back to article Solaris update plan is real, but future looks cloudy by design

Oracle looks like it's going to suggest Solaris users move to its SPARC-powered cloud. Ever since Oracle quietly announced it would not deliver any more point-zero upgrades to its Solaris operating system and instead move to continuous delivery, The Register has wondered exactly what Big Red plans to deliver, and when. Our …

  1. bazza Silver badge

    Sparc Emulator?

    Previous efforts have been, well, how can I put it, sluggish?

    1. Mad Mike

      Re: Sparc Emulator?

      This is rather interesting, as a fully functioning SPARC emulator was available for a few years some time back from a company called Transitive. This was an offshoot of Manchester University. IBM bought them up and they disappeared from sight, although it was probably used for the x86 on Power offering for Power servers....PowerVM Lx86.

      1. FrankAlphaXII

        Re: Sparc Emulator?

        What are the chances of IBM selling the IP to Oracle? I've never thought of them getting along all that well. Not to say you probably couldn't get Rometty and her board to bark like dogs if you waved a few hundred million under their noses as Lenovo has a few times.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: Sparc Emulator?

          A good question. Given that Oracle doesn't really truly 'build' anything. It's all got through acquisition or getting someone else to do the graft. Would Oracle create their own emulator? I doubt it. So, where have they got it from. I know the Transitive software was supposed to be impressively fast and had some special IP which aided this. Otherwise, I do wonder how well an interpreted Sparc would run on a X86 server.

          1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge

            Re: Sparc Emulator?

            Why interpret it? Why not translate it into x86 on the fly?

          2. adamr001

            Re: Sparc Emulator?

            Transitive is what powered the Rosetta feature in Mac OS X to let PowerPC apps run on x86. Worked pretty well and was fast as far as I remember.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sparc Emulator?

            Oracle doesn't really truly 'build' anything? Are you serious? Have you seen Oracles Engineered Systems product line (Exadata, Exalogic, Exalytics, Oracle Database Appliance, MiniCluster, SuperCluster, ZDLRA, etc) and the last 6 SPARC processors (SPARC T4/SPARC T5/SPARC M5/SPARC M6/SPARC M7/SPARC S7) that were 100% designed and developed by Oracle?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Sparc Emulator?

              "that were 100% designed and developed by Oracle?"

              By Sun really that Oracle purchased...

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Sparc Emulator?

                I was at Sun in the Enterprise Server Hardware group and we did not have any engineered systems. Just Servers and Storage plus networking bits. Oracle, after acquiring Sun, hired well over a 1,000 more HW engineers which then took on the Engineered Systems developments which Oracle had originally started with HP with the very first Exadata. So the Oracle Engineered Systems are 100% Oracle designed/developed/engineered. Sure there are many Ex-Sun employees that are/have worked on the Engineered Systems but it all started after joining Oracle like myself.

    2. Hans 1 Silver badge

      Re: Sparc Emulator?

      HP had one, for iTanic, apparently ...

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sparc Emulator?

      "“Best Practices for Keeping Your Oracle Solaris Workloads Secure”

      Migrating away from anything Oracle springs to mind!

  2. Dan 55 Silver badge
    Devil

    Come one, come all, to the Solaris cloud

    We've fired everyone working on Solaris, but never mind. Sign on the dotted line in blood, Larry needs a new yacht.

    "No question is too hard, no answer is too technical." - We've got a LAN cable, no WiFi drops in the conference hall are going to stop us from Googling your question... just for you.

    "Learn how easy it is to move your Oracle Solaris–based workloads to … Oracle SPARC–based cloud solutions"... running Linux.

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Come one, come all, to the Solaris cloud

      "Learn how easy it is to move your Oracle Solaris–based workloads to … Oracle SPARC–based cloud solutions"... running Linux.

      ...and on top of crappy OVM.....

  3. Blank Reg

    This could end up being good news. They could just give up and re-open source the last Solaris version. I know we have Illumos, but that forked off from Open Solaris 7 years ago.

  4. Eric Kimminau TREG

    But... Oracle canned almost all of the Solaris technical staff 9/1/2017

    Per this post on LinkedIn over the weekend, Solaris is pretty much dead.

    RIP Solaris: Oracle laid off nearly all Solaris technical staff on Friday 9/1.

    https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6310502328470433792/?commentUrn=urn%3Ali%3Acomment%3A(activity%3A6310502328470433792%2C6310832265488330752)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: But... Oracle canned almost all of the Solaris technical staff 9/1/2017

      Oracle laid off nearly all Solaris technical staff on Friday 9/1.

      Not true. Many, but by no means all. It merged Solaris and Linux teams a few months back.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: But... Oracle canned almost all of the Solaris technical staff 9/1/2017

        Yes there were layoffs but no, theres still a lot of Solaris engineers! Theres still over 400 people today reporting into Bill Nesheim, VP SW Development/Solaris

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But... Oracle canned almost all of the Solaris technical staff 9/1/2017

          "Yes there were layoffs but no, theres still a lot of Solaris engineers! "

          Heh. I happened to look at the "Oracle Solaris Engineering Panel" description yesterday, and it had three people listed as speakers, because, you know: panel.

          Today it has one.

          "Come join us for a fun session and be sure to embrace your inner geek!"

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But... Oracle canned almost all of the Solaris technical staff 9/1/2017

          LOL. Those 400 will probably get whittled again and you know they are only there to sustain Solaris.

          Assuming you are still at Oracle, just take a look at who they let go and tell me things are still rosy. Face it: it's over.

  5. ecarlseen

    "continuous delivery"

    Translated from marketing-speak: your critical systems will never be stable or reliable again.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "continuous delivery"

      I think they meant to say "continuous layoffs".

  6. bobajob12
    Meh

    SPARC & Solaris are dead whether we like it or not

    You can see where Oracle are going with this: get customers off running SPARC/Solaris on prem ASAP. So dangle a cloudy carrot in front of a CFO and get those prem servers moved first. Maybe a sweet licensing deal ("Look! it's only pennies per core!")

    Then do the old switcheroo where the SPARC servers in Oracle's cloud are swapped out for x86 and an emulator. (That old licensing agreement plus the sudden need for many more cores for the same job may be a cash windfall for Oracle, but I couldn't possibly comment.)

    Then let gravity take over as the customers run headlong towards Linux.

    Hate to see it happen, but it's going to happen.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SPARC & Solaris are dead whether we like it or not

      And run it all on emulators running on Intel chips having sparc cores.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: SPARC & Solaris are dead whether we like it or not

      SPARC and Solaris are in every Oracle Public Cloud datacenter around the world being sold as a service and Oracle offers SPARC core subscriptions at the exact same price as its x86 cores. $100/OCPU/Month. https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/compute-opc/dedicatedsparc/pricing

      SPARC has been around over 30 years and there are over 5M SPARC cores in production today so its highly unlikely that SPARC whether from Oracle or Fujitsu will die anytime soon.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Emulator

    If you take a deeper look at the OOW-session about a SPARC-emulator you´ll see that is held by Stromasys who is not a part of Oracle and has been developing such emulators for years...

    Nothing new there. You should treat that session as is.

  8. -tim

    The more things change in IT, the more they remain the same

    The Solaris vs Linux today looks very much like the OS2 vs Windows issue when OS2 was new. One is vastly better on very high end equipment with better features but the alternates are better running on generic machines. I use ZFS on both Solaris and FreeBSD and the Solaris version has more features and seems to be better optimized. I would love to have some of the new SPARC hardware but the base model cost more than a new car and my work load just doesn't require that much power.

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