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Solaris 10 is the first Unix that deserves to be called "XXI century Unix" due to implementation of light-weight virtualization scheme called zones, extension of RBAC and process right management, DTrace,  ZFS and predictive self-healing. It is also the only mainstream Unix that is running on open source hardware (SPARC).  Learning Solaris has tremendous value for Unix administrators because "Solaris is not Linux". Excessive "Linux centricity" actually limits the level of understanding of Unix.

Oracle acquisition was a bad thing for Solaris and Oracle proved to be incapable to develop this OS  further.  Solaris 11 was just Solaris 10 with bugs fixed and minor enhancements. It introduced Image Packaging System (IPS), a repository–based packaging system (similar to apt-get or yum). Immutable zones were introduced as a security feature, a new zonestat(1) command provides variety of zone-specific information. On the other hand open source version of Solaris died, which make Solaris something of a round trip: from closed source to open source and now back to closed source.  Oracle Express 11 is available for free in binary form and as such has great educational value.   Some derivates of OpenSolaris like illumos are continued to be developed. They also provide access to old Sun man pages (see illumos manual sections). Despite having a reputation of a  marketing oriented company, Oracle was also unable to capitalize of Solaris 10 innovative features and strong security. As a result it severely shrunk market for Solaris-based servers. Minimum price for an UltraSparc server is now around $15K. Base configuration of T4-1 is $20K and with this price it makes sense mostly for migrating old V240 boxes (four virtual partitions per box).

Still we should be grateful to Sun because Solaris 10 moved Unix far forward as the whole and exerted deep influence on BSD and Linux. As of 2013 late Linux now has rudimentary zones implementation. 

Solaris 10 zones implementation (which includes Solaris-specific seamless integration with RBAC and process right management), is one of the most important innovation for the whole history of existence of Unix

Another great move by Sun just before company fold was to put Solaris 10 on Intel on equal footing with Solaris 10 on Sparc. Sun enjoyed a good timing to capitalize on Opteron architecture, which eventually (and not without Microsoft help :-)  became standard for Intel too and which includes important innovation such as 64-bit and virtualization support. But volume was not big enough, and it did not save the company.

Only now in 2014 when major Linux distributions are shooting themselves into a foot by adopting systemd, Solaris on Intel got a second chance. It might be too late. 

Only now in 2014 when major Linux distributions are shooting themselves into a foot by adopting systemd, Solaris on Intel got a second chance. It might be too late.

Old Sun marketing  slogan for Solaris 10  "ten steps ahead" was only partially wrong -- it was at least five steps ahead of competition

While old Sun marketing  slogan about Solaris 10 was "ten steps ahead " of competition it was probably somewhat of a stretch. But I would say that the following five features were really far ahead and really distinguished it from competition (and still, after so many years, are):   

  1. Zones are light-weight virtual machines and as such provide new and unique functionality including dramatic improvement in Unix security. As overheard  is in single percentage points, zones can be used to isolate important applications and processes with each instance maintaining own TCP-IP stack, the set of supplementary applications, set of users, and what is the most important its own root account (avoiding turf battles with application developers that compromise Unix security more then anything else in any large organization). This is a completely different solution from VMware which along with its classic predecessor IBM VM/CMS are heavy full hardware emulators with each instance running full OS. They were inspired by FreeBSD Jails. Like any light weight VMs they share memory and kernel. But the level of separation of filesystem is pretty high: the only way to communicate with an application inside a zone is via network services like NFS.  I would like to stresses that this method of isolating applications from each other and from "mother ship" is a new Unix security paradigm that is pretty natural to use for all but the most convoluted applications (I would not recommend running Oracle in a zone if you still have some hair on your head; at least not right now ;-).This is the  most existing feature of Solaris 10:
  2. RBAC implementation and Process Rights Management allows users to be granted full rights for specific processes, making root access unnecessary for all but a couple of "primary" administrators. 
  3. DTrace: DTrace is new tracing facility built into Solaris. It dramatically improved the ability to identify system problems and bottlenecks. It is a huge system and the Solaris kernel instrumentation for achieving this functionality is an achievement in itself ( it has a 41-chapter manual). The tool is script language controlled. It uses  D - the DTrace language which is similar to AWK. No other OS is currently even close to Solaris 10 in this area.
  4. Predictive self-healing: I always hated typical corporate "high availability solutions" with the devices like F5 and/or clusters.  F5 style redundancy as typically implemented is an expensive way to introduce more single points of failure. IMHO the current F5 installations mainly provide an expensive way to shut down one box for maintenance while the second (partially out of sync if there is no common SANs storage with the automatic switch) box imitates on-line activity when nobody probably cares. This is also a nice way to learn something new about problems of abusing TCP/IP (subtle data corruption of TCP streams) and the more complex set of protocols is used, the less reliably devices like F5 handles it.

    Sun provides two solution to this problem. First Zones can be migrated across servers. Second predictive self-healing is a newly designed hardware architecture that has capability to be reconfigured dynamically by software if diagnostic software determines that a component started to go south. Currently it can switch off faulty CPU, banks of memory and power supplies (of course if there are redundant power supplies on a particular server; but if you got them they are hot-swappable).  That's actually enough for 24 x 7 operation.  Disks were not a problem for a long time and now with SSD disks are as reliable as RAM. Just the ability to switch off one CPU and a faulty memory chip are probably enough to provide 95% of a typical "high availability solution" benefits, but without typical "high availability" overhead and complexity. That means that a slight premium that you have to pay for UltraSparc servers is now more then justified, especially for large corporate environment were cost of the server is always more then offset by overhead inherent in running any huge organization...

  5. ZFS: ZFS eventually might became the best among the most modern Unix file systems.  ZFS makes a volume manager redundant and has many other interesting features such as snapshots (which are available for ext3/ext4 only via LVM in a limited form -- you need to create an additional LVM volume for each filesystem where you want to take a snapshot and then discard it after you are done).

    Meanwhile I would like a simple addition of BSD style attributes to classic UFS which remains tried and true filesystem for conservative users :-).  Actually Sun made UFS logging default in Solaris 10 (it was available in Solaris 9 too, but not as a default -- you need explicitly put keyword logging into dfstab for each partition where you want it -- and that means that it largely ignored by system administration masses).

NSA games with Intel hardware and Linux  and renewed viability of Solaris on Intel as well as SPARC architecture

As of 2013 with all revelation about NSA games with Intel hardware and Linux, the usage of SPARC architecture again becomes more viable despite better price/performance ratio the Intel servers. Solaris and SPARC architecture are perfect antidote to security paranoia.  But paraniya

Moreover, no longer enterprises face only the danger form some rogue group of criminals. Now there is a hacking group with immense resources and unsaturable appetite for getting internal information by breaking into enterprise systems.  Of course their main target remains Windows and PC hardware:

A long list of almost superhuman technical feats illustrate Equation Group's extraordinary skill, painstaking work, and unlimited resources. They include:

  • The use of virtual file systems, a feature also found in the highly sophisticated Regin malware. Recently published documents provided by Ed Snowden indicate that the NSA used Regin to infect the partly state-owned Belgian firm Belgacom.
  • The stashing of malicious files in multiple branches of an infected computer's registry. By encrypting all malicious files and storing them in multiple branches of a computer's Windows registry, the infection was impossible to detect using antivirus software.
  • Redirects that sent iPhone users to unique exploit Web pages. In addition, infected machines reporting to Equation Group command servers identified themselves as Macs, an indication that the group successfully compromised both iOS and OS X devices.
  • The use of more than 300 Internet domains and 100 servers to host a sprawling command and control infrastructure.
  • USB stick-based reconnaissance malware to map air-gapped networks, which are so sensitive that they aren't connected to the Internet. Both Stuxnet and the related Flame malware platform also had the ability to bridge airgaps.
  • An unusual if not truly novel way of bypassing code-signing restrictions in modern versions of Windows, which require that all third-party software interfacing with the operating system kernel be digitally signed by a recognized certificate authority. To circumvent this restriction, Equation Group malware exploited a known vulnerability in an already signed driver for CloneCD to achieve kernel-level code execution.

Taken together, the accomplishments led Kaspersky researchers to conclude that Equation Group is probably the most sophisticated computer attack group in the world, with technical skill and resources that rival the groups that developed Stuxnet and the Flame espionage malware.


 Of course like any large bureaucracy NSA is inefficient and most money are wasted, but even within those constrains they represent " clear and present" danger for any foreign company operating within the USA and for any large and important foreign company in general (which most recently both major producers of harddrives and Gemalto discovered).  British intelligence Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) was also implicated in similar brake-ins sparking a push for greater enterprise security (see U.K. quietly publishes 'code of conduct' for government hackers). Most countries were affected, some severely ( )

Those two agencies went as far as creating new generation of stealth boot viruses by hacking harddrives controller (see Sprites mods - Hard disk hacking - Hooking up JTAG).  Those efforts are probably related to STUXNET (

Kaspersky specifically states that there is an ability to write to the firmware, but not read it - and they are claiming it can't be detected. It appears, but in can't say for sure, from reading their white paper - that they themselves did not discover this on the HDD, but discovered the module that would allow them to do this - which according to them was very rarely packaged as part of this library of exploits. It appeared that the HDD exploit was saved for only the most important targets - or very specific situations.

They themselves have a vested interest in claiming they CAN detect it - as obviously their clients would want them to do so. They seem to be saying they can't. I'm not sure what their reason for lying would be.

This is an extremely advanced system of exploits - obviously related to STUXNET and the work that has gone into all these recently disclosed presumably state actor malware systems is pretty impressive - as is the work that has been used to uncover them.

What makes this approach impractical, is the large number of combinations of drive firmware and operating systems. In this case malware developers face  a moving target, and can only hit a small proportion of them (mainstream combinations, which definitely include common harddrives, Windows and linux ext3/ext4). If you non-mainstream combination you are more safe as in this case it is more difficult to hit enough victims to make the necessary work worthwhile.  Moreover, both Sun and HP slightly modify their harddrives firmware and update them periodically, so this type of exploits requires much greater efforts with their systems.

Another recent Snowden revelation is about stealing Gemalto  “subscriber identity modules” (SIM) software and algorithms (Latest Snowden Leak Details Government Hacking)

Britain’s electronic spying agency, in cooperation with the U.S. National Security Agency, hacked into the networks of a Dutch company to steal codes that allow both governments to seamlessly eavesdrop on mobile phones worldwide, according to the documents given to journalists by Edward Snowden.

A story about the documents posted Thursday on the website The Intercept offered no details on how the intelligence agencies employed the eavesdropping capability — providing no evidence, for example, that they misused it to spy on people who weren’t valid intelligence targets. But the surreptitious operation against the world’s largest manufacturer of mobile phone data chips is bound to stoke anger around the world. It fuels an impression that the NSA and its British counterpart will do whatever they deem necessary to further their surveillance prowess, even if it means stealing information from law-abiding Western companies.

The targeted company, Netherlands-based Gemalto, makes “subscriber identity modules,” or SIM cards, used in mobile phones and credit cards. One of the company’s three global headquarters is in Austin, Texas. Its clients include AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon and Sprint, The Intercept reported.

The Intercept offered no evidence of any eavesdropping against American customers of those providers, and company officials told the website they had no idea their networks had been penetrated. Experts called it a major compromise of mobile phone security.

That means, that while the reason now if different, the ability to use a non mainstream OS and hardware different from the dominant Intel architecture  became important security mechanisms both against regular hackers and to lesser extent against "government hackers".  Here Solaris with its advanced built-in security mechanism which far surpass anything available on Linux became a viable choice.  And SPARC architecture is just another step in the same direction which does protect corporate data via "security via obscurity" mechanisms. 

As for home use sun workstations are extremely cheap and they do protect from malware that encrypt files on  mounted filesystems and demands ransom, such as  Cryptolocker Trojan (Win32/Crilock.A)

The key idea here is using different OS and architecture for security sensitive systems create additional barrier for opportunistic hackers and (to much lesser extent) NSA and friends, as resources for digging into OS and hardware internals are not unlimited.

We judge that even using Solaris on Intel (and enabling built-in security subsystems that Solaris provides) is more cost effective path for increasing the security of the environment then typical attempts of "hardening Linux", which in reality does not increase much the  security of Linux servers but really kills the productivity of those who use them. 

Such issues as the number of "zero day" vulnerabilities and related necessity of frequent patching are less pronounced in Solaris because it is no longer mainstream OS. And using niche OS is powerful security mechanism in itself. There is nothing shameful or deficient in using "security via obscurity", because this is the classic way of increasing security.  

Solaris has a significant "security via obscurity" advantage over Linux and that advantage will be preserved in a foreseeable future.

Linux's growing popularity is attracting unwanted attention from virus writers, script kiddies and criminal elements. In response, Linux advocates are putting a new emphasis on security measures and working to reassure large enterprises that the OS is secure for important enterprise applications. Still  it is now undeniable that Linux from the security standpoint reached the status of a favorable target for hackers/crackers, the status second only to Windows. Chad Dougherty, an Internet security analyst at the CERT Coordination Center, which tracks OS vulnerabilities stated that "If you look over time, there has been a consistent level of vulnerabilities." Several remotely exploitable problems in the Linux kernel and major Linux applications are reported each year. Moreover some of the major applications vulnerabilities are exploitable only on Linux as they depend on the kernel and/or the compiler properties, shells or libraries used. 

Dr. Nikolai Bezroukov

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[Oct 23, 2019] 'How I Compiled My Own SPARC CPU In a Cheap FPGA Board'

Oct 23, 2019 |

( 45

Posted by EditorDavid on Sunday October 20, 2019 @02:34PM from the month-long-weekend-projects dept. Long-time Slashdot reader ttsiod works for the European Space Agency as an embedded software engineer. He writes: After reading an interesting article from an NVIDIA engineer about how he used a dirt-cheap field-programmable gate array board to code a real-time ray-tracer, I got my hands on the same board -- and "compiled" a dual-core SPARC-compatible CPU inside it... Basically, the same kind of design we fly in the European Space Agency's satellites.

I decided to document the process , since there's not much material of that kind available. I hope it will be an interesting read for my fellow Slashdotters -- showcasing the trials and tribulations faced by those who prefer the Open-Source ways of doing things... Just read it and you'll see what I mean.
This is the same Slashdot reader who in 2016 reverse engineered his Android tablet so he could run a Debian chroot inside it. "Please remember that I am a software developer, not a HW one," his new essay warns.

"I simply enjoy fooling around with technology like this."

[Feb 22, 2015] What's New in Oracle® Solaris 11.2

Looks like the first version of Solaris 11 worth trying...
Dec 1, 2014 |

... ... ...

Key Features in Solaris 11.2

Centralized Cloud Management With OpenStack

Solaris 11.2 provides a complete OpenStack distribution. OpenStack, the open-source cloudcomputing software, provides comprehensive self-service environments for sharing and managing compute, network, and storage resources in the data center through a centralized web-based portal. As OpenStack is integrated into all Solaris 11.2 core technologies, you can use OpenStack to set up an enterpriseready private cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) environment in minutes.

See the OpenStack for Solaris 11 technology page (

for more information on how to get started with OpenStack distribution.

Note - A new OpenStack-based Unified Archive is also available for download ( ).

You can use this archive to easily install a single-node Solaris OpenStack configuration. Use it for evaluation purposes, proof of concept, or a base for a more complex configuration across multiple nodes.

Independent and Isolated Environments With Kernel Zones

Solaris Zones includes support for fully independent and isolated environments called Solaris Kernel Zones, which provide a full kernel and user environment within a zone. Kernel zones increase operational flexibility and are ideal for multitenant environments where maintenance windows are significantly harder to schedule. Kernel zones can run at a different kernel version from the global zone and can be updated separately without requiring a reboot of the global zone. You can also use kernel zones in combination with Oracle VM for SPARC for greater virtualization flexibility.

You configure, install, and boot kernel zones with the existing zonecfg(1M) and zoneadm(1M)
commands. For example, to create and install a kernel zone:

# zonecfg -z newzone create -t SYSsolaris-kz 
# zoneadm -z newzone install

See Creating and Using Solaris Kernel Zones and the solaris-kz(5) man page for more information.

Application Provisioning With Unified Archives

This release introduces Unified Archives, a new type of archive format that enables creating a single archive for redeployment either as clones within a cloud environment or for system backup and disaster recovery purposes. You can quickly capture a complete bare-metal system, virtual environments, or a combination of both. For example, to create a clone archive of a system:

# archiveadm create ./newclone.uar

To create a full system recovery archive:

# archiveadm create --recovery ./newrecovery.uar

Unified Archives are portable with a great deal of flexibility for deployment, enabling a variety of physicalto-virtual and virtual-to-physical transformations including use with Solaris Zones, Oracle VM for SPARC, and Oracle VM for x86.

See Using Unified Archives for System Recovery and Cloning in Solaris 11.2 for more information.

Software-Defined Networking - Elastic Virtual Switch

The Elastic Virtual Switch (EVS) feature enables you to manage multiple virtual switches that are spread across several physical machines, typically in a cloud environment. Building on the network virtualization and software-defined networking (SDN) capabilities included in the Solaris 11 11/11 release, EVS helps simplify administration by managing these virtual switches as a single virtual switch and including the management of network traffic between virtual machines, MAC and IP addresses, and VLANs and VXLANs. EVS also enforces service level agreements across the network through resource control management.

You can configure an elastic virtual switch by using the evsadm command-line utility. To obtain statistics, use the evsstat command.

For more information, see Chapter 5, About Elastic Virtual Switches, in Managing Network
Virtualization and Network Resources in Solaris 11.2 . Also, see the evsadm(1M) and
evsstat(1M) man pages.

Software-Defined Networking - Application-Driven Flows

A new socket-level flow API enables an application to directly prioritize its own traffic through a series of network flows, leading to optimized application performance and reducing any adverse impact of resource contention. This application-driven software-defined networking, along with administrative-driven flows, helps to ensure that service-level agreements are maintained within a data center or cloud environment. You can view these service-socket SLAs by using the nc(1) utility.

The API is documented in the setsockopt(3SOCKET) man page and the command-line options are discussed in the flowadm(1M) man page. For more information, see Managing Network Resources by Using Flows in Managing Network Virtualization and Network Resources in Solaris 11.2 .

Comprehensive Compliance Checking and Reporting

You can meet your compliance requirements by using a new compliance(1M) tool that manages a variety of compliance benchmarks and assessments. This tool builds on the existing compliance framework introduced in Solaris 11 based on the Security Content Automation Protocol (SCAP), a line of standards managed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It provides a standardized approach in maintaining the security of enterprise systems, such as:

  • Automatically verifying the presence of critical updates
  • Checking system security configuration settings
  • Examining systems for signs of compromise

Also included in Solaris 11.2 is a new Solaris Security Policy benchmark with support for two new profiles, Baseline and Recommended, and an Solaris Payment Card Industry PCI-DSS benchmark.

For example, to run a PCI-DSS compliance assessment and report the results:

# compliance assess -b pci-dss
# compliance report

See Solaris 11.2 Security Compliance Guide for more information.

Immutable Global Zones

Immutable global zones support has been added to extend the immutable zone capability to the global zone. If a system is configured to have an immutable global zone, files in the root file system are read-only. A Trusted Path login allows access to perform maintenance tasks, such as system updates.

For example, to enable immutable global zones:

# zonecfg -z global set file-mac-profile=fixed-configuration

For more information, see Chapter 12, Configuring and Administering Immutable Zones, in Creating and Using Solaris Zones .

IT Automation With Puppet

The popular IT automation software, Puppet, is included in Solaris 11.2. Puppet helps you manage IT infrastructure by automating repetitive tasks, deploying critical applications rapidly, and proactively managing changes required in a system. Puppet automates tasks such as provisioning, configuration, compliance, and software management. Puppet can scale from simple deployments to complex infrastructure, from on-premise to cloud deployments. With enhanced support for Solaris technologies, administrators can host their Puppet masters on a mission-critical environment and extend their automation to managing a completely heterogeneous data center environment.

For more information, see Getting Started with Puppet on Solaris 11


Installation and Software Management Features

  • Solaris 11.2 adds support for firmware version checking with Solaris Image Packaging System (IPS). IPS can check installed firmware versions to ensure that they are compatible with driver updates that may occur during a system update. If an incompatibility occurs, IPS prevents the system from being updated and flags that the firmware must be manually updated by the administrator first. For certain hardware drivers, firmware is automatically updated on driver attach to maintain compatibility. For more information, see Device Driver with Manually Maintained Firmware in Packaging and Delivering Software With the Image Packaging System in Solaris 11.2 .
  • Secure End-to-End Provisioning. This release supports secure end-to-end provisioning using the Automated Installer (AI), from system boot using SPARC WAN boot through to secure installation from IPS package repositories. By protecting the communication and configuration between the installation server and client systems, administrators can ensure complete security across their provisioning/updating environment. For more information, see Increasing Security for Automated Installations in Installing Solaris 11.2 Systems .

  • Interactive Automated Installer Manifest Creation and Management. A new interactive browser interface enables you to easily create AI manifests that can be used on an AI server. By stepping through a series of screens, you can quickly create a new manifest that describes the disk layout, ZFS datasets, IPS repository, and software packages and zones to be installed. The manifest is saved to the AI server and can later be associated with a client using the installadm(1M) command.

  • Minimal Server Package Group. A new group package, solaris-minimal-server, installs the smallest possible set of Solaris packages. Fewer packages reduce potential system vulnerabilities, provide faster system updates, faster system cloning, and faster backup in the cloud. See the Solaris 11.2 system requirements

    for an estimate of the amount of disk space needed for an image installed with this new
    group package. For more information about solaris-minimal-server and packages available in this group package, see Solaris 11.2 Package Group Lists .

  • Oracle Database Prerequisites Package. The new group package group/prerequisite/oracle/oracle-rdbms-server-12-1-preinstall ensures that all the necessary packages required for a graphical and command-line installation of Oracle Database 12c are present on the system, irrespective of the server package group (solaris-minimal-server, solaris-small-server, solaris-large-server, solaris-desktop) used to install Solaris.

  • Repository Mirroring. Among many new enhancements for managing IPS package repositories is the ability to automatically mirror remote repositories locally using an SMF service, svc:/application/pkg/mirror.

    This service helps you create local IPS package repositories and keep them in sync with Oracle hosted public IPS package repositories.

    Additionally, you can use a new pkgrecv --clone option to exactly clone a package repository while preserving timestamps. See Copying a Repository From the Internet in Copying and Creating Package Repositories in Solaris 11.2 for more information.

  • Recursive Package Operations in Solaris Zones. Solaris 11.2 provides the ability to run package operations recursively across multiple non-global zones from the global zone in addition to a typical system-wide update. For example, you can easily install a software package into all non-global zones. For more information, see Options That Operate on Non-Global Zones in Adding and Updating Software in Solaris 11.2 .
  • Baseline Installations With IPS. A new pkg(1) subcommand, exact-install, enables administrators to easily revert to a baseline installation. This capability is useful when you need to put a system into a baseline state without having to manually uninstall a large number of packages. The result of the pkg exact-install command is an image with only the specified packages and their dependencies installed. Any currently installed packages that are not specified on the pkg exact-install command line, and are not a dependency of the specified packages are removed. For more information, see Reinstalling an Image in Adding and Updating Software in Solaris 11.2 .
  • Additional Automated Installer Enhancements for Advanced Configuration. Solaris 11.2 includes support for the configuration of multiple network interfaces using the Automated Installer. You can use a system configuration profile to configure multiple NICs on a client system that will be installed. You can use this facility in conjunction with zone creation to create a zone with multiple network interfaces. For more information, see Configuring Multiple IPv4 Interfaces in Installing Solaris 11.2 Systems .

    Another enhancement for Automated Installer allows passing pre-generated SSH public keys through an SMF profile using the user_account/ssh_public_keys group/property for population within the admin user's $HOME/.ssh/authorized_keys.

    For more information, see Configuring SSH Keys in Installing Solaris 11.2 Systems .

    Support for provisioning Kerberos clients using the Automated Installer is available in Solaris 11.2. Kerberos enables strong network authentication, integrity, and privacy protection.

    You can create and assign Kerberos configuration profiles to AI clients, which enables an AI client installation with a fully provisioned Kerberos configuration capable of hosting secure services. For more information, see How to Configure Kerberos Clients Using AI in Installing Solaris 11.2 Systems .

  • Bootable USB Media for SPARC. Bootable USB media is supported for SPARC in addition to x86 systems. You can use bootable media for stand-alone system installations that do not use an automated network installation. You can create USB media for SPARC using the Solaris Distribution Constructor. Additionally, installation images can be copied to USB media by using the dd(1M) command (or its equivalent command on other platforms) in addition to the usbcopy(1M) command.

    See the Solaris 11.2 FAQ ( ) for more information on using usbcopy or dd.

Data Management Features

  • Progress Reporting With ZFS Send Streams. You can include a progress report and estimated size of your ZFS send stream during the transfer process. To estimate the ZFS send stream size:
    # zfs send -rnv pool/opt@snap1
    sending from @ to pool/opt@snap1
    sending from @ to pool/opt/vol1@snap1
    estimated stream size: 10.1G

    To monitor the stream size during transfer process:

    # zfs send pool/opt@snap1 | pv | zfs recv tank/opt
    8.58GB 0:02:37 [95.7MB/s]

    This enhancement provides visibility into your ZFS send stream transfers so that you can improve planning and scheduling of replication operations.

  • ZFS Performance Enhancements. Pool resilvering is faster in Solaris 11.2, with up to 40% improvement on mirrored pools and 4x improvement on RAIDZ pools. Synchronous write transactions are committed in parallel to further optimize SSD log performance.

Virtualization Features

  • Live Zone Reconfiguration. You can dynamically reconfigure Solaris Zones without requiring a reboot, helping to eliminate system downtime. The following configuration changes can be made to Solaris Zones without a reboot:

    • Changes to resource controls and pools
    • Changes to network configuration
    • Adding or removing file systems
    • Adding or removing virtual and physical devices
    For more information, see Chapter 6, Live Zone Reconfiguration, in Creating and Using Solaris Zones .
  • Zone Template Properties. Solaris Zones can also take advantage of zone template properties that enable simplified zone
    configuration. Default configuration values are populated when zones are created, cloned, and migrated.

    For more information, see zonecfg template Property in Introduction to Solaris Zones .

  • Automated Zone Renaming. A new zoneadm(1M) subcommand, rename, enables easier zone renaming for zones in a configured and installed state.

  • CMT-Aware Solaris Zones and Resource Pool. Configuration Enhancements made to Solaris Zones and resource pools support SPARC chip multithreading (CMT) systems and enable administrators to allocate CMT-based resources (CPUs, cores, and sockets) using the zonecfg(1M) and poolcfg(1M) commands. Administrators have greater flexibility and control for managing licensing boundaries or dedicating hardware resources solely to a zone.

  • Multiple Boot Environments for Solaris 10 Zones. Solaris 10 Zones support multiple boot environments. Administrators have a greater degree of
    flexibility and safety when performing patching operations within an Solaris 10 environment running on an Solaris 11 system. This feature was introduced in Solaris 11.1 Support Repository Update (SRU) Version 6.

Networking Features

  • Virtual Extensible Local Area Network. Solaris 11.2 supports virtual extensible local area networks (VXLANs), providing increased
    flexibility and isolation in cloud environments where virtualization causes an increased stress on physical network infrastructure. VXLANs decouple virtual networks from the underlying L2 layer, reducing the need for specific physical switching capabilities. While traditional network isolation methods such as virtual local area network (VLAN) can have a maximum of 4000 isolated networks, VXLAN provides a significantly higher number of isolated networks by using a 24-bit VXLAN identifier, thereby providing an option to support 16 million isolated networks. For more information, see Chapter 3, Configuring Virtual Networks by Using Virtual Extensible Local Area Networks, in Managing Network Virtualization and Network Resources in Solaris 11.2 .
  • Layer 3 Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol Extension. A new extension to the Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol (VRRP) has been added to implement an L3-based router, providing better support for VRRP over IPMP, InfiniBand, and Solaris Zones. Instead of using a unique virtual MAC address among VRRP routers in the same virtual router, the Layer 3 VRRP (L3 VRRP) implementation uses the Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) messages and Neighbor Discovery Protocol (NDP) messages to refresh the mapping between the virtual IP addresses and the MAC address of the current master VRRP router. For more information, see Chapter 3, Using Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol, in Configuring an Solaris 11.2 System as a Router or a Load Balancer and the vrrpadm(1M) man page.
  • Precision Time Protocol . Precision Time Protocol (PTP) enables synchronizing system time on multiple systems in a LAN to a common master clock in the LAN. This capability is important for benchmarking applications in latencysensitive environments. PTP in Solaris implements the standard IEEE 1588 2008 (Version 2). PTP greatly enhances the accuracy of time synchronization. It can also take advantage of the PTP hardware assistance provided by some NICs. For more information, see Managi ng the Precision Time Protocol in Introduction to Solaris 11.2 Network Services and the ptpd(1m) man page.
  • Probe-Based Failure Detection in Datalink Multipathing. A new probe-based failure detection mode for Datalink Multipathing (DLMP) helps to identify failures between the host and any configured targets. This detection mode is in addition to the existing link-based detection that assists in detecting failures caused by the loss of direct connection between the datalink and the first-hop switch. For more information, see Failure Detection in DLMP Aggregation in Managing Network Datalinks in Solaris 11.2 .

Network Traffic Monitoring Utilities

  • Two new commands enable you to monitor IP, TCP, and UDP network traffic between remote hosts in an aggregated fashion. ipstat(1M) reports IP traffic statistics and tcpstat(1M) gathers and reports TCP and UDP traffic statistics. These commands are in addition to dlstat(1M) and other network traffic monitoring utilities already included in Solaris 11. For more information, see Observing Network Traffic With the ipstat and tcpstat Commands in Administering TCP/IP Networks, IPMP, and IP Tunnels in Solaris 11.2 .

  • Reflective Relay. With the introduction of network virtualization, inter-VM traffic is sent through an internal software switch without being sent through the physical network infrastructure. This process aids organizations that have networking policies that require all network traffic to be routed through an external network so that access control lists (ACL), packet monitoring, and the like can be configured on the external switch. In this release, you can enable reflective relay to ensure that this inter-VM traffic is also subjected to these same policies. For more information, see Reflective Relay in Managing Network Virtualization and Network Resources in Solaris 11.2 .

InfiniBand Enhancements

  • InfiniBand (IB) Automatic Path Migration supports two new communication Management Datagram protocols, Suggest Alternate Path (SAP) and Suggest Path Response (SPR). These protocols enable the passive side of an IB (reliable) connection to suggest alternate port information to the active side for consideration in maintaining an up-to-date alternate path information.

  • EoIB Administration With the dladm Command.

    Ethernet over InfiniBand (EoIB) can be managed directly through the dladm(1M) command by using a new eoib datalink object. Solaris InfiniBand users can create, delete, and view EoIB datalinks information using the subcommands create-eoib, delete-eoib, and show-eoib. The show-ib subcommand has also been enhanced to display all discovered EoIB gateways information in addition to the IB information it already displayed.

  • InfiniBand Observability. A new framework enables better observability for InfiniBand, including all upper-layer protocols (ULPs), creating a centralized set of kstats in the InfiniBand Transport Framework (IBTF). This capability ensures a better understanding of the activity within an InfiniBand environment and also allows for better security hardening of open ports across all clients.

    User and Process Information in the netstat Command Enhancements made to the netstat(1M) command enable you to easily trace user and process information to discover who created and controls network endpoints. You can use the netstat command with the -u option to display the user and process ID, and the program that created the network endpoint or currently controls the network endpoint.

    # netstat -u

    For more information, see Displaying User and Process Information in Administering TCP/IP Networks, IPMP, and IP Tunnels in Solaris 11.2 .

System Management Features

  • Remote Administration Daemon. The Remote Administration Daemon (RAD) supports autogenerated client-side bindings for Python, C, and Java. RAD is a key foundation of the system management architecture, enabling developers to write RAD modules that interface with different sub-subsystems within the Solaris operating system. Administrators can use RAD to locally and remotely interact with systems. This release extends RAD module support for zones, services, users, kernel statistics, datalinks, and elastic virtual switches. See the Remote Administration Daemon Developer Guide for more information about how to develop RAD modules.
  • SMF Configuration Stencils, Log Viewing, and Synchronous. Operations The Service Management Facility (SMF) includes SMF Stencils, which enable developers and administrators to easily map configuration properties stored in the SMF repository to an application-specific configuration file (stored in /etc, for example). A new command, svcio(1), takes a stencil file as input and uses that file and the service properties to create the application configuration file. From there, SMF takes control and regenerates configuration for all stencil-aware services before running the start or refresh SMF methods. For more information, see Using a Stencil to Create a Configuration File in Managing System Services in Solaris 11.2 .

    Administrators can easily view SMF logs directly by using the svcs(1) command. Use the -L option to display the name of the log file, the -xL option to view the last several lines of the log file, and the -Lv option to view the complete log file. See Viewing Service Log Files in Managing System Services in Solaris 11.2 . SMF supports synchronous operations by providing a common and simple interface to improve waiting for the necessary service state transitions to complete. This interface avoids the necessity for service developers and administrators to manually poll when a service has come online.

Security Features

  • Verified Boot. Solaris Verified Boot is an anti-malware and integrity feature that reduces the risk of introducing malicious or accidentally modified critical boot and kernel components. This feature checks the cryptographic signatures of the firmware, boot system, and kernel and kernel modules. The three policy options are ignore, warn and continue, and refuse to load the component.

    This first release of verified boot applies to the SPARC T5, M5, and M6 platforms. For more information, see Using Verified Boot in Securing Systems and Attached Devices in Solaris 11.2 . Verified Boot is one of a series of projects that enhance Solaris security. The blog post Solaris Verified Boot (, describes details about Verified Boot as well as how the feature fits into an overall Solaris security architecture.

  • IKEv2 Support for Solaris 11. Solaris 11.2 introduces Internet Key Exchange (IKE) version 2 support. IKEv2 is the latest version of the preferred key management protocol for IPsec. IKEv2 provides automatic Security Association (SA) and key management between peer systems. The key exchanges are protected by a secure channel negotiated between the two peers. The peer's identity is established using either a pre-shared secret or public key certificates.

  • RBAC Time-Based and Location-Based Access. You can qualify user attributes by location. A new qualifier option for the usermod(1M) and rolemod(1M) commands can indicate the host or netgroup where user attributes apply. By default, a local entry matching the named user or role has the highest precedence. If no local entry exists, an LDAP query is initiated which returns the entry whose hostname matches the current host, or the first entry matching one of the user's net groups. Otherwise, the unqualified user attributes are used.

    A new time-based policy for access to PAM services can be specified by using the new access_timeskeyword of the useradd(1M) command. You can use this keyword to specify the days and times when each user can authenticate to specific PAM services. For example, use of SSH can be restricted to weekday mornings.

  • Auditing of User and Rights Management. The User Management and RBAC profile configuration commands generate audit records.

  • Kerberos for Long-Running Processes. Kerberos has been enhanced to provide support for long-running processes and cron jobs, where
    administrators make use of delayed execution and require valid credentials for longer than the usual defaults.

    For more information, see Configuring Delayed Execution for Access to Kerberos Services in Managing Kerberos and Other Authentication Services in Solaris 11.2 .

Platform Enhancements

  • Multi-CPU Binding System Call. A new system call, processor_affinity(2), can bind a process or thread to multiple CPUs. This new all addresses performance issues in handling threads and interrupts in larger hardware configurations and also achieves better load balancing for critical applications and services by providing multiple binding targets. It also enhances resource provisioning and management by enabling process or thread binding with greater scalability.

  • FMA Network Diagnostics. The Fault Management Architecture (FMA) includes a network diagnostic agent that can monitor network resources and report conditions that might lead to degraded network functionality. The agent is able to detect maximum transmission unit (MTU) and VLAN ID configuration issues. For more information, see Chapter 4, Performing Network Diagnostics With the network-monitor Transport Module Utility, in Troubleshooting Network Administration Issues in Solaris 11.2 .

  • Faster Upload Times for Kernel Crash Dumps. The kernel crash dump files have been restructured to allow faster upload times to Oracle Support for dumps from large systems. This feature greatly reduces the time for initial analysis and problem resolution. reporting back to the customer. Kernel crash dumps are divided into multiple files based on their contents
    and better administrative granularity is provided when using the dumpadm(1M) and savecore(1M) commands.

  • Memory Access Locality Characterization and Analysis With the numatop Command
    Most modern systems use Non-Uniform Memory Access (NUMA) design for multiprocessing. In NUMA systems, memory and processors are organized in such a way that for a given processor, some parts of memory are closer to it (that is, connected by a more direct path) while other parts are farther from it. A processor can access memory that is closer to it much faster than the memory that is farther from it.

    The latency between the processors and different portions of the memory in a NUMA machine might be significantly different.

    The new numatop(1M) command is an observability tool for runtime memory locality characterization and analysis of processes and threads running on a NUMA system. This tool helps to characterize the NUMA behavior of processes and threads and to identify where the NUMA-related performance bottlenecks reside.

  • Oracle Hardware Management Pack. The Oracle Hardware Management Pack is integrated into Solaris. This set of tools enables you to better manage and configure Oracle server hardware and enable automation through scripting. This set comprises command-line interfaces for the following activities:
    • Configuring the Oracle Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM) service processor
    • Configuring hardware RAID volumes used for server data
    • Updating server firmware
    • Displaying hardware configuration information. A hardware plug-in for the Solaris SNMP Agent enables monitoring of hardware configuration and status by your existing data center management tools, including notification of hardware faults through SNMP Traps.

    You can install the Oracle Hardware Management Pack with the system/management/hwmgmtd and system/management/hwmgmtcli packages. For more information, see the Oracle Hardware Management Pack technology page ( ).

  • Oracle VTS 7.0 Patch Set 18.1 The Oracle Validation Test Suite (Oracle VTS) is a comprehensive hardware diagnostic tool that tests and validates the connectivity and functionality of most controllers and devices on Oracle platforms. Oracle VTS tests are targeted for each hardware component or function in a system. Oracle VTS 7.0 Patch Set
    18.1 has significant enhancements to processor, power, power management, memory, and input and output diagnostics. The modified VTS kernel logs the system information of the test server and provides periodic test status summary reports for every test execution.

    For the list of enhancements in Oracle VTS 7.0 Patch Set 18.1, see Oracle VTS 7.0 Patch Set 18 Software Release Notes ( ) and Oracle VTS 7.0 Software User's Guide ( ).

  • Next-Generation Hardware Drivers. Solaris 11.2 continues to provide driver support for the latest-generation hardware components from third parties including Intel CPUs and Ethernet Controllers, Mellanox Ethernet and InfiniBand HBAs, andLSI HBAs.

Developer Tools Enhancements

  • DTrace llquantize Aggregating Action. Solaris 11.2 includes a new DTrace linear-log quantize aggregating action, llquantize. This
    aggregating action enables you to collect data in linear-step buckets, similar to the existing lquantize action, across multiple magnitudes simultaneously. For more information, see Aggregations in Solaris 11.2 Dynamic Tracing Guide .
  • DTrace Scalability Enhancements. A number of enhancements to DTrace improve the performance and scalability of data collection on large processor systems. In particular, the libdtrace(3LIB) command now uses multithreading for aggregation function processing.
  • Solaris Preflight Applications Checker. The Solaris Preflight Applications Checker version 11.2 bundles the following three tools:
    1. Application Readiness Checker Tool – Enables you to determine the readiness of an Solaris 11 application by analyzing a working application on Solaris 10. A successful check with this tool is a strong indicator that an application will run on Solaris 11 without modifications.
    2. Kernel Compliance Checker Tool – Checks for the compliance of kernel modules or device drivers in Solaris 11.2. This tool analyzes source code or binaries of the device driver and reports any
      potential compliance issues.
    3. Application Analyzer Tool – Checks the application for suboptimal coding, implementation practices, and usage of specific Solaris features. It also recommends a better way of implementing the same code in Solaris. This tool analyzes application processes and source code, and generates a recommendation report.

    For more information,

  • Solaris Studio

    Solaris Studio delivers the latest analysis tools, compiler optimization, and multithread performance for better application performance and reliability on Solaris.

    For more information, see the Solaris Studio page ( ) .

Software Features
  • Java 8. Java 8, the latest Java release, includes a significant upgrade to the Java programming model....
  • Mozilla Collaboration Suite (Firefox, Thunderbird and Lightning). Solaris 11.2 includes the latest versions of the popular collaboration suite from the Mozilla community: the Firefox 17 web browser, Thunderbird 17 email client, and Lightning 1.9 calendar client.

Five years of Sun software under Oracle Were the critics right

The Register

Oracle-Sun anniversary Back in 2010, critics worried that Sun Microsystems' software portfolio would wither on the vine once Oracle got its hands on it. Five years on and the worst fears have proven baseless, yet former Sun diehards have had plenty to be disappointed about since Larry Ellison & Co gobbled the former server heavyweight.

Although Sun was founded in 1982 as a maker of Unix workstations, in its later years it had assembled a rich collection of software, ranging from servers and middleware to databases, virtualization platforms, high-performance computing (HPC) tools, and even the productivity suite.
Sun was also fairly innovative as commercial software firms went. By the 2000s it had become one of the largest corporate contributors to open source projects in the world. It had also adopted a unique business model, where customers paid monthly subscription fees based on headcount in exchange for unlimited access to everything in Sun's software portfolio. Unfortunately, however, this strategy wasn't earning it much revenue.

Oracle, on the other hand, is a very different kind of company from the Sun of yesteryear, one concerned foremost with the bottom line, rather than lofty notions of "community" and "sharing." And while many of Sun's software products have lingered on, post-gobble, others have been cast by the wayside in pursuit of profit, with Oracle focusing mainly on Sun's "crown jewels": Java, MySQL, and Solaris.

Former Sun customers, employees, and partners have met these changes with varying degrees of concern, outrage, and acceptance. They may all have good points.

... ... ...

My, my, my, Maria

... ... ...

Oracle has also continued to improve performance and add new features to MySQL, contrary to what its critics had feared. Notably, recent releases have add NoSQL-like query capabilities and added a JSON data type to make MySQL more competitive with newer, unstructured databases.


... ... ...

It only took a few months after the Sun gobble closed for Oracle to pull the plug on OpenSolaris, the community-driven open source version of the OS. Unsurprisingly, the entire OpenSolaris Governing Board resigned, effectively handing back complete control over Solaris to Oracle.

Since then, Solaris development has lumbered on at a steady but molasses-like pace. Solaris 11 reached general availability in November 2011. Since then, there have been two more releases. The most recent, Solaris 11.2, shipped in July 2014.

As with MariaDB, there have been forks. The Illumos Foundation now oversees both its eponymous Solaris offshoot and OpenIndiana, the latter being essentially a continuation of the OpenSolaris effort. But these projects, although sponsored by a number of prominent storage and cloud computing companies, have gathered only a limited audience.

Perhaps most telling is that Oracle has shipped many of its high-end "engineered systems" running Linux, rather than Solaris. It has even gone as far as to port DTrace – arguably one of Solaris' more coveted features – to the Unbreakable Linux kernel.

None of this is to say Oracle plans to mothball Solaris completely. But there's little incentive for Big Red to market Solaris as a major differentiator for enterprise workloads when the other major commercial Unix vendors have already lost the fight to Linux years ago.

... ... ...

Five years before Larry's mast

... ... ...

If you were hoping Oracle would carry on down Sun's path of open sourcing its entire software portfolio in hopes that subscription support revenues would be enough to fund continuous development, the writing on that score is clearly on the wall, too – although you were probably a little naïve to begin with.

If, on the other hand, you just want to see important IT building blocks like Java, MySQL, and (to a lesser extent) Solaris continue to exist, then you seemingly have little reason to worry. Oracle has invested heavily in each of these technologies and shows every sign of continuing to do so.

After all, Java, in particular, is as important to Oracle as it is to any other Java development shop. All of Oracle's Fusion applications are built using it. The one worry is whether the former Sun software technologies progress so slowly under Oracle's oversight that they start to seem as dinosaurs compared to newer alternatives – the true Cobols of the modern age. But there's still hope that this won't happen.

The trade-off, of course, is that you'll never again be a Sun customer. Those days are long gone. And negotiating Oracle licensing terms can be a bitter pill for anyone to swallow, particularly if they're new to the game. The real question is, are you up to it?

[Nov 28, 2014] Debian Forked Over Systemd

"A distro that is "Debian without systemd dependencies" has a very large built-in audience right out of the gate." Solaris on Intel is such a distro ;-)

November 28, 2014 |
jaromil writes: The so called "Veteran Unix Admin" collective has announced that the fork of Debian will proceed as a result of the recent systemd controversy. The reasons put forward are not just technical; included is a letter of endorsement by Debian Developer Roger Leigh mentioning that "people rely on Debian for their jobs and businesses, their research and their hobbies. It's not a playground for such radical experimentation." The fork is called "Devuan," pronounced "DevOne." The official website has more information.

Ynot_82 (1023749) on Friday November 28, 2014 @03:31PM (#48480815)

Wow... (Score:4, Insightful)

...a fork of Debian, Such a thing is unheard of in Debian's 20-odd year history. I wonder what the impact of this fork will be on Debian-proper.

walterbyrd (182728) on Friday November 28, 2014 @03:36PM (#48480847)

Re:Wow... (Score:4, Interesting)

I think it's fair to say that this fork is far more significant.

I certainly wish them luck, but I am concerned that they may not be able to get the resources needed to successfully compete against the Redhat/Debian agenda.

swillden (191260) <[email protected]> on Friday November 28, 2014 @05:04PM (#48481403) Homepage Journal

Re:Wow... (Score:4, Interesting)

I think it's fair to say that this fork is far more significant.

I think this fork will be fairly insignificant, and, further, that it will increasingly run into problems as desktops and other packages depend more and more on systemd components (that trend was one of the major factors in the Debian decision to adopt it).

I actually wish the Devuan guys all the best; I'd love to see another solid server-focused distro (server focus may help them avoid the issues with DEs). But I'm really glad to hear about this fork because the systemd debate has been a huge distraction to Debian. Hopefully this will finally put it to bed as all of the systemd opponents leave Debian for Devuan. I think that will be a net win for Debian because most of the vocal opponents don't contribute much code anyway.

Personally, the more I learn about systemd, the more I like the ideas behind it, and both code and documentation seem to be of high quality (documentation in particular is much better than is typical of open source projects). I'll be sticking with Debian.

linuxrocks123 (905424) on Friday November 28, 2014 @06:45PM (#48482031) Homepage Journal

Re:Wow... (Score:2)

I think this fork will be fairly insignificant, and, further, that it will increasingly run into problems as desktops and other packages depend more and more on systemd components (that trend was one of the major factors in the Debian decision to adopt it).

Right! Lord knows open source software is known for its hard dependencies on system-specific interfaces, and for its contempt for cross-platform standards such as POSIX.

I mean, if you're on Windows, you're totally SOL [] if you want to use anything from Linux-land. Likewise, Mac users [] are totally f*ed if they want to make use of their OS's Unix roots to run Linux-oriented software.

Oh, and BSD users who want to run anything outside the system core? Out of luck. [] No one's going to bother taking all that Linux-specific code, which never pays attention to POSIX and uses syscall() into the Linux kernel everywhere, for such a fringe distro!

I guess we'll just stay in the world we are now, where everything on SourceForge is hooked directly into the Linux kernel, and the de-jure standards like POSIX and de-facto ones like GLIB are used as toilet paper for the Linux devs' asses.

Everyone knows almost all OSS software only runs on Linux right now anyway. Now it'll just be more of the same, but with SystemD dependencies built in, too! ...

Hmm, I think the LSD has worn off now. Ok, I have another opinion:

OSS software tends to follow portability best practices, where hard dependencies are eschewed when possible. A few corrupt, blinkered projects such as GNOME might decide to build in hard dependencies to SystemD. Most other software won't, because they'd lose portability to every platform other than Linux with SystemD. And most OSS software cares about that.


dbc (135354) on Friday November 28, 2014 @05:18PM (#48481483)

Re:Wow... (Score:5, Insightful)

You comment is well put. A distro that is "Debian without systemd dependencies" has a very large built-in audience right out of the gate.

And that audience is technically sophisticated, with the ability to contribute. Regardless of whether or not you consider that audience a herd of Luddites (which I do not) it has both critical mass and sufficient know-how and motivation to give Devuan a fast ramp, which is the key to survival in today's crowded distro world.

quantaman (517394) on Friday November 28, 2014 @06:18PM (#48481847)

Re:Wow... (Score:2)

Of all Linux distributions, Debian was *the* first choice for running servers, but since they decided to force systemd down users throats they have lost a lot of credibility in the BOFH world.

A sysadmins first concern is reliability of its systems and this was also Debian's for a very long time. Clearly the adoption of systemd is not going in this direction. It seems to me that Devuan people understood that and want to take the now deserted land of server oriented distros. Of course the meaning for Debian is they will now have a hard time to compete with the whole lot of very good desktop distributions if they don't want to lose most of their users.

Then why aren't you hearing anything from the Red Hat customer base? If anyone wants reliability it's the enterprise which is Red Hat's entire market. The fact that nothing is coming from that side tells me that this is about something else entirely where people are more concerned about the political process and symbolism than the technical merits.

Maybe there is a big demand for a very stripped down low feature server distro, but I suspect this isn't going do become a big player.

raxx7 (205260) on Friday November 28, 2014 @06:12PM (#48481809) Homepage

Re:All right, allow me to expose my ignorance (Score:5, Informative)

systemd is, first, a new init system for Linux, to replace sysv init.

Additionally, it brings a host of companion daemons: logging (journald), a session manager (logind) and a bunch of others.

systemd and it's companions offer a host of functionality and a number of software pieces are becoming to depend on it, to the point you "can't" run a fully functional Gnome3 without using systemd as init (it needs the session management functionally of logind, for example).
The major distributions have adopted systemd as default init system: Fedora, RHEL, SuSE, Debian and Arch. Ubuntu hasn't changed yet but they have announced they will follow Debian in the future.

There is a number of people who dislike it for many reasons, which are hard to summarize because many of the people dislike it for false reasons and only some actually make valid and constructive critiques.

Eg, many people claim it's monolithic. In fact, it's made of ~100 daemons and applications and the init process isn't that big. Much much smaller than the Linux kernel itself, which a big monolithic kernel.

Many people dislike being "forced" to use because the major distributions are adopting it and major projects like Gnome are becoming dependent (with KDE talking about it too).

I use "" in "can't" and "forced" because it's not strictly true. While a lot of people whine and hate in slashdot, a small number of people have been putting their code where their mouth is and working on alternatives.

Eg, there's a systemd-shim package in Debian which actually allows you to run Gnome3 very nicely without using systemd as init, by providing the necessary systemd features.

hum (Score:5, Insightful)

Endymion (12816) <<> <at> <>> on Friday November 28, 2014 @04:57PM (#48481353) Homepage Journal

Ahh, the usual misrepresentation of why we oppose systemd that always shows up. Calling us haters while trying to reframe the discussion away from the real issues isn't convincing - it just adds evidence that systemd gains position by propagand and politics instead of design and implementation quality. No, you are not going to scare us away form linux. Some may retreat to FreeBSD, which is fine (it's a good OS). The rest of us are going to stay with linux, even if it large parts of linux leave and become part of the systemd monoculture. We've been here before, after all, over a decade ago.

The varied technical issues with systemd are bad enough, but they have already been discussed, and are a central reason why the sysadmins ae forking Debian. Many systemd advocates try and steer discussions back to these technical issues - while denying that systemd doesn't actually work for everybody - to avoids talking about the fundamental design problems and philosophical changes that systemd forces on Linux.

While it is currently popular to "move fast and break things", those of us with more experience understand the value in not breaking everything. None of this means that those that are better served by systemd should stop using it! We're only angry about the attempts to force a monoculture by breaking compatibility for political reasons, when there as no technical need. You know, like Microsoft does with their "not invented here" attitude.

Still, those are philosophical issues about the software itself. That is not the primary problem some of us have with systemd, which is not about technical problems, but is instead an attack on our preferred method of licensing. The systemd takeover is an attempt to separate Linux and many userspace tools from the GPL, so that software can be used under the LGPL terms instead.

What is the big difference between GPL and LGPL? Linkage. Linking to a GPL library requires you to follow certain requirements if you link against it, while the LGPL specifically allows taht usage. (k)dbus provides the workaround, by replacing what would be a normal function call into a library with a "IPC". It's slower, but so what, computers are way faster than needed. In the end, while you can still choose to release your code as GPL, if you have to use an IPC mechanism to do anything useful the license requirements that will actually apply ends up being being more like the LGPL. For a better explanation, see this post by stevel [] in the Gentoo forums.

Well, if I wanted to release under the LGPL, I would. What I'm not going to do is undermine my choice of license just because a bunch of embedded developers (and others) want to use what were traditionally GPL projects without having to be bound by the copyleft requirements. If this was proprietary software, you would call that kind of behavior "stealing" or "piracy".

So don't bother with claims about "faster desktops" or "easier programming". When your solution also bundles a forced monoculture ("unifying the difference between distributions") and contains a loophole around the licence some of us chose it is simply not an option for those of us that place "freedom" as the most important feature. /how much does JTRIG (or their equivalent) pay for these propaganda attempts, anyway? //It's a waste of money regardless, given how transparent these comments are ///some of this post is reused from a post I made on HN

Uecker (1842596) on Friday November 28, 2014 @06:50PM (#48482059)

Re:hum (Score:2)

Interesting. I have to say I am also worried about software freedom, but not so much because of licensing.

I am worried because loosly coupled systems based on well defined interfaces are replaced by deeply integrated systems.

This means that you cannot easily replace one part you do not like with another anymore. This is not only bad engineering, it also limits your freedom in a very real sense. This is the real problem with systemd - and not only with systemd

[Aug 16, 2014] Oracle's Sparc M7 chip to supercharge in-memory computing by James Niccolai

"The M7 will provide a three- to four-times performance boost for applications across the board, according to Fowler."
Aug 12, 2014 | PCWorld

Oracle has given the first peek at its upcoming Sparc M7 processor, promising big performance gains for customers who use the in-memory compute features of its 12C database.

The Sparc M7 is due for release next year and will eventually be used in both high- and low-end Oracle Unix systems, including the M series and T series products, said John Fowler, executive vice president for Oracle's systems business.

The chip has 32 CPU cores-up from 12 cores on the M6-and is being manufactured on a more advanced, 20-nanometer process, which allows for smaller, faster transistors. It's also based on a new core design called the S4.

The M7 will provide a three- to four-times performance boost for applications across the board, according to Fowler. But more significant for some customers, the chip has built-in accelerators that will yield much bigger gains for a handful of key tasks, he said.

One of those is in-memory processing, where data is fetched from main memory instead of disk to reduce query times. It's one of the big selling points of Oracle's latest 12C database-CEO Larry Ellison has said it will crunch data at "ungodly speeds."

The M7 chip designers worked with Oracle's database team to build features directly in the silicon to accelerate in-memory operations. Fowler wouldn't give exact numbers but said it will yield "integer multiples" for common operations, meaning at least double or treble the performance over the Sparc M6.

"Certain queries will be wildly accelerated," he said.

The chip is also hard-wired to handle "live decompression," which should let customers keep more of their data in a compressed format and not pay a performance penalty when it's sent for processing. That in turn could reduce storage costs.

Another feature built into the silicon reduces message latency between servers, reducing the performance overhead for database clusters.

"If you want to gang together two systems, four systems, eight systems, the more you lower the latency, the more you improve the scalability, because you're not waiting for the memory interface," Fowler said.

Yet another feature checks data in memory for errors resulting from a software bug or security exploit. Called "real time application data integrity," it's used now only for debugging and other non-production uses, but the Sparc M7 performs quickly enough for use with live applications.

Oracle engineers gave an overview of the chip in a presentation Tuesday at the Hot Chips conference in Cupertino, California. It's Oracle's fifth new processor since acquiring Sun Microsystems four years ago. Some expected Ellison to sell off the hardware side of Sun's business, but instead he's focused on building costly, high-performance systems that tightly integrate Oracle hardware and software.

The acceleration tweaks, including the in-memory and decompression features, will be "transparent" to users of Oracle's 12C database, Fowler said. However, they're not "unique or private" to the Oracle database, he said.

That means other developers can program applications to take advantage of them. Oracle expects a lot of developers to use the application data integrity feature, for instance. The in-memory and data decompression features require more skill to take advantage of, but a company like IBM, for instance, could in theory tweak its database to take advantage of those features if it wanted to, Fowler said.

Oracle isn't giving details yet of the systems the Sparc M7 will go into, but Fowler said the chip can scale to 32 sockets, like the current Sparc M6. He also said the same chip will be used in both T and M series systems.

[Oct 29, 2013] An evening with a Solaris 10 Appliance on Virtual Box

Aug 8, 2010 | Just A Programmer

I have a tolerate/hate relationship with Solaris. I've played with it occasionally, and I always seem to spend too much time administering Solaris, giving me less time to solve the problem I intended to use Solaris for.

Recently, I was called in to troubleshoot some mod_perl scripts for a client. The troubleshooting was done over email and I never actually had access to the machine the code ran on. I was asked to do some follow-up, and I wanted to more accurately reproduce the client's environment. So I asked for the specific OS and perl version. As you might have guessed by the title, the perl code was running on Solaris 10.

So I fired up my trusty Dell Studio XPS, googled around, and found that Sun^H^H^HOracle makes a Solaris VirtualBox Appliance. I already use Virtual Box on my laptop so this saved me some time. Installation was simple, but a few things annoyed me about the process.

Box Guest Additions

I had to manually install the Virtual Box Guest Additions. The main advantage of this package is to allow your guest OS to run in full screen mode, or be resized to an arbitrary resolution. Oracle owns all the code for the Virtual Box and the Guest OS. There is no reason, legal or otherwise, for them to not distribute their Solaris VM appliance with the Guest Additions already installed.

Security Defaults

My biggest beef here is that the Solaris installer asks you for a root password, and does not allow you to make a non-privileged local user. I prefer the "no direct root login" model of OSX and Ubuntu where all administration is done through sudo. However, Solaris does not ship with sudo installed. Instead, Solaris has something called RBAC that is superior to sudo. I look forward to learning more about this if I am forced to deal with Solaris again.

Lack of /root

In Solaris, roots home directory is / as opposed to /root. This means there is a /Desktop. and other folders in the root of the file system. In retrospect I could have avoided their creation by doing a console login as root after installing the appliance, and making a non-privileged user to log into X with. However, those steps could be avoided with one more install screen for adding users to the system.

Desktop Experience

There was some desktop software preinstalled. Most notably Star Office 8, Mozilla 1.7 and Firefox Star Office 8 is the previous version of what is now Oracle Open Office, the "value added" closed sorce version of Open Office. I can understand being a version behind with Star Office, since it was probably the latest version when Solaris 10 was released. Firefox 2 was probably new when Solaris first came out as well, but I don't see the need for the old Mozilla suite. There was some good news though. Flash was preinstalled.

I went to youtube to test flash. I discovered that audio did not work. The internet told me there was no Virtual Box sound driver for Solaris and I should install Open Sound System. The audio isn't perfect, but it works. While most people are not running Solaris as a Desktop, it seems odd to distribute a VM appliance with a browser and flash, and not include sound support. Hopefully Oracle will develop their own sound driver or distribute the Open Sound System one in the future.

Package Management

Solaris comes with a package management system. There is a decent amount of software installed by default. However, certain things linux users would expect like vim are not included. As a FreeBSD person I've come to expect my OS to come with a vi that is not vim. Luckily, there is a comprehensive third party repository for Solaris at I followed the directions to install pkgutil, and soon I was using vim.

Service Management

Historically, Solaris has had an rc.d system thats is, in my humble opinion, weirder than the linux and BSD ones. In its defense, it better captures the UNIX "worse is better" Zen simplicity than the linux and BSD init scripts do. However, apparently all good things must be deprecated in the name of progress. While some services still exist in /etc/rc[0-5].d/, many were moved the the Solaris Service Management Facility in Solaris 10. These services are administrered by svcadm and svcs. While I was tweaking the apache config, I became intimately familiar with these commands. Overall I'm quite happy with this innovation. However, I need to develop more competency with it.


Solaris has improved from years past in terms of administrative experience. However it is still as weird as ever. However, its something that has grown on me in years. I acknowledge my conclusion that Solaris is weird is based on the bias that FreeBSD is "normal."

[Jun 11, 2013] Solaris 11 outperforms RHEL 6 on 2 socket Intel servers (Jim Laurent's Weblog)

As a long time Sun employee, I've often heard the term "Slow-laris" applied to Oracle's premier Unix operating system. Most frequently this was in comparison to the Linux OS running on small two socket servers. I will admit that in the Solaris 8 and 9 timeframe engineering decisions were made to benefit scalability to 64 sockets that sometimes penalized smaller servers. In addition, because of Solaris long history and derivation from ATT and BSD Unix code, there was undoubtedly a bit of code labeled, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it."

With the advent of Solaris 10 and Dynamic Tracing, (DTrace) we actually hunted down and killed a number of those legacy code segments using a new philosophy labeled internally, "If Solaris is slower than Linux on the same hardware, it's a bug."

As a result, Solaris 11 provides higher performance than Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.3 on basically identical 2 socket hardware as measured by the SPECjbb benchmark. According to SPEC:

The SPECjbb2013 benchmark has been developed from the ground up to measure performance based on the latest Java application features. It is relevant to all audiences who are interested in Java server performance, including JVM vendors, hardware developers, Java application developers, researchers and members of the academic community.

Java is one of the predominant enterprise programming environments for mission critical applications and many of Oracle's products are written in Java.

This chart from the SPECjbb site shows the performance of our X3-2 Intel based server with 16 cores and 128 GB of RAM running Solaris 11.1. The X3-2 tested features the Intel E5-2690 CPU @ 2.9 Ghz.

[May 29, 2013] Oracle Solaris 10 Compared to Oracle Solaris 11

Feature or Command Oracle Solaris 10 Oracle Solaris 11 Additional Information
Booting from a root device From a UFS or Solaris Volume Manager root device From an Oracle Solaris ZFS root file system System Boot, Recovery, and Platform Changes
Booting from the network From SPARC ok PROM prompt: boot net[:dhcp] or boot net[:rarp]

x86: Requires a DHCP server that supports a Preboot Execution Environment (PXE) boot from the network.

SPARC: boot net:dhcp

x86: No change since Oracle Solaris 10

Boot, Platform, and Hardware Changes
Booting (recovery) SPARC: Boot in failsafe mode by typing boot -F failsafe at the ok PROM prompt.

x86: Boot in failsafe mode by selecting the failsafe entry in the GRUB menu at boot time.

Failsafe mode is not supported on SPARC or x86 platforms. Depending on the error condition, boot in single-user mode or perform system recovery steps. System Boot, Recovery, and Platform Changes
Desktop environment Common Desktop Environment (CDE) Oracle Solaris Desktop (GNOME 2.30) User Account Management and User Environment Features
File systems (default) UFS and Solaris Volume Manager root file systems ZFS root file system (default) Chapter 5, Managing File Systems
Installation (graphical user interface (GUI)) GUI installation program on DVD or CD Live Media (x86 only) Installing Oracle Solaris 11 by Using Installation Media
Installation (interactive text) Interactive text installation and interactive text installer for ZFS root pools Text installer (stand-alone and network installation) Installing Oracle Solaris 11 by Using Installation Media
Installation (automated) JumpStart feature of Oracle Solaris 10 Automated Installer (AI) feature of Oracle Solaris 11 Installing Oracle Solaris 11 by Using AI
Installation (other) Oracle Solaris Flash Archive installation See System Boot, Recovery, and Platform Changes. Oracle Solaris 11 Release Notes
Network configuration (manual and automatic) ifconfig

Edit /etc/hostname.*

ndd for configuring protocols

manual mode: dladm and ipadm

automatic mode: netcfg and netadm

Chapter 7, Managing Network Configuration
Network configuration (DHCP) Oracle Solaris DHCP and other naming services Internet Systems Consortium (ISC) DHCP and legacy Sun DHCP Chapter 10, About DHCP (Overview), in Oracle Solaris Administration: IP Services
Network configuration (wireless) wificonfig manual: dladm and ipadm

automatic: netcfg

Chapter 7, Managing Network Configuration
Packaging (software management) SVR4 package and patch commands Image Packaging System (IPS) pkg(1) commands, Package Manager and Update Manager GUIs Chapter 6, Managing Software and Boot Environments
Print service (default), printer configuration and administration LP print service, lp print commands, Solaris Print Manager GUI Common UNIX Print System (CUPS), CUPS command-line tools, CUPS Print Manager GUI Printer Configuration and Management Changes
Security management root as a user account root as a role Chapter 9, Managing Security
System configuration and reconfiguration sysidtool, sys-unconfig, sysidconfig, and sysidcfg sysconfig, System Configuration Interactive (SCI) tool, SC profiles Chapter 8, Managing System Configuration
System configuration (naming services configuration) Configured in files within /etc and /var Managed through the Service Management Facility (SMF) feature of Oracle Solaris System Configuration Changes and Migration of System Configuration to SMF
System configuration (nodename or host name) Edit /etc/nodename svccfg -s sets the config/nodename property of the svc:system/identity:node service to the desired name.

Note - If the system is configured to use DHCP, which is always the case when the Automatic NCP is enabled, the SMF service property can only be set if the DHCP server does not provide a value for the nodename/hostname option. See nodename(4).

Chapter 8, Managing System Configuration
System management (centralized) Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 11g Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c
System registration Auto Registration Oracle Configuration Manager System Registration Changes
System upgrade and boot environment management lu and SVR4 package commands pkg commands, Package Manager, Update Manager

beadm utility for managing boot environments

Chapter 6, Managing Software and Boot Environments
User account management Solaris Management Console GUI and associated command-line tools useradd, usermod, userdel, groupadd, groupmod, groupdel, roleadd, rolemod, and roledel Creating and Managing User Accounts, Groups, and Roles
User environment management Korn shell (ksh)

MANPATH variable is required

Default shell: ksh93

Default ksh path: /usr/bin/ksh; /bin/sh is also ksh93

Default interactive shell: bash; default bash path: /usr/bin/bash

MANPATH variable is no longer required

User Environment Feature

[May 29, 2013] Taking Your First Steps with Oracle Solaris 11

by Glynn Foster

An introduction to installing Oracle Solaris 11, including the steps for installing new software and administering other system configuration.

Published October 2012

Oracle Solaris 11 is distributed with several different installation options: a hands-free automated server-based install, an interactive text-based install that is also suitable for servers, and an interactive graphical installer that includes a full desktop environment.

This article focuses on the interactive graphical installer, although many of the concepts discussed in this article apply to the other Oracle Solaris 11 installation options. Users coming from Oracle Solaris 10 are urged to take a look at the Transitioning from Oracle Solaris 10 to Oracle Solaris 11 guide.

The graphical installer is officially known as the "Live Media." This means that Oracle Solaris can be booted into RAM, causing zero impact on your existing operating system. After it is loaded, you are free to experiment with Oracle Solaris to determine whether it is something you would like to install to your system.

You can download Oracle Solaris 11 Live Media for x86, which is an approximately 800 MB image file, and use a DVD burner to create the disk, or you can use the ISO image directly in a virtual machine or through the Oracle Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM) Remote Console.

The Live Media is not intended for long-term use. For example, any changes that you make to the system are lost when the system is shut down. Therefore, the next logical step is to install Oracle Solaris on the system, which the Live Media makes easy by placing an Install Oracle Solaris icon right on the desktop. But before we head down that road, let's step back a bit and consider the installation options.

[May 20, 2013] How To Protect Public Cloud Using Solaris 11 Technologies (The art of virtualization ) by Orgad Kimchi

May 20, 2013

When we meet with our partners, we often ask them, " What are their main security challenges for public cloud infrastructure.? What worries them in this regard?"
This is what we've gathered from our partners regarding the security challenges:

1. Protect data at rest and on transit using encryption
2. Prevent denial of service attacks against their infrastructure
3. Segregate network traffic between different cloud users
4. Disable hostile code (e.g.' rootkit' attacks)
5. Minimize operating system attack surface
6. Secure data deletions once we have done with our project
7. Enable strong authorization and authentication for non secure protocols

Based on these guidelines, we began to design our Oracle Developer Cloud. Our vision was to leverage Solaris 11 technologies in order to meet those security requirements.

First - Our partners would like to encrypt everything from disk up the layers to the application without the performance overhead which is usually associated with this type of technology.
The SPARC T4 (and lately the SPARC T5) integrated cryptographic accelerator allow us to encrypt data using ZFS encryption capability.

We can encrypt all the network traffic using SSL from the client connection to the cloud main portal using the Secure Global Desktop (SGD) technology and also encrypt the network traffic between the application tier to the database tier. In addition to that we can protect our Database tables using Oracle Transparent Data Encryption (TDE).

During our performance tests we saw that the performance impact was very low (less than 5%) when we enabled those encryption technologies.

The following example shows how we created an encrypted file system

# zfs create -o encryption=on rpool/zfs_file_system

Enter passphrase for 'rpool/zfs_file_system':
Enter again:

[May 20, 2013] Tuning the SPARC CPU to Optimize Workload Performance on SPARC T4

Systems Starting with the Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.1 patch release (147507-xx), you can use dynamic CPU threading controls to optimize workload performance on SPARC T4 systems. These threading controls enable you to specify the number of hardware threads to be activated per core, thereby ensuring exclusive access to hardware resources like CPU cache for application software threads running on those cores. In some cases this can provide performance benefits for selected applications. Existing applications can take advantage of the SPARC dynamic threading performance benefits without having to be rewritten or recompiled. It should be noted that Oracle Solaris will normally tune the system for highest performance automatically without administrator intervention, and provides a flexible, effective way to designate which application processes should be given preferential access to CPU resources

[May 20, 2013] Configurations - SPARC T4-1 Server

An option to upgrade aging V240 servers, if you want to continue using UltraSparc, and can't migrate to Intel. You can partition the server into four partition with 8GB each. That comes $5K per partition which is expensive, but essentially the same price as V240 many years ago.
System List Price US$20,984.00
First Year Oracle Premier Support for Systems US$2,518.08
Processor One SPARC T4, 8-core 2.85 GHz
Processor Core 8-core
Clock Speed 2.85 GHz
Max # of Processors One
Compute Threads 64
Cache Shared L3, 4 MB cache, Dedicated L2 128KB
Built-In Security Along with supporting 16 embedded security industry-standard ciphers, the on-board cryptography accelerators deliver secure, wire speed encryption capabilities for live migration – without any additional hardware investment.
Memory 32 GB (4 x 8 GB DIMMs)
Max Memory 512 GB
# Installed Memory Slots Four
Max # of Memory Slots 16
Reliability, Availability & Serviceability (RAS) Hot-pluggable Disk Drives, Redundant Hot- Swappable Power Supplies and Fans
Mass Storage 600 GB (2 x 300 GB) 10,000 RPM 2.5-inch SAS disks
Internal Disk Bays Eight
Optical Drive SATA DVD drive assembly with DVD+/-RW
Network & I/O Options Four 10/100/1000 Ethernet ports, six PCIe Slots (two accept XAUI)

[Sep 10, 2012] T5 is Coming

Here's the scoop about what we inside Oracle have known for a while, and which will be available to our customers and partners soon. Our new T-Series CPU is world-class, and it making people sit up and take notice. It's a beast, folks, trust me.

[Dec 06, 2011] Terms for Oracle Solaris, Oracle Solaris Cluster and Oracle Solaris Express

Oracle Technology Network Developer License
Oracle Technology Network Development License Agreement
... ... ...


Except for any included software package or file that is licensed to you by Oracle under different license terms, we grant you a perpetual (unless terminated as provided in this agreement), nonexclusive, nontransferable, limited License to use the Programs only for the purpose of developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications, and not for any other purpose.

All rights not expressly granted above are hereby reserved. If you want to use the Programs for any purpose other than as permitted under this agreement, including but not limited to distribution of the Programs or any use of the Programs for your internal business purposes (other than developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications) or for any commercial production purposes, you must obtain a valid license permitting such use. We may audit your use of the Programs. Program documentation, if available, may be accessed online at

Included Java SE Components

The Programs may include or be distributed with certain separately licensed components that are part of Java SE ("Java SE"). Java SE and all components associated with it are licensed to you under the terms of the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement for the Java SE Platform Products, and not under this agreement. A copy the Oracle Binary Code License Agreement for the Java SE Platform Products can be found at:

Third-Party Technology

The Programs may contain or be distributed with certain third-party technology. Oracle may provide certain notices related to such third-party technology in the program documentation, or in readme or notice files provided with the Programs.

Third party technology will be licensed to you either under the terms of this agreement, or, if specified in the program documentation, readme files or otherwise in writing, under separate license terms ("Separate Terms") and not under the terms of this agreement ("Separately Licensed Third Party Technology"). Licensee's rights to use such Separately Licensed Third Party Technology under the Separate Terms are not restricted or modified in any way by this Agreement.

Information Collection and Registration
Configuration Data and Registration: The Programs may communicate configuration data to Oracle. You can register your version of the Programs to capture this data for your use, or the data is sent anonymously. For information about what configuration data is communicated and how to control this facility, refer to the release notes or .

Ownership and Restrictions
We retain all ownership and intellectual property rights in the Programs. The Programs may be installed on one computer only, and used by one person in the hardware environment identified by us. You may make one copy of the Programs for backup purposes.

You may not:

- use the Programs for your own internal business purposes (other than developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications) or for any commercial or production purposes;

- remove or modify any program markings or any notice of our proprietary rights;

- make the Programs available in any manner to any third party;

- use the Programs to provide third-party training;

- assign this agreement or give or transfer the Programs or an interest in them to another individual or entity;

- cause or permit reverse engineering (unless required by law for interoperability), disassembly or decompilation of the Programs;

- disclose results of any benchmark test results related to the Programs without our prior consent.

[Dec 06, 2011] Solaris 11 Released

November 10, 2011 | Slashdot


Given that Zones can have:
different login identities
different network interfaces
different hostnames
different hardware available to them (disks, adapters, etc.)
be configured to use resource pools thus different amounts of cpu, floating or fixed

Yes, I'd say they are much more useful than chroot.


Re: I guess Ellison changed his mind (Score:5, Informative)

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.

$1,000/year per CPU for non-Oracle hardware (Score:4, Interesting)

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.

Re:8 char usernames (Score:4, Funny)

You can have longer than 8 character user names, but the characters after 8 are ignored. It's defined in limits.h as LOGNAME_MAX. It's an ABI restriction, hard-coded in several binary formats, NIS restriction, and UNIX interoperability issue. Another limit is the 32-bit character limit from POSIX, but that's been removed, I understand. Don't blame me--I'm just telling you.

Well tried, but I know its your fault!

[Dec 05, 2011] With Solaris 11, Oracle Makes Sun's OS Its Own

IDEAS Insights

Scalability and Performance

Solaris has long been optimized for use on large Symmetric Multiprocessing (SMP) systems, and Solaris 11 adds new refinements for increasing its performance on servers with very large numbers of cores.

The Solaris 11 scheduler has increased awareness of variants in topologies used to connect processor sockets in large servers, and it also takes I/O latencies into account when scheduling access to memory.

The memory management in Solaris 11 has also been optimized specifically to improve the performance of the Oracle database on systems with large amounts of memory. The new network stack has a parallelized architecture that will improve network performance on large SMP systems, and it fully exploits hardware in network adapters to offload more network processing operations, freeing the server processors to take on more computing tasks under heavy network I/O loads.

InfiniBand support in Solaris 11 has been extended with the Reliable Datagram Sockets (RDS) V3 protocol, which will provide better performance and observation for Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) databases.

[Dec 02, 2011] Oracle Releases Oracle Solaris 11, the First Cloud OS

Although many large enterprises are gradually migrating our boxes from Solaris to Linux, Solaris 11 keeps the OS in the forefront of innovation in Unix operating systems and can give other flavors of Unix a run for the money. Is also remains the only alternative to Linux on Intel platform.

While I doubt that we will use them, those new features might help to understand were Linux (and probably AIX) will be moving in, say, 10 years from now. Among interesting and innovative features that are relevant to our environment:

With Oracle Solaris ZFS deduplication customers can reduce their storage requirements in virtualized environments by 10x.

Zones now runs Oracle applications much faster then alternative virtualization solutions with the lowest possible overhead (which is given as there is only one kernel instance with virtualization and other advanced OS features and virtual instances are just applications that use those OS services, like in IBM VM/CMS). You also do not need to pay for a separate virtualization layer like Oracle VM or VMware to partition server into several virtual instances. Single support contract covers all instances. Efficiency-wise zones beat VMware at least by 25% on moderately loaded servers. New zonestat(1) command provides critical information about zone performance in readable format.

The traditional UNIX root account is now a role by default in Oracle Solaris 11. That's similar to how I recommend configuring sudo with wheel group in Linux but is much more flexible. For example, you can provide users with read-only access to system files via additional privileges. You can also remove networking privileges from certain accounts. Solaris 11 adds three new "basic" privileges (file_read, file_write, and net_access)

Zones now can have their own TCP space and virtual IP stack, not limited to the number of physical Ethernet adapters on the system (although this was never a problem in our environment). Immutable Zones has protection for executable. NFS servers are now supported in a non-global zone

November 9, 2011 | oracle
As the first fully virtualized operating system (OS), Oracle Solaris 11 provides comprehensive, built-in virtualization capabilities for OS, network and storage resources:

In addition to its built-in virtualization capabilities, Oracle Solaris 11 is engineered for Oracle VM sever virtualization on both x86 and SPARC based systems, providing deployment flexibility and secure live migration.

Oracle Solaris Zones virtualization scales up to hundreds of zones per physical node at a 15x lower overhead than VMware and without artificial limits on memory, network, CPU and storage resources.

New, integrated network virtualization allows customers to create high-performance, low-cost data center topologies within a single OS instance for ultimate flexibility, bandwidth control and observability.

Oracle Solaris 11 offers comprehensive management across the entire infrastructure – operating system, physical hardware, networking and storage, as well as the virtualization layer.

New connected cloud management ensures that customers always have the latest Solaris updates from Oracle and proactive services help customers achieve maximum uptime.

Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center, now included in systems support, provides converged systems management, enabling enterprise wide, centralized control over hardware, OS and virtualization resources.

Oracle Solaris ZFS provides the data and storage management foundation for Oracle Solaris 11, delivering ultimate data integrity, flash-enabled tiered storage pools, line speed encryption and the scalability to store and manage unlimited amounts of data.

With Oracle Solaris ZFS deduplication customers can reduce their storage requirements in virtualized environments by 10x.

Oracle Solaris 11 delivers "secure by default" features, including start up, role-based root access and low impact auditing for both cloud and traditional datacenter deployments.

The built-in encryption acceleration in Oracle Solaris 11 provides a 4x performance boost compared to IBM AIX encryption.

Oracle Solaris and Oracle software applications are designed together, tested together, can be deployed together and supported together to provide faster fail-over, improved reliability and up to 10x better application performance.

Oracle Solaris development teams have worked on co-engineering efforts to increase Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g and Java-based application performance, availability, security and manageability on Oracle Solaris.

New Oracle Solaris11 enhancements include optimized shared memory management, I/O improvements, integrated resource management and crypto off-load.

Oracle Solaris 11 is the ideal platform to run business-critical enterprise applications in virtualized massive horizontal scale as well as vertically integrated environments on a wide range of SPARC and x86 servers. Customers can:

Run any of the more than 11,000 applications supported today on Oracle Solaris 11, with guaranteed binary compatibility through the Oracle Solaris Binary Application Guarantee Program.

Customers can preserve their existing investments by using P2V and V2V tools to move their existing Oracle Solaris 10 environments to an Oracle Solaris 10 Zone, while gaining access to the latest Oracle Solaris 11 enhancements.

Oracle Solaris delivers performance that matters to customers:

Today, Oracle Solaris 11 delivered a new world record result on SPECjvm2008, a general-purpose, multi-threaded Java benchmark. In combination with Oracle's SPARC T4-2 server and the Oracle HotSpot Java Virtual Machine, Oracle Solaris 11 delivers up to 41 percent improvement over the previous result using Oracle Solaris 10(1)

Oracle Solaris has already achieved world record benchmarks that span a wide range of enterprise applications, including 10 world records posted most recently on Oracle's SPARC T4 servers.

The latest release of Oracle Solaris is engineered to provide cloud-scale life cycle management with secure, fail-safe boot environments, safe roll-backs, 4x faster upgrades and 2.5x faster system re-boots and is leveraging the power of Oracle Solaris ZFS.

Oracle Solaris 11 is already in production at over 700 top companies around the world and deployed on thousands of Oracle's Sun ZFS Storage Appliances, as well as the Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 and X2-8 and the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud engineered systems.

Oracle Solaris 11, Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center and Oracle VM software are included as part of systems support with all of Oracle's Sun servers, providing customers with built-in cloud capabilities.

Oracle Solaris 11 is certified on SPARC and X86-based platforms as conforming to the UNIX 03 product standard, effective November 8, 2011, per The Open Group. Details at:

Partners in Oracle Partner Network (OPN) will find new Oracle Solaris 11 tools and resources in the Oracle Solaris Knowledge Zone including the Oracle Solaris Remote Lab and the Oracle Solaris Development Initiative. Quotes from OPN Partners appear in the Oracle Solaris 11 Quote Sheet below.

New Oracle Solaris 11 Training is available to help customers and partners take advantage of the best-in-class features of Oracle Solaris 11 and upgrade from Oracle Solaris 10 or earlier versions.

[Aug 15, 2011] Using Solaris tmpfs for a tempdb Device

Database Management - Sybase Inc


Adaptive Server devices usually are raw devices or file system devices. Solaris users have a third option, tmpfs, for tempdb.

tmpfs -- the temporary file system -- caches writes only for a session. Files are not preserved across operating system reboots.

Note: Other UNIX platforms may allow you to create a temporary file system device. See your operating system System Administrator.

Should you use tmpfs?

To determine whether tmpfs would benefit your system, perform benchmarks comparing the memory assigned to tmpfs versus the memory assigned to the data cache.

Usually, it is more effective to give extra memory to the server for use as general data cache rather than creating a tmpfs device for tempdb. If tempdb is used heavily, then it will use a fair share of the data cache. If tempdb is not used often, then the server can use the memory assigned to data cache for non-tempdb data processing, but if the memory is assigned for tempfs it is wasted.

Servers that are most likely to benefit from using tmpfs are those that are already near the addressable memory limit:

Addressable memory in Adaptive Server 11.9.3 generally is 4TB, and therefore tmpfs may not be as beneficial.

Creating a tmpfs device

Follow these steps:

  1. Create and test an operating system startup script that creates tmpfs after every operating system reboot. See the Solaris man page on tmpfs for details on creating a tmpfs filesystem.

  2. Create the tmpfs device with disk init just like creating any other filesystem device, except that you are specifying the tmpfs filesystem you just created. For example, if you named and mounted it as "/mytmpfs":

    1> use master
    2> go
    1> disk init name = "tempdb1_dev1", 
    2> physname = "/mytmpfs/tempdb",
    3> vdevno = 3, size = 102400
    4> go

    This creates a 200MB device for tempdb on the /mytmpfs device.

  3. Use alter database to extend tempdb to the tmpfs device:

    1> alter database tempdb 
    2> on tempdb1 = 200
    3> go
  4. Modify your RUN_Server file to issue a UNIX touch command against tempdb on the tmpfs device before the call to the dataserver. This creates the file if it does not exist, as might happen if the operating system had been rebooted. Upon startup, the server can activate the device and rewrite tempdb. If the file entry was missing, the server would not be able to activate it and tempdb would not be available. For example:

    # Adaptive Server name: SYBASE
    # Master device path:   /devices/
    # Error log path:       /sybase/install/SYBASE.log
    # Directory for shared memory files:    /sybase
    touch /mytmpfs/tempdb_dev1
    /sybase/bin/dataserver -sSYBASE -d/devices/ \
    -e/sybase/install/SYBASE.log -M/sybase \

[Jul 1, 2011] Replay of Oracle Online Solaris Forum

A replay of the Oracle Solaris Online Forum with PDF slides is now available. There are five separate Webcasts:

  • Oracle Solaris Strategy Overview (45 Minutes)
  • An Industry Analyst's View of the Operating System Market (15 Minutes)
  • Manage Your Deployments With Image Packaging System and the Automated Installer (45 Minutes)
  • Get More out of Your Oracle Solaris Environments With Virtualization (45 Minutes)
  • Learn How All New Features in Oracle Solaris 11 Raise The Bar For Operating Systems (45 Minutes)

[Jun 03, 2011] An Invitation to Apache OpenOffice

An interesting end of Sun love affair with Star Office
June 1, 2011 | Rob Weir

As you have probably heard, Oracle has followed through with their earlier promise to "move to a purely community-based open source project." OpenOffice is moving to Apache.

I'd like to offer you my own thoughts on this new opportunity and what it means. I recommend also the insights of my colleagues Ed Brill and Bob Sutor.

First, we should all be excited to see OpenOffice move to a foundation with the stature and track-record of Apache. If you are a web developer or server admin, then you of course know about the eponymous Apache http server and Tomcat. If you are a developer you know about Ant, Maven and Subversion. If you work with XML you know about Apache Xerces, Xalan, FOP and Batik. And if you don't know about Apache Hadoop yet, then please do your résumé a favor and study up on it. All said Apache is custodian of nearly 170 open source projects, including 5 of the top 10 open source downloads. I'm hoping that soon, as OpenOffice transitions to Apache, they will be able to claim 6 of the top 10!

These diverse projects are run according to meritocratic development process, a tried and tested governance model, strong shared technical infrastructure, a pragmatic, commercially-friendly open source license and a set of social conventions known as the "Apache Way".

I'd point out in particular that the Apache 2.0 open source license was recently blessed by the Free Software Foundation:

The Apache License 2.0 is the best non-copyleft license that does what a copyright license can to mitigate threats from software patents. It's a well-established, mature license that users, developers, and distributors alike are all comfortable with. You can tell it's important by the way that other free software licenses work to cooperate with it: the drafting processes for GPLv3 and the Mozilla Public License 2.0 named compatibility with the Apache License 2.0 as a goal from day one. The Apache Software Foundation deserves a lot of credit for pushing to do more to tackle software patents in a license, and implementing an effective strategy in the Apache License.

As you can tell, when it comes to Apache I'm a fan. I've experienced much of this first-hand. I was a committer in the Apache Xalan project many years ago (1999-2000). It was a great experience then, and when the opportunity came to add my name to the OpenOffice incubation proposal I did not hesitate. It was an honor. I look forward to coming back to Apache and participating in this continuation of OpenOffice. I am planning on getting directly involved with the engineering effort of this project.

[Mar 04, 2011] Oracle making Java, Solaris certifications pricier by Chris Kanaracus

Oracle will soon require 'hands-on' training courses to be taken before certification is granted. It makes perfect change. Red Hat is already doing it.

March 2, 2011 | ITworld/IDG News Service

Later this year, Oracle will begin requiring people interested in gaining Java and Solaris certifications to attend "hands-on" training courses, at an additional cost of thousands of dollars.

The new rule goes into effect Aug. 1 and regards Java Architect, Java Developer, Solaris System Administrator and Solaris Security Administrator certification paths, according to a notice on Oracle's website.

IT professionals can still get certified under existing requirements for those technologies through July 31, the site states. It was not clear when the notice was first posted; Oracle did not immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The Web page provides a list of approved, instructor-led training courses, some of which are conducted in-person and others online.

"Self Study CD-Rom and Knowledge Center (including Recorded Web Courses -- RWC) courses are excellent study and reference tools but DO NOT meet the Hands-on Course Requirement for certification," it adds.

In general, the courses listed last between three and five days and cost from about US$2,000 to nearly $4,000, according to prices listed on Oracle's site.

They must be taken through Oracle University Training Center; Oracle Authorized Education Center or Oracle Authorized Education Partner; Oracle Academy and approved programs; and Oracle Workforce Development Program.

Many Oracle certifications already mandate attendance of a hands-on course. "The course requirement is being added to these certification paths to bring them in line with Oracle Certification Program's standards for the levels of certification under which they fall," the site states.

It does not matter how much experience a person has with Java or Solaris; certification will still be made to meet the training requirements, according to the site.

Currently certified individuals will not have to re-certify under the new rules, Oracle said.

[Dec 15, 2010] Do you have an advice for a good tech. magazine about solaris,unix

Actually USENIX LOGIN is still alive and well.
November 3, 2009 | LinkedIn

Timothy Kennedy

Yeah, since SysAdmin Magazine folded, there's been a vacuum in the Unix related magazine niche.

It mostly comes down to blogs now. There are any number of people that blog about Solaris/Unix/Linux, or in general about disaster recovery, performance tuning, etc.

Some that I follow are:
Derek Crudgington:
Colin Seymour:
Brendan Gregg:
Ben Rockwood:

There are a lot of others, too, but this will give you an idea.

The front page of is interesting. There are always good, informative posts there.

And is a great clearing house of IT related links, too.

And USENIX/SAGE both have a lot of resources online on their respective sites, as well.

[Dec 14, 2010] How does employer find out whether you are a genuine SCSA

May 28, 2009 | LinkedIn


How does employer find out whether you are a genuine SCSA, is there any online verification which employer can use once you provide them your candidate ID?


Marquis Johnson

I sent my managers a confirmation from this link:

Good luck.

Sagan Bazaz

As rightly said by Marquis you can post your credentials to an email address (company/boss). The email addressee would get an link (valid for few days though) with a password displaying all the credentials that you have acquired from Sun.

Here is mine

Authorization Code: qi6tPyWF


[Oct 17, 2010] Oracle Asks OpenOffice Community Members To Leave

Another bitter drama-queen feud. They made the first move by forking the project. Retaliation followed. Now it's time for them to suffer...
October 17 | Slashdot

Oracle asked the founders of the Document Foundation and LibreOffice to leave the Community Council. Apparently there is a conflict of interest, which concerns the Oracle employees

Selected Comments

Anonymous Coward: Re: I'm shocked.

Well... Honestly, look at what the Document Foundation did.

They forked the project, and then asked Oracle to donate the name to them. While, at the same time, asking Oracle to join the "new" foundation.

Now, I know Oracle itself didn't put a lot of work into, but Sun did (something tells me's codebase is 90% the work of paid Sun employees - correct me if I'm wrong), and so now all that work is Oracle's by right.

So, say you spent 5 years making an awesome program, and made it GPL and everything. You did the vast majority of the work. Then, some guy says, cool, I'm gonna fork it. "Ok, fine, go for it." Oh, also, I'm gonna need the name...

How about... go fuck yourself, sir.

There is obvious financial value in the name, and that value was Sun's, and is now Oracle's.


Yeah, it's their right to keep the name, if the open source people really want to prove that open source is better anyway they should just make the fork better and let the market decide. It was also pointed out that the name actually sucks so maybe this is really a good thing, as long as they don't use that gay LibreOffice name.

They should choose a name with more "zazziness" (Kaching Office, I dunno) or a really simple and straightforward one (like FreeOffice). Libre Office gives an air of smugness like the one that you get from <insert minority here> rights movement, or from vegans and other super ecofriendly people.


Technically, remember, that OOo is basically a dressing up and improving of Star Office, started by a German company, so if you want to attribute 90% of the work to someone, I'd put it there, but I don't think, at this point, you can contribute 90% to one entity.

Granted, Star Office, both program and company, were bought by Sun, but a lot of the work was done well before Sun stepped in and bought it.

And, I know it's a small detail, but it can matter legally, it's not GPL, it's LGPL. There are differences.


How much of the openoffice code was created by sun employees?

Can libreoffice stay relevant without coorperate backing?

No flames please. I ask because I want to know.

Nobody will know the answer to your question, because libreoffice has corporate backing of both Redhat (RHT:NYSE) and Canonical Ltd.

I would assume that Novell will merge oo-go into libreoffice and add their support to libreoffice.

kn: Clear Conflict of Interest

As a complete outsider, having read through the logs, it is hard for me to understand how this could possibly not be a conflict of interest.

I'm all for some Oracle bagging, as an ex-OpenSolaris user, but the comments so far seem rather unjustified in this case.

The board seems to be composed of Oracle Employees, and 3 independents (possibly more who were not present?). Comments are made that indicate that some of the Oracle employees have been involved in OpenOffice since before Sun's acquisition of Star Office. The 3 independents have all formed a competing project, and fail to understand how forming a separate project constitutes a conflict of interest. They justify this position by mentioning that they invited Oracle to join the board of their competing project. The concept of some mysterious cloud office is mentioned by one of the independents, seemingly indicating that there is no conflict. Most reasonable people would ordinarily conclude that the independents are crazy; however, due to Oracle's involvement it is apparently they who are in error.

Oracle may well have been uncooperative or something to bring forth a situation that necessitated a fork, but that hardly makes the current predicament anything less than a conflict of interest.

G3ckoG33k: Understandable move

Understandable move from Oracle. Anyone finding out that their wife/husband/life partner is having a side affair would ask them to move out.

It is really really sad, but I am not so sure about the ethical steps from Oracle's side up to this point. What made these guys create LibreOffice in the first place and why doesn't Oracle answer to that more constructively? Does LibreOffice really have the momentum already to withstand this move or is Oracle using the early stage?

At this stage we are not in a win-win situation, and things may get worse than the frustrated name calling of a bitter drama-queen feud.

[Oct 06, 2010] Oracle outlines Solaris and server strategies

Oracle has outlined its roadmap for the future development of Solaris and the company's server systems.

Solaris 11 will be released next year, and Oracle will concentrate on building fully integrated servers and applications for big iron systems.

"Complete, open and integrated has been Oracle's mantra for years," said John Fowler, executive vice president of systems at Oracle. "The Sun acquisition is about extending that."

Solaris 11 will represent the first major change in the operating system for six years. The new code will include better support for virtualisation, scaling and the management of disparate systems, according to Fowler.

Updates to Solaris 11 will be issued every year until 2014, and Oracle will continue to support Solaris 10 users until they migrate.

[Aug 14, 2010] Oracle Sues Google Over Android Java Use

Yahoo! News

Oracle said Thursday that it has sued Google for patent and copyright infringement over the use of Java in the Android operating system.

The terse, two-paragraph press release contained the following quote from Oracle spokeswoman Karen Tillman:

"In developing Android, Google knowingly, directly and repeatedly infringed Oracle's Java-related intellectual property. This lawsuit seeks appropriate remedies for their infringement."

A copy of the suit was posted by CNET. The suit was filed in the Northern Distict of California. At issue are seven patents, which Sun claims: numbers 6,125,447; 6,192,476; 5,966,702; 7,426,720; RE38,104; 6,910,205; and 6,061,520.

Oracle has asked the court to enjoin Google from further acts of infringement, which would possibly bar Google from shipping its Android operating system. Oracle has also asked for monetary damages, including treble damages for willful infringement.

The Android operating system uses Java both in its software development kit and a Java-like virtual machine, called Dalvik, in the runtime environment. It is both the SDK and Dalvik that Sun targeted with its suit, claiming that they infringed Sun's patents. Sun also claims that Google has infringed its trademarks, including code and documentation.


Re: [osol-discuss] Oracle sues Google over Java!
Posted: Aug 13, 2010 8:05 AM in response to: nacho

Well considering how Google and other companies such as VMware tend to trample
over open-source software and monkey about with it, I'm not surprised that
Oracle is suing Google over Android. It's funny how no one complained about Sun
suing Microsoft over Java, but now that it's Oracle suing Google, people go
bananas. Hate to break it to the pro-open source crowd, but Google is not your
friend to begin with. Google patents things left and right to protect its IP as
well, so don't confuse Google with tree-hugging open source crowds. They are a
corporation like any other, looking for profits.


Re: Oracle sues Google over Java!
Posted: Aug 13, 2010 5:32 PM in response to: jussi69
To: OpenSolaris " discuss

I find this a little comical in one respect. Google specifically tried to avoid paying Sun for the use of Java intellectual property, copyrights and such in Android. In the same breath Google is went after Augen for instance for using an "Unlicensed" version for Android which is partly based on the what they are not paying for.

Isn't life grand.

[Aug 14, 2010] Solaris Strategy

Good that they will have Solaris Express for education and developers. Looks similar to Apple model I think: "than the Sun model. We will have a Solaris 11 binary distribution, called Solaris 11 Express, that will have a free developer RTU license, and an optional support plan. Solaris 11 Express will debut by the end of this calendar year, and we will issue updates to it, leading to the full release of Solaris 11 in 2011.

Solaris Strategy

Solaris is the #1 Enterprise Operating System. We have the leading
share of business applications on Solaris today, including both SPARC
and x64. We have more than twice the application base of AIX and HP-UX
combined. We have a brand that stands for innovation, quality,
security, and trust, built on our 20-year investment in Solaris
operating system engineering.

From a business perspective, the purpose of our investment in Solaris
engineering is to drive our overall server business, including both
SPARC and x64, and to drive business advantages resulting from
integration of multiple components in the Oracle portfolio. This
includes combining our servers with our storage, our servers with our
switches, Oracle applications with Solaris, and the effectiveness of
the service experience resulting from these combinations. All
together, Solaris drives aggregate business measured in many billions
of dollars, with significant growth potential.

We are increasing investment in Solaris, including hiring operating
system expertise from throughout the industry, as a sign of our
commitment to these goals. Solaris is not something we outsource to
others, it is not the assembly of someone else's technology, and it is
not a sustaining-only product. We expect the top operating systems
engineers in the industry, i.e. all of you, to be creating and
delivering innovations that continue to make Solaris unique,
differentiated, and valuable to our customers, and a unique asset of
our business.

Solaris must stand alone as a best-of-breed technology for Oracle's
enterprise customers. We want all of them to think "If this has to
work, then it runs on Solaris." That's the Solaris brand. That is
where our scalability to more than a few sockets of CPU and gigabytes
of DRAM matters. That is why we reliably deliver millions of IOPS of
storage, networking, and Infiniband. That is why we have unique
properties around file and data management, security and namespace
isolation, fault management, and observability. And we also want our
customers to know that Solaris is and continues to be a source of new
ideas and new technologies– ones that simplify their business and
optimize their applications. That's what made Solaris 10 the most
innovative operating system release ever. And that is the same focus
that will drive a new set of innovations in Solaris 11.

... ... ...

Solaris Decisions

We will continue to use the CDDL license statement in nearly all
Solaris source code files. We will not remove the CDDL from any files
in Solaris to which it already applies, and new source code files that
are created will follow the current policy regarding applying the CDDL
(simply, that usr/src files will have the CDDL, and the very small
minority of files in usr/closed might not have it). Use of other open
licenses in non-ON consolidations (e.g. GPL in the Desktop area) will
also continue. As before, requests to change the license associated
with source code are case-by-case decisions.

We will distribute updates to approved CDDL or other open source-
licensed code following full releases of our enterprise Solaris
operating system. In this manner, new technology innovations will
show up in our releases before anywhere else. We will no longer
distribute source code for the entirety of the Solaris operating
system in real-time while it is developed, on a nightly basis.

... ... ...

We will continue active open development, including upstream
contributions, in specific areas that accelerate our overall Solaris
goals. Examples include our activities around Gnome and X11, IPS
packaging, and our work to optimize ecosystems like Apache, OpenSSL,
and Perl on Solaris.

.. ... ...

We will have a Solaris 11 binary distribution, called Solaris 11
Express, that will have a free developer RTU license, and an optional
support plan. Solaris 11 Express will debut by the end of this
calendar year, and we will issue updates to it, leading to the full
release of Solaris 11 in 2011

[Aug 04, 2010] DTrace co-creator quits Sun, hits delete on Oracle

The Register

The co-creator of DTrace has seemingly erased all memory of Larry Ellison's Oracle from his mind, after quitting Sun Microsystems for an engineering veep role at Joyent last week.

Bryan Cantrill is the latest in a long list of Sun men to quit the firm, following its takeover by Oracle earlier this year.

His exit came just a week after Greg Lavender , the lead developer in charge of the Solaris operating system at Oracle, left the company. (he actually was not a lead developer, just a manager -- VP of engineering -- and was on and off at Sun from 2000; he moved to Cisco; the fact that he co-authored paper Design Patterns for Concurrent, Parallel, and Distributed Object-Oriented Systems, suggests that he is just an academic PHB --NNB)

... ... ...

DTrace - developed by Cantrill, Adam Leventhal and Mike Shapiro - was of course added to Sun's Solaris 10 operating system way back in 2004. The software was seen as a gift to sysadmins because it granted them thousands upon thousands of ways to check on a system's performance and then tweak the server box while it was still running.

[Aug 04, 2010] Rebellion in the OpenSolaris Ranks CTO Edge

"One of the challenges that the open source community contends with is the continued fragmentation of the market. There is virtually no binary compatibility across multiple distributions of Linux. And now it appears the OpenSolaris community will also fracture across two or maybe even more distributions."
... ... ...

Led by Nexenta Systems, the group forming this new distribution of OpenSolaris is trying solicit support from Oracle for its efforts. In the meantime, it's inviting developers of all types and classes to contribute to the project.

What's motivating Oracle's apparent intentions to take a more proprietary approach to OpenSolaris remains a little unclear. But clearly as Oracle gears up for a fight with Cisco, Hewlett-Packard and others over the future of convergence in the data center, the company may feel that a more proprietary approach that will allow the company to respond faster to competitive threats is required.

... ... ...

Garret D'Amore, technical lead for Illumos, says one of the primary focuses of new OpenSolaris distribution will be to optimize it on lower-end commodity hardware, partially in expectation that Oracle will pretty much ignore this segment of the market.

One of the challenges that the open source community contends with is the continued fragmentation of the market. There is virtually no binary compatibility across multiple distributions of Linux. And now it appears the OpenSolaris community will also fracture across two or maybe even more distributions.

None of this means that these operating systems are going away any time soon, but in terms of building applications that run on them, things don't appear to be getting any easier.

[Aug 04, 2010] Dell and HP to Certify and Resell all Three Oracle Operating Systems – Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM – on their x86 Server Computers

Oracle today announced Dell and HP will certify and resell Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM on their respective x86 platforms.

Customers will have full access to Oracle's Premier Support for Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM running on Dell and HP servers. This will enable fast and accurate issue resolution and reduced risk in a company's operating environment.

Customers who subscribe to Oracle Premier Support will benefit from Oracle's continuing investment in Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM and the resulting innovation in future updates.

Supporting Quotes

"Oracle Solaris is the industry's #1 UNIX operating system, and is in demand across multiple x86 platforms," said Oracle President Charles Phillips. "Additionally, more and more customers are building virtual environments using Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM on x86 platforms. Today's announcement demonstrates Oracle's commitment to openness and will provide Dell and HP customers with new levels of support, and immediate access to deep product expertise, limiting risk in their IT environment."

"Dell provides customers with choice and flexibility by offering Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM as well as other operating systems on its x86 servers," said Joyce Mullen, Vice President of Global Alliances for Dell Inc. "Our joint customers will be able to leverage our award-winning servers and the software assets from Oracle to build out robust, dependable and optimized IT platforms, helping them be more competitive while maximizing ROI on technology investments."

"Customers need to instantly adjust to dynamic business demands, but many have hardwired stacks of applications and infrastructure that can't rapidly change," said Paul Miller, vice president, Solutions and Strategic Alliances, Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking, HP. "The combination of Oracle infrastructure software and HP ProLiant servers delivers outstanding performance, scalability and virtualization capabilities on x86 servers. Our joint customers can have complete confidence to grow their businesses while also controlling their costs."

[May 28, 2010] Solaris No Longer Free

Looks like Oracle adopted Apple strategy: premium products at premium price...

The Blog of Ben Rockwood

...Please remember, your right to use Solaris acquired as a download is limited to a trial of 90 days, unless you acquire a service contract for the downloaded Software."

That's the part that is that gets the interest... but here's the part that is more serious. Here is a line from the old license:

"In order to use the Solaris 10 Operating System for perpetual commercial use, each system running the Solaris 10 OS must have an entitlement to do so. The Entitlement Document is delivered to you either with a new Sun system, from Sun Services as part of your service agreement, or via e-mail when you register your systems through the Sun Download Center."

Notice the end of the line, "or via email when you register your systems through the SDC". Look at those 2 sentences in the new document:

"In order to use the Solaris operating system for perpetual commercial use, each system running Solaris must be expressly licensed to do so. An Entitlement Document comprises such license and is delivered to you either with a new Sun system or from Sun Services as part of your service agreement."

Notice something missing? Now the only entitlement docs come from a new "Sun System" or a service contract. This is the basis for the aforementioned "Please remember..."

Under the old agreement Solaris was only a 90 day trial if you failed to register... however, now its a 90 day trial only if you register. An important question to be answered is: What about agreements with other equipment makers such as HP and Dell? Previously those agreements didn't really matter much outside of marketing because you could buy a Supermicro and register it for an entitlement... but now?


@Jim what are you talking about???

There is nothing pointing to a demise of Solaris anywhere, Oracle is establishing a baseline from where to obtain more money from every Sun asset, including Solaris.

I commented something similar on a previous post by Ben. Oracle's POV is "you want premium? you have to pay.".

If you care to notice, Solaris is for Oracle what AIX/HP-UX is for IBM/HP. Let me further explain in case you don't get it.

Both IBM and HP resell Linux… but critical systems are still UNIX. In IBM's case it's AIX on Power, in HP's is HP-UX on Itanium (even if HP shoot HP-UX on the foot with that decision…).

What about Oracle?. Not only they resell Linux, they have their own distro (OEL, based on Red Hat), but they also have their own support plans for their distr(So far, only RHEL that I know of).

They are not a Linux shop, they are simply an anti-windows, anti-everybody else shop. They want to control everything and give support to it all, which is why they chose Linux, and particularly Red Hat, which for most is the enterprise representation of Linux.

What now that they have Solaris? They FINALLY have control over it all. They can offer Linux for small, low-end, x86 customers and they can offer their UNIX for the high end.

And do notice that, high end… Even if Solaris scales from small systems to hundreds of threads, Mr. Ellison clearly stated many times that Solaris belongs to the high end. The whole point is to be able to sell something to anyone… and to a point, MySQL also has it's purpose here.

Oracle, unlike Sun, doesn't care about Solaris market share or number of downloads… they care about the support contracts they have and the money.

On the Dtrace/ZFS point, you say "Nobody outside of Sun ever actually used dtrace, and ZFS is about to be beaten into ground by btrfs."... Which is something I had not seen for quite a while now.

How do you explain then that Dtrace is part of Mac OS X's Xcode?... ZFS and Dtrace already come with FreeBSD?... what about the on going projects to port ZFS to FUSE, Mac (native) and Linux (native.. disregarding licensing issues)?.

ZFS is used by many people, even if they don't know it. Just ask the Nexenta people. Sun's (oops, Oracle's) FISHworks is based on OpenSolaris (ZFS/Dtrace/SMF/FMA) to offer all of those capabilities to the series 7000 storage.

In fact, what has pushed IBM, Cisco and, in it's moment, Oracle to fund SystemTap and BTRFS was to be able to compete against Solaris. And neither of those are comparable to Dtrace or ZFS, not on features and not on stability. Many of my clients are using those features, and Containers (which BTW, finds almost no competition in the market), so please refrain from writing groundless remarks about Solaris usage…

Just as OpenSolaris, Solaris is not going anywhere. So please, stop spreading FUD.

@RJSmyth… If you are thinking about going to AIX or HP-UX, you might as well stay with Solaris… otherwise, you would be jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

@jeremy… I don't even know how to comment on that, typical Ubuntu fanboy answer… I would recommend you to read a bit about the differences between Solaris and Ubuntu, then comment back.

@Ben, I hope you don't get offended, but those open letters for me are useless… they increase fear to Solaris users, but achieve nothing… and Oracle is under no obligation to answer.

They are still planning what to do with Sun's stuff, so they probably do not even know how to answer yet… I think it's best to keep waiting a bit more and see what they do.


@LGB, you are talking about Oracle 2 years ago.

They invested in BTRFS and SystemTap in a time where the only way they could be independent from other vendors was by selling Linux.

Fast forward to 2010, they are no longer tied to Linux and, as Larry states, Solaris is the most advanced OS there is. While BTRFS and SystemTap are still under development, ZFS and Dtrace are already stable and production ready.

There is no point for them to continue pushing BTRFS or SystemTap… Now it's mostly up to IBM, Red Hat and others who wish to compete with Linux against Solaris.



Oracle very much are a linux shop:
"As we have already noted, Oracle Corporation has openly embraced Linux as their internal operating system and has announced that by the end of 2004 Linux will be the core platform for Oracle's internal systems. According to Oracle, this migration was driven out of a desire to standardize on an operating system and because they view Linux as a less expensive and faster option."

"Solaris is for Oracle what AIX/HP-UX is for IBM/HP"
Ah, yes. Because HP/UX is such a popular OS. Hands up anyone that's bought an HP/UX license in the last 10 years. AIX is still clinging on for dear life, I'll grant you, but 'clinging on' is pretty close to 'dead'. I was at the IBM Power7 launch – Linux was clearly made out to be the OS of choice.

Solaris is for Oracle what AIX/HP-UX is for IBM/HP. Yeah, that about sums it up, unfortunately.


Only that it isn't, Jim.

Internally, Oracle uses Windows, Exchange and active directory… to the point they need Internet Explorer 7 on Windows XP to use some of their applications TODAY… Their Linux "embrace" only goes as far as developer's machines, not their core. Would you call them a Windows or Linux shop just for that?

HP almost killed HP-UX when they went all-in for Itanic, and IBM doesn't care if AIX isn't the most used OS in the world. They became a services company, they sell support for AIX and Linux, so they always win, it doesn't matter what they sell.

Which is a bit different for Oracle, when they say they will optimize Solaris for their applications… Meaning clients should feel compelled to go Solaris instead of Linux.

Also remember that neither Oracle nor IBM are Operating Systems companies, they sell the value of the whole solution, including the hardware and software stack and associated services.

Unlike AIX and HP-UX, Solaris is not tied to SPARC, even if it's the best architecture for it. Solaris has optimizations done by AMD and Intel that allows it to take advantage of their latest technologies and while Oracle isn't interested in volume systems sales, they are in large clusters, like Exadata, mostly build up of cheap x64 systems. Those kind of appliances based on Solaris and not on OEL are expected to come out once they iron out the details. And there are also the storage appliances, based on OpenSolaris… Solaris has already taken paths much too different to those of the other UNIX.


This really is a predictable, if poorly thought out move by Oracle. I spoke recently to some Oracle people I know, who have been told to aim only for the top 5% of the food chain – this clearly fits that as a business model.

As far as the rumblings about Solaris being dead.. it's about 20 years too early to say that. --and in response to the earlier comment by Jim regarding Dtrace and ZFS.. well I don't work for Sun, nor Oracle, never have, but i use Dtrace constantly while performance tuning some financial market apps I'm involved with. It gives you unmatched observability .. and IMHO, zfs is far and away, the best file system out there.. Nothing else even comes close. I run a few different Linux's, as well as Solaris 10 (on both X64 and Sparc) and OpenSolaris.. every day, both personally and professionally.. don't get me wrong, I love Linux.. and have used it since long before the 1.o kernels.. but Solaris is unmatched for stability, and scaleability, by anything else on the market.

The thing we need to keep an eye on now is Java.. .. look at the number of devices with Java as part of the package.. a 1eur per license.. would net Oracle hundreds of millions.. and at the end of the day.. just like Solaris.. the enterprise clients aren't going to stop using Java because of cost issues.

At the end of the day, I'll be very surprised if this isn't reversed or modified to allow an RTU without a support contract..

Brian Knoblauch

I've been a long time Solaris supporter, but I'm going to have to give it up if it's not free anymore. Would like to switch to OpenSolaris, but if it's not kept current, that's not an option. Guess I'm going to have to settle for GNU/Linux as it's about all that's left that meets the minimum criteria (even though it's painful to use in comparison to Solaris). :-/ BSD just isn't where I need it to be at all or I'd go that route… :-(

David Brodbeck

FreeBSD – I actually looked at ZFS on FreeBSD, when planning my file server installation. I ultimately went with ZFS on OpenSolaris, even though I have a much higher comfort level with administering FreeBSD. Mostly this was because NFSv4 mirror mounts weren't available yet on BSD. I consider mirror mounts a requirement for a practical ZFS deployment. I use ZFS for home directories, and listing every user's home directory in /etc/fstab on every client machine was just too ugly to consider.


The future of Solaris/OpenSolaris is too uncertain at this point to continue considering it as part of an enterprise IT strategy; unless you like gambling. We were starting to transition our Linux systems to Solaris but now were heading back.
Jimmy - 01 April '10 - 16:38

Solaris will be to Oracle what AIX is to IBM and HP-UX is to HP; i.e, old warhorses kept around for legacy deployments, with little to no new development and deployments. A sad development indeed, but not very surprising (it was one of the scenarios I conjured up in my head when I first heard Oracle was buying Sun).

ben a. kwyred

A lot of good and insightful comments by phobos, but I'd like to make one correction:

> Internally, Oracle uses Windows, Exchange and active directory…

Not true (not anymore).

First: I've been at a number of "shops" that were "windows-only", and at other which tried to be linux-friendly by going the "open" route (often instigated by a forward-thinking IT Director / CTO, frequently followed by a very strong backlash by upper mgmnt.) I'd say those are the two extremes: windows-only & "open" (read: open protocols / no vendor lock-in of any type).

An actual "linux shop" is an impossibility-if not an oxymoron. You can be an "open shop", but not a "linux shop" (i.e., which "linux"? why not a BSD-shop?). And, there certainly can be no "linux shop" as long as there is a need for a marketing department or even middle management. :-)

That being said, Oracle is very linux-friendly on the inside. The mail server isn't exchange, it's an Oracle-branded zimbra (beehive). (Much eating of own dogfood, so-to-speak, for better or worse.) And the mail clients are thunderbird; but many old-time outlook users can use a plugin to support exchange-free IMAP.

I use generic IMAP configuration for my iphone. Life is once again outlook-free. And the desktop standard for linux AND windows is OpenOffice (but many still use ppt & word, but it's not encouraged). The IM standard is pidgin. The helpdesk actually supports Oracle Linux on the desktop (most other companies I have been at either disallowed it, or (at VERY best) turned a blind eye.) ...Though, personally, I use Ubuntu, which is explicitly allowed albeit unsupported-but I get "support" just by collaborating with co-workers who also use the same OS as me.

Peace, :-)

[May 28, 2010] License change leaves Sun Solaris users at a crossroads Open Source - By Savio Rodrigues

Mar 29, 2010 | InfoWorld

The Wayback Machine documents the Sun Solaris 10 license as it was offered back in May 2005:

Obtaining an Entitlement Document is simple. On the Solaris 10 Get It page, select the platform and format you desire from the drop-down menus, and then click the Download Solaris 10 button. When you arrive at the Sun Download Center, either sign in or register, ensuring that a valid e-mail address is part of your Sun Download Center account to receive the Entitlement Document. Fill out the Solaris download survey, specifying the number of systems on which you are installing the software. Once you have completed the survey, you will be redirected to the Solaris 10 download page for downloading, and your Entitlement Document will be sent to your registered e-mail address.

Simply put, register with a valid email address, download Sun Solaris 10, and receive an Entitlement Document to use Sun Solaris 10 without support and for as long as you wish. The terms and conditions were unchanged until at least June 2008, the final copy of the license found on the Wayback Machine.

Now, with its acquisition of Sun finalized, it seems that Oracle has appended this sentence to the license paragraph above:

Please remember, your right to use Solaris acquired as a download is limited to a trial of 90 days, unless you acquire a service contract for the downloaded Software.


Actually, this is kinda significant. What isn't told in this story but is being told elsewhere:

  1. Oracle has discontinued the "patches only" support option. You could pay just to receive patch updates but no actual technical support. Not anymore. You have to purchase a full contract now. So there isn't even a "cheap" option for people who want to keep using Solaris legally.
  2. You can only get a support contract for supported hardware configurations. No more putting Solaris on your beige box. I am unsure if this affects vendors like Dell and HP who sell Solaris solutions. What this *does* affect are people who have virtualized infrastructure - unless Oracle makes some clarifications to their policy, Oracle will *not* allow you to have Solaris on a VMware ESX hypervisor past your 90 days because they will not support it.

That really sucks balls for people who are consolidating infrastructure. This situation actually affects me. I haven't been paying attention to the license changes and have been busy consolidating our UNIX infrastructure at work. Now it turns out that the Solaris instance I just installed on our ESX cluster will actually be illegal in a couple of month, and Oracle wont sell support for it.

[May 20, 2010] Special Report Can that guy in Ironman 2 whip IBM in real life


Ellison says he learned that Sun's pony-tailed chief executive, Jonathan Schwartz, ignored problems as they escalated, made poor strategic decisions and spent too much time working on his blog, which Sun translated into 11 languages.

"The underlying engineering teams are so good, but the direction they got was so astonishingly bad that even they couldn't succeed," said Ellison. "Really great blogs do not take the place of great microprocessors. Great blogs do not replace great software. Lots and lots of blogs does not replace lots and lots of sales."

Schwartz declined comment as did Sun co-founder and former Chairman Scott McNealy.

At the start, Ellison shut down one of Schwartz's pet projects -- development of the "Rock" microprocessor for Sun's high-end SPARC server line, a semiconductor that had struggled in development for five years as engineers sought to overcome a string of technical problems. "This processor had two incredible virtues: It was incredibly slow and it consumed vast amounts of energy. It was so hot that they had to put about 12 inches of cooling fans on top of it to cool the processor," said Ellison. "It was just madness to continue that project."

More infuriating, says Ellison, is that Sun routinely sold equipment at a loss because it was more focused on boosting revenue than generating profits.

The sales staff was compensated based on deal size, not profit. So the commission on a $1 million sale that generated $500,000 in profit was the same as one that cost the company $100,000, he said. "The sales force could care less if they sold things that lost money because the commission was the same in either case," he said. Ellison added that Sun also lost money when it resold high-end storage equipment from Hitachi Ltd, storage software from Symantec Corp and consulting services from other companies. Oracle is ending those deals.

Ellison has been pruning Sun's line of low-end servers, an area where it lost money as it tried to compete in volume with market leaders Hewlett-Packard Co and Dell Corp. Sun never gained enough share to make it price competitive, but Ellison says that Sun became so desperate to goose the unit's revenue the company would pay a fortune to charter planes during the last two days of a quarter so that it could book extra sales for the period.

[May 20, 2010] The Blog of Ben Rockwood

Looks also at comment section of this blog post for some interesting comments...
Larry ranted about Sun's problems to Reuters recently. Perhaps the only surprise was this: "More infuriating, says Ellison, is that Sun routinely sold equipment at a loss because it was more focused on boosting revenue than generating profits." I think we all knew Sun was taking it in the shins to push sales, but apparently it was more widespread than I was aware. Larry added that Sun spent a fortune on airfaire the last days of a quarter to pack it in.

But I, like many of you, am focused on where we are now. Right now Oracle isn't saying squat about the future of Solaris... just "its not dead, please wait."

Regarding Solaris 11. There is no word. I personally believe with complete confidence that Oracle will announce Solaris 11(g?) at OpenWorld this September. I have no proof or evidence, I just personal believe it to be consistent with how Oracle operates and the development pace in Solaris Engineering. I think they'll stay quiet until that release and then push Solaris forward with great gusto.

Regarding OpenSolaris 2010.03. It's now 2.5 months late. It could come this week, it could come in 3 months... there is no way to tell. OpenSolaris dev updates on have stalled at snv_134, so we know that snv_134 is the target build for 2010.03, but thats about it. I know they are working hard toward it, but I don't know why or how or what precisely they are doing. Maybe they are vetting out all the compatability issues or fixing AI so it can get real adoption, but whats clear is that they are putting a lot of effort into something a lot of people think will be killed or sidelined.

A theory that just pops into my head is that Solaris 11 itself may be based on snv_134 as well and they are working on both to align them. Maybe that's possible. I don't know, its just a thought that comes to mind.

[May 19, 2010] Oracle's "All or Nothing" Approach To Support

Mar 27, 2010 | Col's Tech Stuff

First off, let me make it clear that I don't know much more about this topic than you do and will only be commenting on what is public knowledge pulling in my experiences as a support engineer.

As you'll no doubt be hearing more of, Oracle seems to be taking an "All or nothing" approach to it's support offerings for Solaris and Sun hardware and with some pretty stringent penalties to try and keep customers going back to Oracle for support (details can be found in this PDF). My understanding is this isn't much different from they way they operate their support pricing for their other Oracle (ie not acquired with Sun) products.

To any previous Sun customer who is also an Oracle customer, this won't come as too much of a surprise and I suspect they may have been expecting this sort of approach to be taken. They may even be happier with this approach. For those who were exclusively Sun customers, this will come as a big surprise and they will not be happy, especially if they've come to rely on Sun's rather relaxed support policies.

The way I see it, this is something Sun should have done years ago when they first started noticing they weren't making the money they wanted to. Sun spent too much time trying to keep everyone happy whilst attempting to make some money from it.

Sadly Sun were too good at keeping customers happy "just in case they could make some money off them" than actually making the money. It is well known in and out of Sun that Sun's confusing support levels were open to abuse and were routinely abused by a lot of companies, big and small. This new "all or nothing" approach should take away this confusion, reduce the abuse, and make it very clear to everyone what their level of support is: you either have 24/7 support or you don't. Simple.

This new approach applies to patching too: no more free patches, though the number of free patches has been dropping significantly over the last few years anyway. Those Sun customers who were running Solaris without a support contract are going to be horrified by this and will threaten to switch to RedHat Enterprise Linux only to discover it's pretty much the same thing there: you don't get patches/updates for free for RHEL either. In fact, I believe Sun was the only *NIX OS provider that was giving away free patches for their commercial OS.

Now I'm not privy to the pricing policy for Oracle's Systems/OS support, but given Oracle's reputation for being expensive for support on their database products (remember, you can download Oracle DB for free, you just need to pay for support), I suspect this will be quite expensive and may prove too costly for smaller businesses and these customers may indeed switch to RedHat/Suse/Canonical/whoever. Time will tell.

Of course all is not lost. The most reliable way of patching a machine and ensuring all the patches have been tested and work together is via an OS update. I believe, though I can't promise it'll remain this way, these updates are still and will continue to be free to download and install. Alternatively, there is always the OpenSolaris route and if you want to keep relatively up-to-date, use the /dev repository.

Update: Looks like I've been proven wrong. Looks like Oracle have changed the T&Cs governing the use of Solaris as picked up by InfoWorld.

So in summary, I think Oracle's approach is the right one and I'm not just saying this because they pay me. Sun spent too long making very little money at the expense of keeping everyone else happy. Some people won't be happy with this approach, but that's the way Oracle do business. They don't try to keep everyone happy and they're not going to start doing so now they've taken over Sun.

[May 18, 2010] Discussion Sun Certified Solaris Administrator LinkedIn

Yeah, since SysAdmin Magazine folded, there's been a vacuum in the Unix related magazine niche.

It mostly comes down to blogs now. There are any number of people that blog about Solaris/Unix/Linux, or in general about disaster recovery, performance tuning, etc.

Some that I follow are:
Derek Crudgington:
Colin Seymour:
Brendan Gregg:
Ben Rockwood:

There are a lot of others, too, but this will give you an idea.

The front page of is interesting. There are always good, informative posts there.

And is a great clearing house of IT related links, too.

And USENIX/SAGE both have a lot of resources online on their respective sites, as well.

[May 10, 2010] Solaris NTFS read saves the day

September 2nd, 2009

I recently had a NTFS volume go bad, so I thought easy to fix: Get the latest Knoppix, boot it from CD, and copy my shit off. Knoppix has had NTFS read support at least for quite some time.

Wrong.. gave me a hassle, errors, and couldn't get the volume mounted. Then I decided I'll update my SXCE to b121.. use some NTFS utilities on there. Had more progress (some NTFS utilities) but surprised that still no NTFS read support. So a quick search on for NTFS revealed these simple steps:

# wget
# wget

Untar them, pkgadd them, and you are done. Then simply:

# mount -F ntfs /dev/dsk/c0d0pX /mnt

And nice command to view partitions:

# prtpart /dev/rdisk/c0d0p0 -ldevs

[May 09, 2010] How To Build A Standalone File Server With Nexenta 3.0 Beta2 HowtoForge - Linux Howtos and Tutorials

Author: dfed
Version: 1.3

Nexenta is a project developing a debian user-land for the OpenSolaris kernel. This provides all of the advantages of apt as a package respoitory (based on the Ubuntu LTS apt repository, currently using 8.04) as well as the advantages of the ZFS filesystem. In the resulting setup every user can have his/her own home directory accessible via the SMB protocol or NFS with read-/write access.

1 Preliminary Note

A term you should be familiar with is a zpool. A zpool is similar to a logical volume group. ZFS volumes can have multiple zpools in them, as I will demonstrate. Some advantages of ZFS are built in compression and deduplication, as well as being easy to manipulate, create and destroy pools. OpenSolaris (and by proxy, Nexenta) has already integrated file-serving protocols such as NFS and Samba with the ZFS filesystem, so we won't need to install a Samba service. I have culled information about the zfs and zpool commands from various sources. All sources used for the creation of this article are linked at the end.

I'm using a system with the hostname and the IP address

2 Installing Nexenta

You can obtain the ISO for Nexenta here:

I am using the unstable version of Nexenta 3.0 Beta2. The reason for this is that it is based on OpenSolaris build NV134, which has dedup and zfs compression capabilities. Dedup is a function that allows for deduplication of files within the filesystem, and zfs compression is a built-in comression algorithm to compress filesizes when possible.

Download and extract the ISO and burn to disk (or boot from ISO directly if you are installing this as a virtual machine.)

[May 08, 2010] Nexenta Leverages OpenSolaris and ZFS for Enterprise Storage -

While Sun Microsystems may have struggled with making money from its OpenSolaris operating system prior to Sun's acquisition by Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL), that doesn't mean that others haven't had better success. Storage startup Nexenta Systems is now celebrating its second year in business and its CEO is claiming a positive revenue trend for its system built using OpenSolaris and the Zettabyte File System (ZFS) file system.

Nexenta Systems is a commercial, venture-backed company that has its roots in the open source Nexenta operating system, a hybrid OpenSolaris operating system that includes components from the Debian GNU/Linux distribution. Rather than simply commercializing the operating system, Nexenta System has instead focused its efforts on the needs of enterprise data storage networks.

"Thanks to the input of some early users of Nexenta, we realized that what was really needed was actually a true storage solution that included a user interface and something more than what is available in OpenSolaris," Nexenta CEO Evan Powell told "We've been developing that -- something more -- and at this point we've been selling for two years."

Powell said that Nexenta Systems has already begun making money on the strength of its core product, the NexentaStor storage system. The offering now has over 1,000 commercial deployments and growing, according to Powell, with Nexenta's new customer wins increasing 31 percent during first quarter compared to a year earlier.

At the heart of Nexenta Systems business model is an "open core" approach that leverages open source technology and then layers commercial software on top. As a result, Nexenta also offers a freely available community edition of NexentaStor, which is limited to handling 12 terabytes of storage.

[Apr 13, 2010] Mish Mailbag: IBM Abandons U.S. Workers

Here is an Email from "Voice in the Dark" about IBM and outsourcing. VID writes ...

Hello Mish

I read your blog every day. I do not comment much, but I think the MSM and most blogs are missing out on the greatest story not being told.

Large corporations are abandoning the US. I work for IBM. Here is a snapshot of IBM's US headcount:

2005 133,789
2006 127,000
2007 121,000
2008 115,000
2009 105,000
2010 98,000 estimate

These are all good paying jobs that can support a family and pay taxes.

Today, 75% of the total headcount is overseas. The overseas revenue is 65%. The company reported record profits last year. IBM decided to stop reporting their US headcount this year.

You know that many companies are moving their resources overseas. China is the new spot to build development centers. These incremental loses are adding up. But the saddest thing is that they are giving away the building blocks for innovation.

I just read a few weeks ago the Applied Material is planning to replace their US research center for a new one in China. That is another example of what is going on.

And no venture capitalist would attempt to build a solar panel factory from scratch in the US. The costs and the EPA will prevent that.

Please tell this story.

Sign me: Just Another Voice in The Dark

Hello "Voice in the Dark".

I covered the situation with Applied Materials in High Tech Research Moves From U.S. To China

Goodbye Silicon Valley, hello Xi'an China. Applied Materials will do new cutting edge research on solar panels in Xi'an. ...
Please see Brain Drain as a followup.

Two Drivers For Outsourcing

Outsourcing jobs has been going on quite some time. Let's address why.

For starters, global wage arbitrage is one huge factor in play.

Unfortunately, wage equalization and standard of living adjustments between industrialized countries and emerging markets will be a long painful process for Western society.

On that score, there is little that can be done except reduce wages and benefits in the public sector and stop wasting money being the world's policeman. We simply can no longer afford it. Besides, neither of those things ever made any sense anyway.

US Tax policy is another reason for outsourcing, and that can easily be addressed, at least in theory.

US corporate tax policy allows deferment of profits overseas, but profits in the US have a tax rate of 35%. This policy literally begs corporations to move profits and jobs, overseas.

[Apr 10, 2010] Story Explaining Oracle's Sun Takeover - For the Hardware

Compare: Sun: Oracle Bid For Software Assets; Who Was Party B? []


Where did you hear that? I was working for Sun at the time, and there was nothing official about Oracle until after talks with IBM broke down. And then it was for the whole company. It's true that Sun restructured itself so that all the software businesses (minus Solaris, which was moved into the hardware division) could be sold. But there were no offers.

The sad truth is that Sun's software initiatives generated tons of press (even people who don't know what "high level language" or "virtual machine" mean have heard of Java) but not much in the way of revenue.

This acquisition was never about software. People assumed it was, because software is all they know about Sun. But most of the revenue came from selling hardware. Buying Sun for the software is as silly as buying Oracle for Larry Ellison's yacht.


So I've been working with Unix vendors for wow--decades now--and have worked very closely with some of them, as a big customer and also as a 'strategic partner.' I've never been close enough to see the email in the company, but maybe that gives me a bit of neutrality to my knowledge. Anyways, here's what I see:

1) IBM? Nobody buys P-series. Oil/Gas doesn't buy them, telecom doesn't buy them, entertainment doesn't buy them, and that leaves financials. Maybe the banks are buying P-series, but to replace Sun gear? I doubt it. More likely, they're replacing VAX and S/390 gear. (Yeah, still.)

2) Sun's hardware (i.e. SPARC gear) has some very nice features, but is not in the same category for _general_ computing power. Massively multithreaded jobs belong on SPARC, small-thread number crunching belongs on the GHz-of-the-day winner, and that's x86-derived. Sun has also thrown away most of their competitive advantage in the x86 market by embracing Windows. If it weren't for Windows compatability, they could have had Open Boot Prom on every single box they sell, but instead we're stuck with a third-rate BIOS and ILOM (LOM designed by committee of middle managers).

3) Software ls really the most valuable asset that Sun had at the end, but the problem has always been monetizing software. Sun's model actually worked well (it was the follow-through they eventually fell apart on)! Sell hardware, give away software, include training credits with hardware purchases, and soak you for enterprise support. There aren't a lot of big companies unwilling to pay Sun's prices for great support on rock-solid products, but there are a lot who don't want to pay for CRAP support on flakey products, which is what Sun has been offering for two years now.

Oracle could make out like a bandit if they rationalised the SPARC lineup, maintained the model, and fixed the support issues. Instead, they're destroying the business model, breaking support EVEN MORE, and ignoring all Sun products. I'm afraid that Larry Ellison thinks he just bought a hardware monopoly to support his software monopoly, and is going to be in for a rude surprise when customers leave him in droves for Linux or Microsoft.

I don't like it, but I don't see much of an alternative. The egos are too big to keep good products alive and relevant, so they're all going to fall apart.

gig: Not just margins, also Apple quality, simplicity

If you create a complete solution, you can tune it for best performance, you can make it easier and cheaper to deploy, you can guarantee a certain level of quality, you can include a warranty, you can harden it in ways that software alone can't.

PhunkySchtuff: Sun vs Apple's margins on hardware

"I'm betting that they looked at Apple's margins on hardware, and saw potential in doing the same with Sun's hardware business."

Are you freaking crazy? Sun's margins on hardware make Apple's margins look like small change. Having sold both in my career, there are retail margins of 8% on Apple hardware and anywhere up to 20-30% on Sun hardware. That's just the margins that the resellers make.

Then there are the margins that Apple or Sun make themselves. Apple's are generally worked out to be around 30%, and I'd shit a brick of Sun's margins on hardware were anywhere less than this...

Solaris 10 System Administrator Collection

Solaris SAN Configuration and Multipathing Guide
Solaris ZFS Administration Guide
System Administration Guide: Basic Administration
System Administration Guide: Advanced Administration
System Administration Guide: IP Services
System Administration Guide: Network Services
System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (DNS, NIS, and LDAP)
System Administration Guide: Security Services
System Administration Guide: Naming and Directory Services (NIS+)
System Administration Guide: Solaris Containers-Resource Management and Solaris Zones
System Administration Guide: Devices and File Systems
Solaris System Management Agent Administration Guide
Solaris Tunable Parameters Reference Manual
Solaris Volume Manager Administration Guide
Solaris Smartcard Administration Guide
Font Administrator User's Guide
System Administration Guide: Solaris Printing

[Mar 3, 2010] What happens to Sun's open-source software now -

February 16, 2010 | Computerworld Blogs

Another "me too"

Submitted by UX-admin on February 19, 2010 - 11:10 A.M.

"Let me guess:
You are in the IT business from the mid 80's at least,...primarily using UNIX and in particular Suns flavor on Suns hardware."

Mid-nineties of the past century, I was just a kid like you when I started out with SunOS 5.5.1 (Solaris 2.5.1). And I was lucky, because Linux was just starting out at that time; had I been stuck on it, I would be like you are today.

Having owned several Sun workstations and servers from Sun, I used to be "high" on their hardware, but nowdays I'm much happier running Solaris on generic i86pc server from TYAN, ASUS, SuperMicro, or Silicon Mechanics (I boycott DELL junk).

"If this is true, no wonder why you have so limited, dry, non creative and in general ridiculous opinion. I am not arguing about the quality of the Suns proprietary software, I am trying to point out that its usability have not improved much for the last 30 years."

All we needed on Solaris was the same amount of freeware bundled and *INTEGRATED* into the OS as there is on Linux, so that *we* wouldn't have to invest our time porting, compiling, linking and packaging it. That was supposed to be the job of people at Menlo Park.

Instead, they went off on a tangent listening to people like yourself.

Solaris works beautifully and it is very, very cheap when he's used correctly, thanks to the Flash(TM) and JumpStart(TM) technology.

Linux people don't understand that "usability" is completely IRRELEVANT when the goal is to run huge, enormous data centers with tens of thousands of servers in lights out management; that's where the power of ALOM, Flash(TM), JumpStart(TM), Sun Cluster and SVR4 packaging really shines.

I'm not going to waste my time clicking on pretty little desktop icons on 22,000 servers. Sorry. This ain't Linux, it's something more advanced.

"I cannot even imagine how much lack of imagination and creativity , combined with an overwhelming feeling of self-importance and carelessness about the future of the OS world in general, would make someone to post a comment like that."

I know you can't, because it is quite obvious from your writing that you lack the necessary experience to do so. There are a lot of people like you out there. Thank you so very much for screwing up Solaris. Thank you. (Just so you understand, that was hardcore sarcasm and cynicism, dripping.)

"I am happy that people like you are not too many and are not in the key decision making positions now and for the last 30 -40 years, because if they were, we would still barely fit a computer in a large room and would need a million dollars in order to start a technology based business."

Actually, most of my servers are 1U units - we pack high density computing in the smallest possible space. That is my specialty, as far as hardware goes. This old dog still has a couple of tricks up his sleeve.

You'll learn in time, that no amount of knowledge can beat experience, and no amount of experience can beat knowledge + experience. So old dogs like me, admittedly a minority, will always have an edge over "me toos" like yourself.

"A bit about myself – I am a system engineer working primarily with Solaris and RHEL equally distributed on about 2000 sun, dell and hp systems. I also apologize if my English sounds a bit strange, but this is my 4th language, so I am still improving it."

A bit about myself - I was responsible for engineering a mission-critical run time platform which has capable of self-supervision and self-healing, based on Solaris 10, on a server farm which went from Asia to Europe to North America; we had 22,000 servers, and the platform handled them all. Only Solaris makes it possible. Since this was my job, I fluently speak four languages (not quite sure what effect you were hoping to achieve with that).

I currently spend my days working day in, day out on SuSE Linux enterprise server, trying to push the technology in it to the limit; not my first choice of operating system, but it was a worthy challenge trying to get it as close as possible to capabilities of Solaris.

You fall into the same trap as most Open Source fanatics by Anonymous

Funny, I don't apologize for MS, don't really care what model people use, so long as it meets their needs. MS was never mentioned in the original article or my original post.

But, whenever someone raises a question about the Open Source model and how businesses must take into consideration the uncertainty associated with depending on the "Community" some idiot raises the "MS" Card to divert attention from the real issues.

One standard criteria for any long term software decision should be the future ability of a vendor, whether Open Source or proprietary, to continue to support the business.

In this case, SUN died. With SUN went support for Open Solaris, Open Office and other bits and pieces that companies depend on.

It throws IT departments into a position of having to defend the Open Source decision to management. Those same IT departments must also beg for money to get out of this major hole. Sadly, it reinforces the safe decision of MS.

You can argue all you want about how little or how much MS has to do with the demise of SUN, but the real problem is the perception that Open Source isn't as able to provide long term support as proprietary.

Businesses are willing to pay for Long Term ability to support. If MS is perceived to be less bang for the buck, but more reliable, MS wins.

You might want to get out of the back room for a while and learn basic business related financial analysis. The reliability factor has scuttled many an Open Source project.

[Mar 2, 2010] Watching the Sun Set Tux Deluxe Jeremy Allison

This is the same Jeremy "Samba" Allison who jumped Novell ship for Google :-). While biased, his assessment has couple of interesting points. Sun was too late to the Intel party and Intel simply crashed Sun CPU team using its market share as a lever. And Linux got his hands into the Intel cookie jar; they do not care about proprietary CPU, do they ;-). I like Bryan Cantrill "Have you ever kissed a girl?" retort ( :-).
So why did Sun die? Partly it was their custom designed hardware that couldn't keep up with the immense commodity power of Intel and the x86 clones. Even in the early 1990's there were warning signs when Sun canceled the replacement for their early foray into x86 hardware, the Sun386i. Rumor had it that the Sun 486i was canceled when early benchmarks showed it out performing the Sun-designed SPARC chips of the time, which upset the "all the wood behind one arrowhead" slogan that was Sun's credo around their own SPARC processor design.

... ... ...

David Miller wrote (at the end of a long email explaining how Sparc Linux used cache optimizations to beat Solaris on performance):

"One final note. When you have to deal with SunSOFT to report a bug, how "important" do you have (ie. Fortune 500?) to be and how big of a customer do you have to be (multi million dollar purchases?) to get direct access to Sun's Engineers at Sun Quentin? With Linux, all you have to do is send me or one of the other SparcLinux hackers an email and we will attend to your bug in due time. We have too much pride in our system to ignore you and not fix the bug."

To which Bryan Cantrill replied with this amazing retort:

"Have you ever kissed a girl?"

Sun CEO set to resign Business Tech

"And thanks for helping destroy an Original Internet Infrastructure Company. Have a nice life, JERK!"
January 25, 2010 | CNET News


Open-sourcing would not have saved Sun. Sun was a great company but its made a few fatal errors. One of these was charging too much for some things and charging too little for others... and it not leverage it's own intellectual property to produce technology that could compete with Oracle, IBM and Microsoft. It was too focused on infrastructure and platforms but not enough on selling to business and consumers.

Furthermore, tying software to hardware might work for some vendors such as Apple... it was not a good strategy for Sun (in it's early days). In the end, it will limit your market and lower your ability to generate revenue. The strategy works for some companies when they have a monopoly such as IBM had with mainframes, or a market niche such as the one that Apple has. But when you have other competitors offering several alternatives to Solaris (Linux, BSD, HP-UX, SCO, HP Tru64 and AIX) tying it to the hardware was a huge mistake.

I also feel that Sun did not adapt very well partly because of the slow process of passing standards and having other vendors adopt them.

Java could have been much better on the client... but unless you have a good partner ecosystem and get the vendors to support it and optimize it on their platform (e.g. Microsoft, yeah good luck with that one), it will go nowhere.

[Feb 06, 2010] Was Jonathan Schwartz a success or failure for Sun Open Source

It was under Schwartz that Sun paid $1 billion for MySQL... Buying MySQL, open-sourcing Java, and Solaris--none were of much benefit to Sun financially.
With his pockets full. According to Sun's definitive proxy statement, Schwartz stands to earn about $12 million from the severance package he negotiated, plus another $5.1 million or so for the shares he still holds in the company.

"Go, Oracle," indeed.

Huh? did you read the article

He executed a 1:4 reverse stock split. That means that suddenly the stocks seemed to be worth more - but that was just because everyone now held on quarter of what they held before the split.

So in reality the company is now worth one half of what it were when he took over.

See, 1/4th of stock each with double value = 1/2.

He ran the company into the ground. Had he not sold to Oracle, they would have gone bust.

He believed in the open source (ideological) myth. That cost a great company its life.


Yes, no and sort of. And there was much of the issue, Sun had a hard time deciding what it wanted to be when server sales (dot bomb) fell. From that sprang a list of mistakes that caused it to go under, the biggest being going open source with their software.

I said for a very long time that Sun's fatal mistake was locking horns with Microsoft for absolutely no reason beyond egos. As an example, consider the law suit and settlement concerning Java. Instead of fighting MS over it, a partnership would have made a lot more since. If that wasn't doable, when they won the suit it was a perfect time to sit down with MS and hammer out an agreement for MS to provide a version of Office to run on Solaris. (It can't be that hard to port it if it runs on Apple BSD Unix.)

Imagine for a second how the landscape would been changed if Sun had the only *nix (Solaris) that could run MS Office. It would have been a massive game changer for Sun. Of course MS could have gained a lot in enterprise level server expertice from Sun. It would have been a win / win for both companies.

Sure the open source geeks are tickled to death they got all the software for nothing, but that didn't help Sun at all and certainly upset a lot of stockholders (who turned out to be right) that lost their shirts. In addition. Look at all the headaches (and millions of lost dollars) it has cost Oracle when they moved to buy Sun out. Again the stockholders took a beating for NOTHING.

All I can see is Shwartz was out to screw every stockholder from day one so he could walk away from the ruin a hero in the eyes of the open source geeks Either that or he was just plain stupid.

RE: Was Jonathan Schwartz a success or failure for Sun?

A Sun Good-Bye to the tune of American Pie by Don McLean

A long, long time ago....
I can still remember when
Unix used to make them smile.
And we knew that if we had a chance
Sun could make those networks dance
And, maybe, they'd be happy for a while.

But DEC and Apollo make us shiver
With every workstation they'd deliver.
Competition camped out on doorsteps
We had to fight for each step.

I remember how hard we tried
To win each system that they buy
Yes, something touched me deep inside
The day Sun Microsystems died.

So bye-bye, dear 'ole S--M--I
We drove those networks to the limit
And made applications fly!!
Them corporate boys have kissed Sun good-bye,
Singing, "Time to give Oracle a try.
Time to give Oracle a try!!"

Have you heard of Solaris OS?
And do you believe in Open Source?
If the European Union tells you so.....
Do you have faith in MySQL?
Can Java save your mortal soul?
And, can you keep data from moving slow....

Well, I know that Larry's in the groove
`cause I saw his keynote on You-Tube.
Oracle and Sun have hit the news!!
Man, I dig them targeting Big Blue.

I was a great Sun Sales Rep kicking butt
With a SPARC based server and tons of spunk
But I knew I was out of luck
The day the Sun Microsystems died.

So bye-bye, dear 'ole S--M--I
We drove those networks to the limit
And made applications fly!!
Them corporate boys have kissed Sun good-bye,
Singing, "Time to give Oracle a try.
Time to give Oracle a try!!"

For nearly 27 years we've been on our own
Now our revenue's gone down and confidence is blown.
But, that's not how it used to be.
When Scott ruled with Ed and Joe,
And installed systems around the globe
With a OS that came from BSD....

Oh, and while Scott was flying around,
The jester grabbed his SMI crown.
The stock-holders were concerned;
The SUNW brand was over turned.

While Johnathan played his agenda in the dark,
IBIS ran in stops and starts,
We just kept selling Solaris and Sparc
The day Sun Microystems died.

We were singing,
Bye-bye, dear 'ole S--M--I
We drove those networks to the limit
And made applications fly
Them corporate boys have kissed Sun good-bye.
Singing, "Time to give Oracle a try.
Time to give Oracle a try!!"

Re-orgs and RIFs in a March disaster.
The IBM bid fell upon us in a news flash after
Analysts screamed high and then fell fast......
IBM's bid landed foul on the grass.
The players tried for an Oracle pass,
With the European Union looking on aghast.

This acquisition news was sweet perfume.
The industry spun up many tunes.
The Stock holders all lined up to dance,
But...they never got the chance!
`cause when Oracle tried to take the field;
The European Union refused to yield.
Do you recall what was revealed
The day the day Sun Microsystems died?

They started singing,
Bye-bye, dear 'ole S--M--I
You drove those networks to the limit
And made applications fly!!
Them corporate boys have kissed Sun good-bye.
Singing, "Time to give Oracle a try.
Time to give Oracle a try!!"

So, now we are all here in one place,
An acquisition stuck in space
With no time left to start again.
So, Larry be nimble, Larry be quick!
Use your brains and might and wit,
'Cause profit is the market's only friend.

As this plays out on the world stage
My hands are clenched in fists of rage.
Can this angel born in hell
Break those devils' spell?
Our company falls deeper every night
And crumbles under this burdensome rite,
I saw the competition laughing with delight
The day Sun Microsystems died.

They were singing,
Bye-bye, dear 'ole S--M--I
You drove those networks to the limit
And made applications fly!!
Them corporate boys have kissed Sun good-bye,
Singing, "Time to give Oracle a try.
Time to give Oracle a try."

I met a guy who wrote some code
And I asked him what the future bodes,
But he just smiled and typed away.
So, I went on to the Inter Net
Where I'd played with Sun years before,
But the sites there said that Sun had gone away.

And in the streets: the customers screamed,
The partners cried, and the programmers dreamed.
But not a word was spoken;
The systems all were broken.
And those groups I admire most:
The Engineers, Sales Reps and Service folks,
They caught the last train for the coast
The day Sun Microsytems died.

They were singing,
Bye-bye, dear 'ole S--M--I
We drove those networks to the limit
And made applications fly!!
Them corporate boys have kissed Sun good-bye,
Singing, "Time to give Oracle a try.
Time to give Oracle a try."

Bye-bye, dear 'ole S--M--I
We drove those networks to the limit
And made applications fly!!
Them corporate boys have kissed Sun good-bye,
Singing, "Time to give Oracle a try.
Time to give Oracle a try."

[Feb 06, 2010] Sun CEO's Haiku Resignation

February 5, 2010


CEO no more
Still, made shitloads of money
Larry can pound salt


JS made a lot of money when he joined Sun as it purchased his startup Lighthouse Design for it's crappy application that never worked nor saw the light of day. IIRC, he pulled in North of $20M and bought himself a nice mansion in Pacific Heights.

He was a No-Op then and still is. But a rich one for sure and in the end, getting rich is what counts in America. I'd take either of his deals in a NY minute. Now Samurai Larry has a big albatross around his neck just so he can control Oracle RAC HW and MySQL. Hope he has lots of sake and a sharp katana and wakizashi–he'll need them for the fight ahead. remeber Larry sheath it with the blade up for fast action.


@alfred - BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution (of UNIX)) wasn't exactly original either, and was arguably distributed in violation of their contract with AT&T, and involved some plagiarism of DEC's source code. Sun (Stanford University Network) Microsystems was highly leveraged by taking Berkeley's work.

It's Good to be the King (especially when you get to write the history).

And anyway (since nobody's here to read this on a snowy Friday night), the only way you make money in technology is to wait for somebody else to do it first, then steal the idea if it works.

MS learned this from IBM. So has Apple. Xerox didn't.

Mark E Hoffer:

"Hope Is a Lousy Defense."

Sun refugee Bill Joy talks about greedy markets, reckless science, and runaway technology. On the plus side, there's still some good software out there.

By Spencer Reiss

There are geeks and then there's Bill Joy – 49-year-old software god, hero programmer, cofounder of Sun Microsystems and, until he quit in September, its chief scientist. Beginning in 1976, he spent zillions of hours in front of a keyboard, coding the now-ubiquitous Berkeley strain of the Unix operating system; then he godfathered Sun's Java programming language and helped design servers that were the Internet's heaviest artillery. In the early 1990s, he kept his job but bolted Silicon Valley, "leaving the urgent behind to get to the important," he says. In 2000, he wrote the Wired cover story "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us," a Cassandra cry about the perils of 21st-century technology and a striking display of ambivalence from a premier technologist. Now, at home 8,000 feet up in Aspen, Colorado, Joy talks about building a technological utopia while worrying about a techno-apocalypse…

differently, something happenes to your 'Enterprise Value' when one of your Founders, correctly, questions the current path of the industry–as Joy did, here: In 2000, he wrote the Wired cover story "Why the Future Doesn't Need Us," ..

[Feb 06, 2010] Sun CEO Announces Resignation On Twitter -- Sun -- InformationWeek

Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz, an advocate of Web 2.0, used Twitter early Thursday to announce his resignation. He was named CEO in 2006 as Sun faced a switch in strategic direction away from proprietary systems and toward open source code, including its valued Solaris 10 operating system.

"Today's my last day at Sun. I'll miss it," he said in a tweet to his followers, reported the New York Times on its Web site at 1:12 a.m. Thursday. He added a bit of haiku: "Financial crisis, Stalled too many customers, CEO no more."


As an former 8-year employee of Sun, let me say, thank goodness and good ridden. Jon was a looser and desperately needed to go. Unfortunately it took the sale of the company to make it happen.

It will be sad to see Sun be no more, but its a happy day to learn that ol' Jon is no longer wasting precious air for the company or the employees that survive the transition.

[Jan 29, 2010] Operating Systems Strategy Webcast

[Jan 29, 2010] Ellison to recruit thousands for Sun integration army

The Register reports that Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz is thinking of quitting Sun Microsystems. "The Sparc Solaris business is going to grow. The MySQL and Java business is going to grow. That's how we are approaching this merger," Ellison said.
The Register

Oracle, Ellison said, plans to sell to and service the top 4,000 Sun customers directly. Customers, however, still can buy Oracle software to run on non-Sun hardware, he noted.

"If you want to run our database on HP, we'll sell you that," said Ellison.

Ellison also stressed Oracle's commitment to the Solaris Unix OS acquired with Sun and also to Linux.

"I love Linux. We're a big supporter of Linux. Solaris is an older and more capable OS," said Ellison.

Additionally, he stressed MySQL, the open source database that Sun owned, fits in with the company's strategy of offering different databases for different uses.

Ellison, a self-confessed Linux fan, pitched Solaris as the operating system for a cluster of machines in the high-end datacenter running clouds while Linux is catching up. Where Solaris is running on x64, it'll be on clusters of machines connected by high-speed InfiniBand link.

"Solaris is an older and more capable operating system, I think in the high end Solaris is going to be very competitive for a very long time," Ellison said. "It will be a long time before Linux ever catches up."

[Jan 28, 2010] Oracle Closes Deal on Sun Acquisition by John Paczkowski

Digital Daily

Fewer than 2,000 employees will lose their jobs in the wake of the merger–significantly fewer than had been feared. What's more, Oracle plans to hire 2,000 new employees in engineering, sales and other roles as it gears up to push Sun's products. As Ellison remarked this afternoon, "We're not cutting Sun to profitability, we're growing Sun to profitability."

Nice to hear. It's worth noting, though, that Sun (JAVA) did a lot of cutting on its own. It sacked 6,000 employees in November 2008 and another 3,000 last October.

[Jan 27, 2010] EU Approves Sun Acquisition by Oracle

On January 27, 2010, Oracle announced it finalized its acquisition of Sun.
System News for Sun Users

The European Commission has issued regulatory approval for Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Inc. for $7.4 billion. Oracle announced the news Jan. 21, and revealed it also expects unconditional approval from China and Russia. It intends to close the transaction shortly. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has scheduled a live event set to take place January 27, to lay out the plans for combining the two companies and their products. Registration for the event, which will be broadcast globally, is currently underway.

one more monkey... the MySQL campaign; my thoughts...

In this article, MP means Monty Program AB, which I believe is the name of the commercial entity behind the campaign to get the EC to stop Oracle buying MySQL as part of the Sun acquisition].

(Disclaimer: I have no connection of any kind with Oracle, MySQL, MP, Sun, or Postgres. I use none of their products myself, although some open source software I use may be using Pg or MySQL underneath. I work for an IT services company that probably has partner agreements with every major vendor of anything, hardware or software, but it's a pretty large company, and I have no visibility into those things. This article has nothing to do with my employer, and I do not speak for my employer. It is the point of view of an individual who is an open source user/enthusiast/evangelist of 15 years standing, has some strong opinions on what is going on and is using blogspot as a pulpit to stand up on and rant).

[Anonymous comments are ok, but please do sign off with a name. If you find any *factual* errors, please also cc [email protected] so I might see it faster.]

"infrastructure", vendor lock-in, and fungibility
emulating a US bank :-)
true open source
an open question to MP
the last word

MP is appealing to the EC to block the sale of MySQL to Oracle, with arguments of various kinds, all built around the idea that Oracle will have the power to kill MySQL.

Here're my thoughts on this, for what they are worth.


MySQL is an open source product, but the development model is not quite what one normally associates with other OSS products. Everyone is not equal. One single commercial entity holds all the copyrights to MySQL, and requires all contributions to be copyright-assigned to them.

(The word "commercial" is in there to differentiate entities like the FSF, ASF, etc., who have requirements that sound similar, but whose terms are actually much more consistent with the open source ethos, and thus much more palatable to individual contributors).

I call this NQOSS ("not quite open source software") because such products have no (or very few) contributors from the outside world. MP have themselves said (see section 5.3 of this pdf):

[...] MySQL was almost fully developed by employees of MySQL Ab and later Sun's MySQL division.

In fact, from that statement I would even say MySQL has a closed source development model, even if the code is open source.

However, as far as I can find, no one in MP has ever admitted that it is the copyright assignment clause that keeps external contributors away, thus necessitating development to be internal.

As Jon Corbet (whose general clarity of thought and articulation, as seen in his LWN articles, has earned him innumerable fans) says here:

Agreements like Sun's and SugarCRM's are common when dealing with corporate-owned projects; they clearly prioritize control and the ability to take things proprietary over the creation of an independent development community.

That LWN article is more about Canonical, however. For more on the general issue of copyright assignment, see this rather long piece from Michael Meeks. A couple of quotes from that page:

I am not aware of a single project that mandates copyright assignment to a corporation that has a diverse, and thriving developer community.


some of the most successful open source projects require no copyright assignment: Linux, Busybox, Xorg, Mozilla/Firefox, GNOME, KDE, GStreamer, and a whole clutch of others too many to mention; indeed this is arguably the normal state of Free software projects

To put it bluntly, there isn't sufficient developer mindshare for MySQL to be a proper open source project because they wanted it that way -- they wanted to be the only one to be able to make money off of it.

infrastructure, vendor lock-in, and fungibility

There is a tacit assumption in all of MP's arguments that people who use MySQL cannot easily migrate to Postgres or something else. That's usually called vendor lock-in. Doesn't matter if it was intentional (as it often is with some other companies one could name) or otherwise. In fairness in this case it was probably unintentional; I have no way of knowing.

Meanwhile, Monty says "MySQL is not an end user application, but an infrastructure project that is quite deep in the system stack".

I don't know about you, but I've always felt that infrastructure should be fungible. You should be able to replace one for another with not too high an effort, for the vast majority of apps using a database.

[There will always be apps that require specific feature(s) and are therefore locked-in to one product; this discussion does not pertain to them. It's not "vendor lock-in" if you walked into it with your eyes open because you like/need something special that only that product has. That's a genuine competitive advantage being used the way it was intended to be. My point is simply that this is not needed for the majority of apps.]

For most apps, though, if you needlessly locked yourself into MySQL, you do have a problem, and sooner or later you'll have to deal with it. Remember that the code is the most important thing -- don't worry about the backend tools; migrating those is likely to be an O(1) effort compared to migrating your application code itself. Keeping your code as db-neutral as possible would make that even easier.

Personal note: Years ago, I used to convert Burroughs DMS-II (a hierarchical database!) apps to IBM DB2 or DB/400, including all the COBOL programs of course. Each of them was a challenge, made worse by the fact that, unlike modern languages like perl or php or even C++ or Java, each COBOL is different in innumerable subtle ways from another -- even within the same manufacturer there would be huge differences between one COBOL and another! I also wrote/maintained tools to convert almost any type of COBOL+ISAM files to OS/400, DB/400, and COBOL/400.

Thankfully those days are gone, and by and large this sort of lock-in has disappeared. I'd expect this to be much simpler today, but I don't have direct, recent, experience of writing an app that uses a db.

emulating a US bank :-)


  • MySQL creates an open source product
  • they make lots of money selling licenses for a few years
  • they make even more money selling the whole thing to Sun at some point
  • and now they want to prevent Sun from selling it to whomever they want to

Regardless of how you look at it, this is crazy. Once I sell you something, I should not be able to dictate what you get to do with it, should I?

And in this case it's not even anti-trust. Even after they buy it, Oracle is far from being a monopoly in databases.

MP are essentially asking for a bailout. From the effects of their own choices and decisions. Not in direct financial terms, but indirectly, via policy!

true open source

Let's consider what would happen if Oracle bought it, and -- as MP fears -- kills it off:

  • someone takes the last GPL version and forks it
  • since they do not own the copyright on this, demanding (or even getting) copyright assignment does no good -- they can't dual license anyway.
  • Oracle can't demand copyright assignment either, because it's a fork, not their version being changed
  • now the external developer community starts trickling in, because it finally makes sense for them to contribute
  • all the supposedly great stuff currently being done by MySQL's partners (see that same URL above) comes out into the open, and gets done by the real open source community. Some of it will be slow, some will be fast, but it will happen.

Wait a minute -- am I actually saying that Oracle "killing" MySQL will be a good thing for... MySQL?

Yes :-)

It'll become like Linux. No single company stranglehold. A vibrant, open, development community. And lots of money to be made still, just in a different model, that's all.

Anyone who claims to be an open source evangelist should be happy ;-)

an open question to MP

Feel free to assume the worst that Oracle can do, and analyse the effects on a real, pure open source, project that uses MySQL (and can only use MySQL, for technical reasons). Show how such a project is harmed by this sale. Post the analysis on your site and a link to it as a comment here. (Don't post the analysis here).

That could help your case far more than all the rest of your efforts, as far as I am concerned.

Or... don't...! You don't really have to care what I say and react to it; I'm not really a big fish in any way, luckily for you.

the last word

I'll let Michael Meeks have the last word:

There is, of course hope - that individuals, smaller corporations and consultants will see the dangers, rebel against them and invest and adopt only the truly open technologies.

Amen to that...

at 11:26


sitaramc said...
employees of MPAB wishing to leave a comment must assign the copyrights of their comment to me before doing so...


ok that was a joke, I don't really mean it. Just some New Years Day humour...

1/1/10 12:16
Kevin said...
if they had been thoughtful enough when initially selling their cyopright to Sun, they should have insisted on some special safekeeping agreement for the future, e.g. like Trolltech's and KDE' FreeQt foundation.
1/1/10 23:30
sitaramc said...

Then Sun would have given them less money for it. These people want *everything*, make no mistake.

For some reason I missed the fact that they're asking for a license change from GPL to Apache. That basically gives them back commercial control (albeit not exclusive)! Other comments on LWN indicate that they even lied about it [I have to look it up to be sure].

I've gone from scepticism, to cynicism, to (now) disgust.

2/1/10 07:09
hingo said...
Hi Sitaram

I recently commented on this blog on the related LWN thread. (Summary: It is nice to see that you have most of your facts straight.)

I just wanted to comment here also on the accusation of us lying. Although the commenter on LWN didn't cite a source, I believe he refers to that accusation made by Groklaw's Pamela Jones.

My personal reply to that would simply be:

We have consistently said that spinning MySQL off to some independent owner that can continue to compete strongly with Oracle is the best outcome of this process. At MP we don't have anything to gain from that, but it would be great for current and future MySQL users and customers. In fact, Oracle getting MySQL will probably be great for MP businesswise! (Some bloggers other than PJ also speculated that Monty wants to buy back MySQL, this is silly when you realize that Monty got less than 5% of the money when MySQL ab was sold to Sun, but people believe all kinds of things.)

Initially a lot of Oracle's case depended on "MySQL is open source and can be forked". We did indeed explain to the EU about MySQL's dual licensing business model and that a GPL only fork is not a satisfactory solution to all MySQL users, and that the situation would be different if MySQL had been under a different license. Saying that we "ask for license change" is overstating it though. It's also not something we could ask for anyway, we just provide information to the EU when they ask. Formally, it's not even something the EU can ask for either.

Unlike you, PJ is not familiar with how the dual licensing thing works for MySQL, and unfortunately I failed to educate her on that topic in our emails. (If you read the newest article on Groklaw, you can see that she only later finds out about the "FOSS exception" MySQL has, but still fails to understand how it relates to this issue.) In her mind anybody suggesting that the GPL isn't the perfect license for everything, is a bad person. Trying to explain that even the FSF doesn't use GPL for libraries didn't help.

Finally I should point out that at MP we are committed to open source, so even if MySQL was available under a more permissive license, we would not ourselves make any closed source versions of it. Ie we would not do for MySQL what EntepriseDB is for PostgreSQL, because we don't want to produce closed source software.

(Yes, I work for MP and have been involved in this)

3/1/10 04:07
sitaramc said...
Hi Henrik (hingo),

> Saying that we "ask for license change" is overstating it though. It's also not something we could ask for anyway, we just provide information to the EU when they ask. Formally, it's not even something the EU can ask for either. has 3 choices, the last of which says:

"Oracle must release all past and future versions of MySQL (until December 2012) under the Apache Software License 2.0 or similar permissive license so that developers of applications and derived versions (forks) have flexibility concerning the code."

The language of that choice, including the word "must", belies your claims of just providing information and not asking for anything. I find it quite galling that you would *attempt* to suggest how the owner of some IP should license it, even if it is the last of 3 choices.

Whether Monty lied about it or not I can not say, but if PJ indicated that he lied, I'd tend to believe it -- in my experience she does her homework. (I have not visited her site lately due to lack of time, so I will not comment on this further; I hope you understand).

> Finally I should point out that at MP we are committed to open source, so even if MySQL was available under a more permissive license, we would not ourselves make any closed source versions of it. Ie we would not do for MySQL what EntepriseDB is for PostgreSQL, because we don't want to produce closed source software.

As far as the core db is concerned, there's only one version of Pg, AFAICT. EntepriseDB's extras seem to be non-core stuff like testing, tuning, compatibility for Oracle, migration, and of course support. Are you telling me there are no 3rd party addons for MySQL that are proprietary? Even some of your storage engines are proprietary, no?


3/1/10 08:19
hingo said...
> has 3 choices, the last of which says:

>"Oracle must release all past and future versions of MySQL (until December 2012) under the Apache Software License 2.0 or similar permissive license so that developers of applications and derived versions (forks) have flexibility concerning the code."

>The language of that choice, including the word "must", belies your claims of just providing information and not asking for anything. I find it quite galling that you would *attempt* to suggest how the owner of some IP should license it, even if it is the last of 3 choices.

Ok, we are talking about different things then. The petition offers different options people can "vote" for. These were picked among the ones that people have discussed. (For instance, the FAQ also comments on the "MySQL should belong to a non-profit foundation" alternative.) Monty Program Ab as a company always has held that the spin off alternative would be best for MySQL and its users. But like I said, license change has been discussed a lot, even we have commented on it. (Btw, the percentages on the petition seem to agree, with spin off being more popular than the other alternatives.) Discussing license change or other conditions is not entirely pointless though, since the EU and Oracle have been discussing various compromise solutions, it is worthwile to differentiate good compromises from bad compromises. It doesn't mean that a compromise is the preferred outcome.

> Whether Monty lied about it or not I can not say, but if PJ indicated that he lied, I'd tend to believe it -- in my experience she does her homework. (I have not visited her site lately due to lack of time, so I will not comment on this further; I hope you understand).

Actually, the submissions were mostly written by me and a couple of them co-authored by Florian. I re-read what PJ says, and it seems PJ doesn't actually say Monty or anyone lied, that was just the commenter on LWN. (PJ is being harsh on us though, no doubt, and has some interesting theories on what Monty wants and what our business models are, etc.)

>As far as the core db is concerned, there's only one version of Pg, AFAICT. EntepriseDB's extras seem to be non-core stuff like testing, tuning, compatibility for Oracle, migration, and of course support. Are you telling me there are no 3rd party addons for MySQL that are proprietary? Even some of your storage engines are proprietary, no?
There are 3rd party proprietary addons/utilities/engines and even MySQL Ab produced some of those (Monty was one of many who opposed that direction). I was just saying that Monty Program won't produce proprietary software (but we are being accused of having that as our main motive by PJ).

[Dec 24, 2009] Sun Reductions Will Hit Open Source Efforts - by Andy Patrizio

That's all baseless speculations and we will see in Jan, 2010 what will really come out of the merger. In any case severe cuts were imminent is such a merger. Hopefully OpenSolaris will survive in some form. That's what Jonathan I. Schwartz achieved....
December 22, 2009 |

Oracle, as it turns out, is very keen on Solaris but looks to be ready to cut the OpenSolaris project loose. The exact details are not clear, but it looks like the current build on the Web today would be it, and Oracle would return Solaris development back to its pre-CEO Jonathan Schwartz days when it was closed source and not used as an experiment for new technologies.

Oracle's plans for Java are unclear, but most of the team, both marketing and engineering, working on the OpenJDK project have been cut loose already.

Sun's GlassFish is a priority for Oracle, so that team is still pretty much in place. The Sparc processor family will stay, as Oracle promised in a Wall Street Journal advertisement several months ago, and, perhaps not surprising for a database company, Oracle is also keeping the storage business intact.

But the rumors of Rock's demise are indeed true, said the source. Several months back, The New York Times reported that Sun killed Rock, the codenamed next-generation processor that has been mostly vapor for a few years.

Rock is indeed dead but Sun will continue with its evolutionary UltraSparc development. On the earnings call last week, Ellison said Oracle would focus on the high-end server market with Sparc and x86 and not bother with the low-end or mid-range markets.

None of this surprises Martin Reynolds, research vice president with Gartner. "You have to look at Sun financials to see there's a whole lot of spending going on that doesn't go to the bottom line. Usually you try to get things sorted out before a merger is completed, so this is a good sign Sun believes things are coming to a conclusion," he told

As part of the merger deal, Sun has to clean itself up in advance of the deal closing, and Oracle can't influence Sun's business during this period. And Reynolds doubts Sun would make a mess for its new owner.

"It would be strange for Sun to do things that would make it difficult for Oracle to keep its commitments. So I wouldn't read too much into that," he said.

But Reynolds is not surprised at the prospect of a number of cuts. Sun had a lot of projects it funded that didn't make money, and it has little to show for its open source efforts. For example, OpenSolaris got lots of accolades and little else to show for it, he notes. Reynolds added he would not be surprised if future versions of Solaris and Java are not released as open source

Selected comments

Milan Jurik

Dear Mr. Reynolds, your comments about Open Source shows that you have no idea about software market these days. Opensourcing of Solaris was one of the key things which brought Solaris back from clinical death and gave chance to Sun keep it and improve it. It brought attention of customers (wider market, additional level of safe investment in future etc.). It brought attention of future decision makers (students) also. And forAndy Patrizio, maybe you should ask your "contacts" where did they receive such wrong info. Improve quality of your sources or stop to spread lies.


It often seems to me that our software world is made out of windows, mac or linux OS. Although I do not dislike linux I'm very happy (Open)Solaris exists. It turned out to be much more scalable and stable than linux ever was. I do not believe SUN will come back on its open source commitments.


The open source "business model" has some intrinsic problems. It goes something like this: We give it away free, and you only pay for service. Where is the incentive for the vendor to deliver a quality product with this model? I would much rather pay for a product up front, and have it in the vendor's best interest to make the quality so good that I don't need service. If you flip the model upside down, the vendor gets penalized every time I find a bug.

Compare this to hardware where the cheap junk is much more likely to break and need service. The best products have a much longer mean time to failure. If you are a professional who is serious about what you do, you could easily be willing to pay an additional 2x in price for a product for each additional 9 in uptime you get.

[Dec 17, 2009] EU Set to Approve Oracle-Sun Deal -

What swayed the EU was Oracle's proposed ten-point plan for MySQL. In that plan, Oracle promised, among other things, to invest more on research and development for the MySQL Global Business Unit than Sun did in its most recent fiscal year, which was $24 million, and to do so for at least three years.

It promised commitment to future GPL releases, synchronized releases of the Community and Enterprise versions of MySQL and a five year moratorium on legal action against any third party that chooses to implement MySQL's Pluggable Storage Engine (PSE) architecture without distributing code for that implementation under the GPL.

The latter promise really went over well with the EU and Kroes reaffirmed her statement that she is optimistic that the case will have a satisfactory outcome, while ensuring that the transaction will not have an adverse impact on effective competition in the European database market.

So while the EC is "comfortable with the assertions Oracle made," as the source put it, the deal is still not done until the paperwork is filed.

The Oracle-Sun combo has potential

"I think what we see here is the idea of fighting was a bad one," commented Martin Reynolds, research vice president with Gartner. "This doesn't sound like fighting to me. If we can see this go through, it's about time because it's costing a lot of money."

Dimiter :

As someone in The Life of Brian says, "There's just no pleasing some people." They're always smarter than the regulators, know more about the companies than those who have run them for years, and were "just born mad." Ah, God, they're so tiresome.

[Dec 17, 2009] "Help saving MySQL"

Monty badly wants MySql database back from Sun; nice try, but no cigar :-)

Monty says

Gabriele Bulfon:

Sorry, I do not agree with your point of view.
Sun is going to die if EU does not free Oracle's intentions.
MySql is the last of the issues in this situation, as it is an open source project that will always exist.
We will loos much more if Sun dies without being saved by Oracle.
There is much more technology than just MySql behind Sun.
Oracle should not be stopped.
This is my opinion.

Detlef Müller :

"..When MySQL was sold to Sun, I had no possibility to affect the contract.."
Someone must have sold it to SUN. You cannot sell anything that belongs to public. So someone owned rights he could sell.

"...I was not then concerned about the freedom of MySQL as Sun has every reason in the world to continue to develop as an Open Source project...."

"... It's not a question of what happened in the past...."

Isn't it quite naive? Come on, there's a thing called market, whether I like it or not - but that's not my point. If you step into market you have to accept the rules. So, in this case, I think it is quite important to look at the past. As I said, someone must have sold MySQL to SUN and obviously he had the right to do so.

But my main point is that

1) Everybody here seems to believe that Oracle acquired SUN because of MySQL. This is rubbish

2) Everybody here seems to believe that only MySQL will guarantee the freedom of choice. I'd like to mention that Oracle's competitors are mainly IBM and MSFT in the enterprise market. Don't get me wrong, that does not imply that MYSQL is not a competitor in certain areas, but not in general as many of the commentators implicate.

Everyone can do whatever he wants (of course as long he keeps the laws :-) ), so everyone is free to choose the right software for his needs. MySQL is Open Source right? So the source is open to everybody. Did Oracle say that it will close the code base?

See chapter 4.

So, what's the problem ?

Final words before everyone will open the fire. I do not have any interests in losing the freedom of choice. But I'd like to plead for accepting reality and to get onto a certain level of objectiveness. No one in this form (including me) really knows what strategies are planned behind the scenes so everyone can only speculate what will come. I mainly see very subjective argumentation here so this discussion seems to be more "religious" driven. The argumentation will loose power if you're on a level of speculations and subjectivity or even ideology.

Javier :

Sorry Monty, I don't agree with you at all.

Being european, a former Sun employee and an Open Source Software enthusiast I think EU's position here is effectively killing Sun and is not making any good to MySQL either. Sun employees are now desperate; layoffs are happening with increasing frequency and Sun competitors are ripping them apart taking advantage of this weird position.

Besides, I personally think you lost all credit and credibility here when you decided to sell in the first place. By criticising Oracle's Sun buyout and its consequences for MySQL you're swimming here in the dangerous waters of hypocrisy.

This is not about protecting MySQL or Open Source. This is about the EU giving protection to other interests and lobbyists and pissing off the US government for not good enough reason.

I hope Oracle gets clearance to go ahead soon enough. They have a better trajectory of maintaining whatever they acquire than other companies (and way better than Sun).

[December 14, 2009] Oracle-Sun Merger Gains Favor in Europe

PC World

In an unusual move for a merger investigation, the Commission issued a statement Monday saying the fact that Oracle had committed to "a series of undertakings to customers, developers and users of MySQL is an important new element to be taken into account in the ongoing proceedings."

[Dec 14, 2009] Oracle's Pledges on MySQL Are 'purely Cosmetic', Say Critics by Paul Meller

Is this a dirty play by Monty, who got tons of money but lost his place under the sun ;-) ? As far as I can understand "forkers" leave the ship for the sea once and forever. After fork it is generally impossible to return to the main version other then by dropping main version and adopting fork as the main version (which happened with gcc and other products). See also Monty says Thoughts about Dual-licensing Open Source software. As "Via, one can see that the default OEM agreement included restrictions on modifying the source since at least June 2005." why Monty is trying to blackmail Sun ?
Dec 14, 2009 | PC World IDG News Service
Oracle made the new commitments during negotiations with Commission merger officials believed to have taken place over the weekend.

They include "binding contractual undertakings to storage engine vendors regarding copyright nonassertion and the extension over a period of up to 5 years of the terms and conditions of existing commercial licenses," the Commission said, describing the new undertakings as "significant new facts".

Among those dismissive of the database giant's promises was Mueller, who once worked for MySQL and is close to Michael "Monty" Widenius, a founder of the open source database company who objects to it being owned by Oracle.

Mueller described Oracle's proposals in an email as "purely cosmetic and totally ineffectual, not preventing the near-instantaneous cessation of innovation in and around MySQL because neither enterprise users nor storage engine vendors nor forkers -- developers of products derived from the MySQL code base -- would have a secure future and real incentive to invest."

The five-year extension of terms and conditions of existing MySQL licensees is insufficient, he added in a follow-up phone conversation.

"Five years isn't long enough because people wouldn't have a basis to make long-term investment decisions," he said. "The duration [of the extension of terms and conditions] is a big problem."

Oracle made ten promises, all of which will be withdrawn five years after the deal is sealed:

1. Continued Availability of Storage Engine APIs. Oracle shall maintain and periodically enhance MySQL's Pluggable Storage Engine Architecture to allow users the flexibility to choose from a portfolio of native and third party supplied storage engines.

MySQL's Pluggable Storage Engine Architecture shall mean MySQL's current practice of using, publicly-available, documented application programming interfaces to allow storage engine vendors to "plug" into the MySQL database server. Documentation shall be consistent with the documentation currently provided by Sun.

2. Non-assertion. As copyright holder, Oracle will change Sun's current policy and shall not assert or threaten to assert against anyone that a third party vendor's implementations of storage engines must be released under the GPL because they have implemented the application programming interfaces available as part of MySQL's Pluggable Storage Engine Architecture.

A commercial license will not be required by Oracle from third party storage engine vendors in order to implement the application programming interfaces available as part of MySQL's Pluggable Storage Engine Architecture.

Oracle shall reproduce this commitment in contractual commitments to storage vendors who at present have a commercial license with Sun.

3. License commitment. Upon termination of their current MySQL OEM Agreement, Oracle shall offer storage vendors who at present have a commercial license with Sun an extension of their Agreement on the same terms and conditions for a term not exceeding December 10, 2014.

Oracle shall reproduce this commitment in contractual commitments to storage vendors who at present have a commercial license with Sun.

4. Commitment to enhance MySQL in the future under the GPL. Oracle shall continue to enhance MySQL and make subsequent versions of MySQL, including Version 6, available under the GPL. Oracle will not release any new, enhanced version of MySQL Enterprise Edition without contemporaneously releasing a new, also enhanced version of MySQL Community Edition licensed under the GPL. Oracle shall continue to make the source code of all versions of MySQL Community Edition publicly available at no charge.

5. Support not mandatory. Customers will not be required to purchase support services from Oracle as a condition to obtaining a commercial license to MySQL.

6. Increase spending on MySQL research and development. Oracle commits to make available appropriate funding for the MySQL continued development (GPL version and commercial version). During each of the next three years, Oracle will spend more on research and development (R&D) for the MySQL Global Business Unit than Sun spent in its most recent fiscal year (USD 24 million) preceding the closing of the transaction.

7. MySQL Customer Advisory Board. No later than six months after the anniversary of the closing, Oracle will create and fund a customer advisory board, including in particular end users and embedded customers, to provide guidance and feedback on MySQL development priorities and other issues of importance to MySQL customers.

8. MySQL Storage Engine Vendor Advisory Board. No later than six months after the anniversary of the closing, Oracle will create and fund a storage engine vendor advisory board, to provide guidance and feedback on MySQL development priorities and other issues of importance to MySQL storage engine vendors.

9. MySQL Reference Manual. Oracle will continue to maintain, update and make available for download at no charge a MySQL Reference Manual similar in quality to that currently made available by Sun.

10. Preserve Customer Choice for Support. Oracle will ensure that end-user and embedded customers paying for MySQL support subscriptions will be able to renew their subscriptions on an annual or multi-year basis, according to the customer's preference.

[Nov 10, 2009] Oracle rejects EU antitrust claims by Gwen Robinson

Nov 10, 2009 | FT Alphaville

Oracle on Monday mounted a strident attack on Europe's competition authorities as it confirmed it had received an official objection from Brussels to its proposed $7.4bn acquisition of Sun Microsystems. The US software company also said it would "vigorously oppose" the European Commission's position.

The official statement of objections, which has been sent to Oracle and not made public, comes two months after EU regulators first revealed they might have concerns. A formal objection is the first step towards possible action to block a deal.

This entry was posted by Gwen Robinson on Tuesday, November 10th, 2009 at 4:41 and is filed under M&A, Capital markets. Tagged with oracle, sun microsystems.

[Nov 6, 2009] And What If Oracle Drops Sun Deal

November 5, 2009 |

If Oracle decides to walk away from its $7.4 billion bid to buy Sun Microsystems, it may be no big deal for Oracle, but it could end up being a big problem for Sun, Forbes notes.

[Nov 6, 2009] Weak Points of Sun Deal Come Out in Europe

October 22, 2009 |

The European Union's competition commission is busy reviewing Oracle's acquisition of Sun Microsystems and has said it may not rule until Jan. 19, 2010. Sun is not doing well in the meantime, and this week it announced it would lay off up to 3,000 workers. Sun's stock price is also rapidly imploding in light of the failure of progress in the Oracle acquisition and from Sun's own difficulties.

This is a time when the regulatory covenants section of an acquisition agreement matter. These spell out what a buyer must do to obtain regulatory clearance for an acquisition. Sun's lawyers are no doubt rereading the section carefully to see how they can force Oracle to obtain an earlier clearance from the European Union, if at all. Unfortunately, Sun and its lawyers should have pushed the negotiation much, much harder.

Here are four weak points in the agreement on this matter that are likely now haunting Sun:

... ... ...

[Nov 6, 2009] Sun shareholders left swinging by Miles Johnson

Nov 05 | FT Alphaville

At the end of October, FT Alphaville came across some strange goings on in Oracle's pending $7bn acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

Oracle had withdrawn its Russian antitrust filing, an unexplained move prompting speculation the deal was about to unravel.

With proceedings snagged in Brussels after EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes voiced monopoly concerns, there was understandable investor unease at the withdrawal of the filing to the Russian anti-monopoly regulator.

Oracle, however, declined to offer a formal explanation to its shareholders or to the media. Days later, the FT reported that Oracle was braced for a formal objection from the European Commission.

And when that objection comes, shareholders of both companies, but especially those of Sun, would do well to examine the various caveats attached to the deal.

The Sun-Oracle acquisition agreement makes it clear that Oracle is not required to complete the deal unless it has specific approval from the EC, along with a string of other competition authorities.

And while both companies are left sweating over what, for example, the Turkish antitrust regulators are thinking, the agreement leaves Oracle under no obligation to dispose of any assets in order for the deal to be passed. Sun is effectively left blowing in the wind.

Both companies have a lot to lose if the situation drags on. Oracle has said it is losing $100m a month during the hold up as rivals such as HP and IBM exploit the uncertainty to poach its customers. Sun meanwhile has its own problems, recently laying off 3000 people.

It is difficult to avoid the conclusion that Sun's lawyers should have pressed Oracle for far tighter conditions on the competition clearance front. Sun shareholders would be feeling rather more comfortable now if the risk of forced disposals rested with Oracle - rather than Oracle retaining the option of simply walking away.

[Oct 28, 2009] Many open-sourcers back an Oracle takeover of MySQL

It's really funny how Monty Widenius run over Java boy Jonathan I. Schwartz after getting a billion bucks for the company. He sold his product and now has no moral right to participate in this debate. It's equally funny how RMS like a porno start fakes free software orgasm before government which in theory he as an anarchist should not touch with a poke. MySQL belongs to NQOSS ("not quite open source software") because such products have no (or very few) contributors from the outside world. MySQL has a closed source development model, even if the code is open source: MySQL never was a community project, it was always "vendor-dominated" project exploiting "assigned copyright" model for contributions and dual licensing of the code base as a source of extracting revenue. Unless RMS now supports dual licensing his stance does not make any sense. See also one more monkey... the MySQL campaign; my thoughts...

Computerworld - A number of influential members of the open-source community are raising their voices about Oracle Corp.'s pending takeover of the open source MySQL database. Surprisingly, many are not opposing the shift in MySQL ownership that would come with the close of Oracle's $7.4 billion deal to acquire current owner Sun Microsystems Inc., contending that it would not wound the open source database.

Those supporters say that MySQL co-founder Monty Widenius, free software advocate Richard Stallman, and others are whipping up unfounded fears about the future of MySQL in order to get the European Commission to either quash the entire deal or at least force Oracle to sell off MySQL. The EC launched an in-depth investigation into the planned merger this fall, citing "serious concerns" about how the deal would affect database competition.

"I may be a contrarian on this, but I don't think Oracle will have any dramatically-enhanced market power," said Mark Shuttleworth, founder and CEO of Canonical Ltd., maker of the Ubuntu distribution of Linux. The latest Ubuntu Server 9.10 version includes a copy of MySQL. "The EU's sophistication on open-source matters may make them inclined to overreact. In fact, they have little to worry about."

Opponents like Widenius and Stallman argue that whatever Oracle and it's CEO Larry Ellison may claim, the acquirer would either weaken or bury the widely-used MySQL in order to protect its proprietary database, which generates more than $8.5 billion in revenue a year for the company.

They also contend that what supporters of the deal call MySQL's salvation -- its open-source status, which allows anyone to download, modify and even sell their own versions of MySQL -- is just a mirage.

However, open-source veterans such as Carlo Piana, a lawyer for the Free Software Foundation Europe who successfully sued Microsoft to open its Windows networking protocols, maintain that Oracle's ownership wouldn't hurt the future of MySQL.

"If Oracle were hypothetically to bend the project away from competition in the high end or simply make it a stale project, it is clear to me that the declining fortunes of the original work would leave (disgruntled developers) room to further the success of the fork(s)," -- new software created from open source code, wrote Piana.

Matthew Aslett, an analyst at research firm The 451 Group, argue that opponents are "spreading what can only be described as fear, uncertainty and doubt. The only possible argument in favor of the EC blocking Oracle's acquisition of MySQL is that it is damaging to competition, not that it is damaging to MySQL itself," which is the primary arguments of opponents like Widenius and Stallman, Aslett wrote in a 451 Group blog post earlier this month.

[Sep 25, 2009] The Pay at the Top - The New York Times

That's pretty funny: you destroyed the company and get 11 millions (+44%). BTW Steven A. Ballmer got 1.4 million; Google Eric Schmitt 0.5 million. There can't be much sympathy for this Java enthusiast who's wrecked a good company and is still enjoying a salary of 11 millions in addition to his other earnings for running the thing into the ground. And his questionable decision to buy MySQL for one billion is now costing the company a lot of money and a lot of customers.

Sun Microsystems

Jonathan I. Schwartz

  • 2008 11.1
  • 2007 7.7

[Sep 4, 2009] EU delays Oracle-Sun deal, probing database market

Looks like they want to compensate Microsoft for troubles caused. In any case what Sun leadership decision to spend a billion for MySQL was really questionable... They gained nothing but troubles. Jonathan Schwartz is especially suspect

The European Commission now has until Jan. 19 before it makes a final decision to clear the deal or block it. In some cases, such as with Intel Corp., the EU has been a stricter antitrust regulator than the U.S., and often presses companies to make changes that eliminate antitrust worries, such as selling off parts of their business.

Oracle is the database leader with 37 percent of the overall market, followed by IBM Corp. and Microsoft Corp., according to the IDC research firm.

MySQL, a Swedish company that Sun bought for $1 billion last year, is a tiny player, with just 0.2 percent market share, but is the reason European regulators are worried.

The EU officials claim that MySQL, already popular among Web-based companies, will increasingly threaten Oracle's database software as it adds features and attracts more customers. The regulators questioned "Oracle's incentive to further develop MySQL as an open source database."

"In the current economic context, all companies are looking for cost-effective (information-technology) solutions, and systems based on open-source software are increasingly emerging as viable alternatives to proprietary solutions," Kroes said. "The commission has to ensure that such alternatives would continue to be available."

[Sep 2, 2009] Working With ZFS Snapshots (pdf)

Helps to understand the capabilities of ZFS snapshots, a read-only copy of a Solaris ZFS file system. ZFS snapshots can be created almost instantly and are a valuable tool for system administrators needing to perform backups.

You will learn:

  • How to set up a ZFS file system
  • How to use and create ZFS snapshots
  • How to use ZFS snapshots for backup and restore purposes
  • How to migrate ZFS snapshots between systems

After reading this guide, you will have a basic understanding of how snapshots can be integrated into your system administration procedures.

See also

[Sep 1, 2009] (Podcast) Immutable Service Containers for Security

Learn how Immutable Service Containers provide a way to safeguard virtualized environments.

[Aug 16, 2009] Innovation is Sun's legacy by SD Times Editorial Board

Sad that company is now gone... Schwartz is of course a slick taking fellow, but he has zero credible ideas for the turnaround of the company and his role in the company demise needs to be closely examined...
August 15, 2009 | SD Times Software Development News

Much has been written about the mishaps and missteps that led to the decline and fall of Sun Microsystems. At its height, it was a Silicon Valley powerhouse whose servers "put the dot in dot-com" nearly a decade ago. Today, the company is being acquired for a relatively paltry sum by Oracle.

It's easy to take shots at where Sun fell short. Purchasing companies and failing to commercialize them, such as its acquisition of Cobalt Networks. Spending a fortune on an open-source software without explaining the return on investment, like its US$1 billion buy of MySQL AB in early 2008. Stumbling in attempts to take leadership in Java application servers, a market that it invented-then lost.

It's also easy to pin the blame on Jonathan Schwartz, who took over the reins as Sun's president in 2004, and became CEO in 2006. While SD Times has been critical of Schwartz, we also note that the company had been trending downward before his ascension-and he apparently had the company's cofounder and chairman, Scott McNealy, backing him up.

Rather than take those shots, we'll pause for a moment and think about the genuine innovation that characterized this truly unique company. Sun had a profound impact on Silicon Valley and the entire computer industry. Its SPARC processor came to dominate the world of RISC-based servers and led the industry toward 64-bit computing. Sun's version of Unix, called Solaris, earned a reputation for stability and reliability, and introduced cutting-edge features like DTrace and ZFS. On the small side, the Sun SPOT wireless devices continue to fire the imagination.

The Java language, invented at Sun, and the Java Virtual Machine gave the software development world its first commercially successful managed runtime environment. "Write Once, Run Anywhere," while never perfectly implemented by competing Java EE vendors, remains a compelling vision that isn't equaled anywhere in the mainstream computing world. The Java Community Process brought together many of those competitors and provided a successful forum for evolving the Java platform.

Beyond Java, Sun impacted development with its purchase of NetBeans and its decision to release the platform as open source, then base its entire family of software-development tools on it, phasing out its older Forte tools. While lacking the market power of rival Eclipse, NetBeans is technologically second to nothing.

While Sun's business mistakes caused many sighs, its spirit of creativity was the envy of the entire computer industry. As Sun's intellectual property, as well as its assets and human capital, pass over to Oracle, we hope that the spirit of innovation will live on.

End of days for Sun

SD Times Software Development News

Sun Microsystems passed away on July 16, 2009. On that day, the company's shareholders voted to accept the merger agreement, proposed by Oracle, to purchase the company for US$5.6 billion, or $9.50 per share. Sun's CEO, Jonathan Schwartz, and its chairman of the board and cofounder, Scott McNealy, were not present for the shareholder vote.

[July 20, 2009] Proxy reveals three-way competition over ownership of Sun

July 16, 2009 |

The proxy, filed in June by Sun, contained an extensive blow-by-blow account of the merger and its preceding negotiations.

On Nov. 6, 2008, IBM initially approached Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz and an unnamed Sun board member to discuss a possible merger. As the board began to discuss the offer, it also instructed management to approach a second company, called Party B.

Multiple sources have fingered Hewlett-Packard as Party B, but no one at Sun or HP would confirm it.

[Jun 3, 2009] Latest OpenSolaris is much faster than Linux, says Sun

Jun 2, 2009 |

The changes to network and storage performance make the operating system much faster than Linux, according to Sun.

Project Crossbow is Sun's network architecture for virtualisation. The company claims that Crossbow can be used to network multicore, multi-threaded processors together using an extremely fast network interface.

With Project Crossbow, OpenSolaris 2009.06 gets a virtual network interface, which Sun says can be used to simplify administration of complex deployments of multi-tiered applications on a single machine or an entire datacentre

OpenSolaris 2009.06 also includes a revamped version of Sun's ZFS file system, which now supports flash storage devices. Sun said flash-based storage support in ZFS can be used to accelerate read and write access to build high-performance storage systems.

Sun said OpenSolaris 2009.06 delivers 35% better memory management, 22% better integer arithmetics and 18% better multi-thread scheduler management when compared with the latest Linux releases.

[Jun 2, 2009] Solaris vs. Asterisk running Asterisk PBX

Abstract: This article compares the performance characteristics of Asterisk PBX operating on Solaris 10 verses Linux. The author shows how to achieve even greater performance from Asterisk on Solaris 10 by using a native feature available to Solaris. In addition, Solaris 10 SMF (Service Management Facility) scripts are made available to ensure the continuous operation of Asterisk PBX on the Solaris 10 operating system.

[Apr 24, 2009] Rob Enderle Oracle-Sun Vastly Changing the Hardware, Software, Services Landscape

Apr 21, 2009 | IT Business Edge

Oracle, at least for most of this decade, has performed nearly flawlessly. A company to be reckoned with, it has mowed down or rolled over most of its competitors. IBM and Microsoft are the two exceptions, but even these giants had difficulty competing with Oracle. However, when Oracle created Unbreakable Linux and ran against much smaller Red Hat and Novell, it got handed its hat and became kind of a running joke here in Silicon Valley.

With Sun, that joke gets a lot less funny. Sun still has a substantial installed base of customers who have not been able to move off Solaris to Linux and weren't particularly motivated to move. Granted, they also weren't particularly motivated to buy more, which is why Sun was in the financial trouble that forced it to look for a buyer. In addition, Oracle knows how to do mergers like this. Even the hostile PeopleSoft acquisition had it keeping more PeopleSoft customers than most thought was possible. Given that there is a substantial amount of client overlap between Oracle and Sun, keeping the Sun clients happy should be an easier task.

... ... ...

Finally, it is believed that a substantial amount of code in Linux actually may belong to Sun and, with this acquisition, could belong to Oracle. While I don't expect a SCO moment, I would expect Oracle to use it as a bargaining chip to drive Linux in a direction it felt benefitted the firm. It may be the only company on the planet that might know how to do this without it blowing up in their face. This might make Oracle a leader among equals, and if it played with HP (see below), a real risk to the other enterprise distribution owners and IBM. Coupled with Java, which is both a valid platform in its own right and vastly more strategic to Oracle than it was to Sun, Oracle becomes a real platform company and better able to match both IBM and Microsoft going forward.

... ... ...

Oracle deal is vastly more disruptive. Coupled with Oracle's demonstrated expertise in mergers and in making deals, it could actually change the power dynamics in the Linux, high-end server and workstation markets. It will be harder to do right because several players are needed to optimize the result and the timing isn't great for any of the hardware vendors that would need to buy into this effort. It is interesting to note that, with regard to assets, Sun is probably worth more to Oracle than to IBM because it gives the company a position on development platforms. However, for IBM, part of the value would be to deny competitors access to the Sun assets and that cost to IBM may turn out to exceed the asset value, suggesting that IBM may have substantially under bid. That, of course assumes this works out, but given Oracle's success with ventures like this, it wouldn't seem prudent to bet against it.

[Apr 23, 2009] Mediacast

List of interesting presentations at Sun Mediacast

[Apr 23, 2009] Sun and Oracle End of a beautiful dream • The Register

...Oracle is a tough place. It routinely evaluates the performance of staff and chops around 10 per cent. Acquired staff and products must also justify their place in this Dawnian environment or they'll get chopped or boxed

... ... ...

Java is strategically critical to Oracle's middleware, development tools, application server, and database support. Oracle has been a life-long believer in Java, which - running on Linux - provides the perfect answer to Windows and .NET from Microsoft. Java also means licensing from all those enterprise ISVs and device manufacturers.

Solaris is important to Oracle, too. More copies of Oracle's database run on Solaris than on any another operating system - a fact chief executive Larry Ellison helpfully pointed out on Monday. Ellison talked of tuning its database to Solaris, which will help keep Oracle in major accounts such as telcos, service providers, and banks and financial services that might otherwise have been flirting with Linux and its database or - worse - Linux and MySQL and Postgres.

... ... ...

Optimists inside Sun will likely argue GlassFish, OpenSolaris, and Java CAPs can serve their new master in the same OEM market using MySQL.

... ... ...

The biggest determining factor, though, will be cash generation.

[Apr 23, 2009] Oracle embarks on Sun courtship, troops cheer - Yahoo! India News

Many at the flagging server-and-software company were just glad it appears to be over. A deal with Oracle may be a better fit than IBM for the troops at Sun, which -- despite its roller-coaster history -- still inspires fierce loyalty among its own ranks and customers.

"We're sort of relieved," said a 39-year-old hardware manager and 12-year veteran of the company. "There was a lot of bad press with Sun being up for sale, desperately looking for a buyer. It hurt business and it hurt earnings."

Where IBM conjured up images of a mass of navy-blue suits, Sun employees see Oracle as a compatriot.

"The employees run in the same social circles as Sun employees," the manager said.

Few companies embody the rise and fall of dot-com as much as Sun, whose name stands for Stanford University Network and whose campus resembles that of the college, with a palmtree-lined drive leading up to a grassy courtyard and clocktower.

[Apr 23, 2009] Sun Microsystems' Rise And Fall - by Lee Gomes,

March 19, 2009 |

So deftly did Sun take advantage of technology that during the '90s, it was impossible to beat it; companies like IBM feared Sun the way companies now fear Microsoft ( MSFT - news - people ) and Google ( GOOG - news - people ). Anyone who wanted to do serious technical computing bought Sun because its machines were essentially the only option.

The problem for Sun is that the forces that launched it didn't stop once Sun was a success. Creating complex operating systems--something that had once been such cutting-edge engineering you needed the old Bell Labs to do it--became a more straightforward engineering undertaking. With NT, Microsoft took its first big step toward a mature OS; later versions of Windows closed the gap with Unix, as far as much of the marketplace was concerned.

And Moore's Law was not repealed. Low-end Intel ( INTC - news - people ) chips had been a joke during Sun's early years; by the end of the 1990s, they had caught up with the proprietary chips that Sun had by then incorporated into its machines. The economics of increasing returns, which holds that successful companies tend to grab an ever-larger share of the marketplace, gave another boost to Intel.

Sun's slogan during the late 1990s was, "We're the dot in dot-com." It was true; anyone with a serious Web site chose Sun, though the fact that everyone was awash in VC money made buying the expensive machines an easier call than it might have been otherwise. But if the dot-com bubble had happened just a few years later, Sun would never have had its thermonuclear moment--the stock was near $250 in 2000--because the competition, especially Intel and Microsoft, would have by then caught up. With the rise of Linux--software that arguably was the inevitable result of the Internet--Sun didn't have many plays left.

All of which may be a long way of saying that it's more important to pay attention to how the winds are blowing than to whatever a sailboat's captain is doing with the tiller. It definitely takes skill to take proper advantage of your environment. But heaven help when the fates turn against you.

[Apr 22, 2009] The Rise And Fall Of Sun Microsystems - comp.sys.sun.misc Google Groups

Old but interesting discussion...
David Magda Jan 28 2003, 7:52 pm

Newsgroups: comp.sys.sun.misc

From: David Magda <>

Date: 28 Jan 2003 18:48:32 -0500

Local: Tues, Jan 28 2003 7:48 pm

Subject: Re: The Rise And Fall Of Sun Microsystems

> Now it seems that Sun is past its peak, lost its vision of openness and has turned into just another closed systems shop:

While I think it's unfortunate that Sun doesn't give US-III, you do
have to remember that they gave it to Linux for the UltraLinux
port. The Linux porter (David Miller?) had to sign an NDA. Theo de
Raadt is not agreeing to sign an NDA because of philosophical
reasons. Something I don't see anything wrong with.

The question you have to also ask is: how is Sun becoming more
"closed"? By:
* giving away the source to StarOffice
* opening up GridEngine (now on SourceForge?)
* helping to develop GNOME
* helping U. of Michigan with NFSv4 (to Solaris, Linux, OpenBSD)

Anything else?


The link is to a Slashdot story regarding OpenBSD trying to get documentation for the US-III.

I have no idea what Sun is thinking on this one. They're a hardware company: you want more systems running on that hardware.

> How long before HP purchases what's left of Sun?

Personally I think HP will sink before Sun, just because of stupidity. There's an interesting thread in comp.arch on HP's treatment of the Alpha processor.

Time will tell, he always does.

David Magda <dmagda at>
Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under
the old conditions, and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well
under the new. -- Niccolo Machiavelli, _The Prince_, Chapter VI

[Apr 20, 2009] Today's Sun/Oracle Announcement

It's dangerous to allow a Java boy (or SAP/R3 adept) to run any company ;-) Chances are they will run it into the ground (aka acquisition ;-). Sadly a lot of Sun employees will be cut as the result of acquisition. Oracle is known for aggressive cost cutting of acquired companies. Synergies in resulting giant company (now somewhat similar to IBM) might or might not materialize, as the resulting company is simply huge.
JerkBoB (7130) on Monday April 20, @08:29AM (#27644011) For anyone with morbid curiosity:

From: Jonathan I. Schwartz
To: [email protected]
Subject: Today's Sun/Oracle Announcement
Date: Mon, 20 Apr 2009 04:34:16 -0700 (07:34 EDT)

Today's Sun/Oracle Announcement

This is one of the toughest emails I've ever had to write.

It's also one of the most hopeful about Sun's future in the industry.

For 27 years, Sun has stood for courage, innovation, a willingness to blaze trails, to envision and engineer the future. No matter our ups and downs, we've remained committed to those ideals, and to the R&D that's allowed us to differentiate. We've committed to decade long pursuits, from the evolution of one of the world's most powerful datacenter operating systems, to one of the world's most advanced multi-core microelectronics. We've never walked away from the wholesale reinvention of business models, the redefinition of technology boundaries or the pursuit of new routes to market.

Because of the unparalleled talent at Sun, we've also fueled entire industries with our people and technologies, and fostered extraordinary companies and market successes. Our products and services have driven the discovery of new drugs, transformed social media, and created a better understanding of the world and marketplace around us. All, while we've undergone a near constant transformation in the face of a rapidly changing marketplace and global economy. We've never walked away from a challenge - or an opportunity.

So today we take another step forward in our journey, but along a different path - by announcing that this weekend, our board of directors and I approved the acquisition of Sun Microsystems by the Oracle Corporation for $9.50/share in cash. All members of the board present at the meeting to review the transaction voted for it with enthusiasm, and the transaction stands to utterly transform the marketplace - bringing together two companies with a long history of working together to create a newly unified vision of the future.

Oracle's interest in Sun is very clear - they aspire to help customers simplify the development, deployment and operation of high value business systems, from applications all the way to datacenters. By acquiring Sun, Oracle will be well positioned to help customers solve the most complex technology problems related to running a business.

To me, this proposed acquisition totally redefines the industry, resetting the competitive landscape by creating a company with great reach, expertise and innovation. A combined Oracle/Sun will be capable of cultivating one of the world's most vibrant and far reaching developer communities, accelerating the convergence of storage, networking and computing, and delivering one of the world's most powerful and complete portfolios of business and technical software.

I do not consider the announcement to be the end of the road, not by any stretch of the imagination. I believe this is the first step down a different path, one that takes us and our innovations to an even broader market, one that ensures the ubiquitous role we play in the world around us. The deal was announced today, and, after regulatory review and shareholder approval, will take some months to close - until that close occurs, however, we are a separate company, operating independently. No matter how long it takes, the world changed starting today.

But it's important to note it's not the acquisition that's changing the world - it's the people that fuel both companies. Having spent a considerable amount of time talking to Oracle, let me assure you they are single minded in their focus on the one asset that doesn't appear in our financial statements: our people. That's their highest priority - creating an inviting and compelling environment in which our brightest minds can continue to invent and deliver the future.

Thank you for everything you've done over the years, and for everything you will do in the future to carry the business forward. I'm incredibly proud of this company and what we've accomplished together.

Details will be forthcoming as we work together on the integration planning process.


[Apr 20, 2009] Oracle Buys Sun


  • Re- Solaris

    by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Monday April 20, @11:24AM (#27646517) Homepage

    I'm listening to the conference call now.

    One of the first thing Larry Ellison said was two of the main reasons they were buying sun were for Solaris and Java.

    Solaris/Sparc is the largest base where Oracle is deployed. Linux is number 2. He also said "Solaris is the best unix techonology available in the market."

    Solaris isn't going anywhere.

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Jon Peterson (1443) <> on Monday April 20, @10:21AM (#27645443) Homepage

    "On paper, Rock and the T2 look like they'd be a very good match for Oracle's workloads, but since Oracle's license prevents publishing benchmarks and I don't have the hardware and software to hand to test them, I can't tell how they do in the real world."

    I do have the hardware and software to hand :-). We moved to T2 architecture (T5240s) at the beginning of the year for Oracle and for a bunch of other apps. In the case of Oracle it does what you expect - scales massively well for large numbers of fast queries (i.e. typical webapp situation), but of course if you have a single huge query, it's going to run on a single execution thread, slowly. A simple performance test showed Oracle scaling linearly until our test *client* ran out of steam - by then we were far about any expected load so didn't test further.

    The key thing is licensing. We run Oracle 10g standard, and it works out very well. Oracle have insane licensing with fine distinctions about when a core counts as a CPU blah blah blah. Right now, with T2 we get 64 parallel execution threads for 1 Oracle CPU license, which works for me :-)

    I'll be interested to see what Rock offers, but with the virtualization capabilities in Solaris, the T2 gives us a lot of room to be flexible and split stuff up. If you've been paying attention for the last 20 years and have designed your software on the principles of atomicity, asynchronicity, and statelessness, it does let you scale very very nicely.

    --- [] - best hex editor in the world
  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:5, Interesting) by McKing (1017) on Monday April 20, @10:48AM (#27645877) Homepage

    I concur with this assessment. We recently moved from a $300,000 SunFire 6900 (a system the size of a standard full-size 42U rack) with 12 dual core CPU's and 48 GB of RAM that drew massive amounts of power and cooling, to a $30,000 T2 blade with 64GB of RAM that runs cool and sips power. Our DBA's were amazed at the improvement. We need to upgrade the front end systems now to keep up with the increase in performance of the backend! We were able to trade in the 6900, and the savings on *support* for the 6900 offset the purchase price of 2 blade chassis, 10 blades and a SAN!

    For our workload, the massive parallel architecture of the T2 really suits Oracle. For any type of multithreaded or multiprocessed throughput-based app (web serving, front-end app servers, LDAP server, database server), the T1 and T2 design is perfect.

    -- There are 10 types of people in the world, those who understand binary, and those who don't.

  • Re:What about MySQL? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Monday April 20, @08:27AM (#27644001) Homepage

    There was a time when Oracle was considering Netbeans [], but Oracle joined the Eclipse Foundation.

    I don't think JDeveloper is based on Eclipse though.

    Might be interesting to see what happens. I think Netbeans will live on. Too many of sun's products rely on it.

    What I'm more concerned with is the amount of contributions to PostgreSQL.

    I still feel had they put more money/time into postgresql instead of buying MySQL, they wouldn't need to be bought.

  • Re:Wow (Score:5, Informative)

    by rackserverdeals (1503561) on Monday April 20, @10:58AM (#27646071) Homepage

    Most of Sun's revenue comes from their Sparc hardware, even though sales have been declining.

    They need Solaris for their Sparc servers and since the x86 and Sparc versions come from the same codebase, and the x86 server sales are increasing, it doesn't make sense to ditch Solaris.

    One of the reasons Sun's became such a dominant player in the unix market (especially considering their relatively small size) is that, in addition to buying Sun's hardware on the merits of the hardware, a lot of people would buy sun hardware to be able to run Solaris. The same is not true for HPUX and AIX. While there are some fans of those OSs, they dwarf in comparison to Solaris.

    Oracle wants sun's hardware business, including SPARC. That means Solaris isn't going anywhere.

    Dual Opteron [] < $600
  • I'm quite sure that IBM hates itself now (Score:5, Interesting)

    by egghat (73643) on Monday April 20, @08:20AM (#27643955) Homepage

    Oracle+Sun has the power to seriously harm IBM. IBMs big plus was the combination of good hardware + OS + DB + consultants.

    Oracle + Sun can now deliver exactly the same.

    bye egghat

    -- "As a human being I claim the right to be widely inconsistent", John Peel

    Re:Java is safe, mysql is safe... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheRaven64 (641858) on Monday April 20, @08:54AM (#27644249) Homepage Journal

    Why? From what I've seen, the recent UltraSPARCs (T2, and possibly the Rock too) have the best performance-per-watt when running parallel workloads with few floating point ops and lots of I/O. Oracle workloads are parallel, with few floating point ops and lots of I/O. Shipping Oracle appliances on T2 chips means that they aren't having to pay another company a share of their profits for their CPU, and continuing to sell them to other people helps them offset more of the R&D costs.

    Oh, and Sun aren't the only company making SPARC chips. Some of the ones Sun has been selling for the past few years have been rebranded Fujitsu SPARC64s and there are a few companies selling SPARC32 (v8) systems for the embedded market, although they are less common than ARM and PowerPC.

[Apr 20, 2009] Sun goes to Oracle for $7.4B

Oracle+Sun has the power to seriously harm IBM. Solaris still has the highest market share among proprietary Unixes. And AIX is only third after HP-UX. Wonder if Solaris will become Oracle's main development platform again. Oracle is a top contributor to Linux and that might help to bridge the gap in shell and packaging. Telecommunications and database administrators always preferred Solaris over Linux.
Yahoo! Finance

Oracle Corp. snapped up computer server and software maker Sun Microsystems Inc. for $7.4 billion Monday, trumping rival IBM Corp.'s attempt to buy one of Silicon Valley's best known -- and most troubled -- companies.

... ... ...

Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's CEO, predicted the combination will create a "systems and software powerhouse" that "redefines the industry, redrawing the boundaries that have frustrated the industry's ability to solve." Among other things, he predicted Oracle will be able to offer its customers simpler computing solutions at less expensive prices by drawing upon Sun's technology.

... ... ...

Yet Oracle says it can run Sun more efficiently. It expects the purchase to add at least 15 cents per share to its adjusted earnings in the first year after the deal closes. The company estimated Santa Clara, Calif.-based Sun will contribute more than $1.5 billion to Oracle's adjusted profit in the first year and more than $2 billion in the second year.

If Oracle can hit those targets, Sun would yield more profit than the combined contributions of three other major acquisitions -- PeopleSoft Inc., Siebel Systems Inc. and BEA Systems -- that cost Oracle a total of more than $25 billion.

A deal with Oracle might not be plagued by the same antitrust issues that could have loomed over IBM and Sun, since there is significantly less overlap between the two companies. Still, Oracle could be able to use Sun's products to enhance its own software.

Oracle's main business is database software. Sun's Solaris operating system is a leading platform for that software. The company also makes "middleware," which allows business computing applications to work together. Oracle's middleware is built on Sun's Java language and software.

Calling Java the "single most important software asset we have ever acquired," Ellison predicted it would eventually help make Oracle's middleware products generate as much revenue as its database line does.

Sun's takeover is a reminder that a few missteps and bad timing can cause a star to come crashing down.

Sun was founded in 1982 by men who would become legendary Silicon Valley figures: Andy Bechtolsheim, a graduate student whose computer "workstation" for the Stanford University Network (SUN) led to the company's first product; Bill Joy, whose work formed the basis for Sun's computer operating system; and Stanford MBAs Vinod Khosla and Scott McNealy.

Sun was a pioneer in the concept of networked computing, the idea that computers could do more when lots of them were linked together. Sun's computers took off at universities and in the government, and became part of the backbone of the early Internet. Then the 1990s boom made Sun a star. It claimed to put "the dot in dot-com," considered buying a struggling Apple Computer Inc. and saw its market value peak around $200 billion.

[Apr 17, 2009] Adobe Reader 9 released - Linux and Solaris x86 by Ashutosh Sharma

Tabbed viewing was added
Adobe Reader 9.1 for Linux and Solaris x86 has been released today. Solaris x86 support was one of the most requested feature by users. As per the Reader team's announcement, this release includes the following major features:

- Support for Tabbed Viewing (prevbr> - Super fast launch, and better performance than previous releases
- Integration with
- IPv6 support
- Enhanced support for PDF portfolios (

The complete list is available here.

Adobe Reader 9.1 is now available for download and works on OpenSolaris, Solaris 10 and most modern Linux distributions such as Ubuntu 8.04, PCLinuxOS, Mandriva 2009, SLED 10, Mint Linux 6 and Fedora 10.

See also Sneak Preview of the Tabbed Viewing interface in Adobe Reader 9.x (on Ubuntu)

[Apr 16, 2009] Solaris_Filesystem_Choices

Solaris Filesystem Choices

posted by John Finigan on Mon 21st Apr 2008 19:00 UTC

When it comes to dealing with storage, Solaris 10 provides admins with more choices than any other operating system. Right out of the box, it offers two filesystems, two volume managers, an iscsi target and initiator, and, naturally, an NFS server. Add a couple of Sun packages and you have volume replication, a cluster filesystem, and a hierarchical storage manager. Trust your data to the still-in-development features found in OpenSolaris, and you can have a fibre channel target and an in-kernel CIFS server, among other things. True, some of these features can be found in any enterprise-ready UNIX OS. But Solaris 10 integrates all of them into one well-tested package. Editor's note: This is the first of our published submissions for the 2008 Article Contest.

The details of the whole Solaris storage stack could fill a book, so in this article I will focus only on filesystems. There are four common on-disk filesystems for Solaris, and my goal is to familiarize the reader with each of them, and to mention a few deployment scenarios where each is appropriate.


UFS in its various forms has been with us since the days of BSD on VAXen the size of refrigerators. The basic UFS concepts thus date back to the early 1980s and represent the second pass at a workable UNIX filesystem, after the very slow and simple filesystem that shipped with the truly ancient Version 7 UNIX. Almost all commercial UNIX OSs have had a UFS, and ext3 in Linux is similar to UFS in design. Solaris inherited UFS through SunOS, and SunOS in turn got it from BSD.

Until recently, UFS was the only filesystem that shipped with Solaris. Unlike HP, IBM, SGI, and DEC, Sun did not develop a next-generation filesystem during the 1990s. There are probably at least two reasons for this: most competitors developed their new filesystems using third party code which required per-system royalties, and the availability of VxFS from Veritas. Considering that a lot of the other vendors' filesystem IP was licensed from Veritas anyway, this seems like a reasonable decision.

Solaris 10 can only boot from a UFS root filesystem. In the future, ZFS boot will be available, as it already is in OpenSolaris. But for now, every Solaris system must have at least one UFS filesystem.

UFS is old technology but it is a stable and fast filesystem. Sun has continuously tuned and improved the code over the last decade and has probably squeezed as much performance out of this type of FS as is possible. Journaling support was added in Solaris 7 at the turn of the century and has been enabled by default since Solaris 9. Before that, volume level journaling was available. In this older scheme, changes to the raw device are journaled, and the filesystem is not journaling-aware. This is a simple but inefficient scheme, and it worked with a small performance penalty. Volume level journaling is now end-of-lifed, but interestingly, the same sort of system seems to have been added to FreeBSD recently. What is old is new again.

UFS is accompanied by the Solaris Volume Manager, which provides perfectly servicible software RAID.

Where does UFS fit in in 2008? Besides booting, it provides a filesystem which is stable and predictable and better integrated into the OS than anything else. ZFS will probably replace it eventually, but for now, it is a good choice for databases, which have usually been tuned for a traditional filesystem's access characteristics. It is also a good choice for the pathologically conservative administrator, who may not have an exciting job, but who rarely has his nap time interrupted.


ZFS has gotten a lot of hype. It has also gotten some derision from Linux folks who are accustomed to getting that hype themselves. ZFS is not a magic bullet, but it is very cool. I like to think that if UFS and ext3 were first generation UNIX filesystems, and VxFS and XFS were second generation, then ZFS is the first third generation UNIX FS.

ZFS is not just a filesystem. It is actually a hybrid filesystem and volume manager. The integration of these two functionalities is a main source of the flexibility of ZFS. It is also, in part, the source of the famous "rampant layering violation" quote which has been repeated so many times. Remember, though, that this is just one developer's aesthetic opinion. I have never seen a layering violation that actually stopped me from opening a file.

Being a hybrid means that ZFS manages storage differently than traditional solutions. Traditionally, you have a one to one mapping of filesystems to disk partitions, or alternately, you have a one to one mapping of filesystems to logical volumes, each of which is made up of one or more disks. In ZFS, all disks participate in one storage pool. Each ZFS filesystem has the use of all disk drives in the pool, and since filesystems are not mapped to volumes, all space is shared. Space may be reserved, so that one filesystem can't fill up the whole pool, and reservations may be changed at will. However, if you don't want to decide ahead of time how big each filesystem needs to be, there is no need to, and logical volumes never need to be resized. Growing or shrinking a filesystem isn't just painless, it is irrelevant.

ZFS provides the most robust error checking of any filesystem available. All data and metadata is checksummed (SHA256 is available for the paranoid), and the checksum is validated on every read and write. If it fails and a second copy is available (metadata blocks are replicated even on single disk pools, and data is typically replicated by RAID), the second block is fetched and the corrupted block is replaced. This protects against not just bad disks, but bad controllers and fibre paths. On-disk changes are committed transactionally, so although traditional journaling is not used, on-disk state is always valid. There is no ZFS fsck program. ZFS pools may be scrubbed for errors (logical and checksum) without unmounting them.

The copy-on-write nature of ZFS provides for nearly free snapshot and clone functionality. Snapshotting a filesystem creates a point in time image of that filesystem, mounted on a dot directory in the filesystem's root. Any number of different snapshots may be mounted, and no separate logical volume is needed, as would be for LVM style snapshots. Unless disk space becomes tight, there is no reason not to keep your snapshots forever. A clone is essentially a writable snapshot and may be mounted anywhere. Thus, multiple filesystems may be created based on the same dataset and may then diverge from the base. This is useful for creating a dozen virtual machines in a second or two from an image. Each new VM will take up no space at all until it is changed.

These are just a few interesting features of ZFS. ZFS is not a perfect replacement for traditional filesystems yet - it lacks per-user quota support and performs differently than the usual UFS profile. But for typical applications, I think it is now the best option. Its administrative features and self-healing capability (especially when its built in RAID is used) are hard to beat.


SAM and QFS are different things but are closely coupled. QFS is Sun's cluster filesystem, meaning that the same filesystem may be simultaneously mounted by multiple systems. SAM is a hierarchical storage manager; it allows a set of disks to be used as a cache for a tape library. SAM and QFS are designed to work together, but each may be used separately.

QFS has some interesting features. A QFS filesystem may span multiple disks with no extra LVM needed to do striping or concatenation. When multiple disks are used, data may be striped or round-robined. Round-robin allocation means that each file is written to one or two disks in the set. This is useful since, unlike striping, participation by all disks is not needed to fetch a file - each disk may seek totally independently. QFS also allows metadata to be separated from data. In this way, a few disks may serve the random metadata workload while the rest serve a sequential data workload. Finally, as mentioned before, QFS is an asymmetric cluster filesystem.

QFS cannot manage its own RAID, besides striping. For this, you need a hardware controller, a traditional volume manager, or a raw ZFS volume.

SAM makes a much larger backing store (typically a tape library) look like a regular UNIX filesystem. This is accomplished by storing metadata and often-referenced data on disk, and migrating infrequently used data in and out of the disk cache as needed. SAM can be configured so that all data is staged out to tape, so that if the disk cache fails, the tapes may be used like a backup. Files staged off of the disk cache are stored in tar-like archives, so that potentially random access of small files can become sequential. This can make further backups much faster.

QFS may be used as a local or cluster filesystem for large-file intensive workloads like Oracle. SAM and QFS are often used for huge data sets such as those encountered in supercomputing. SAM and QFS are optional products and are not cheap, but they have recently been released into OpenSolaris.


The Veritas filesystem and volume manager have their roots in a fault-tolerant proprietary minicomputer built by Veritas in the 1980s. They have been available for Solaris since at least 1993 and have been ported to AIX and Linux. They are integrated into HP-UX and SCO UNIX, and Veritas Volume Manager code has been used (and extensively modified) in Tru64 UNIX and even in Windows. Over the years, Veritas has made a lot of money licensing their tech, and not because it is cheap, but because it works.

VxFS has never been part of Solaris but, when UFS was the only option, it was a popular addition. VxVM and VxFS are tightly integrated. Through vxassist, one may shrink and grow filesystems and their underlying volumes with minimal trouble. VxVM provides online RAID relayout. If you have a RAID5 and want to turn it into a RAID10, no problem, no downtime. If you need more space, just convert it back to a RAID5. VxVM has a reputation for being cryptic, and to some extent it is, but it's not so bad and the flexibility is impressive.

VxFS is a fast, extent based, journaled, clusterable filesystem. In fact, it essentially introduced these features to the world, along with direct IO. Newer versions of VxFS and VxVM have the ability to do cross-platform disk sharing. If you ever wanted to unmount a volume from your AIX box and mount it on Linux or Solaris, now you can.

VxFS and VxVM are still closed source. A version is available from Symantec that is free on small servers, with limitations, but I imagine that most users still pay. Pricing starts around $2500 and can be shocking for larger machines. VxFS and VxVM are solid choices for critical infrastructure workloads, including databases.


These are the four major choices in the Solaris on-disk filesystem world. Other filesystems, such as ext2, have some degree of support in OpenSolaris, and FUSE is also being worked on. But if you are deploying a Solaris server, you are going to be using one or more of these four. I hope that you enjoyed this overview, and if you have any corrections or tales of UNIX filesystem history, please let me know.

About the Author

John Finigan is a Computer Science graduate student and IT professional specializing in backup and recovery technology. He is especially interested in the history of enterprise computing and in Cold War technology.

[Apr 15, 2009] AP sources: Sun deal cloudy after IBM pulls offer by BRIAN BERGSTEIN and JORDAN ROBERTSON

I would say the shadow of Jerry Yang fell on Jonathan I. Schwartz shoulders. Not only discussions were against the grain of Sun's staff beliefs, but they fails and thus hurt the company...
IBM Corp. withdrew its offer to buy Sun Microsystems Inc. for about $7 billion this weekend, clouding the prospects for a deal that would have shaken up the computing industry, The Associated Press has learned.

Talks were in their final stages in recent days, but IBM took its offer off the table after Sun terminated IBM's status as its exclusive negotiating partner, according to two people familiar with the situation, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose the negotiations.

One of these people said the two sides were still meeting Sunday.

Armonk, N.Y.-based IBM was believed to be offering about $9.50 per share for Sun. That was about double the price the Santa Clara, Calif.-based server and software maker was trading for when the discussions leaked last month. Sun shares closed Friday at $8.49.

Sun was one of the darlings of the dot-com era but spent most of this decade struggling to find its place, wrestling with huge losses and thousands of layoffs. As a result many analysts were not surprised Sun and IBM were in talks.

Sun still owns key server and business-software technologies that might fit in IBM's product and services lineup. But a deal likely would face antitrust questions, and in addition to haggling over price, Sun has been pushing IBM to make certain commitments to seeing the deal through such scrutiny.


Jordan Robertson reported from San Francisco.

[Apr 4, 2009] Slashdot IBM About To Buy Sun For $7 Billion

Re-The next headline is...

by RancidPickle (160946) on Friday April 03, @09:49AM (#27444103) Homepage

IBM today announced the outsourcing of 90% of Sun employees. "This will save us a good chunk of the $7B we paid for them," said an IBM representative.

Meanwhile, in Washington, IBM was approved to receive $3B in taxpayer money from the Keep America Working fund.

"First things first, but not necessarily in that order."
- Doctor Who

Re:The next headline is... (Score:5, Informative)

by Anonymous Meoward (665631) on Friday April 03, @11:01AM (#27445191)

If only this wasn't true.

I know folks in IBM (used to work there long ago myself), and who have just been pushed out. Those who left think they're the lucky ones. The remaining American workforce is stressed out over heavy workloads and fear of the impending (inevitable?) axe. Morale is slightly better there today than it was inside Dachau in 1943.

And yes, CEO Sam Palmisano has been lobbying Barack Obama personally to get some of the stimulus package. So your U.S. tax dollars will go to accelerate offshore outsourcing.

I pity Sun employees. I really do. They are about to become part of a company that is, undeniably, bad for America. (And they won't be staying long either.)

--- The American Way of Life is not a birthright. Hell, it's not even sustainable.
The GPL prevents Linux from "winning" (Score:2, Interesting)

by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 03, @10:58AM (#27445165)

Even an open source version is made available.

OpenSolaris is a last-ditch effort to remain relevant in the face of Linux [].

Solaris is doomed to fail because Sun made it unnecessarily baroque. Speaking as someone who cut their Sun teeth on SunOS 4.1.1 on sun3 (now is your cue, crusty Unix overlords, to come and tell me you started with sun2) I can conclusively say that while SunOS has come a long way it has also become continually more of a PITA. If it's so fucking great, why is Linux eating its lunch? Maybe ZFS and dtrace just aren't enough?

"Eating its lunch"?

Really? Get thee to a real customer that demands five 9s or better uptimes. Yeah, there are probably some - running IBM mostly. We'll see how IBM likes handing support revenue over to RedHat now that it looks like they'll have their own open-sourced OS that's not burdened by GPL restrictions.

Until Linux guarantees backwards binary compatibility, Solaris is going to stay put. Nothing sucks more than applying a patch and having your customer's app fail to run. And as long as backwards compatibility can be broken by some long-haired wackademic on his vision of free-software jihad deciding unilaterally "THIS IS THE RIGHT WAY TO DO IT!", Linux has a problem.

Ever try to back out an upgrade on Linux? Hint: enterprise customers do NOT upgrade their boxes by running yum or some

Sparc was dead anyway (Score:2)

by mikeee (137160) on Friday April 03, @12:14PM (#27446517)

No. Sad, but no:

Sun doesn't have the volume to do chips anymore. HP and Apple gave up a few years ago, and frankly I'm not so sure about IBM and AMD. Have you actually looked at real benchmarks for the Intel 5500 series (or Power, or Sparc)?

The SMT Sun machines were actually halfway competitive with x86 on throughput/performance, but not better, and single-threaded performance sucks. The Ultrasparc-VI/VII had improved but still weren't really competitive unless you needed a $500k box that was twice as fast as a $50k top-of-the-line x86. Power6 was better, but still not really competitive.

And now Nehalem is out - Intel's first real bottom-up redesign since they realized AMD was kicking their butts because nobody wanted to move onto a new Itanium architecture (which, by the way, was slow) - and it's all over but the screaming. Once the 4-socket 32-core Intel x86 is shipping by Q1 next year I'm not sure anybody else can really hang in in the processor market.

Sun has some real innovation in software, though (Java, Dtrace, ZFS, some of their new storage stuff). It'll be a real loss if IBM kills that.

Re:Sparc was dead anyway (Score:2)

by davecb (6526) * on Friday April 03, @04:44PM (#27451075) Homepage Journal

I'll mildly disagree re the CMT machines.

I was just doing capacity planning involving T5240s, and as a side task compared them to other machines, which included a 32-core Opteron box. The T5 handled more users and degraded less under (over-)load. Absolute performance was entirely consistent with 1.2 GHz x 128 threads versus 3.2 gHz x 32 threads, which is to say the Opteron was faster initially but slower under load.

Specifically, light-load Opteron performance was about 1.5:1 of the T5, heavy-load the other way around. Conclusion? it's a tradeoff: you take the horse that does best on your course (;-))


-- [email protected]

[Mar 28, 2009] Open source cuts across Sun's growth strategy News Software

March 19, 2009 | ZDNet Asia

However, the challenge Sun, and other open source vendors face is converting non-paying users to become paying users, noted Chee. "There are many open source software users out there, but they're not necessarily people who are paying for software services," he said.

[Mar 18, 2009] Report IBM is in talks to buy Sun

Network World

Global technology giant IBM is in talks to buy Sun in a deal that would expand its server market share, the Wall Street Journal reported WednesdayI

BM may pay as much as $6.5 billion in cash for Sun, the newspaper reported on its Web site, without naming its sources. That amount of money would be nearly double Sun's closing share price on Tuesday of $4.97 per share.

Sun had revenue of $3.2 billion last quarter, around $1.2 billion of it from server sales. That put Sun in fourth place in the server market, behind IBM ($4.9 billion, or 36% of the market), HP ($3.9 billion or 29%) and Dell ($1.4 billion).

Sun also has a software business, although that brings in little revenue. It made just $42 million last quarter from sales of its Solaris operating system and associated management and virtualization software. In February it struck a deal with HP to expand distribution of Solaris, complementing deals struck in 2007 with IBM and Dell.

It has a lot of open-source software, including the MySQL database, which it hasn't been able to monetize. It reported just $81 million in sales of MySQL licenses and related infrastructure last quarter, after paying $1 billion for the company in January last year.

[Feb 18, 2009] seccheck for Solaris 10

On reviewing the excellent security benchmarks available over at CI Security, I wanted to automate the security checks of my Solaris 10 servers and produce a highly detailed report listing all security warnings, together with recommendations for their resolution. The solution was seccheck - a modular host-security scanning utility. Easily expandable and feature rich, although at the moment only available for Solaris 10.

This doesn't cover 100% of the checks recommended by CI Security, but has 99% of them - the ones that I consider important. For example, I don't check X configuration because I always ensure my servers don't run X.


The source distribution should be unpacked to a suitable location. I suggest doing something like the following:

# mkdir /usr/local/seccheck
# chown root:root /usr/local/seccheck
# chmod 700 /usr/local/seccheck
# cd /usr/local/seccheck
# mkdir bin output
# cd /wherever/you/downloaded/seccheck
# gzip -dc ./seccheck-0.7.6.tar.gz | tar xf -
# cd seccheck-0.7.6
# mv modules.d /usr/local/seccheck/bin

Everything is implemented as bash shell scripts, so there are no really strict installation guidelines, place the files wherever you wish. You can specify an alternate location for the modules directory with the -m option anyway.

Using seccheck

By default, will search for a modules.d directory in the same directory in which the script is located. If your modules are not located there, you can use the -m option to specify an alternate module location, for example:

# ./ -m /security/seccheck/mymodules      

seccheck will then scan through the modules.d for valid seccheck modules (determined by filename). A seccheck module filename should be of the following format:

Where nn is a two digit integer that determines the order in which modules should be executed. For example, included with the current seccheck distribution you'll find the following files in modules.d:

# ls -1 modules.d

You can see that will be processed before, and so on. You can disable a module by renaming it something other than the convention, for example, by appending a .NOT suffix to the module filename.

A template is provided so that you can write your own seccheck modules.

By default, seccheck will write everything out to STDOUT and STDERR. If you want to redirect to an output file, just use the -o option and specify an output directory. After running the script, you'll be left with a file such as:


containing the output of your modules.


You can download the latest seccheck distribution, including all current modules, below:


User Contributed Modules

Please feel free to submit your own seccheck modules - send them through to [email protected]. Bear in mind that any scripts submitted will be distributed freely under the terms of the GPL. Also please note that these are user contributed modules, and as such are unsupported by me!

Module Name Author Date Added View Download Description Scott Everard 26/05/07 View D/L Check Solaris Audit Daemon configuration Scott Everard 26/05/07 View D/L Check Solaris Zones configuration

[Jan 4, 2009] The ongoing MySQL campaign []

BSD license vs. copyright assignment

Posted Jan 3, 2010 5:38 UTC (Sun) by JoeBuck (subscriber, #2330) [Link]

I'm not convinced. After all, the egcs developers successfully forked and then took over gcc development, even though the copyrights were assigned to the FSF the whole time.

It certainly made matters delicate, in that relations had to be maintained with the FSF during a very tense time. But a group of people who didn't own the copyright successfully put out releases that became the dominant branch of development for a couple of years.

For that reason, I'm confident that Oracle can't kill MySQL. It's true that Monty can't make money on non-GPL commercial licensing of the code or a derivative of the code, and maybe that's his angle.

The ongoing MySQL campaign

Posted Jan 3, 2010 2:04 UTC (Sun) by sitaram (subscriber, #5959) [Link]

> 3) You seem to belong to the people who more or less think "who cares about proprietary software anyway", which is a valid opinion, but we on the

In my other life, I do care about proprietary software, so that is not a valid interpretation of what I think.

I'm saying that (1) people who have commercial licenses should have factored in that risk [of owner, and therefore terms/cost, changing] when they decided to go for MySQL [I would have...], and (2) please stop pretending this affects OSS users because it doesn't.

> If because of (2) it wouldn't be possible or attractive to use MySQL also for proprietary software, MySQL becomes a less interesting option also for open source software. This is because often organizations want to standardize on as few options as possible, so they would be reluctant to pick an option that even potentially couldn't serve all their needs.

How many organisations do you know that have both proprietary products and open source products? Offhand I can't think of any, and even if you name a few, they're the exception. You don't mount worldwide campaigns to influence the EC on the basis of exceptions and rare cases.

> currently is GPLv2 and therefore incompatible with GPLv3 software and only Sun/Oracle can fix that. In other words Oracle could severely limit MySQL usage also on the open source side.

This is about the only valid point in the whole deal, but I chose to ignore it in all my writing because Monty himself (in says that "This is a problem, but less severe than the problem of economics." I will continue to ignore it for now, except for saying that if that was *all* the petition had, I'd have been with you.

> But the EU can regulate the merger event, if it thinks that it would be harmful to competition overall.

Again, if you want to play this as "commercial interests currently depending on MySQL will be harmed", fine. But Monty keeps saying "open source is affected", which I certainly do not agree with.

> As for the open question, don't take this as any official response, but the answer has already been given above: 1) The primary concern was always the MySQL customers that use MySQL for proprietary SW, not according to Monty, who has made this out to be a serious problem for open source and that he is trying to save the world for all of *us*.

> which is a significant part of the MySQL universe. (We have them to thank for funding most of the development work that is in MySQL

Circular reasoning, or confusing cause and effect. You used the GPL (and dual licensing) to force most of that revenue generation in the first place. The development model was closer to closed source than open source, so any 3rd party development would naturally gravitate that way. Now it wants to perpetuate itself.

Once again, nothing wrong with that, but please don't keep saying this affects the OSS world. That's the dishonest part, from my p.o.v.

The ongoing MySQL campaign

Posted Jan 3, 2010 6:36 UTC (Sun) by jjs (guest, #10315) [Link]

1. This does NOT affect commercial software. It affects Proprietary software versions of MySQL. Anyone (including Monty) can sell the GPL'd version of MySQL, and provide support. Anyone. This only affects those who want to sell a PROPRIETARY version of MySQL. Any customer of a proprietary version, just like any customer of ANY proprietary software, should have figured that into their decision to buy the software. That's a risk of proprietary software. They are free to change to Open Source, or to change to another database. Yes, it may be hard to move to another database, but that's a risk they should have factored in when they decided to use proprietary software. Companies selling proprietary software go out of business all the time, and their customers have to adapt. Again, this is a RISK of proprietary software, and their customers should have factored that risk into their decisions. If they did not, that is a bad business decision on THEIR part. NOT EU. NOT Oracle. NOT Sun. NOT Monty. NOT the F/LOSS Community.

2. Monty sold his right to sell proprietary versions when he sold to Sun. He got considerable money for it.

3. Anyone, including Monty, can choose to bid for MySQL - try and convince Oracle to sell it to him. Instead, Monty wants EU to dictate that Oracle GIVE him the code and right to proprietarize the software, WITHOUT paying for it.

4. Red Hat. IBM. Novell. Zope. Numerous companies have built successful business models around Open Source WITHOUT the dual licensing scheme. Dual Licensing is a business model. It's not the only business model.

5. Monty HAS stated that it's about Open Source. See 1 above - it is NOT about Open Source. It's about Monty wanting to have a proprietary business WITHOUT paying for it. He wants his cake and eat it too. EU should tell him flat out - you want the code, fork over the money. Monty (like every one else, since MySQL is GPLv2) is free to take the current code and support it for money. Whether or not he manages to make money is his problem. NOT Oracle's. NOT Sun's. NOT EU's. NOT US's

The ongoing MySQL campaign

Posted Jan 4, 2010 4:37 UTC (Mon) by jjs (guest, #10315) [Link]

1. How many were moving from Oracle to GPL MySQL? And, since the GPL version is and always will be around, and Monty (and many others can support), why did they stop the migration?

2. If they are moving to proprietary MySQL - see my comment. This is a known risk with proprietary software. If they didn't factor in they company could go out of business / discontinue the product, that's their problem for not being good businessmen.

3. How many are in the SW distribution business? If they merely use the software, they can use the GPL version with no restrictions. GPL only affects distribution.

4. They submitted their own papers - that's good, because THEY'RE the ones affected. You and Monty are NOT speaking for them, CANNOT speak for them (because they are NOT your customers).

5. Regarding funding. I know how you used to fund MySQL development. That's not the only model. Many others are funded differently (to include Linux by various entities funding development of a GPL product). Just because something worked in the past is no reason for the government to guarantee to you it will work in the future.

6. Read the top of this article. Monty presents this as an Open Source issue. EVERYTHING you have presented has to do with the proprietary version of MySQL. Nothing against that, but it is NOT an Open Source issue - you are misrepresenting it (or you're not being truthful here), and as such, I will now have to discount EVERYTHING you present (because of your known misrepresentation - if I can't trust your word on one thing, why should I trust it on another thing?).

Again, if you want to sell proprietary products, fine. But, having sold the company, don't expect or demand EU to GIVE you the company/business back for nothing. And don't represent your desire to have a proprietary business as being an "Open Source" issue.

[Dec 19, 2008] Toshiba To OEM Laptops With OpenSolaris

While Linux is OK as a low-end and middle-end server OS, it is more labor intensive from the system administration point of view and less stable. So much depends of the qualification of sysadmins and the level of complexity of the environment. For a very simple environments I would say Linux proved itself a success (for example in case Web providers).

But for more complex and/or business-critical applications, for example Oracle or Tivoli installations Solaris X86 might have an edge: There are problems with Linux that are pretty annoying for business critical applications. For example NFS fails to mount from the first time on boot, spontaneous reboots, patching dependency mechanism sometimes screw your custom compiled applications, etc.

As for laptop I would prefer Windows with VMware.
Re:I really like Solaris but... (Score:4, Interesting)

by David Gerard (12369) <slashdot&davidgerard,co,uk> on Friday December 19, @11:22AM (#26173629) Homepage

Depends. We use a lot of Sun boxes and a lot of Dell boxes. Solaris 10 on a Sun box (even an x86) is way easier to administer than Linux - particularly when things go wrong. The OS indicates problems very nicely in messages and syslog, better than RHEL does.

The downside is that modern open source software is too often written by coders who think "cross-platform" means "works on Fedora and Ubuntu."

So we end up doing things like running Solaris 10 on Dell boxes and RHEL on Sun servers ;-)

Sun's hardware is competitively priced and their service is really good (I'm in London), so we're very happy to stay with Sun boxes even running Linux.

Actually, I can see why they're doing this (Score:5, Informative)

by Lord Crowface (1315695) on Friday December 19, @10:28AM (#26172983)

I'm typing this from OpenSolaris 2008.11 and I'm actually surprised how "desktop-friendly" Solaris has actually become. The default GNOME-based desktop is gorgeous and works well. Hardware support may not be all that broad, but when hardware is supported it's REALLY supported: even booting off the live CD, my Atheros wireless card, NVidia 3D card and crappy on-mobo sound were "auto-magically" detected and set up. Performance is also quite snappy, even on my aging Athlon XP 3000+ with a measly 1 GB of RAM. In short, OpenSolaris is more than up to the task of working on Toshiba's new laptops.

[Dec 12, 2008] Sun deal puts OpenSolaris on Toshiba laptops News Software

"Features in OpenSolaris 2008.11 include Time Slider, a graphical interface slide bar that allows users to access previous versions of files."
ZDNet Asia
The laptops will be available in the United States from early 2009 and will come with the latest version of OpenSolaris: 2008.11.

"Toshiba and Sun are announcing that we're going to preconfigure and optimize OpenSolaris for certain Toshiba models," said Jim McHugh, Sun's vice president of data center software, in a promotional video.

The firms have yet to release details on availability elsewhere, pricing or which laptop models would feature the operating system.

OpenSolaris is Sun's flagship operating system, designed for desktop, server and high-performance computing environments. Features in OpenSolaris 2008.11 include Time Slider, a graphical interface slide bar that allows users to access previous versions of files.

"Time Slider lets us integrate ZFS [file system] snapshots taken automatically by the system with a standard window environment file browser," said Stephen Hahn, OpenSolaris project lead. "It lets you access previous versions of your source code, of your word-processing document or any other thing that you're saving on your system."

Developers will have greater access to repositories, said Sun, and will be able to deliver code to OpenSolaris users through the updated package manager.

Sun also extended its OpenSolaris subscription options. There will be two subscription plans: 'production' and 'essentials'.

[Sep 11, 2008] The LXF Guide 10 tips for lazy sysadmins Linux Format The website of the UK's best-selling Linux magazine

A lazy sysadmin is a good sysadmin. Time spent in finding more-efficient shortcuts is time saved later on for that ongoing project of "reading the whole of the internet", so try Juliet Kemp's 10 handy tips to make your admin life easier...

  1. Cache your password with ssh-agent
  2. Speed up logins using Kerberos
  3. screen: detach to avoid repeat logins
  4. screen: connect multiple users
  5. Expand Bash's tab completion
  6. Automate your installations
  7. Roll out changes to multiple systems
  8. Automate Debian updates
  9. Sanely reboot a locked-up box
  10. Send commands to several PCs

[Sep 10, 2008] Sun Microsystems Expands Virtualization Portfolio with Sun xVM; Targets Windows, Linux and UNIX Virtualization Market with Open, Internet-Scale Offerings

The xVM Server is a bare-metal hypervisor based on the open source Xen under a Solaris environment on x86-64 systems. On SPARC systems, xVM is based on Sun's Logical Domains and Solaris. Sun supports Microsoft Windows (on x86-64 systems only), Linux, and Solaris as guest operating systems. For the first time, Windows guests will be able to benefit from Predictive Self-Healing and ZFS which are built into the Sun xVM Server. Since the Sun xVM hypervisor work is being done in the community, the capabilities are available with Open Solaris. Sun launched, a new open source community, where developers can download the first source code bundle for Sun xVM Server software and contribute to the direction and development of the product. Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.0 release will support Microsoft's VHD format. See also

With the new Sun xVM Server software, Sun delivers an easy-to-use, open source, datacenter-grade server virtualization solution to virtualize and manage heterogeneous workloads, including Windows, Red Hat and SUSE Linux, Solaris and OpenSolaris operating systems, on Sun x86 platforms and SPARC-based servers. With a state-of-the-art web GUI, Sun xVM Server software provides built-in management through a browser, enterprise-class scalability, reliability and security. Sun xVM Server software is designed to interoperate with VMware and uses the same virtual hard disk and virtual appliance formats, enabling customers to easily move workloads between VMware ESX and Sun xVM Server software.

With the release of Sun xVM Ops Center 2.0, Sun provides integrated, simplified management of virtual and physical environments. The new release adds virtual guest management to its existing ability to manage physical infrastructures, making it easier for users to manage thousands of geographically distributed systems simultaneously. Sun xVM Ops Center's best-of-class software lifecycle management simplifies and accelerates the discovery, provisioning, updating, monitoring and reporting of physical and virtual assets, as well as compliance reporting via one unified browser-based interface.

... ... ...

Sun offers standalone subscriptions for Sun xVM Server software and Sun xVM Ops Center, as well as additional options that offer the combined benefits of the two products, allowing customers to virtualize and manage at Internet scale. Commercial subscriptions are priced annually in four-socket increments and provide premium 24X7 support, access to the latest, up-to-the-minute patches and updates, as well as installation and training. Available pricing options include:

  • Sun xVM Server software: Priced at $500/year per physical server.
  • Sun xVM Infrastructure Enterprise Subscription: Priced at $2000 per physical server per year, the enterprise subscription is designed to simplify the management of large scale virtualized environments and includes advanced features, such as management of live migration and of multiple network storage libraries.
  • Sun xVM Infrastructure Datacenter Subscription: Priced at $3000 per server per year, this option includes all the features in the Sun xVM Infrastructure Enterprise Subscription in addition to physical server monitoring, management and advanced software lifecycle management capabilities.
  • Sun xVM Ops Center: Available from $100 per managed server up to $350 a year, depending on customer selected features, along with a required $10,000 Satellite Server annual subscription for Sun xVM Ops Center.

[Sep 9, 2008] The Solaris Crash Analysis Tool 5.0 provides a friendly environment for quickly analyzing Solaris system crash dumps. Now supports Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris.

[Sep 8, 2008] BigAdmin Description - Solaris Internals and Performance FAQ

Description: This site provides information supporting the Solaris Internals books published by Jim Mauro, Richard McDougall and Brendan Gregg. Our aim is to provide links to pertinent reference material and tools discussed in the book, plus any new and relevant information about the Solaris operating system since publication.

Updated for the addition of the 2nd Edition as well as the 'Solaris Performance and Tools: DTrace and MDB Techniques for Solaris 10 and OpenSolaris' companion book.

We are developing a community to provide a go-to reference for the key information related to Solaris Performance. Here we aim to provide a top level index to the essential performance information, by either linking to existing references (blogs etc...) and providing original documentation where necessary.

[Sep 8, 2008] VirtualBox 2.0 released!

Today is a significant day in the history of VirtualBox. The brand new version 2.0 comes with major enhancements such as 64-bit VMs, stronger networking capabilities and a native Mac OS X interface. See the change log and check out the press release for the full story.

[Jul 2, 2008] Sun Brilliant For MySQL Purchase by Mitchell Ashley

Can Oracle adoption of Red Hat backfire in such an interesting way ?
Jan 16, 2008 |

The real loser in the deal? Oracle. MySQL has now just been thrust into the mainstream with the market and corporate muscle of Sun. As much as Oracle would like to claim dominance in Linux land, everyone knows that MySQL and Postgres are favorites for anyone without a must-have Oracle on Linux requirement.

[Jun 26, 2008] Project details for Patch Check Advanced

Perl-based tool
Patch Check Advanced (pca) generates lists of installed and missing patches for Sun Solaris systems and optionally downloads patches. It resolves dependencies between patches and installs them in the correct order. It works on all versions of Solaris and on both SPARC and x86.

Release focus: Minor feature enhancements

Checks for patches 137112, 119252, and 119253 have been added. Ignorable errors message from showrev are no longer shown. The list of contributors has been updated.

[Jun 15, 2008] Sun Microsystems to mix hard, flash memory drives - The Boston Globe

Computer maker Sun Microsystems Inc. said it will introduce a line of servers and data storage products that use a combination of hard drives and flash memory drives to speed up performance. Sun's move comes nearly six months after EMC Corp. of Hopkinton became the first major storage vendor to add flash memory to its high-end storage arrays.

"This is the most exciting thing to happen in storage in 20 years," said John Fowler, Sun's executive vice president of systems, during a meeting with journalists in Boston yesterday. Although Sun is based in Santa Clara, Calif., the company unveiled its plans in Boston because Massachusetts is a major center for data storage technology, according to Graham Lovell, senior director of open storage and networking.

Flash memory drives use chips rather than mechanical hard drives to store information. Their use is popular in consumer devices like MP3 music players and digital cameras. The chips cost far more than the equivalent amount of hard drive storage, but flash memories are smaller, lighter, and require less electricity.

Sun and EMC say flash drives are ideal for business users who need to swap huge amounts of data in and out of computer systems. Flash chips read and write information thousands of times faster than hard drives, enabling enormous increases in processing speeds, resulting in improved efficiency and savings. In addition, Fowler said Sun's flash memory drives use only about two watts of power, compared to roughly 12 watts for a typical hard drive.

While EMC only makes storage gear, Sun is a major vendor of server and storage equipment. Sun plans to introduce servers that replace some of the standard hard drives with faster flash drives. Fowler said in addition to conserving electricity, the servers will deliver three times the data throughput of servers using only standard hard drives.

Sun is scheduled to introduce its new products in the second half of this year.

Jonathan Schwartz's Blog: Anything But a Flash in the Pan

There are only two kinds of storage devices - those that have failed, and those that are about to fail. That's the view most datacenters have about the traditionally mechanical devices pejoratively referred to as "spinning rust." All disk drives fail, cheap drives fail faster.

If the average time to fail is five years, you and your laptop can make do with the occasional backup. But when an average enterprise has 100, or 1,000, or increasingly 10,000 or 100,000 individual disk drives, failure is a daily, if not hourly occurrence. Mechanical devices fail.

And with failure comes the potential for losing data - using commodity disks to save your boss $500,000 does her no good if she's fined $50,000,000 for violating data retention regulations. Stock transactions, medical images or feature length movies - take your pick, some data has to be perfect. Not a decimal point or pixel out of place.

That's exactly why, years ago, Sun invented a storage platform called ZFS. ZFS makes a powerful assumption - that a reliable system must be built from unreliable parts. By using surplus computing cycles, ZFS constantly runs powerful integrity checks, giving data corruption no place to hide. With ZFS, customers can use the cheapest disks and simplest systems, and get exceptional data integrity, along with massive reductions in cost and complexity.

But there's a new option on the table, known to many by the memory cards they use in their phones, iPods or digital cameras - called Flash memory. Flash is very fast at reading and writing data, like DRAM (the memory chips in your computer). Its price sits squarely between DRAM and traditional disk drives. But unlike either alternative, Flash requires no power to remember data. And with the price of electricity escalating across the world, keeping 10,000 disks spinning at thousands of rpm can cost you in power what you pay for your storage. Power has become the dominant factor in high scale hardware decisions - and Flash is set to disrupt the industry.

.... .... ...

But simply introducing Flash as yet another tier of storage in a datacenter isn't the real opportunity - that adds new costs and a set of new management hassles. To truly change the industry, adding Flash would have to be completely transparent to users and operators, alike, with no switching or operational cost. And that's exactly what we're doing with ZFS. ZFS will transparently incorporate Flash into the storage hierarchy of a running system, using the microprocessor cache for the most performance sensitive tasks, DRAM for the next, then Flash, then disk (then ultimately tape). ZFS will allow Flash to join DRAM and commodity disks to form a hybrid pool automatically used by ZFS to achieve the best price, performance and energy efficiency conceivable. Simply put, our storage and server systems will get enormously faster - without any upgrade to the microprocessor. Adding Flash will be like adding DRAM - once it's in, there's no new administration, just new capability.

... ... ...

The second problem is trickier - simply put, although Flash memory can be read an infinite number of times, writing to Flash more than a few hundred thousand times can wear it out. Now, most normal humans will never hit 500,000 writes in a digital camera. But you might in your enterprise. What to do?

[Jun 6, 2008] Sun to embed flash storage in nearly all its servers - Network World

Sun will release a 32GB flash storage drive this year and make flash storage an option for nearly every server the vendor produces, Sun officials are announcing Wednesday. (Compare storage products)

Like EMC, Sun is predicting big things for flash. While flash storage is far more expensive than disk on a per-gigabyte basis, Sun argues that flash is cheaper for high-performance applications that rely on fast IOPS (I/O Operations Per Second) speeds.

"It consumes one-fifth the power and is a hundred times faster [than rotating disk drives]," John Fowler, the head of Sun's servers and storage division, said at a press conference in Boston Tuesday. "The fact that it's not the same dollars per gigabyte is perfectly okay."

Sun held back some details on the products. It's not clear when in 2008 they will be released, and while Fowler passed around an engineering prototype of the 32GB drive he would not say which chip manufacturer Sun is working with to build it. EMC relies on chip maker STEC for its flash drives. Fowler did say that one of Sun's partners is Intel, which announced a solid state flash drive last year.

Customers will be able to get flash storage embedded in nearly any server they buy from Sun by the end of the calendar year, Fowler says. (Compare server products) "That's the easiest place to put it, because you have a high-performance I/O subsystem that's very close," he says.

Even the most optimistic industry players say flash isn't about to replace most disk storage. Fowler said a server containing small amounts of flash might be connected to large disk arrays. Essentially, the data needed most quickly would reside in flash.

"You could have one of our servers with a collection of solid state drives in it connected to traditional arrays," he says. Sun's ZFS file system lets customers aggregate multiple types of storage devices into one centrally managed pool. "ZFS allows you to manage this as a hybrid storage pool where the local [flash drives] in the front of the server are used for these logs and caching and the big [disk] arrays are used for these petabytes of storage."

The majority of enterprises building I/O-intensive applications will use some amount of flash within a year, Fowler predicted. Databases like Oracle, MySQL and IBM DB2 are ideal candidates, he says.

[May 12, 2008] Sun exec ponders OpenSolaris, Linux by Paul Krill, InfoWorld

12/05/2008 | Computerworld
Ian Murdock is vice president of developer and community marketing at Sun Microsystems.

... ... ...

What do you do at Sun? I see the OpenSolaris project seems to fall onto your plate.

Initially I was working on OpenSolaris and started Project Indiana, which culminated this week [with] the first version of the OpenSolaris binary distribution. These days I am running the developer and community marketing organization, so I am responsible for marketing Sun's developer tools, the developer programs like Sun Developer Network and Tech Days Events, our open-source projects and communities. [Also, I do marketing for] StarOffice, OpenOffice, So basically anything that relates to the developer community in some way, I run the marketing piece of that.

Is Sun completely open source with its software right now?

Well, not entirely, but that's again mostly a function of how complex it is to take a piece of intellectual property that has not been open source and then moving it into open source. We are in the process of open sourcing all of our software, as [Sun President/CEO Jonathan Schwartz] has said many times. But, for example, with Solaris there, are still a few bits and pieces that have been licensed from other companies. We are working out the arrangements with those companies to be able to open source them.

What pieces are those?

Well, for example, some device drivers [and] certain bits of functionality that were licensed.

I heard a former Sun official last year who basically said that he thought Sun was kind of moving too fast with open source, maybe over-emphasizing it a bit. You're probably going to disagree with that, but how would you respond to that?

I think the big question around open source is how do you make money from it? And it's because the software industry has traditionally been built on an intellectual property licensing model. But the reality of the situation is with the rise of open-source software, developers don't buy things anymore. [It is] a world where you can go to the Web and download just about anything you could possibly need to put an application into production. So you don't monetize at the point of acquisition of software any longer, you have to monetize at a different place. So it's not to say that there is not money to be made in software, it's just made at a different place, and the different place is with all of the developers adopting technology, putting it into production, some of those applications that are deployed are going to be successful. They're going to run into the traditional challenges of having to grow and scale that application. They're going to need to have a relationship with the vendor behind the technology. So there are ample opportunities to make money because even though open source is free in the monetary sense, it still requires a lot of expertise and knowhow to make it operate efficiently. So there's plenty of opportunity there to add value.

I heard two different computer industry executives make the following comments. One is, how do you have a software industry if there's open source? And the other is, open source lowers revenues for everybody. How would you respond to those?

Well again, open source is only free or free software is only free if your time is free. And I don't know about you, but my time is definitely not free. And in terms of lowering revenues, I don't think that's necessarily true. I think the money changes to a different place. The revenue opportunity changes to a different place. So it's a disruptive event in the software industry. But disruptive events create opportunities for those who are agile enough or have the foresight to see the changes that are coming and can adapt. And so Sun's embrace of open source is just a part of adapting and changing with the changing of landscape. There's still plenty of money to be made, it's just shifting to a different place. Again, pay at the point of deriving some value from having a relationship with your vendor versus pay to get access to the technology.

With OpenSolaris, Sun changed the packaging to make it more like Linux. Is it too late for OpenSolaris to compete against Linux?

No, I don't think it's too late at all. In fact, I think there's a huge amount of interest in the Linux community for the technologies that we have in Solaris. So whether it's ZFS (Zettabyte File System) or DTrace [providing a dynamic tracing framework] or containers or any of those things. And the problem has always been barriers to adoption, right? The changes that we have put into OpenSolaris are primarily designed to lower barriers to adoption to that technology that the market has been wanting, but it has been too difficult to this point for to get at it. It'll be interesting to see how OpenSolaris is received in the Linux community. I would look at it as it's not so much an OpenSolaris versus Linux thing. We're putting another alternative out into the marketplace just like Ubuntu is an alternative and Red Hat is an alternative and SuSE is an alternative.

As somebody who has developed Debian and now is an advocate for OpenSolaris, which do you see as superior?

I think they're both good for different reasons. One of the advantages of Debian is it has a huge ecosystem of packages around it, so just about anything you could possibly want is just an app to get installed away. OpenSolaris has some of this functionality, like ZFS and D-Trace, that Debian -- or no Linux distribution for that matter -- has. So it all depends on the application environment.

Won't those capabilities you mentioned be added to Debian in other Linux distributions?

Well no, because those are part of the Solaris platform, and Debian is based on Linux. Now certainly we're going to see a lot of the reverse happening, so now that we have the package system in place around OpenSolaris, we have the same kind of infrastructure around it to enable bringing in this open-source software that is available for Debian.

No one is permitted to take ZFS and port it to Linux?

Well, today the licenses are not compatible with each other, so that can't be done.

What are the differences in the licensing?

Linux is governed by the GNU Public License, or GPL, and open source is governed by the CDDL, the Common Development and Distribution License.

Why CDDL and not GPL like you did for Java?

Well, OpenSolaris was open sourced, what, a year and a half before Java? There's a desire in some of our customer base to have a license that allows you to build value-added products on top of OpenSolaris. And so the ability to easily drive commercial versions based on Solaris technology was one of the drivers behind the CDDL. And basically, the CDDL is just a slightly modified version of the Mozilla Public License, so it is an OSI-approved open-source license. It's no more or less open source than a GPL is. But it turns out that the GPL is very restrictive, and so you can't combine some of the things that the CDDL says with some of the things that the GPL says.

What are you expecting developers to do with Open Solaris?

I think first of all, there's going to be a lot of experimentation now that the barriers are gone for a Linux developer, a Linux user to take a look at what OpenSolaris has to offer. We are spending a lot of time understanding what those developers are doing; namely, how they are moving up the stack and working in environments like PHP and Ruby on Rails. So how do we describe the capabilities of Solaris, such as DTrace, in a way that's relevant to them? For example, OpenSolaris is going to be an ideal environment for Web-facing applications because we've moved the DTrace functionality up into somebody's Web application frameworks. And if you think about it, the basic problem behind a Web application is, particularly if you are successful, how do you scale? If you build an application, you put it out there, you gain a large user base, people start hitting your servers, you have to figure out where in your code you need to optimize so that you can scale along with it. DTrace offers those kinds of developer's capabilities that are not available on any other operating system.

What do you see happening with the Amazon-based hosted version of OpenSolaris?

That represents yet another barrier to entry being removed. Now you can take advantage of these same capabilities without necessarily having to provision your own infrastructure. And it's all a part of the same trends that you've seen coming out of Sun over the last several years. The embrace of AMD and Intel, Linux, Windows. I mean, it's all about how do we get Sun technology as broadly adopted as possible, no matter what the vehicle?

Do you see a role for OpenSolaris in the Web 2.0 world?

Absolutely. If you are building a Web application and you become popular, your servers are getting hammered by all of these users who are coming, how do you scale with the increasing demand? And we've actually done this in several Web 2.0 shops where they've run into scaling problems, we've been able to come in, point DTrace at it, and extract some very amazing performance improvements in a very short amount of time. So we feel that now that the barriers to adoption have been removed, we're going to be able to play a much bigger role in this space than we have with Solaris 10 and previous.

Is there anything else you wanted to bring up?

One of the things to watch here in the coming months is what we are doing around [which is Sun's grid-based cloud computing platform]. At Sun we are fully committed to open source. To your earlier question about open source and business, we have a very clearly defined business model where the core offerings that are for developers are free and open source, no barriers to adoption. The one interesting question is what role does open source play in a world where software is no longer delivered as a product but rather delivered as a service? Web 2.0, for example, wouldn't be possible without open source. But why are people going to open source? They're going to open source for the same reason that they went to open standards and open systems. [There is] the desire to not be locked into a single vendor. Are we going back to the 30-year-old model in the pursuit of simplicity and moving everything into the cloud? I think you're going to see, coming out of Sun and around in particular, some pretty interesting answers to these questions.

[May 7, 2008] Patch Check Advanced 20080507 by Dagobert Michelsen

About: Patch Check Advanced (pca) generates lists of installed and missing patches for Sun Solaris systems and optionally downloads patches. It resolves dependencies between patches and installs them in the correct order. It works on all versions of Solaris and on both SPARC and x86.

Changes: HTML tags in patchdiag.xref are ignored. This change from Sun to patchdiag.xref breaks compatibility with all previous versions of PCA and makes updating mandatory. An option for concurrent patch downloads was added. A new option to set sunsolve access protocol to HTTPS was added. wgetproxy options for non-SunSolve URLs are honored as well. The file ../etc/pca-proxy.conf is read in proxy mode. Checks for several patches were added.

[May 6, 2008] Joyent Accelerator

Cloud Computing with Joyent Accelerators

Software previously installed on personal computers is being shifted or extended to be accessible via the Internet. The term for this is "cloud computing". In the cloud, you run your application on one (or many) virtual computers. The advantages to this approach include reduced up front hardware costs, reduced maintenance and administrative costs, the ability to match hardware and software capabilities and, most importantly, the flexibility to scale your site up and down depending on demand.

Joyent's Cloud

Our Accelerator™ powered compute cloud provides a highly scalable on-demand infrastructure for running web sites, including rich web applications written in Ruby on Rails, PHP, Python and Java. Joyent Accelerators are next-generation virtual computers that can grow and multiply (or shrink and consolidate) depending on the real world demands faced by your Web application.

Accelerators are built on OpenSolaris, multi-core (8+), RAM-rich servers (32GB+ each) and vast amounts of NAS storage. Accelerators are deployed in the best routing and switching fabric (Force 10) and the best load-balancers (F5 Networks) available (and always will be).

Proven Track Record

  • We have the largest OpenSolaris installation in the world
  • Joyent manages hundreds of TBs of storage in each datacenter
  • We serve billions of web pages each month for our customers
  • Joyent delivers and receives hundreds of millions of emails every month

Joyent's Storage is Real, Not Virtual

OpenSolaris' ZFS filesystem provides seamless access to as much NAS powered storage as you need. This means that if the system goes down, you do not need to suffer through a long boot as you re-instantiate an entire virtual machine, with data, from a remote data store. Instead, your data is still there on your disks and the Open Solaris means you can be up and running within 10 seconds.

Rails Applications Rock On Joyent

Joyent has a long successful history of scaling Ruby on Rails Web applications to thousands and tens of thousands of requests/second, including our own Joyent Connector collaboration suite. If you build in Rails, Joyent's experience can prove invaluable.

Open and Standards Based Means No Lock-In

We are going to try and get you hooked on our great support, first class infrastructure and flexibility; but we are never going to lock you in. If you become the next billion dollar Web wonder, this means your set-up is entirely portable. Of course, you then have to invest a huge amount in off the shelf hardware.

Buy what you need, when you need it

[May 4, 2008] Sun launches OpenSolaris, inks deal with Amazon Tech news blog - CNET by Mike Ricciuti

Details are at Amazon Web Services @ Prices can be calculated using JavaScript-based Amazon Web Services Simple Monthly Calculator
Sun Microsystems on Monday said it has released OpenSolaris, an open source version of its Solaris operating system, and announced a deal with

The OpenSolaris project has been under development for more than three years. Sun hopes to popularize the operating system with developers, students and other traditional Linux users.

In addition, Sun said it has partnered with to release OpenSolaris as an on-demand service as part of's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). OpenSolaris will be available for operating system and storage services as part of the overall EC2 service, which starts at 10 cents per CPU-hour, the company said. Sun touts OpenSolaris as the most robust Unix-flavored operating system.

OpenSolaris will offer some interesting features intended to appeal to the curious, such as the ability to run the operating system from CD and a system for easily rolling-back installations.

[Apr 28, 2008] Sun Trying to do the right thing by Dave Neary

Great post ! "What irks me is that many in the Linux community seem to *want* Sun to fail. This is discouraging and totally counter-productive to the ideals of Free Software that most in the Linux community claim to adhere to."
April 28, 2008 | Safe as Milk

I've been annoyed by some of the Sun-bashing that has been going on over the past few months and years. I've written in the past about my belief that Sun are trying to do the right thing, and my appreciation for the investment that they've put into projects I care about. And yet no matter what they do, it seems like there are nay-sayers working to undermine Sun's community-building efforts at every turn.

Here's a few examples of Sun-bashing that I've seen recently:

  • No projects primarily sponsored by Sun get accepted to the Google Summer of Code (unless you count MySQL). Rumour has it that Sun were told not to bother applying. Of course the Summer of Code is Google's baby, and as such they decide who gets to participate and who doesn't. They don't even have to explain themselves.
  • Linux Foundation employees repeatedly criticising OpenSolaris and Sun. I suppose that this is to be expected from a group that is representing its members, and sees the OpenSolaris kernel as direct competition to the Linux kernel, but it's just as disappointing to me as when I see KDE or GNOME hackers ripping into each other
  • Press articles in Slashdot [2] [3] and elsewhere consistently spinning things as "Sun's free software efforts aren't sincere" interspersed with "Sun is ruining <insert project here>".

I feel like a lot of this rhetoric is self-fulfilling prophecy. If you say often enough "Sun is a bad community player", then Sun's projects will seem unattractive to prospective volunteers.

All of this completely ignores the many great free software people who are working for Sun - to name just a few, Glynn Foster, Simon Phipps, Dalibor Topic, Ian Murdoch, Rich Burridge. These people are extremely clueful about free software and community interests. And the message which we have seen consistently from Jonathan Schwarz over the past couple of years reinforces that there is a commitment to free, community developed software, and there are many capable people working towards that commitment within Sun.

So why the difficulties? Many of them, I think, are project specific, and stem from this fundamental fact:

Community governance is hard.

Or, to be more precise, building appropriate community governance around what was proprietary software is insanely difficult.

If you look at the major Sun contributions over the years - OpenOffice, Java, OpenSolaris, Netbeans, GlassFish, GNOME, and more recently the purchase of MySQL, the only one of these projects which has been Sun approaching an existing community project and participating in it is GNOME. MySQL is also a special case, where Sun acquired GPL software.

In every other case, the projects have come from freeing a large body of code created in a proprietary environment. And every single project I know which was born like this has had trouble building a community. Ask these guys. This doesn't just happen on its own.

When Jamie Zawinski resigned from the Mozilla project, it was one year since the code had been freed. When Joel Spolsky criticised them for not shipping product, it was over two years old. When Firefox (then Firebird) shipped its first usable browser, Mozilla was a grand old man of 4. When Firefox 1.0 shipped, the source code had been released over 6 years beforehand.

It is much easier to get governance right when it Just Happens.

The guy who founded the project is the Boss. A bunch of active developers fork and become new Founding Fathers.

The company controlling the software fully expects to pay everyone who will develop the software, and gets outside contributors to sign away their copyright.

In all of these cases, the expectations are set by the status quo. No-one would expect Mark Spencer to accept a feature from someone who hadn't signed a copyright assignment. That's not the way Asterisk works. No-one would expect a feature to be accepted into Linux if Linus doesn't want it. People expect a consensus-based approach in Inkscape.

And yet from all of what I've read, some people expected Sun to go from proprietary kernel development (with a team of proprietary kernel developers, and layers of proprietary software managing managers above them) to a bazaar overnight (or, at the very least, very quickly). Perhaps that's because of the way Sun presented this to the community, perhaps it's because certain people knew that was an unrealistic expectation, and set Sun up to beat them over the head with the "you're not open" stick when they "failed" to completely open the project in the first year.

Personally, I'd like to see as much energy going into helping Sun get things right as is currently going into knocking every effort they make to do so on their own. There are a great many people at Sun who don't get it, and a great many who do. I'd like the latter to win through.


  • pinky Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    Great post Dave!
    I also can't understand why so many people bashing sun. Sun has done a lot for free software and i'm really thankful for their work on and for free software!

    In the second part of your post you write a lot about a development community and the "open source development model". Well, i believe that this model often creates better software but i'm not sure if it is always the best software development model.

    And even more important i don't care about the development model. For me it is important that the software which runs on my computer is free software. Whether the software is developed by a small group of people or by a large community is an side issue. The important part is that the developer respects everybodys freedom!

    Sure i would hope that they choose the development model which creates the best "end product" but it's a decision which the developer has to make and i accept their decision as long as at the end we get free software out of the development process.

  • Mox Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 2:38 pm

    So how many years does it _still_ take for the to become a truly collaborative effort by allowing the major non-Sun contributors to the "top" of the organisation?

    Technologically this could be started by using a truly distributed version control, like git, instead of the high-cost-to-contribute CWS system.

  • Dave Neary Says:
    April 28th, 2008 at 4:05 pm

    Mox: Personally, I think that the time came a couple of years ago for Sun to follow in the footsteps of the Eclipse Foundation, set up an independent incorporation for OOo, get 501(c)6 status, and have a board of people nominated from major contributors. OOo as a project is really too big to be easily accessible to a volunteer community, but the project has succeeded in gaining industry support - an initial board would doubtless include IBM, Sun and Novell as major members, but might also include CollabNet, the French ministry for the interior, maybe NeoOffice and StarXpert?

    In any case, the structure of a trade organisation, which aims more to have an ecosystem than a wide-open community, seems more appropriate for a project like OOo. It provides all of the things which Michael Meeks has been calling for - an independant governing body which owns trademarks and copyright, and is answerable to companies and communities in proportion to their contributions.


[Apr 24, 2008] MilaX 0.3 by Alexander R. Eremin

About: MilaX is a small OpenSolaris live CD distribution. You can run it from miniCD, bootable business card, or a USB flash drive. It is based on Solaris Nevada. It can be installed on storage media with small capacities like bootable business cards, USB flash drives, various memory cards, and Zip drives. It can be installed to hard disk (UFS), or you can use a ZFS-boot installation.

Changes: This release is based on Nevada 85 and includes 99% of b85-drivers, Gtk-Terminal, Netsurf, gFtp, Sylpheed, and gPicview. Beaver, Torsmo, and fbxkb were added, and Dillo and aterm were removed. ZFSinstall is now included. /sbin/sh was changed to ksh93.

Interop News - Interop News - Can Sun make MySQL pay

Right now Sybase's enterprise value is around $2 billion, or roughly double its current annual sales. By this measure, Sun would have to grow MySQL's revenues to $500 million per year to bring it into sync with the purchase price. Somehow that doesn't seem very likely, at least not in the foreseeable future.

...Sure, owning MySQL will open a few doors for the guys selling Sun boxes, and that may lead to a few extra sales. But it's hard to see how these relationships can translate into the large and sustained stream of new revenues Sun would need to make the acquisition numbers work from hardware alone.

...Like most commercial open source companies, MySQL makes money by enticing well-heeled customers to pay for an enterprise version of its product that comes with more bells and whistles than the community version it gives away for free. Both versions are available under the GPL, but MySQL also offers a commercial license aimed mainly at OEMs and ISVs who want to bundle MySQL with proprietary software packages. Like Red Hat, MySQL limits access to the binaries of its Enterprise version to paying customers. If you want a free (but unsupported) copy of MySQL Enterprise Server, you'll have to compile it yourself.

...It appears though that the additional features of the Enterprise version are not enough to compensate for the revenue-destroying effects of the free Community alternative. What else could explain the surprising fact that MySQL has quietly filled out its open source portfolio with a closed source proprietary management software tool known as Enterprise Software Monitor? This technically impressive product has a growing feature set that includes the ability to monitor and manage multiple MySQL instances from a single web console. The basic version of it comes bundled with the $1,999 per year Silver subscription to MySQL Enterprise Server. More feature-rich versions (including replication and memory usage management) come with the $2,999 Gold or $3,999 Platinum subscriptions.

Jonathan Schwartz's Blog In a Vortex

Unfortunately for Sun Postgress now became more of a liability then asset as it by and large overlaps (and is better) then the product for which Sun paid one billion...

A billion dollars for a company that gives its products away for free?

Facebook gives its products away for free, too. They make money on ads, we make money on service, support and infrastructure. MySQL has a big business, growing very rapidly. Investing in the future has more value than buying the past - which is why the latter so often comes at a discount.

What happens to your commitment to PostgreSQL?

It grows. The day before we announced the acquisition, and within an hour of signing the deal, I put a call into Josh Berkus, who leads our work with Postgres inside of Sun. I wanted to be as clear as I could: this transaction increases our investment in open source, and in open source databases. And increases our commitment to Postgres - and the database industry broadly. The same goes for our work with Apache Derby, and our JavaDB.

Josh says it exactly right on his blog - Sun wants to be the leading provider of datacenters. Not just MySQL datacenters. Exactly.

[Feb 12, 2008] Monty says Time to move on

Sun and I concluded in the end that I have much higher chances of achieving my goals outside of Sun, so it's just better to swallow the bitter apple, go out and get things going. We parted in good terms and we both expect to continue to do business and work together.

[Jan 21, 2008] Sun-MySQL The Real Winner is Oracle - Seeking Alpha

I doubt that Oracle is a winner. when Oracle discarded Solaris in favor of linux it made a risky move and now may need to pay for consequences. But the author is right: the price Sun paid was very high: 20x annual revenue... Hopefully MySQL can serve as a catalyst for hardware and software (especially Solaris) sales...

Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz said the MySQL deal was the "most important acquisition in the history of Sun." But he also said the MySQL acquisition was complementary to Sun's JavaDB (Berkeley) and postgreSQL offerings. The latter are other open source software [OSS] projects in which Sun is involved that compete with MySQL. That the competing projects complement each other may be Sun's intention but that's just not human nature.

... ... ...

Research 2.0 and others estimate MySQL did about $75 million in revenue in 2007. We applaud Sun's negotiating skill. Even if MySQL only did $50 million in 2007, the lowest estimate we have heard, it means Sun "only" paid 20x annual revenue. In October 2007, Citrix (CTXS) acquired Xensource for somewhere north of 100x 2007 revenue. To be fair to Citrix, it believes it paid about 10x 2008 revenue for Xensource. But of course we won't know if that's true for a year and Citrix won't tell us if it was wrong anyway.

[Jan 16, 2008] Sun buys MySQL for $1 billion to take centerstage in the web economy

Sun Microsystems announced today that it will be acquiring MySQL for $1 billion. Sometimes the good guys get exactly what they deserve.

At first blush, it seems an odd acquisition for Sun. Sun, after all, is not (or was not) in the database market. But Sun's historical strength in the web economy, and MySQL's current role as the heart of the web, makes it an interesting, important step for Sun to make.

[Jan 16, 2008] Sun To Acquire MySQL

It's nice that Solaris will the the top platform for MySQL. That's a shrewd move. I also wonder what this means for Sun's relationship with Oracle...

announced this morning that it has agreed to acquire open source database leader MySQL AB for $1 billion in cash and assumed stock options. (Disclosure: I am on the board of directors of MySQL, and O'Reilly co-produces the MySQL User Conference with MySQL. In addition, O'Reilly produces the community site for Sun.)

This seems to me to be a great deal both for Sun and for MySQL. Anyone who follows this blog or has heard my talks will have seen me say "Data is the Intel Inside" of the next generation of internet applications, the very heart of Web 2.0. And of course, most of those Web 2.0 applications are built on the LAMP stack, where M stands for MySQL, far and away the leading open source database.

Years ago, John Gage, Sun's chief scientist, made the provocative statement "the network is the computer." And bit by bit, the industry has been realizing that dream. What we didn't understand when we first started thinking about that emerging network operating system was just how much it would be a data-oriented system, such that you might more accurately say, "the network plus the database is the computer."

The acquisition is also a great fit because Sun has staked its future on open source, releasing its formerly proprietary crown jewels, including Solaris, Java, and the Ultra-Sparc processor design. But even beyond those relatively recent moves, Sun was arguably the first great open source success story, co-founded by Bill Joy, who not only led the Berkeley Unix project but wrote the open source TCP/IP stack on which so much of the internet was built. And even leaving out other open source projects at the company such as and netbeans, Sun has long been the single largest corporate contributor to the open source ecosystem. (For further support for that claim, see page 51 in last year's EU study on open source software [pdf].)

This has been a bit of a lightning courtship, and I haven't had a chance to discuss yet with Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz just how he plans to take advantage of MySQL's leadership position in the open source and internet-connected database market, but I do think that there is great potential for both companies. With one bold stroke, Sun has reshaped both the database and open source landscape. We're all going to be chewing on the implications for some time.

[Dec 21, 2007] LXER interview with John Hull - the manager of the Dell Linux engineering team

The original sales estimates for Ubuntu computers was around 1% of the total sales, or about 20,000 systems annually. Have the expectations been met so far? Will Dell ever release sales figures for Ubuntu systems?

The program so far is meeting expectations. Customers are certainly showing their interest and buying systems preloaded with Ubuntu, but it certainly won't overtake Microsoft Windows anytime soon. Dell has a policy not to release sales numbers, so I don't expect us to make Ubuntu sales figures available publicly.

[Dec 21, 2007] Red Hat to get new CEO from Delta Air Lines Underexposed - CNET

"When you take them out of the big buildings, without the imprimatur of Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Oracle, or HP around them, they just didn't hold up."

Szulik, who took over as CEO from Bob Young in 1999 just a few months after its initial public offering, said he's stepping down because of family health issues.

"For the last nine months, I've struggled with health issues in my family," and that priority couldn't be balanced with work, Szulik said in an interview. "This job requires a 7x24, 110 percent commitment."

Szulik, who remains chairman of the board, praised Whitehurst in a statement, saying he's a "hands-on guy who will be a strong cultural fit at Red Hat" and "a talented executive who has successfully led a global technology-focused organization at Delta."

On a conference call, Szulik said Whitehurst stood "head and shoulders" above other candidates interviewed in a recruiting process. He was a programmer earlier in his career and runs four versions of Linux at home, he said.

Moreover, Szulik said he wasn't satisfied with more traditional tech executives who were interviewed.

"What we encountered was in many cases was a lack of understanding of open-source software development and of our model," he said. During the interview, he added about the tech industry candidates, "When you take them out of the big buildings, without the imprimatur of Hewlett-Packard, IBM and Oracle, or HP around them, they just didn't hold up."

The surprise move was announced as the leading Linux seller announced results for its third quarter of fiscal 2008. Its revenue increased 28 percent to $135.4 million and net income went up 12 percent to $20.3 million, or 10 cents per share. The company also raised estimates for full-year results to revenue of $521 million to $523 million and earnings of about 70 cents per share.

[Dec 19, 2007] Preparing for 2008

Recession may or may not strike but it's better to be prepared:

Do some software cost cutting

  • Cut the diversity of your operating systems environment.
  • Use zones for consolidation.
  • Eliminate all semi-useless security products. in good times enterprises got just to many ISS sensors, firewalls, etc. You can get the same or better level of security with free snort and you can safely replace them with free Snort as with ISS. cutting the number of firewall can also improve security as the total rule base became more manageable.
  • Verify that enterprise monitoring systems you use worth the bucks you pay.

Do some hardware cost cuttings:

  • Unless we are talking really business critical expensive NAS solutions like EMS do more harm then good: disks are now large and mirroring is enough to keep data safe. also NAS introduced into data stream two cards and a bridge all of which can be source of failures.
  • Move some server to Intel 5160 CPU based servers. 5160 is probably the most cost effective CPU on the market and you can save some money using cheap Intel-based servers instead of more expensive Sparc-based. Excessive zeal here can backfire as there are hidden advantages of Sparc architecture which can became evident only after the transition.

[Dec 18, 2007] Linux defector says RHEL zero, Sun Solaris hero

After two years of trying to make RHEL work, Rand had to move on. He looked closely at Solaris 10 and, after speaking with Sun engineers about a possible migration, decided to give Sun's Startup Essentials program a try.

"Being Linux people, we were hesitant to switch," he said. "We didn't even consider [Microsoft] Windows, because we are open source," said Rand. "Sun set up some virtual servers for us to run tests, and we ported all of our apps onto those virtual servers. We did load testing, saw that it worked well and decided to go ahead with the migration."

Sapotek now runs Solaris 10 OS on Sun 4200 servers with 64-bit Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Opteron quad-core processors, along with Sun's x4500 storage unit.

The improvement is significant; with four compute nodes instead of five, Rand has more computing power and 99.99% uptime, compared with 97% uptime with RHEL, he said.

"With this switch, we've gone from playing in the sandbox to getting our doctoral degree. You can't even compare Red Hat GFS to Solaris ZFS," Rand said. "We no longer need to do all those chores we had to do with Linux. I can't even quantify the number of man-hours we freed by moving to Solaris. We have so much more time to develop our software now."

[Dec 11, 2007] Using Unison to synchronize files between windows and solaris

This document describes how to setup Unison to perform synchronization between a windows laptop and a solaris system.

What I am trying to achieve is to use the Windows version of Unison, as compiled by Max Bowsher. This version unfortunately has a problem asking for password for the ssh account but following this document should provide an acceptable alternative.

What I do is run Unison on the laptop and make it ssh to the solaris system where the remote files are stored (and backed up).

For this to work, you will need to install a few Cygwin packages (for ssh) and manually install Unison for windows and at last, set it up so we can avoid the bug mentioned above.

[Nov 16, 2007] Linux Today - Winners and Losers in Dell Deal with Sun

Subject: Solaris and Dell ( Nov 16, 2007, 08:03:06 )

While I would agree that the majority of commodity servers that are non MS based, have moved to Linux, I do see Open Solaris becoming a real option for those shops that have relied on Solaris application stacks for years.

Those who are entrenched with the Solaris experience, are less likely to move away from it to adopt Linux, if they can have the same old stable OS on commodity hardware that they have been using for so many years. Why do I say this? Experience.

As a Software Architect for a professional services provider and as one who has worked almost exclusively within the Enterprise IT world (where the corporation size is greater than 20,000 employees), I have seen many of these shops who may have migrated to Linux servers, not do so, since they have been Solaris customers for years and they see no reason to move away from an OS that has served them extremely well in the past. Solaris 10 and/or Open Solaris basically offer these companies the means to continue to use what they know and are comfortable with and at the same time, maintain the support relationships with Sun they have enjoyed through the years.

Solaris 10 and Open Solaris on x86-64 makes it easy to enjoy the price advantages of Linux without the need to experiment or change. To me, this is the advantage of the Sun-Dell deal that is provided for Sun customers. Many of these same Enterprises that have a relationship with Sun, also have a relationship with Dell. What this provides these customers is a means to price shop on purchases between Sun and Dell, without feeling that they are gambling with support issues. In other words, it provides the Solaris customer the advantage of lowering TCO, without losing the skills and support they have enjoyed through the years.

In fact, I will have to say, that the largest threat to Linux completely taking over the server farm, is Open Solaris. MS will keep a chunk of this share via Virtualization, but I cannot see IT shops continuing to invest in the mantra of Microsoft's, "write here run only here", philosophy for too much longer. Once IT shops discontinue employing a mono-platform development philosophy, MS will have a much more difficult time holding onto its server side market share. I can see a open source Solaris however, bantering for the mindset of those looking at an open source OS strategy in the future. Of course how successful Sun is in keeping Solaris as a real competitor to Linux is how well they develop a real relationship with the open source development committee and how innovative they are with Open Solaris. This is the larger challenge Solaris now has. If they cannot keep Solaris meeting or exceeding the feature sets of Linux, the battle is over. If however, they can best Linux in Enterprise level features (they have a slight advantage here now), then Open Solaris and Linux will become the dual heavyweight contenders.

Personally, I have no preference. I am as content with the one as I am with the other. However, Linux has a huge advantage over Solaris for Desktop share and that could tip the scales in Linux's favor for the server room as well.

[Nov 15, 2007] Dell to Offer Sun's Solaris, OpenSolaris in Servers

Sun Microsystems and Dell announced Wednesday November 14, 2007 a distribution agreement under which Dell will distribute Sun's Solaris 10 operating system on all Dell servers and first of all PowerEdge servers. New deal marks the first time Solaris will be supported by Dell

Dell founder and CEO Michael Dell and Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz made the announcement during a joint appearance at the Oracle OpenWorld 2007 conference.

The agreement means that customers buying a Dell servers get the option of installing Solaris or OpenSolaris. Customers picking one of these operating systems will get support from Sun's online support organization through Dell, making the experience seamless for the customer.

This marks the first time that Sun's home-grown, Unix-based operating systems will be sanctioned for use in any kind of Dell hardware. The two companies have been rivals in the server business for more than 12 years.

The new agreement means that Dell will test, certify, and optimize Solaris and OpenSolaris on its rack and blade servers and offer them as one of several choices in the overall Dell software menu.

Dell already supports Windows as well as both Red Hat and SUSE Linux in all its rack and blade servers.

According to terms of the agreement, customers will be able to freely download OpenSolaris from the Dell website. Sun has used proprietary Solaris since the 1980s as its chief operating system for workstations and servers; it released the freely available open source version, OpenSolaris, in June 2005.

The new partnership opens two new markets for both companies: Dell now can sell its hardware into both the proprietary Solaris development world and the growing open source OpenSolaris community. Sun will get its software into numerous new systems and obtain a new gateway into the SMB (small and medium-size business) market through Dell's brand.

At this time, few SMBs use Sun hardware, since the company has focused almost exclusively in the past on the large enterprise market. This will start new conversations as Sun starts coming out with more mid-tier hardware.

"There are three main reasons we are doing this," Rick Becker, vice president of solutions in the Dell Product Group, told eWEEK. "No. 1 is Sun's new and strong commitment to x86 systems; secondly, a lot of people are already using the Solaris operating systems; and three, our existing customers are asking for this option."

The deal gives corporate developers the option of using Sun's bread-and-butter, Unix-based enterprise operating system -- which includes the fast ZFS (Zettabyte File System) -- in Dell boxes, which are generally less expensive than most other servers and used in hundreds of thousands of enterprise and SMB systems worldwide.

Becker told eWEEK that customers choosing Sun operating systems will get support via Dell in a seamless manner.

Dell appears to be getting the better part of the deal, at least at the outset. Dell will get the margins from selling the hardware, but ostensibly, Sun looks like it will be getting only service contracts from those who choose to use either of the Solaris options.

One of the first customers for this will be the U.S. Navy, Becker said.

[Nov 6, 2007] Project details for sysstat for Solaris

"sysstat" complements Solaris' system tools for performance analysis. It presents all key performance metrics on a VT100 terminal and has the possibility to toggle its view between different hosts.

[Nov 6, 2007] BigAdmin Sun Docs Zone Enhancements in Solaris Container Manager

The ability to run linux applications and assign CPUs to zones are provided in Solaris 10 8/07

Solaris Container Manager provides additional zone management features that are implemented in Solaris 10 8/07.

Managing Branded Zones

...The branded zone (BrandZ) framework enables you to create non-global zones that contain non-native operating environments used for running applications. Currently linux is supported. All brand management is performeinistration Guide: Solaris Containers-Resource Management and Solaris Zones.

To Create a Branded Zone

  1. Navigate to the New Zone Wizard.

    The New Zone wizard appears.

  2. Work through the wizard to reach the step "Provide zone creation attributes".
  3. Choose lx from the Zone Brand drop-down list.

    The lx value for zone brand is available only on Solaris 10 8/07 x64 systems.

    The zone brand determines the scripts that are executed when a zone is installed and booted and identifies the correct application type at application launch time. The possible values of zone brand are:

    • Native - Specifies that the zone contains the same operating environment as the parent host.
    • lx - Specifies that the zone contains a Linux environment.
  4. Type the image path and install arguments and click Next.
  5. Specify the system configuration file.

    This file is required to provide the attributes that are required for zone management. You need to create thblockquote>

    Assigning Dedicated CPUs to a Zone

    You can assign dedicated CPUs directly to a zone. When the zone requests a specific number or range of CPUs, the system creates a temporary resource pool with the name SUNWtmp_zonename. The temporary resource pool assigns these CPUs to the zone. When the zone shuts down, the resource pool releases these CPUs.

    To Assign Dedicated CPUs to a Zone

    You can assign dedicated CPUs to a zone only on Solaris 10 8/07.

    1. Navigate to the New Zone Wizard.

      The New Zone wizard appears.

    2. Work through the wizard to reach the step "Select a Resource Pool".
    3. Select the Enabled check box for dedicated CPU allocation.
    4. Type the number or range of CPUs in the Number of CPU or Range field.

      For example, type 3 or 1-5.

[Nov 5, 2007] OpenSolaris Forums Project Indiana milestone reached! ...

From: Glynn Foster <Glynn.Foster-UdXhSnd/>

To: Open Solaris <>, OpenSolaris Announce <>, Indiana Discuss <>, advocacy-discuss-AT-op

Subject: [indiana-discuss] Project Indiana milestone reached!

Date: Thu, 01 Nov 2007 16:32:34 +1300

I'm very pleased to announce that the first milestone of Project Indiana is now
available - called OpenSolaris Developer Preview.

It's available for download at

This is an x86-based LiveCD install image, containing some new and emerging
OpenSolaris technologies. This may result in instabilities that lead to system
panics or data corruption.

Among the features contained in this release are

  o Single CD download, with LiveCD 'try before you install' capabilities

  o Caiman installer, with significantly improved installation experience

  o ZFS as the default filesystem

  o Image packaging system, with capabilities to pull packages from
    network repositories

  o GNU utilities in the default $PATH

  o bash as the default shell

  o GNOME 2.20 desktop environment

For more details about the system requirements along with some basic user
documentation, see -

and the release notes

This milestone preview shows the results of many months of engineering work
through the collaboration of several projects on I would like
to thank to those people who have been involved, and offer my congratulations
for reaching this successful milestone.

Report Bugs
We are very interested in hearing feedback about your experiences with this
release. In particular, if you have issues installing on your hardware we would
love to know.

If you would like to provide feedback, see our bug reporting page for details on
how to do that -

About Project Indiana
Project Indiana is working towards creating a binary distribution of an
operating system built out of the OpenSolaris source code. The distribution is a
point of integration for several current projects on, including
those to make the installation experience easier, to modernize the look and feel
of OpenSolaris on the desktop, and to introduce a network-based package
management system into Solaris.

Rock on!

On behalf of Project Indiana Team

[Oct 22, 2007] Slashdot Microsoft Finally Bows to EU Antitrust Measures

Re:2 questions
(Score:5, Informative)

by hankwang (413283) * on Monday October 22, @09:48AM (#21071461)

1.What exactly does this cover? Which network protocols? Which data formats?

See the EC ruling [] (PDF), especially article 999 on page 277:

(999) Microsoft should be ordered to disclose complete and accurate specifications for the protocols used by Windows work group servers in order to provide file, print and group and user administration services to Windows work group networks. This includes both direct interconnection and interaction between a Windows work group server and a Windows client PC, as well as interconnection and interaction between a Windows work group server and a Windows client PC that is indirect and passes through another Windows work group server. The use of the term specifications makes clear that Microsoft should not be required to disclose its own implementation of these specifications, that is to say, its own source code. The term protocol relates to the rules of interconnection and interaction between instances of the Windows client PC operating system and the Windows work group server operating system.

Also interesting:

(1008) The requirement for the terms imposed by Microsoft to be reasonable and non- discriminatory applies in particular: [...] there is a need to ensure that potential beneficiaries will have the opportunity to review, themselves or through third parties designated by them, the specifications to be disclosed; Microsoft should be able to impose reasonable and non-discriminatory conditions to ensure that this access to the disclosed specifications is granted for evaluation purposes only;
[...] to any remuneration that Microsoft might charge for supply; such a remuneration should not reflect the strategic value stemming from Microsoft s market power in the client PC operating system market or in the work group server operating system market;

The decision does not seem to give a hard number for how much MS may charge for disclosure of the specs.

Re:Place for GNU?


by cdrguru (88047) on Monday October 22, @04:55PM (#21077179)

Just venting here...

What you describe is utter stagnation - "Microsoft can not change the protocol without pissing off many companies ..."

This is an absolute formula for zero growth. It is one of the things that causes a lot of Linux development to be done in fits and starts where something stagnates for a long period of time because "Oh, we can't manage change in THIS area." This is a formula for a repeat of where we are with SMTP today.

All change is not bad. There are ways of implementing changes in established protocols if the original protocol allows for it and it is done carefully.

Today, we are stuck with SMTP and no replacement is anywhere on the horizon. Why? Because the nobody wants to manage the change.

Microsoft is not the enemy. They can be a partner and must be if there is to be any real progress by anyone except Microsoft. Calling them the enemy, refusing to work with closed-source software and just trying to be obstinate will result in Microsoft being the only choice far, far into the future.

Whatever happened to inventing something better?


by Austin Milbarge (723855) on Monday October 22, @03:21PM (#21075743)

What if tomorrow KFC was forced to give up the eleven herbs and spices used in their secret recipe? Don't laugh, it may happen someday. I'm no fan of Microsoft, but can't people just create something better? Sure, there are anti-trust laws, but whatever happened to beating someone in the market by creating a better product? Years back, Netscape tried to sue Microsoft because they felt their browser was unfairly marketed since it came with the system. Today, Mozilla is proving Netscape dead wrong and is almost 20% of all browsers while Microsoft is down to almost 60%. It's a sad day when the lawyers are writing better code than the developers.

Microsoft's mooning the EU.

by argent (18001) <.peter. .at.> on Monday October 22, @04:43PM (#21076965)
( | Last Journal: Monday September 26 2005, @07:53PM)

First, open source software developers will be able to access and use the interoperability information. Microsoft will not assert patents against non-commercial open source software development projects.

The opposite of "open source" is not "non-commercial". There are commercial open-source prjects, and non-commercial closed-source projects. It is absolutely vital that these interfaces be as unencumbered as genuinely open-systems protocols are.

Second, the royalties payable for this information will be reduced to a nominal one-off payment of 10,000 euros.

US$14,000 is not "nominal".

Third, the royalties for a worldwide license including patents will be reduced from 5.95 percent to 0.4 percent, far less than the 7 percent originally demanded by Microsoft.

Getting a European court to acknowledge the validity of their software patents at all is a major win for Microsoft.

And the way they did this means that there's not a hope of an avenue to try and appeal this appalling result. Microsoft has completely won this round in their ongoing battle against open systems and open source.

If this is Microsoft "bowing", they're facing away from the bench when they do it, and mooning the EU.

[Oct 22, 2007] News

Microsoft agreed to license proprietary information on how Windows shares files and printers to end three years of legal wrangling over a 2004 antitrust order. The accord will help Red Hat Inc., the world's biggest seller of Linux systems, and Sun Microsystems Inc. offer replacements for Windows.

``These changes in Microsoft's practices will profoundly affect software industries,'' European Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes told reporters in Brussels today. ``I sincerely hope that we can just close this dark chapter of our relationship.''

The accord furthers Microsoft's bid to resolve legal disputes worldwide that have been weighing on its shares. The company last week dropped its appeal of an antitrust decision in South Korea and today said it won't challenge a court decision last month upholding the EU decision. It's also seeking to end five years of U.S. court supervision for illegally protecting its near-monopoly on PC software.

Microsoft rose 34 cents, or 1.1 percent, to $30.51 at 4 p.m. New York time in Nasdaq Stock Market trading. The stock has gained 26 percent since the EU imposed a record 497 million-euro ($703 million) fine and ordered the company to change its business practices in March 2004. The Nasdaq Composite Index has gained 44 percent in the same period.

Trade Secrets

Under the 2004 decision, Microsoft had to disclose information to rivals and sell a version of Windows without a built-in video and audio player. The company resisted licensing data to open-source developers, who give away the software's source code, or the underlying instructions, because it would violate trade secrets and patents.

Kroes said open source products are ``virtually the only alternative'' to Microsoft, which has more than 70 percent market share for workgroup server software.

Microsoft got $4.5 billion in sales from its Windows Server software in its most recent fiscal year. Since 2002, the product's sales have grown at an annual rate of 13 percent, on average.

[Oct 22, 2007] - Europe - Microsoft concedes defeat in EU battle

That might simplify achieving Solaris interoperability with active directory.

Microsoft finally admitted defeat in its nine-year battle with the European Commission on Monday, agreeing to allow competitors access to technology that Brussels said would create more innovation in the software market.

The US software developer agreed to comply with the EU antitrust regulator's finding that it was abusing its dominance, upheld by the European Court in 2004. The result would be lower prices and more choice for customers, the Commission said.

"I welcome the fact that Microsoft has finally undertaken concrete steps to ensure full compliance with the 2004 decision," Neelie Kroes, competition commissioner, said in Brussels. "It is regrettable that Microsoft has only complied after a considerable delay, two court decisions and the imposition of daily penalty payments."

Steve Ballmer, Microsoft chief executive, agreed early on Monday to make it easier and cheaper for rivals to link their products to some classes of its software. While only affecting software for so-called "workgroup" servers, widely used but low-value software that manages jobs such as printing from networked computers in an office, the decision is the first tangible result of Microsoft's defeat before the European Court of First Instance, Europe's highest court, last month.

[Oct 17, 2007] Unix System Administration by Frank G. Fiamingo

© 1996 University Technology Services, The Ohio State University, 1971 Neil Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210.

All rights reserved. Redistribution and use, with or without modification, are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. Redistributions must retain the above copyright notice, this list of conditions, and the following disclaimer.
  2. Neither the name of the University nor the names of its contributors may be used to endorse or promote products or services derived from this document without specific prior written permission.


This publication is available via the Internet as:

Also available via the Internet is Introduction to Unix:

Acknowledgements: The author wishes to thank the following for helpful advice and discussions related to the material presented in this document: Harpal Chohan, Bob DeBula, Bob Manson, Steve Romig, and Bill Yang.

Table of Contents

PART I - Introduction
___CHAPTER 1 - Overview
___CHAPTER 2 - Disk Structure and Partitions
___CHAPTER 3 - Devices
___CHAPTER 4 - The UNIX File System
___CHAPTER 5 - File System Management
___CHAPTER 6 - Startup and Shutdown
___CHAPTER 7 - Operating System Installation
___CHAPTER 8 - Kernel Configuration
___CHAPTER 9 - Adding Hardware
___CHAPTER 10 - Special Files
___CHAPTER 11 - System Directories
___CHAPTER 12 - User accounts
___CHAPTER 13 - Daily System Administration
___CHAPTER 14 - Administration Tool & Solstice Adminsuite
___CHAPTER 15 - Package Administration
___CHAPTER 16 - Backup Procedures
PART II - Network Services
___CHAPTER 17 - Service Access Facility
___CHAPTER 18 - The Network
___CHAPTER 19 - Network Administration
___CHAPTER 20 - Distributed File System Administration
___CHAPTER 21 - Network Information Services (NIS and NIS+)
___CHAPTER 22 - Adding Clients
PART III - Selected Topics
___CHAPTER 23 - Usenet
___CHAPTER 24 - Useful Utilities
___CHAPTER 25 - Print Service
___CHAPTER 26 - Mail
___CHAPTER 27 - World Wide Web
___CHAPTER 28 - System Security
___CHAPTER 29 - Secure Shell, SSH
PART IV - Summary
___CHAPTER 30 - Summary of SunOS/Solaris Differences
___CHAPTER 31 - UTS UNIX Workstation Support

[Oct 15, 2007] IBM Redbooks Residencies

WebSphere Application Server 6 on Sun Solaris 10, SA-7777-R01 Open
Starts 05 Nov 2007, ends 07 Dec 2007 (5 weeks) and requires 5 residents.

[Oct 10, 2007] Solaris and Red Hat Comparison

Contains several interesting tables, for example support costs comparison table:

Q&A Jonathan Schwartz on Sun's open-source business strategy Tech news blog - CNET

Jonathan Schwartz fundamental question raise another question: to what extent openness is a marketing advantage (in reality using or even stealing source code from the huge software project is very difficult as it is more like a huge infrastructure or even organism of which source code is just a small part). At the same time open source is an insurance for the user even if then never use it.

There are four fundamental questions/topics in open source:

  1. Open-source licenses and the availability of source code;
  2. The impact of free (as in cost) software;
  3. The value of brand. As Red Hat knows, Red Hat is indomitable because of its brand, not its source tree;
  4. Who's asking? The answer you give to an 8-year-old is different from the one you'd give to a CIO. This last topic provides the answer to the open-source revenue question.

Why? Think about this: In a year where Sun arguably moved more aggressively to give away more free software than any other company, we grew our software business by 13 percent. It was the fastest-growing business at Sun (and doesn't even include Solaris, which we don't yet break out). We pumped out more software last year than we have in the history of the company. We gave it away. And yet our software business grew by 13 percent.

[Aug 9, 2007] Linux Replacing atime

August 7, 2007 | KernelTrap

Submitted by Jeremy on August 7, 2007 - 9:26am.

In a recent lkml thread, Linus Torvalds was involved in a discussion about mounting filesystems with the noatime option for better performance, "'noatime,data=writeback' will quite likely be *quite* noticeable (with different effects for different loads), but almost nobody actually runs that way." He noted that he set O_NOATIME when writing git, "and it was an absolutely huge time-saver for the case of not having 'noatime' in the mount options. Certainly more than your estimated 10% under some loads." The discussion then looked at using the relatime mount option to improve the situation, "relative atime only updates the atime if the previous atime is older than the mtime or ctime. Like noatime, but useful for applications like mutt that need to know when a file has been read since it was last modified." Ingo Molnar stressed the significance of fixing this performance issue, "I cannot over-emphasize how much of a deal it is in practice. Atime updates are by far the biggest IO performance deficiency that Linux has today. Getting rid of atime updates would give us more everyday Linux performance than all the pagecache speedups of the past 10 years, _combined_." He submitted some patches to improve relatime, and noted about atime:

"It's also perhaps the most stupid Unix design idea of all times. Unix is really nice and well done, but think about this a bit: 'For every file that is read from the disk, lets do a ... write to the disk! And, for every file that is already cached and which we read from the cache ... do a write to the disk!'"

[Aug 8, 2007] UltraSPARC T2 Processor - Overview

Not a bad start. Recently Scarc was complety off SPECint and SPECfp charts. Sun Ultra SPARC T2 @1.4GHz got something like:
  • SPECint_rate2006 78.3
  • SPECfp_rate2006 62.3
It is still unclear when it will ship, whether all T2 chips will be 1.4GHz and how much will it cost.
  • The UltraSPARC T2 processor is the fastest commodity processor with two world-record single-chip SPEC CPU results, based on tests that delivered 78.3 est. SPECint_rate2006 and 62.3 est. SPECfp_rate2006
  • Powered by fewer than 95 watts (nominal) with less than 2 watts per thread, this next generation UltraSPARC T2 processor boasts the most functionality, and lowest wattage per core and thread of any processor in its class
  • Integrated multithreaded 10 Gb Ethernet networking
  • Integrated PCI Express I/O expansion
  • Integrated floating point and cryptographic processing units per core

[Aug 7, 2007] Submitted Article Real-World Tests of Sun Fire V480 and T2000 Servers Running Oracle 10g RAC Database by Bipul Kumar and Tomas Ramanauskas

July 2007 | BigAdmin

This article provides information on performance tests that compared the Sun Fire V480 server to the Sun Fire T2000 server in an environment that runs an Oracle 10g Real Application Clusters (RAC) database to store and serve the data required to run a corporate web site.


This article covers the following topics:

[Aug 3, 2007] IBM - System Requirements for WebSphere MQ V6 Solaris x86-64 platform

Solaris x86-64 platform: AMD64, EM64T, and compatible processors - any hardware that is explicitly compatible and fully capable of running the specified operating system, all the corresponding supporting software shown below, and any associated applications unmodified.

  • 64 bit
    • Sun Java 2 Platform Standard Edition, Version 5.0
    • IBM 64-bit SDK for Solaris, Java 2 Technology Edition V5.0 (SR1 or above) [Only if the JDK is supplied with another IBM product]
  • Notes:
    1. JDBC/XA usage is not supported on this platform.
    2. Sun platform with 64-bit hardware, 32-bit and 64-bit WebSphere MQ APIs are supported and the OS must have a 64-bit kernel.
    3. On platforms where WebSphere MQ provides a 64-bit product, both 32-bit and 64-bit MQ APIs are supported and the OS must be capable of running 64-bit applications.
    4. On 64-bit platforms where WebSphere MQ provides both a 32-bit and a 64-bit product, there is NO migration path from V6 32-bit Queue Managers to V6 64-bit Queue Managers. You are strongly advised to install WebSphere MQ 64-bit products on 64-bit platforms as there is a migration path from V5 32-bit products to V6 64-bit products.
    5. The 'MQ Explorer' is not supported on this platform.
    6. Solaris Zones support information.
    7. For details of the Support Statement for JCA (on WebSphere MQ V6.0.2.1 or later only) please see here.

    [Aug 3, 2007] Jignesh Shah's Weblog

    IBM Software on UltraSPARC T1 License Policy

    IBM announced their new Software license policy for UltraSPARC T1 chip based Sun Servers. A 4 core or 6 core T1 chip requires 2 software license entitlements and a full 8-core T1 chip requires 3 software license entitlements. (Its a win-win considering before this announcement it was 8 software license entitlements for a 8-core T1 chip.

    One thing to also note that a Sun Fire X4200 /X4100 with dual core Opterons require 1 license entitlement for every dual core chip. (Read the foot note for descriptions of "Multiple server families" which includes SunFire x64 servers.

    The best way to distribute the news is to point people to the PDF Copy of the IBM Software License Policy

    Time to run WebSphere on UltraSPARC T1 chip based Sun Fire T1000 or Sun Fire T2000

    [Jun 07, 2007] Sun ZFS breaks all the rules InfoWorld Review by Paul Venezia

    Perhaps the easiest way to communicate the underlying concepts of ZFS is a comparison the Sun developers drew during the design stages of the file system back in 2001. When you add RAM to a server, you don't partition it and allocate one DIMM to this application and another DIMM to that application; you throw all of the RAM into a pile and let the memory manager decide who gets what and when. That simple, pragmatic view forms the basis of ZFS: There are no partitions and no fixed block sizes, no file system consistency check, no RAID initialization procedure, and no inodes – there's just a pile of disk with ZFS in between.

    ... ... ...

    There's far more to ZFS than is possible to cover in this space, so I'm hitting the high points. Starting with the essentials, ZFS is comprised of three parts. The ZPL (ZFS POSIX Layer) runs at a high level, taking instruction from the OS on I/O requests. Below that is the DMU (Data Management Unit) that takes those instructions and translates them into transaction batches. Rather than requesting data blocks and sending single write requests, ZFS batches these into object-based transactions that can be optimized before any disk activity occurs. Once this is done, the batches are handed off to the SPA (Storage Pool Allocator) to schedule and aggregate the raw I/O. The copy-on-write basis of I/O transactions, coupled with checksums performed on a per block basis, precludes the need for journaling. An abrupt power loss will be recoverable at any point.

    Perhaps another good example would be to illustrate how ZFS handles simple disk mirrors. In a traditional two-disk mirror, reads from the mirror are handled in a round-robin fashion to increase read times. This means that if there's bit rot on one disk but not on the other, there's a fifty-fifty chance that data requested by an application will be invalid. With traditional RAID configurations, this data corruption will be largely unnoticed by the underlying layers, but the application will certainly realize that there's a problem. ZFS overcomes data corruption by checksumming each block as it's returned from disk. If there's a disparity between the 256-bit checksum and the block, ZFS will terminate the request and pull the block from the other member of the mirror set, matching the checksums and delivering the valid data to the application. In a subsequent operation, the bad block seen on the first disk is replaced with the valid data from the second, essentially providing a continuous file system check.

    But aren't checksums expensive? Yes. Well, at least they used to be. In the era of multicore CPUs, delegating a single core of a CPU to performing checksums still leaves plenty of horsepower to handle everything else. The benefits offered by this form of I/O consistency validation eclipse the performance hits on modern hardware, and judging by my performance tests, it's certainly not an issue.

    ... ... ...

    ZFS has a number of neat tricks for managing numerous drives. Because all disk is thrown into a single pool, adding drives to existing arrays is instantaneous, and it requires no re-initialization. During quiescent periods, ZFS will reallocate the data across all disks for better performance, even while making newly added storage immediately available, with writes crossing all drives and reads coming from the original array members.

    It appears that Sun also gave careful consideration to disk workload profiling. Server file systems are commonly asked to handle multiple sequential requests to single files. At first blush, these calls may appear to be random I/O, but a closer look will often reveal they are not so random. ZFS can smooth this type of workload with intelligent read-ahead caching at the block level, resulting in significant performance gains for streaming media and for some database workloads.

    Another facet of the advanced I/O scheduling in ZFS is request prioritization. When a system is I/O bound, it's generally due to the disk not keeping up with requests, or major swap operations. Once those requests stack up, basic system interaction slows to a crawl, and there's nothing more frustrating than trying to kill the misbehaving process with a command that takes forever to run because it needs to be fetched from the very same disk that the runaway process is thrashing. Because ZFS gives reads priority over writes, the read necessary to execute the kill command in these cases gets pushed to the front of the queue, allowing order to be restored in a timely manner.

    Smooth snapshots, security

    As you would expect, ZFS incorporates snapshots with simple one-line CLI commands, and it allows snapshots to be addressed in both read-only and read-write forms. Rollbacks and individual file inspection in snapshots are also easy to do. Further, ZFS has integrated rsync-like file synchronization, allowing for truly different backup methods, such as piping raw file system data across SSH connections to backup servers with enough smarts to be usable across high-latency links.

    There's also the not-so-small matter of ACLs, which ZFS handles with standard POSIX-compliancy and allow/deny inheritance. Checksumming is a boon from a security standpoint as well: Because every block has a checksum, data can't be modified at that level without detection. Oh, and did I mention that ZFS can also sit on top of other storage elements, such as iSCSI LUNs (logical unit numbers) and swap volumes? Sun says its engineers have subjected ZFS to more than a million forced, violent crashes in the company's labs without losing data integrity or leaking a single block. I haven't witnessed such a crash, but I have to say I believe Sun's claims.

    [Jun 1, 2007] Sun hopes Project Indiana will help OpenSolaris


    Indiana will fit on a single CD and be updated every six months, Foster said. "With a focus on the user experience, it is hoped that with wide distribution, the OpenSolaris ecosystem will grow, providing valuable feedback to the project."

    And although Foster said the project is intended to be grassroots and consensus-driven, "there may be a real need for a sole arbiter, Ian Murdock," who is Sun's chief operating systems officer and a founder of the Debian version of Linux.

    [May 22, 2007] Solaris Express Developer Edition

    It does not make sense to spend significant part of your life installing open source applications ;-)
    Solaris Express Developer Edition is an OpenSolaris-based distribution for x86 that includes the latest tools, technologies, and platforms to create applications for Solaris OS, Java Application Platform, and Web 2.0.

    Available at no-cost, Solaris Express Developer Edition is regularly updated to incorporate new functionality to help application developers create better applications -- faster. Developers can create high performance applications using this distribution and deploy to Solaris 10 OS.

    Develop your applications using Solaris Express Developer Edition and deploy to Solaris 10. For applications that use Solaris APIs, we encourage you to download and use the Solaris Ready Test Suit to verify use of Solaris 10 APIs. In addition, you should do your final build on a Solaris 10 server before deploying.

    Developer support options are available for code support, programming and technical assistance. Recognized industry-wide, Sun offers developer training and certification courses for Solaris, Java, and Web 2.0 developers.

    The 2/07 release of Solaris Express Developer Edition is only for x86-based laptops and desktops. Developers on SPARC systems can obtain similar functionality by downloading the latest Solaris Express Community Edition build 55 (CD) or (DVD) and installing Sun Studio 11 for OpenSolaris and NetBeans IDE 5.5 with NetBeans Enterprise Pack 5.5. Future Solaris Express Developer Edition releases will include support for both x86 and SPARC platforms. VMware for Solaris Express Developer Edition is also available.

    • Sun Studio 11 for OpenSolaris - the latest enhancements and patches for Solaris Express distributions. Record-setting C, C++, and Fortran compilers, IDE, and integrated tools
    • NetBeans IDE 5.5 with Enterprise Pack 5.5 - an open-source IDE for desktop and enterprise Java development including the GlassFish V1 application server.
    • Solaris + AMP (SAMP) - Learn how to set up an optimized and observable stack using Solaris Express Developer Edition to develop your AMP applications. Note: For those who downloaded the AMP offering, Cool Stack v1.0.2, you need to follow these post-installation steps on Solaris Developer Express Edition. For those that have downloaded Cool Stack v1.1, no additional post-installation steps are necessary.
    • Solaris OS, Desktop and Applications - Based on Solaris Express Community Edition build 55, this release includes many desktop and operating system enhancements. The highlights include new tools like Firefox, Thunderbird, and StarOffice 8.
    • Open Source Applications- over 150 open source applications including MySQL, Python, and PostgreSQL

    [May 13, 2007] Amazon Web Services @

    Looks like $100 per month if you want a webserver

    Sun and Amazon Web Services are opening a private beta program starting on May 5, 2008. Approved beta users get access to OpenSolaris on Amazon EC2. Per hour prices:

    $0.10 - Small Instance (Default). 1.7 GB of memory, 1 EC2 Compute Unit (1 virtual core with 1 EC2 Compute Unit), 160 GB of instance storage, 32-bit platform

    $0.40 - Large Instance. 7.5 GB of memory, 4 EC2 Compute Units (2 virtual cores with 2 EC2 Compute Units each), 850 GB of instance storage, 64-bit platform

    $0.80 - Extra Large Instance. 15 GB of memory, 8 EC2 Compute Units (4 virtual cores with 2 EC2 Compute Units each), 1690 GB of instance storage, 64-bit platform

    Pricing is per instance-hour consumed for each instance type. Partial instance-hours consumed are billed as full hours.

    Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a Web service that provides flexible compute capacity in a cloud. Amazon EC2 provides on-demand computing, pay-as-you-go pricing, and integrated storage.

    The OpenSolaris OS is available free of charge. With OpenSolaris OS on Amazon EC2, you pay for only the compute capacity you use, starting at 10 cents per hour (bandwidth and storage are charged separately by Amazon). You can start with as little as one small instance (currently 1.7 GB RAM, 1 virtual core, 160 GB storage, 32-bit platform) and scale up and down as your workloads and business demands change. Various types of instances of Amazon EC2 are described here.

    • Elastic
      Amazon EC2 enables you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. You can commission one, hundreds or even thousands of server instances simultaneously. Of course, because this is all controlled with web service APIs, your application can automatically scale itself up and down depending on its needs

    [May 2, 2007] Using Service Management Facility (SMF) in the Solaris 10 OS: A Quick Example

    The key idea of SMF is to provide XML definition file that serves as an envelope for actual scripts that invoke the services and which documents some properties and context in which each typical operation (start, stop, restart) should be performed and path tot he script itself which now can be part of the application. That gives the possibility to execute those operations more intelligemently, for example introduce the concept of dependencies.
    But the problem is that XML template used smells with overcomplexity and slightly lessens the transparency which was the main advantage of rc* files approach...

    Availability of svcs -a functionality cannot be legitimately sited as an advantage as it can be easily implemented with th4 old approach (as was done in Red Hat with services command).

    I am not sure that conversion of init scripts to Perl cannot achieve the same functionality at lower cost.

    The Service Management Facility is a new, unified model for services and service management that is included in the Solaris Operating System. SMF provides a deeper, more functional view into the processes managed during startup and shutdown of a Solaris system. In addition, processes managed through SMF can have dependencies and they are monitored to allow for restarts if a process fails or is improperly stopped.

    SMF is a core part of the predictive self-healing technology available in the Solaris 10 OS, and it provides automatic recovery from software and hardware failures as well as administrative errors. In addition, SMF-managed services can be delegated to non-root users. Finally, SMF is a follow-on to the legacy method of starting and stopping services, though /etc/rc scripts will continue to run when present for backward compatibility.

    Deployment of services through SMF provides a much more consistent and robust environment. First, users can query the Solaris OS with a simple command (svcs -a) to determine if a service is running, instead of attempting a connection and wondering if the connection will succeed. Additionally, critical services can be restarted automatically in the event of a problem, such as someone inadvertently killing a service, a bug causing a core dump, or other process failures occurring. Further, SMF provides detailed and common logging as well as robust error handling to prevent services from hanging after a system state change. Please see the man page for smf(5) for more information.

    After a typical software installation, there can be a half dozen or more processes that need to be started and stopped during system startup and shutdown. In addition, these processes may depend on each other and may need to be monitored and restarted if they fail. For each process, these are the logical steps that need to be done to incorporate these as services in SMF:

    • Create a service manifest file.
    • Create a methods script file to define the start, stop, and restart methods for the service.
    • Validate and import the service manifest using svccfg(1M).
    • Enable or start the service using svcadm(1M).
    • Verify the service is running using svcs(1).

    Using SAS processes as an example, we will create two services, one for the SAS Metadata Server (OMR) and one for the SAS Object Spawner. In this example, the Object Spawner cannot attempt to start before the OMR is started and should be stopped before the OMR is stopped.

    [Apr 9, 2007] Deploying JBoss Application Server on Sun Fire T2000 Servers by Viet Pham (Sun Microsystems) and Phillip Thurmond (JBoss), April 2007

    It looks like JBoss performance can be significantly improved by proper tuning of TCP/IP stack and system parameters.

    [Apr 5, 2007] LinuxWorld preview Sun dishes on Linux identity management

    In a recent article on synching Linux servers with AD, users told us that using Sun NIS was a "big no-no" in terms of Sarbanes-Oxley compliance. What have you heard on this?

    Sigle: Many of those users are today moving from [Network Information Service] to LDAP. This is because with LDAP you get native security built into it, like SSL. With a customer I visited just last week, a large telecom, they had 20 different NIS domains, and they were planning on consolidating those into one infrastructure. They were putting those all into LDAP, centralized LDAP. Their domains will all still have multiple domain names but will instead be centralized into an LDAP tree.

    Preview what you're going to be doing at LinuxWorld and why IT managers might want to attend.

    Sigle: Basically it will be [about] identity management and access management options in the open source space conducted in a panel format with Gianluca Brigandi, Founder and System Architect of the JOSSO Project, and Anthony Nadalin from IBM. We will cover enterprise-to-customer relationships, business-to-business relationships, and so on in the ID space. Eventually, the conversation will end with a slide that I call the alphabet soup. It will list all the current identity standards like OpenSSO, JOSSO, OpenID -- all the buzzwords.

    Could you provide a little perspective on some of these standards, like Sun's OpenSSO for example?

    Sigle: Sun has been an industry lead with Directory Server, all the way back from the Netscape days. Many enterprises and many telecoms in the market run Directory Server for their customers, and many large telecoms run millions of identities in Directory Server. About a year ago, Sun architected a new Directory Server with all those aforementioned standards in mind. Sun then donated the code to the open source community. At some point in time, the plan is for Sun to take a snapshot of the open code, wrap support around it, and that will most likely be the next version of a directory server we support as company. That's one to two years away however. For now with OpenSSO, we took [Directory Server] and its access management capabilities and basically released all the source code. Going forward it will be the same scenario as Directory Server: we'll release a commercial snapshot of OpenSSO in the future.

    Has there been any user confusion regarding the number of standards?

    Sigle: In the past I worked with telecom customers and I heard that complaint all the time. Customers wanted to know how all these standards were going to talk to one another. Even if we delve into one of the collaborative efforts like the Liberty Alliance [which is comprised of Sun Java System Access Manager, OpenSSO, Lasso (Liberty single sign on) and HP Select Federation], there are different phases and specs. There's a bunch of stuff in there, and a lot of these standards drive toward the same goal. Recently we have started to get clarity with standards like the Security Assertion Markup Language from the OASIS, which has risen to the top. But customers are still asking when to use one over the other. When you are talking standards, there is no real company that is trying to appease all the standards at once.

    [Apr 5, 2007] SATA Framework Overview By Pawel Wojcik

    Feb 22, 2007 (

    As many of you noticed, Solaris now supports SATA controllers and devices. To simplify writing SATA HBA drivers the new module and a set of interfaces was created, referred to as either SATA Framework or SATA module. I was a principal architect of SATA framework, but several other Sun engineers were participating in the conceptual design and the shaping of the interfaces.
    It is not small piece of software - the source, sata.c, is over 300k in size. Reading this code, with associated header files may be a little confusing. So, I created an overview of the sata module, explaining what it is, how it fits in Solaris kernel, what it does, what are the interfaces and how sample operations are performed. Hopefully, it will be useful for all that want to improve and expand SATA support in Solaris Similar overview was presented about a year ago at Silicon Valley Open Solaris User Group meeting in Santa Clara and on various occasions internally in Sun organization. The overview that I plan to present here will have several parts. Here is the first one...

    [Apr 2, 2007] ZFS Overview and Guide

    [Apr 2, 2007] Setting Up a Demo Based on the Sun Virtual Desktop Access Kit for VMware - Features

    [Apr 2, 2007] Wireless Networking for Open Solaris

    Wireless Networking for OpenSolaris - HCL

    Configuring Wireless Networking (OpenSolaris) - Articles and FAQs

    [Apr 2, 2007] BigAdmin Feature Article Using Solaris JumpStart With the Solaris 10 OS for x86-x64 Platforms

    ... Using Solaris JumpStart software on the Solaris 10 OS for x86/x64 platforms is essentially the same as on Solaris 10 OS for SPARC platforms. However, there are some subtle differences that need to be addressed for correct operation.

    This document provides the steps and explanations necessary to set up a JumpStart server for the Solaris 10 OS on a Sun x86/x64 machine, along with configuring JumpStart for two or more clients.

    As a general reference, refer to the Sun online document Using Custom JumpStart.

    [Mar 27, 2007] Ian Murdock Making Solaris more like Linux Between the Lines by Dan Farber & Larry Dignan

    March 27th, 2007 (

    .... He noted that the Web as a platform pushes the importance of an operating system down the stack–most cool, new applications are not written today for a specific operating system. However, Linux community can provide valuable lessons as the evolution of software under shifts in architecture, monetization and technologies.

    Over the years, the Linux community has been adept at building a developer ecosystem, and articulating, packaging and integrating the technology, Murdock said. "The Web as a platform has to do a lot of same things the OS had to do–build ecosystem, beyond people willing to role up their sleeves and backing their way into how the system works. It's how to make it more of coherent platform," Murdock said. "Guess what–the OS guys know how to do that, and open source OS guys have an advantage."

    As a newborn Sun employee, Murdock is thinking about making Solaris more Linux-like. "When people say Linux what do they mean? Linux is a kernel. Cool apps are not written to the kernel. The OS powers higher levels of the stack. What we want is an open OS platform and to make sure that the existing skill sets and knowledge and training investments are leveraged. We don't want to make them learn a new product or rip and replace," Murdock said. "You can make a real argument that Solaris innovated more than Linux in the last few years-such as DTrace and ZFS-but usability stands in the way of appreciating that," Murdock said. "Part of what we are working on is closing the usability gap so that it doesn't stand in the way."

    "There is no reason we can't make Solaris look and feel more like Linux," he continued. "There are a couple of ways we could do it. We could stick a penguin on it or take a Linux distribution and put a Solaris kernel in it. There are a few Solaris-based distros that have done that. Personally, as the person charting the course and looking at the strategy question, it becomes how to keep the competitive differentiation of Solaris while closing the usability gap."

    "As someone on the other side of the table not long ago, you can't just rip the guts out of Linux and put in Solaris. If you do that, you are leaving out many of the compelling differentiations [of Solaris]. It will take some time to figure out precisely what the answer is."

    [Mar 20, 2007]

    Debian founder Ian Murdock. In an entry on his blog, Murdock announced that he is joining Sun Microsystems as their chief operating platforms officer. As he put it in his opensolaris post, this "...basically means I'll be in charge of Sun's operating system strategy, spanning Solaris and Linux." In all likelihood one of his first priorities will be "closing the usability gap" between Solaris and Linux.

    Re:Debian on Solaris?

    by kindbud (90044) on Monday March 19, @10:27PM (#18409579)
    If not that, then at least an upgrade of the current Solaris userland to make it more Linux-like.

    You mean it would have all the inconsistencies and inscrutability of the System V and BSD userland inherited from SunOS, PLUS all the additional inconsistencies Linux has contributed? I can hardly wait.

    Do I use a dash or a double-dash? Will the man page refer me to the info docs? Or will it refer me to the command line help? Or was that --help?

    One of the things I dislike about Linux userland is that it is such a bastard of every other userland out there. Cacophony cannot be emulated, it can only be shouted down.

    Re:Shooting too low, again.core:4, Interesting)

    by caseih (160668) on Monday March 19, @11:32PM (#18410127)

    I think Sun should buy Apple and rename themselves as Apple. Then Mac OS X gets a much better kernel, and Sun gets all of Apple's nice unix userspace (Solaris 10's userspace is awful). Mac OS X server becomes Solaris 11 and all of apple's good ideas like OpenDirectory, their management GUIs for open source apps, etc become a part of solaris. Already technology transfer is happening. My local Apple rep said a lot of core technologies are being licensed from Sun including ZFS.

    It would be a clear win for both companies. Apple gets instant access to the enterprise, and Sun will make sure the acquisition means that Apple's technologies will get the enterprise-level support they deserve. Currently Apple's so-called enterprise offerings are really not very serious, although they have improved their support with Tiger. Sun can finally sell desktop machines sporting an amazing OS and desktop (under the Apple Macintosh brand) and have a server OS that's powerful and easy to setup and administer and with the better BSD userspace that Apple has.

    Re:Shooting too low, again.

    by caseih (160668) on Monday March 19, @11:32PM (#18410127)

    I think Sun should buy Apple and rename themselves as Apple. Then Mac OS X gets a much better kernel, and Sun gets all of Apple's nice unix userspace (Solaris 10's userspace is awful). Mac OS X server becomes Solaris 11 and all of apple's good ideas like OpenDirectory, their management GUIs for open source apps, etc become a part of solaris. Already technology transfer is happening. My local Apple rep said a lot of core technologies are being licensed from Sun including ZFS.

    It would be a clear win for both companies. Apple gets instant access to the enterprise, and Sun will make sure the acquisition means that Apple's technologies will get the enterprise-level support they deserve. Currently Apple's so-called enterprise offerings are really not very serious, although they have improved their support with Tiger. Sun can finally sell desktop machines sporting an amazing OS and desktop (under the Apple Macintosh brand) and have a server OS that's powerful and easy to setup and administer and with the better BSD userspace that Apple has.

    Re:Shooting too low, again.
    (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cheshire_cqx (175259) on Monday March 19, @09:34PM (#18409161)

    Real apt-get with dist-upgrade for Solaris would be great. Blastwave seems like a stop-gap in comparison. Reinstalling from the DVD every time is a pain, and BFU isn't as comprehensive. In this respect OpenSolaris can learn usability from Debian, and I'd love to see it.

    [Mar 14, 2007] #102775 Daylight Saving Time (DST) Changes for Australia (2006), Canada (2007), United States (2007) and Others

    For operating systems that have not been updated with a patch reflecting the new U.S. DST policy changes, timestamps will exhibit a one hour time clock offset lasting three weeks beginning at 2:00 A.M. on the second Sunday in March of 2007. They will also exhibit a one hour time clock offset lasting one week beginning at 2:00 A.M. on the first Sunday in November 2007.
    The problem will disappear in a week till November and the next patch cycle will automatically take care about it. New U.S. Daylight Savings Times rules went into effect in March 2007. Consequently, servers that still rely on the default U.S. summertime clock settings are affected by the following problem.

    Daylight Saving Time (DST) Changes for Australia (2006), Canada (2007), United States (2007) and Others

    Many countries around the world have, over two years from 2005 to 2007, been incrementally implementing legislation to change their daylight savings time (DST) dates and their time zone definitions.

    As these changes come into force in each country, failure to modify the system time automatically may cause inaccurate system date and time which could lead to unpredictable consequences depending on system usage.

    2. BugIDs 6226357 and 6348147 - tz2005o

    U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005 implements change for the US. Starting in March 2007, DST in the United States will begin on the second Sunday in March and end on the first Sunday in November.

    There is no easy way to avoid this issue. Attempts to change the TOD clock of the system are temporary and will not resolve all the time zone issues resolved by these patches. It is advised that the patches are installed to resolve the time zone changes.

    Systems only requiring these changes and using only the US timezones need only install the following timezone and libc patches:

    SPARC Platform

    x86 Platform

    Note: In addition to the Solaris patches, certain mid-range servers also require firmware patches to correct the system controller. Please see Sun Alert 102617 at: for more details.

    [Feb 27, 2007] Sun Microsystems - BigAdmin System Administration Portal

    [Feb 20, 2007] Developing Applications on the Solaris OS and Linux

    Operating systems are the platforms for enterprise application systems. Selecting a good operating system for enterprise applications is important for high-quality application systems. This article explains why you should develop applications on the Solaris Operating System and Linux, and it discusses some common application development issues on these two operating systems. Also covered are developing nonnative applications, making existing Linux applications run on the Solaris OS, and porting applications from Linux to the Solaris OS.

    • Introduction
    • Why Develop Applications on the Solaris OS and Linux?
    • Similarities and Differences Between the Solaris OS and Linux
    • The Solaris 10 OS Supports Many Open Source Applications
    • Common Application Development Issues on the Solaris Platform and Linux
    • Open Source Software Libraries
    • System APIs
    • Multithreaded Programming
    • Architecture-Specific Code
    • How to Develop Nonnative Applications
    • How to Make Existing Linux Applications Run on the Solaris OS
    • Porting Applications From Linux to the Solaris OS
    • Application Development Environment on the Solaris OS
    • Build Environment in the Solaris OS
    • Packaging Applications and Deploying on the Solaris OS
    • More Resources

    [Jan 23, 2007] Sun's McNealy hopes for Intel-like deal with IBM

    One day after Sun Microsystems Inc. announced an alliance with Intel Corp., Sun Chairman Scott McNealy was in town openly wishing for something similar with IBM.

    January 23, 2007 (Computerworld) McNealy said he would like to see his Solaris operating system run on IBM's Power chip -- something he believes can happen, with or without IBM's help.

    "We would love to work with IBM," said McNealy, adding that he believes such a move would give users, especially those in mixed environments, more platform options. But even without IBM's help, "we're going to do the slow and steady community development of Solaris on Power."

    Sun and Intel officials said yesterday that they have agreed on joint engineering development plans to optimize Solaris on Intel's processors. Sun will also sell a line of Intel-based systems along with its Advanced Micro Devices Inc. Opteron-based systems. "Solaris would be a wonderful arrow in the quiver of the Power server group to have, and I think it would open up the market significantly for the Power processor," McNealy said.

    The Solaris open-source development community last year said it had ported Solaris to IBM's Power chip. IBM officials were not immediately available for comment.

    [Jan 22, 2007] Sun announced an alliance with Intel Corp.,

    January 22, 2007 (Computerworld) -- Sun Microsystems Inc. today announced an alliance with Intel Corp., a move that will greatly expand Sun's involvement with the chip maker and continue its slow and long embrace of the x86 world.

    Although some 70% of Solaris x86 users are already running the operating system on Intel-based platforms, Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz said, the deal cements the relationship between the two companies.

    In a teleconference, Sun and Intel officials detailed what they called a long-term collaboration to optimize Solaris on Intel processors, as well as conduct some joint research and development efforts.

    [Jan 15, 2007] T1 servers with Solaris 10 release 11/06 now support IBM-style logical partitions (called logical domains by Sun)

    New security features include Solaris Trusted Extensions and Secure By Default Networking, which automatically configures a customer's system to be impervious to network attacks by disabling many unused services, reducing the network exposure, while leaving the system fully functional for typical use.

    Virtualization improvements include Logical Domains and enhanced Solaris Containers. Using Logical Domains customers can now dynamically provision and run up to 32 OS instances on each UltraSPARC(R) T1-based system. Running inside the Logical Domain instances, Solaris Containers allow the isolation of software applications and services, enabling the creation of many private execution environments within a single instance of Solaris. Customers can detach, clone and move containers for greater utilization of system resources, simplified testing and deployment and improved application security.

    To expand support for Solaris Containers, the company also announced last week improvements to Solaris Cluster, Sun's business continuity and disaster recovery platform for Solaris 10. Sun will continue to add breakthrough virtualization technology to Solaris 10 through 2007-most notably with the planned addition of the open source Xen hypervisor, a paravirtualization technology that presents a software interface to virtual machines. The Xen hypervisor is available today from the OpenSolaris Xen community project at:

    Solaris 10 holds 124 performance world records and Sun continues to introduce new features to enhance the high performance OS. The new network Layer 7 Cache-implements an HTTP cache in the Solaris kernel-to speed up the response time for Web servers, allowing them to handle more concurrent clients and serve them quicker.

    For more information or to download Solaris visit For more details about Solaris 10 features, see


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    Tuning (see also Tuning):


    Free Books:

    • ***** Free Library Free registration required. Contains several interesting books on Unix (no all of them might be available currently but there are probably somewhere on the internet anyway). Some of those old InformIt free ebooks are really good generic Unix books including:
      Unix Hints & Hacks
      APR 20, 1999
      UNIX Hints & Hacks is designed to instantly reward you through increased productivity and satisfaction with UNIX. Each and every hint and/or hack provides real value--not just a list of obvious procedures marked as secrets.
      Sams Teach Yourself Samba in 24 Hours
      APR 20, 1999
      Sams Teach Yourself Samba in 24 Hours is a tutorial designed to help you integrate Linux/UNIX-based systems with Windows-based systems. It has all the information and tools necessary for you to be up and running with Samba in 24 short lessons.
      Sams Teach Yourself StarOffice 5 for Linux in 24 Hours
      MAR 19, 1999
      Sams Teach Yourself StarOffice 5 for Linux in 24 Hours is a hands-on tutorial aimed at making you, the reader, more effective and productive users of the office suite. It covers everthing from installation to configuration to using the program in an ...
      Sams Teach Yourself Shell Programming in 24 Hours
      FEB 19, 1999
      Sams Teach Yourself Shell Programming in 24 Hours is a tutorial aimed at making the UNIX and Linux user more effective and productive users of the operating system. It does this by showing them how to take control of their systems by harnessing the power ...
      Developing Linux Applications
      FEB 08, 1999
      The goal of Developing Linux Applications is to provide a handbook for developers who are moving to the Linux platform. Linux Application Development covers the GTK+ library including GLIB and GDK using C.

    Note: there are also two good free books on the Internet that formerly were available from - Unix Unleashed, Internet Edition - Unix Unleashed, System Administrator's Edition

    Recorded Chat:






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    Classic books:

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    Last modified: October 23, 2019