July 17th, 2010
Update, 28th July: I was perhaps a bit premature in declaring this. HP is now selling Solaris Support once again, and I believe you can still get Solaris support on some Dell models. IBM however are no longer offering it.
So the title should more accurately read: Solaris 10 for free for production use, is dead
I think quite a lot of us have been living in denial about this, even after Oracle altered the Solaris 10 license to make the free download a 90 day trial. People sort of shrugged and said “Well, you can still buy a support license from HP and Dell”. Even after Oracle cancelled the HP deal, people were still hopeful. “Perhaps this was a negotiating tactic!” I heard people cry on IRC.
Well, the fact is, the truth should have been obvious as far back as February. On February 23rd this year, Dan Roberts, Director of Solaris Product Management at Oracle told the OpenSolaris Governing Board:
Q – PT – What about support on third-party hardware?
A – DR – At this point Oracle is very focused on places where they can make revenue and margin. Unfortunately for us, we have not seen a good uptake on those standalone subscriptions. Has seen more emails on the topic than the total number of systems sold. Hard to make a case. At this point, there are no plans to support non-Sun systems. We will continue to honor existing contracts for the term of that contract. Over time, we hope to move folks over to Sun hardware.
Q – PT – What about regular Solaris?
A – DR – Same answer as above.
Q – PT – Will the ability to download and run it without support continue?
A – DR – Look at the licenses carefully. Production deployments will require a support agreement which is sold on Sun systems only.
In plain english, Oracle has no intention of providing support for OpenSolaris, nor for Solaris on Non-Sun Hardware. Nor will you be allowed to run Solaris 10 on a production system without a support contract.
This relegates the OpenSolaris distribution to a useless toy not fit for production, and means if you want to use Solaris 10 you have to buy a Sun server from Oracle and buy a support contract.
This effectively makes Solaris 10 unviable for a large number of users. While Oracle’s Sun Servers are beautiful pieces of engineering, they are vastly over priced, and you can get equivalent Dell kit for half the price.
Dan did say some somewhat positive things, stating:
* Oracle is increasing investment in Solaris and Oracle considers OpenSolaris a part of Solaris.
* Will continue to support the community.
* Will continue to contribute to the source base.
* Plan to continue OpenSolaris releases.
* Solaris releases will continue.
* What will Oracle do to support OpenSolaris as a distribution? We will continue to support Solaris offerings and we will continue to include OpenSolaris. The form will change. We will no longer offer independent support offerings for Solaris or OpenSolaris. They will be part of Systems Support Offerings that include Sun hardware.
If the community wants to continue to be able to run some form of Solaris on their non-Sun hardware, (or on their Sun hardware but without a support contract), the community is going to have to step up and do something.
I have very strong reason to believe the community is about to do just that. I can’t provide details just yet, but something big may be coming RealSoonNow[tm]. Stay tuned.
Entry Filed under: Solaris