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back to article Oracle Solaris 11 to abandon elderly servers

Oracle is putting the finishing spit and polish on its impending Solaris 11 Unix operating system, but if you're hoping to plunk it on some vintage iron – or even some machines that are really not so old at all – you're going to be disappointed. The software giant and hardware player has put out an end of life notice for …

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Bronze badge

A bigger problem is not supporting old OS versions on new hardware...

The bigger problem for many runners of legacy apps, is not the lack of support of Solaris 11 on old SPARC servers, but the reverse; the inability of new servers to run old versions of Solaris. Of course there are Solaris 8 & 9 containers available, but even those won't run everything.

As anybody involved in running legacy apps can tell you, swapping out the hardware is the easy bit. The hard part is software migration. Once you have a legacy app running for many years, often based on third party software which is no longer under active support or development then you are either into serious development and testing expenditure (which business departments are reluctant to support) or eking out the life of the existing environment.

Just about the only supplier who really does supply fully backward compatible environments such that new OS versions don't cause problems is IBM on their mainframes. Unfortunately doing so is at a considerable cost. Not only financially, but through the persistence of some rather outdated features of the operating system.

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Virtualise your legacy servers

and they can live virtually forever*.

If that is what you want of course.

* See what I did there

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Anonymous Coward

Well, most of these make an excellent Linux box

Hehe, I run Linux on anything that ancient instead of Solaris anyway. Makes for an excellent bastion box. You can see the script kiddiez break their teeth on it on a daily basis.

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OpenBSD preferred

OpenBSD was born on Sparc and is my choice.

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Facepalm

Noooooooo!!!!

Not /etc/hostname.* files!! (check the end of feature notices link)

So I take it they have moved to a binary DB of some kind, a la AIX's ODM, this is one reason I love Solaris, it keeps to the UNIX fundamentals, flat files for ALL config which you can vi.....it's the simple elegance of it.

Seriously though, I'm surprised by the lack of older hardware support, plenty of shops out there still running IV+, V490's and the like, we still have a good few knocking around....chewing up power and shitting out heat.....

Solaris 11 will live and die on the T4's, regardless of how good the OS is, so we will have to wait and see what the T4's can do first...

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Jad

RE: no more hostname.* files

They're using a new daemon called NWAM (NetWork Auto Magic) ... and it works with computers that move to new locations _and_ with equipment that stays in one place.

OpenSolaris used to have network/physical:default (the old style of networking) as well as network/physical:nwam (the new default) so that you could choose between them, I'm assuming that Oracle have decided to remove the old style from the list of possible services.

NWAM works better on laptops and other computers that change networks regularly in that it notices network connections appearing and dropping, but it takes getting used to.

I bit the bullet a while ago realising that NWAM was not going away and learnt how to control it in lots of esoteric ways ... just remember that if it isn't doing what you want you need to type "svcadm restart nwam" ;-P

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Devil

Well

Well, wouldn't it have been nice to have that in the builds prior to the final release ?

I am tempted to say Sun would have never done this to us, but hey look where that got them.

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US-IV+ and T1 are similar age

Odd they would not at least support US-IV+ (Panther). It was released in late 2005 like the original UltraSPARC T1 (Niagara).

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Facepalm

Yes.

Dropping support for Panther is kind of a bit to sales tactically for my taste. I mean honestly you could still buy Panther based systems back in what 2009 AFAIR. Which basically means that you can risk having 2 year old kit that you cannot run the newest OS version on. Meaning that you still have 1-3 years of depreciation left on the hardware.

Which basically means that you get F***** by Oracle. This actually pisses me off, cause I see me having to write an impact analysis of this to management, cause I am quite sure we have customers that want to upgrade to Solaris 11 and uses 5 years of depreciation, and have bought non SPARC64 kit in the years 2007-2009.

Bleh.

// Jesper

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Meh

re: US-IV+ and T1 are similar age

I bet it is because of the Hypervisor. Pre T-Series did not use a hypervisor, so the OS support must be very specific to support the HW in question.

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Go

Time to have a serious look at Illumos

The comments made by the brains behind core Solaris 10 technologies in the recent Illumos panel meeting should prove most interesting:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MyDaeQvp6O4&feature=player_embedded

“It [Solaris 11] represents a huge departure from Solaris 10. So, it’s going to ask the customers who are on Solaris 10 ‘do you want to invest a tremendous amount of time going to Solaris 11, going to Linux, or going to something else?’.” – Adam Leventhal

“Solaris 11 is mutating into what some people would call the bootloader for the Oracle database. Oracle’s priorities are clearly way different from what Sun’s were…I would not be entirely unsurprised if it turns that out you can’t actually license Solaris 11 separately…I would be actually very surprised if there’s ever a Solaris 12.” – Garrett D’Amore

“There’s a huge installed base of Sun hardware out there in datacenters around the world, billions of dollars worth of equipment, and Oracle has basically given it the finger.” – Garrett D’Amore

“Oracle has removed sun4u from Solaris 11. So there is no sun4u support in Solaris 11, which means that there is this huge amount of hardware, this installed base (anything earlier than a year or two ago) that can’t run, will not run Solaris 11 at all. And that’s a huge Illumos opportunity.” – Bryan Cantrill and Adam Leventhal

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Jad

RE: Time to have a serious look at Illumos

Umm ... I've been reading the Forums on Illumos and they're seriously talking about dropping x86 support, and old Sparc ...

I disagree, but there are a fair number of Vocal people who comment that the Spec's you need for good ZFS basically require new/modern hardware with 64 bit support and Gig's of memory ...

I'm a Solaris nut, but I've taken to using Ubuntu Server on the P3 boxes at work because they boot in less than 128Mb of memory, in about 4 seconds ...

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Joke

But what about LEON

No chance of running Solaris 11 in space then?

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I think the general sentiment in the data centre is "So what?"

That's a real pity.

But given that everything is increasingly moving to Linux, Windows Server or AIX, who REALLY cares if Solaris 11 doesn't run on old SPARC iron?

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@Oliver Jones

I would be cautious to move to AIX, as IBM officially said that AIX will be killed off, and replaced by Linux:

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1001-982512.html

However, Illumos is the open sourced version of Solaris and the community drives it. Several of the famous Solaris developers has quit Oracle and joined Illumos (guys behind DTrace, ZFS, etc). Open

Also, the reason that Oracle stops supporting the old SPARC cpus, is because Solaris 11 has a new killer feature that will be announced soon.

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Facepalm

@kebabbert

Hmm.

- That article is from Jan 2003, your only "source"

- It is not an official statement

- It does not say that AIX will be killed

- AIX on Power gaining market share

- No one else backs you up not even your chums in Oracle

- Google AIX killed and you find only Kebabbert, the Swede,many, many times all over the Internet

Classic FUD with the exception that FUD usually comes from sources with at least some credibility.

The fact that Oracle hasn't shut you up already is a clear sign that they don't give a rats ass about their image.

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Happy

@kebabbert

"The fact that Oracle hasn't shut you up already is a clear sign that they don't give a rats ass about their image."

Apparently some of the Oracle employees do care.

http://www.c0t0d0s0.org/archives/7363-Result-of-the-How-long-do-you-wait-before-Solaris-11-gets-on-your-prod-systems.html#comments

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@A.C

"...Google AIX killed and you find only Kebabbert, the Swede,many, many times all over the Internet..."

I am flattered that you think of me and of what I write. Do you often think of me? How cute.

.

.

"...Classic FUD with the exception that FUD usually comes from sources with at least some credibility...."

:o)

How ironic that you call me a FUDer. You apparently dont know what FUD is. I suggest you read on FUD. Here we see that IBM was the first company to employ FUD. Yes, IBM, the same company you support. IBM supporters are well known for their FUD.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_uncertainty_and_doubt

And you, an IBM supporter, call me a FUDer? Well, when you FUD, you are basically, lying and spreading false rumours. For instance, "SPARC will be killed said Oracle executives, migrate to POWER now or you will loose lot of money". So, where have I lied? Is it not true that IBM officially said that AIX will be killed and replaced with Linux? Is this a lie? No, it is not a lie. I speak true, and you are trying to discredit me by calling me a liar and FUDer. This makes you the FUDer, yes? I speak true, not lies.

It is not my fault that IBM wants to kill off AIX, is it? If IBM never said that, I would not write that. I dont want to write things that I can not prove with links. Why would IBM ever say that?

.

.

"...- It is not an official statement..."

http://news.cnet.com/2100-1001-982512.html

I consider this as official statement: to the IT-media, and to LinuxWorld. How can it be more official??

"Steve Mills, senior vice president of IBM's Software Group, told CNET News.com at last week's LinuxWorld trade show. "

.

"...- It does not say that AIX will be killed..."

Well, if IBM is going to replace AIX with Linux, it means AIX must be killed, yes?

"Asked whether IBM's eventual goal is to replace AIX with Linux, Mills responded, "It's fairly obvious we're fine with that idea...It's the logical successor."

A replacement "won't happen overnight," Mills said, but years of experience designing operating systems at IBM and other companies means developers know just where Linux needs to go. "The road map is clear. It's an eight-lane highway." "

.

"...- AIX on Power gaining market share..."

So what? POWER6 servers costed 5-10x more than x86. POWER7 costs 3x more. POWER8 will probably be cheaper still. And we all know that IBM does high margin business and walk away from low margin. What does the trend tell you? Do you think POWER8 will be even cheaper than POWER7?

AIX might be gaining market share, but each POWER7 server costs much less than POWER6 servers. Solaris servers have always sold in much larger quantities than POWER, but each Solaris server has lower price.

.

PS. A hint, stop FUD and spread false rumours about Oracle and Solaris, and I will stop post this article over again and again. Apparently you IBM supporters are very uncortomble reading this article where it says that AIX will soon be killed.

But if the things you say about Oracle are true, negative or good, and if you can prove your claims with links, then you are not FUDing, and you are not spreading false rumours. And then I will be quiet. True rumours are not FUD, no matter if they are negative or positive. Just re-read the wikipedia article on FUD and you will understand. If you say true things, I am silent. I dont care if they are negative or not, as long as they are true.

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rch

@kebabbert

Kebabert wrote:

"Apparently you IBM supporters are very uncortomble reading this article where it says that AIX will soon be killed."

Soon? Who was a lying FUDer again?

Don't you stop and think when no one supports your outrageous lies and repeated ramblings?

When even the most die hard SUN fan and Oracle employee writes the following to you:

"BTW: Please stop talking about this "IBM stops AIX" thing"

That is diplomatic speak for "Please shut your insane mouth Kebabbert. You are an emabarrassment for all things SUN and Oracle".

http://www.c0t0d0s0.org/archives/7363-Result-of-the-How-long-do-you-wait-before-Solaris-11-gets-on-your-prod-systems.html#c224633

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again and again

Well if you google AIX killed Kebabbert you do get 629 hits.. Now that is a lot.

Keb' for one that posts so much about UNIX and with such strong conviction you really really should try to learn about the marked you are in.

And btw you do know that Steve Mills, the IBM exec you keep referring to, is also the head of IBM's Server division ?

And guess what he haven't killed off AIX yet.

But there is nothing new in the AIX is getting killed off story, I've heard it from the other UNIX vendor's sales people for almost 15 years. And to be honest it's been a bit tiring, specially when you know that there are still 10 years of AIX support left. But I have no doubt that you and other sunshiners will keep echoing this in the years to come.

IMHO I don't want to see neither HPUX, AIX or Solaris disappear, unless they somehow ended up getting merged with LINUX into a SUPER *NIX OS. That would be nice.

// Jesper

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Unhappy

@kebabbert

You are right :-) He was rewarded by the head of Sun for for his diligent posting a few years ago (article in Swedish):

http://www.idg.se/2.1085/1.202161/staende-ovationer-nar-kebabbert-dok-upp-pa-suns-julfest

So by now I would expect him to work for oracle/sun....Anyhow I wouldn't exepct an unbiased opinion :-(

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@M1cha3l

As you know, I work in a large finance company. It is written in the article you posted. I do not work for Oracle, as you know. What are you trying to do? Discredit me?

Regarding my postings here, yes, I do post here. So what? There are lot of IBM supporters FUDing a lot, and spreading false rumours here. Why dont you remark on their behavior?

At least I am not spreading false rumours, I do not FUD as many IBM supporters here do. I can link to articles proving my claims, because I speak true things. IBM has officially said that AIX will be replaced by Linux. This is true, and not a false rumour.

Why dont you object when IBM supporters spread FUD here? Why do you object when I write true things with links to my claims?

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Happy

Larry is killing his own share here!

OK, I can see two reasosn that Larry would do this - to reduce his support costs (less different types kit to support the new Slowaris on means less support needed); and he hopes it will force customers using the older UltraSPANKED kit to move to newer Snoreacle servers After all, there is a massive installed base of old Sun kit out there from the old days of Sun.

The former will probably happen, but it removes the guaranteed source of income Snoreacle had in those old servers. And most of the support info for those old servers was already written by Sun before Oracle bought them, so they represent a large source of support revenue at little cost. UltraSPANKED represented a nice revenue stream that Larry has just put under threat.

On the upgrade front, those customers that do decide to move off UltraSPANKED are looking at a double upgrade - new servers and a new OS (Slowaris 11). It is just as likely they will look at a move to a different OS (Linux, AIX or hp-ux), and that probably means a different vendor's tin too (for example, hp are still selling five times as many x64 servers for Slowaris than Snoreacle). After all, every move Larry makes is locking them into Larry's little world of zero choice and high support costs.

Larry's efforts to brick up his garden are starting to look a bit too much too soon.

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Stop

Yet another reason to hate Oracle

We won't be doing Solaris 11...and unless an app only runs on Solaris we don't allow anyone to buy a sparc box. The purchasing department has strict orders to halt all sparc orders in the company.

I wish we could do the same for any Oracle product...but we are locked in.

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Happy

RE: Yet another reason to hate Oracle

Aw, c'mon, Alli! Quit being lazy and do your own trolling, girl!

http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/ondemand/migrate/db.html

;)

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Stop

Better everything

Better/faster/cheaper to support hardware.

Better OS, more improved.

Better support from Oracle.

Easy to find new parts.

Your boss might not like it, but it`ll make everybody`s life easier.

Techies should be thanking Oracle for this... I'm not kidding.

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Facepalm

Lifetime of a server....

Well I have done a quick scan of our CMDB, and we have around 15 x 25K's with Panther SPARC's in them. And this means that these machines can't be upgraded to Solaris 11. Which is not a problem AFAIR our contracts says current OS version -1 as a minimum. BUT if Oracle then releases Solaris 12 in late 2013 or Early 2014, then we need to upgrade, to at least Solaris 11, within a specified amount of time. And as some of our 25K's were originally expected to last until late 2014/ mid 2015, we will need to shorten the lifespan of some of these servers. Hence this is most likely gonna cost us money, as we will have to depreciate some of these servers faster than expected. Now this could be a loss of up to 1 MUSD per server.

Honestly.. this sucks.

// Jesper

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Happy

re: Lifetime of a server....

Where have you heard that Solaris 12 will be released in 2013/2014? Solaris 8 came out in 2000, Solaris 9 came out in 2002, Solaris 10 came out in 2005, and now Solaris 11 in 2011.

I know that Oracle is not Sun, but the timeline seems to be growing, not shrinking. With the number of major changes in Solaris 11 compared with earlier versions, I would guess that Oracle will monetize Solaris 11 longer, not shorter -- maybe not 2 years like Solaris 8 or 6 years like Solaris 10, but more like 3-4 years...

You are already a generation behind. You should consider upgrading your hardware by 2013-2014 anyway. Your current platform was released in 2002!!! If I recall correctly, the 25K was EOL'd in 2009... Why would Oracle support a new OS for an EOL product?

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WTF?

re: Yet another reason to hate Oracle

Why would IBM have to tell it's purchasing department to stop buying SPARC? You would think that IBM would be using their own systems and would not need to make a specific policy.

Of course, to hate Oracle for not supporting a chip that has been around for over 7 years does not seem very fair. Your beloved AIX 7.1 does not support a 32-bit kernel (like Solaris 11). AIX 7.1 only supports back to Power4, which would make it about 9 years -- but seeing how AIX 7.1 was released in 2010 it was really only 8 years, about the same as what Oracle is doing with Solaris 11.

So what's your hate about anyway? Hate is an ugly thing and will make your life sad. Don't be sad.

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Facepalm

re:re: Yet another reason to hate Oracle

AC you are missing the point.

Again SPARC IV+ systems were sold up until Q1 2009, and then an OS released aprox 2 1/2 years later then doesn't support the hardware sold only 2 1/2 years earlier.

If you do want to compare with AIX 7.1 that would correspond to AIX 7.1 not being supported on the POWER5+ based p570, and oh wait AIX 7.1 does actually support POWER4. What AIX 7.1 doesn't support is RS64, which IBM stopped selling back in 2002, that is 8 years for AIX 7.1 (Btw 6.1 didn't support RS64 either, but again you had 5+ years from when they stopped selling the server til they dropped OS support for it.)

2 1/2 years is simply being nasty to your clients, and forcing them to upgrade prematurely.

And you need to get your facts right with regards to SPARC IV+ release dates. Here is for V890

- Announced support for 1.5GHz UltraSPARC IV+ processors in September 2005

- Announced support for 1.8GHz UltraSPARC IV+ processors in August 2006

- Announced support for 2.1GHz UltraSPARC IV+ processors in April 2007

And there is no hate here.. only )/#)(Y(U¤# cause this is gonna cost us money.

// Jesper

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Facepalm

re:re: Lifetime of a server....

With regards to solaris, then historically it has normally had a new release every 2-3 years, the five -six years between Solaris 10 and 11 seems to be a bit of the exception that confirms the rule. This picture illustrates it well:

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/timeline/3a506e57d970f4bcdc0b3b673b6dd694.png

Oracle is a software company, software companies want to keep short release cycles between major releases to milk the clients. I've put our Oracle business partner dude on it, lets see what he finds out. Most likely gonna be NDA so..

With regards to the hardware, I didn't buy it, back in 2008/2009 I would have bought Mseries, if only to get two vendors supplying the same machines, to play them out against each other. But back then I was working with the competition to where I work now. But I know one thing, back then your SUN sales person was pushing E25K to the end, all while whispering about Rock in your ears. And there were a lot of people that bet on simply skipping 'the temporary fix' which many were led to believe that the Fujitsu made APL line of servers were to be, and then jump directly from SPARC IV+ to Rock.

How wrong they were.

"You are already a generation behind. You should consider upgrading your hardware by 2013-2014 anyway."

A machine normally has a lifespan of 5-6 years. Hence a machine bought in 2009 should be ready for replacement in 2014-2015.

" Your current platform was released in 2002!!! If I recall correctly, the 25K was EOL'd in 2009... "

The E25K is from 2004 and it was not EOL'ed in 2009. SUN stopped selling it in 2009, there is a VERY big difference. You are thinking like a sales guy. You don't buy a server and then 2 1/2 years later OS support for the machine stops. That is simply treating your clients badly.

You must expect that the client buying the machine will depreciate the value over the machine for 3-5 years, hence you keep supporting the machine for at least 5 years (6 is better) after you stopped selling it.

You simply don't do a thing like that, we have machines that will have almost 50% of their deprecation value left when Solaris 11 (non express) tapes out, and we have to look through our contracts to figure out if there is a "within 1 year of a release you have to have the OS upgraded" clause. Cause by then there is still 30% left of the depreciation value of the machine.

And that is somewhere between 1-1.5MUSD for a E25K. So if we have to go and buy new HW, that is actually a loss to us, formally that is. One one account that is a bloody 8 machines.

So forget internet trolls and teasing about products and I like XXX better than YYY.. This is serious real life business. And we are a F****** large Oracle customer, again just in our little tiny country I counted 500+ servers, with 10% of them being high-end machines. So my aim is to mobilize our Oracle relationship dudes and get those guys to put pressure on Oracle to revoke the removal of support for SPARC IV+.

"Oracle support a new OS for an EOL product?"

See above. I hope you get it.

And btw thanks to TPM for taking this up, I would have missed it until the release of Solaris 11, if I hadn't read this article.

// Jesper

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Unhappy

re: re:re: Lifetime of a server.

"The E25K is from 2004 and it was not EOL'ed in 2009. SUN stopped selling it in 2009, there is a VERY big difference. You are thinking like a sales guy. You don't buy a server and then 2 1/2 years later OS support for the machine stops. That is simply treating your clients badly."

I think not supporting the latest and greatest is not the same as stopping OS support. Solaris 10 will support the E25K for a very long time. Oracle has not announced EOL of Solaris 10...

Sun did EOL the E25K in 2009. That was not EOSL, but it was most definitely EOL'd; Last Order Date corresponds to EOL. However, I can see your point. Again, you can run Solaris 10 for the foreseeable future, your contractual obligations not withstanding...

As far as the M-Series vs. ROCK Sales Reps... I heard those stories as well. From my understanding, those were rogue Sales Reps that were speaking out of their arses. That same story has been repeated many times so I feel your pain. The M-Series is a great piece of kit... Too bad you had a bad SR...

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Thank you Oracle (no sarcasm here)

Thanks Oracle for forcing my employer to update that 10-year old piece of crap.

Any tech guy complaining that Oracle is doing this is sadomasochist.

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FAIL

Lol - Kebabert

You even got told to give it a rest by the c0t0d0s0 guy!

You are a blatant troll who add's nothing to any discussion whatsoever apart from quoting what you call "Facts" by pasting in links to other sites and vendor's PR/sales centric benchmarks. That's it, that's all you contribute. You add nothing of intellect or value.

From another ex-Sunner , I echo Joerg's sentiments, your blithering is embarrassing to the rest of us who actually were proud Sun employees.

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Happy

RE: Lol - Kebabert

Ouch! Looks like in these deseprate times the Sunshiners are turning on each other. It's a bit funny to see and ex-Sun employee complaining about a poster that Sun gave an award to in thanks for their posting, kinda says it all about the disconnect that used to exist between Sun marketing and the coalface! And where did you get Jeorg from?

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Desperate? hardly....

Just putting a troll in his place....

Joerg is the guy who writes the c0t0d0s0 blog, ex-Sun, current Oracle.

Funny thing is kebabert has never had any connection with Sun, was never an employee, so why he carries on the way he does is beyond me.

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RE: Desperate? hardly....

"....Joerg is the guy who writes the c0t0d0s0 blog..." Is it worth reading?

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Angel

re: RE: Desperate? hardly....

"Is it worth reading?"

If you're pro-Sun/Oracle. It often has a very lively discussion on the current state of all things Sun/Oracle, so it seems to act like a lightning rod for trolls.

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