sun seems willing to share with us!

... but I still can't fully let go of this vague cloudy premonition of Sun and Dell embracing Linux, Open Source development and GPL, and both companies filing for bankruptcy shortly thereafter when Microsoft and perhaps Apple or other "do-more-evil" companies crush them after having been a little too late to bring their promising products to the market. The growth of the "Linux/Solaris on the desktop" mind-share is halted until 2020-something and the computing world limps on with endless Service Pack cycles of closed OSes. Us geeks are left behind with a mixed feeling of hypocracy, defeat and responsibility, because while we wished Sun and Dell to pull it off, none of us actually bought their products anyway.

Well, don't take this too seriously. Its probably just me having one of those days :-)

Reply Score: 1

Where to start?
by jackson on Wed 4th Apr 2007 12:58 UTC
jackson
Member since:
2005-06-29

As an experienced Linux user, I would like to give Solaris a go. I think I now understand the differences between Solaris 10, Solaris Express Developer Editition, and Solaris Express Community Edition. I think as a regular home user I would want to start with the Community Edition.

The problem for me is... where to start learning about it? The opensolaris.org website has got too much going on. I can't find anything there and what is there seems to be geared towards developers not end users. I guess I'm looking for a "How to get started with Solaris Express Community Edition" type of instructions on how to install and get going. Is there any installation manual? I don't see a link to documentation on the opensolaris.org site and what documentation I could find seems to be about building opensolaris, not using the community edition. There are tons of mailing lists but where do Solaris newbies go? Is there any community driven site like linuxquestions.org or someplace like that?

I am very interested in Solaris -- everything just seems so scattered that I can't figure out where to start.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Where to start?
by csousa on Wed 4th Apr 2007 13:20 UTC in reply to "Where to start?"
csousa Member since:
2006-02-04

You can start by reading in http://docs.sun.com about solaris 10
(like you know opensolaris is solaris 10 with some improvements) and have google and http://www.opensolaris.org/os/communities/#portal to search the rest.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Where to start?
by Luminair on Wed 4th Apr 2007 13:24 UTC in reply to "Where to start?"
Luminair Member since:
2007-03-30

Solaris Express Community Edition isn't as stable as their web page suggests. There is still a good chance of getting a stinker that has half the OS broken. I know this from the last build I tried ;) Unless you know why you need a cutting edge Solaris, this newbie recommends sticking with the most mature release you can handle...

Installation is blindly easy. It looks like Solaris from the dark ages, but it is easy. What you (and I) really need is for the community wiki to get up and running with some FAQs and guides. I think that will happen soon. In the mean time, you have the man page docs and the support forum.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Where to start?
by kaiwai on Wed 4th Apr 2007 14:51 UTC in reply to "RE: Where to start?"
kaiwai Member since:
2005-07-06

Solaris Express Community Edition isn't as stable as their web page suggests. There is still a good chance of getting a stinker that has half the OS broken. I know this from the last build I tried ;) Unless you know why you need a cutting edge Solaris, this newbie recommends sticking with the most mature release you can handle...

Installation is blindly easy. It looks like Solaris from the dark ages, but it is easy. What you (and I) really need is for the community wiki to get up and running with some FAQs and guides. I think that will happen soon. In the mean time, you have the man page docs and the support forum.


Geeze, what problems were you experiencing? I've had nothing but perfect stability - hadn't noticed a single problem; if you are experiencing problems, no one in their right mind would recommend Solaris 10 for new users - download Solaris Express Developer Edition; its leading edge without the loss of 2 litres of blood in the process.

Reply Score: 2

RE[2]: Where to start?
by binarycrusader on Wed 4th Apr 2007 19:06 UTC in reply to "RE: Where to start?"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

Installation is blindly easy. It looks like Solaris from the dark ages, but it is easy. What you (and I) really need is for the community wiki to get up and running with some FAQs and guides. I think that will happen soon. In the mean time, you have the man page docs and the support forum.


Coming right up, one community wiki:

http://www.genunix.org/wiki

Reply Score: 3

v RE: Where to start?
by shapeshifter on Wed 4th Apr 2007 23:20 UTC in reply to "Where to start?"
RE[2]: Where to start?
by binarycrusader on Thu 5th Apr 2007 02:31 UTC in reply to "RE: Where to start?"
binarycrusader Member since:
2005-07-06

" There are tons of mailing lists but where do Solaris newbies go? Is there any community driven site like linuxquestions.org or someplace like that?


There are no Solaris newbies.
There is only a bunch of 20+ year admins whose shackles are welded to their Sun server chassis.
Newbies try to install Solaris. Find out that it either doesn't install or that most their hardware is not supported.
"

Bzzt. Wrong. I hadn't used Solaris personally until the beginning of 2005. Now I use it everyday.

And even if their hardware is supported (i.e. they install on an ancient box) and Solaris does install, then they find out it's so hard to use and the GUI is so bad, and there is no support, that they go and install Ubuntu.


Nope. If they're really interested, they learn, like I did. Just as I learned Gentoo, FreeBSD, DragonFly BSD, SkyOS, and others...

So to find the community go to
http://ubuntuforums.org and you'll find really unmatched, thriving, and very active community.


So go to www.opensolaris.org and you'll find a lively, thriving, and very active community since this story is about Solaris and NOT Ubuntu.

Reply Score: 3

Solaris
by tony on Wed 4th Apr 2007 18:50 UTC
tony
Member since:
2005-07-06

I like Solaris. Always did. Of the commercial Unix offerings, Solaris was my favorite. Never had a problem with Solaris. Sun, however, seemed to keep getting in its own way.

Solaris x86, was until recently, the red-headed stepchild of Sun. It was panned by SPARC purists and pariahed by Sun's executives because it wasn't the cash money machine that selling Solaris on SPARC was. They even announced at one point that they had no intention of releasing the next (Solaris 9 I think) version on x86, ever.

SPARC started losing out in the datacenter, and so did Solaris. Sun hardware, especially on the low end, had been ridiculously expensive and underpowered. In 2004, they were still selling servers with 550 MHz UltraSPARC IIi processors, which were roughly the power of a Pentium III 900 Mhz. People went with x86 hardware, which had proven itself, and Linux, which both proved itself, and was seriously committed to the x86 platform.

Sun came to its senses though, and started on the bold OpenSolaris initiative. It's been slow going, and I get a sense there's a sense of frustration, and even indignation, that the adoption hasn't been quicker. But platforms are adopted in cycles, and Sun has a lot of ground to make up. After all, Linux works, and works great, so why go through all the trouble to switch? Maybe on the next platform upgrade.

Sun still seems to have a little bit of "product protectionism". They won't release boxes that might be more attractive than current more expensive offerings. This happened with the E250s and E450s. They were terrible web servers. Under-powered and over-expensive ($20K per server with a single processer), not to mention massive, Sun still considered them their web serving offerings.

Reply Score: 2