Linked by David Adams on Wed 24th Sep 2008 22:44 UTC, submitted by snydeq
Talk, Rumors, X Versus Y Linux Foundation Executive Director Jim Zemlin has said it is time for Solaris to simply move out of the way and yield the future to Linux. 'The future is Linux and Microsoft Windows. It is not Unix or Solaris,' he claims, contending that Sun's strength in long-lifecycle apps is giving way to Linux, as evidenced by the rise of Web apps, where Linux holds a decided advantage, Zemlin claims. With capabilities such as ZFS and DTrace, Sun is trying to compete based on minor features, he says. 'That's literally like noticing the view from a third-story building as it burns to the ground.'
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implicate_order
Member since:
2008-09-26


Suns biggest problem is that on x86 Linux runs better. On sparc Solaris is king cause they own the platform like Apple. BUT you get stuck. When you want to upgrade to faster hardware its way more cost effective to do it on x86. Also you can shop around and get the best price on x86 not being stuck with one vender. Same with most apps for Linux. Hey Red Hat doesn't give me the value I need then I can go to Suse or Ubuntu if I have a good Linux staff. Makes companies like Red Hat work harder to keep customers happy!


That Linux "works" better than Solaris on x86/x64 is such a myth that at one of my previous gigs, it was blown to smithereens. From a crazy move (for a Financial Exchange in the midwest) to Linux, plagued with ridiculous performance (poor) and manageability issues (Linux is primitive in it's management features), there was an en-masse move to Solaris 10 on Sun's AMD x64 architecture. Guess what, literally replaced thousands of Linux boxes with about half the number of x64 servers (such as Sun's 4600 M2).

Linux SMP stops scaling beyond 8 CPUs (or is it 4). Solaris scales almost linearly (and has for decades). Guess how much of an advantage it is to run a 32-core server at a throw-away price (4600 M2) and use every CPU clock cycle to the fullest? At that gig, we dismantled the Sparc Infrastructure (unless absolutely necessary). Doing so, reduced latency (one huge, distributed trading application running across clusters of such servers) literally by multiples of seconds (in the trading world that translates to millions of dollars).

Ever had to do diagnostics on a Linux system (with poor to no crash-dump analyis tools)? Ever had to implement HBA multipathing? Ever had to configure NIC multipathing? All these are simple and accurately implemented in Solaris.

Ever had to tweak the Shared Memory parameters of a Linux server? Ever had to do it on a Solaris server? If you have you'll know which was easier and a superior OS interface (from the shell).

For us Sysadmins who have to watch 100s of servers 24x7, using an OS such as Linux in the enterprise is not an option. Even from a cost perspective -- I've been in several shops where the operational costs of maintaining Linux was so astronomical that we had to revert back to Solaris/Sun (I'm talking Fortune 50).

For those who think ZFS is not a desktop friendly Filesystem, go check out Mac OS X (Leopard) and it's Time Machine feature (ZFS).

For those who complain about applications being available on Solaris, starting with Desktop Applications (OpenOffice is an offshoot of sun's staroffice initiative) to literally every opensource app out there, everything runs and runs very well on it (except for those which have been poorly ported).

Nowadays, with Sun's lxrun Branded Zones (check out BrandZ and SOlaris 10 Containers/Zones -- free virtualization), you can run linux native binaries inside solaris 10 zones.

I love Linux on the desktop, it's a quaint operating system.

I had posted my comments on the original article on Infoworld and went to check it today and saw all comments had been deleted (talk about censorship).

Reply Parent Score: 2

Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

"Suns biggest problem is that on x86 Linux runs better. On sparc Solaris is king cause they own the platform like Apple. BUT you get stuck. When you want to upgrade to faster hardware its way more cost effective to do it on x86. Also you can shop around and get the best price on x86 not being stuck with one vender. Same with most apps for Linux. Hey Red Hat doesn't give me the value I need then I can go to Suse or Ubuntu if I have a good Linux staff. Makes companies like Red Hat work harder to keep customers happy!"

Another cool thing with Solaris is that it is homogen and unified. If you are stuck on SPARC, what do you do then? Well, you buy a cheap x86 and just _recompile_. A simple recompile is all that needs if you want to change platform. On Linux you can not do that. It is not unified and homogen. And ZFS is endian neutral, with several patents. Just take the SPARC ZFS drive and tuck it into x86. Everything works. SUN has frozen the API and ABI since way back. SUN guarantees binary backwards compatibility back to Solaris v2.6. And now Solaris 10 is v5.10. Old drivers mostly works without problems. Linux changes everything all the time. Everything is an afterthought.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Windows Sucks Member since:
2005-11-10

That is interesting. With all those problems why would someone who has to crunch numbers like the New York Stock exchange or the Chicago stock exchange or HSBC or the US FAA replace other systems with Red Hat Enterprise and Suse realtime Linux?

If Linux could not perform then Linux would not even be in the mix. But in the case of the companies I listed above, not only is Linux in the mix but these companies are running mission critical apps on Linux.

Also out of the top 500 Super computers in the world 427 run Linux, 0 run solaris. 5 run Windows 2 run Mac OS, 1 is BSD based and 25 are UNIX (Mostly AIX cause IBM dominates the super computer market) and 40 are mixed mostly Linux and proprietary. So we can see where the world is going when it comes to high end computing and number crunching, Linux and real time Linux. And you would think that something like BSD or Solaris would rule this market esp with BSD being open source and so called so much better then Linux?? But BSD and Solaris with ZFS and DTrace are not even a BLIP on the super computer landscape??? I wonder why?

Oh maybe this is why: http://www.forbes.com/2005/03/15/cz_dl_0315linux.html

"Linux outguns popular Unix operating systems like AIX and Solaris from Sun Microsystems because those systems contain features that make them great for commercial users but add a lot of system overhead that ends up limiting overall performance. One example: a "virtualization" feature in AIX lets many applications share the same processor but "just hammers performance,"

Most companies that stay on Solaris are companies who have a lot invested already. Very few are moving to Solaris and even fewer are starting out on Solaris.

Yes Linux is a cute OS on the desktop. But NO one uses Solaris (Some people play with Open Solaris) on the desktop. Well there are a hand full of Solaris Workstations. But they slow as my grand mother (Which is why we call Solaris - Slow Laris)

Anyway what this guy Zemlim might be spouting stupid talk because of the way he said it. But the fact is Solaris will be a foot note soon. Like SCO Unix, Sun will have Unix customers but not many.

Reply Parent Score: 2

implicate_order Member since:
2008-09-26

If Linux could not perform then Linux would not even be in the mix. But in the case of the companies I listed above, not only is Linux in the mix but these companies are running mission critical apps on Linux.


I am first-hand witness to Fortune 50 companies do an about-turn to their Linux strategy because it was very hard to maintain and operate a linux shop. It is a very different thing to run a few/niche linux servers in a large shop as opposed to run a large Linux shop.

Most of the popularity of Linux drives from the fact that Big-iron is/was on it's way out of the Datacenters after the dot-com bubble burst.

Horizontal scaling on Intel/like(Cheap/commodity) hardware called for something that would run on it ergo -- Linux, given that it was a unix-clone, especially when the other choice was *blech* windows!!

That has changed significantly since Sun started serious support of x86/x64 with Solaris 10. Try running your favorite flavor of Linux through a gamut of benchmark tests (try sysbench if you don't have anything else to run) and then run same benchmarks on Solaris 10 on a Sun 4600 M2 (8 quad-core AMD).

You'll see the difference. Linux doesn't scale.


Also out of the top 500 Super computers in the world 427 run Linux, 0 run solaris. 5 run Windows 2 run Mac OS, 1 is BSD based and 25 are UNIX (Mostly AIX cause IBM dominates the super computer market) and 40 are mixed mostly Linux and proprietary. So we can see where the world is going when it comes to high end computing and number crunching, Linux and real time Linux. And you would think that something like BSD or Solaris would rule this market esp with BSD being open source and so called so much better then Linux?? But BSD and Solaris with ZFS and DTrace are not even a BLIP on the super computer landscape??? I wonder why?


Grid computing relies on running multiple nodes on cheap/smaller hardware platforms (scale by number). So you can have a huge super-computing grid of 2-cpu systems running linux (same reason as given above).

Why aren't people switching over to Solaris?

They are.

Reply Parent Score: 1

Kebabbert Member since:
2007-07-27

As long as these scenarios happens, Solaris will not die. It will be used instead of Linux when there is serious work to do. Maybe if Linux catch up technically Solaris will die.

http://lethargy.org/~jesus/archives/77-Choosing-Solaris-10-over-Lin...

There was an article where a guy explained why Linux is a bad solution for file server (for instance, Linux can not satisfy a band backup band width, whereas as Solaris can satisfy the bandwidth need for the tape backup). Cant find the article though.





Another thing. For super computers, Linux is the prefered choice because it is easier and less complex than Solaris to tailor to a specific need. But Linux scales very badly in ordinary everyday usage as many can testify.
http://blogs.zdnet.com/BTL/?p=8769

But for a very specific need, such as number crunching, Linux can be fine. Of course you could tailor Solaris to number crunching too, but that would be complex. Linux has a simpler structure, uses a more naive approach and easier to understand and modify. Easy to rip out the unnecessary parts not need for number crunching. The hallmark of naive solutions is they are easy to understand and implement but scales badly. Compare bubble sort to quicksort for instance. Solaris is more sophisticated, evolved under long time. Kernighan (or another guru) said about the Linux code, that it wasnt that good.

Reply Parent Score: 1

bnolsen Member since:
2006-01-06

When I saw the "linux doesn't scale past 8 (or 4) cpus" you really pegged yourself as heavily biased. I haven't seen bottlenecks in linux scaling with SMP, and you have to go back 5 years or more to find these. And yes, I use linux to run high performance military grade type processing on SMP systems. And yes, I used to work on solaris boxes.

The availability & ease of scientific analysis packages and other utilities for software development available on linux and bsd's is far more painful and dicey with solaris today.

Reply Parent Score: 2