No News is Bad News

Posted on May 17, 2010

A reader wrote today wondering why my entries have slowed down and there isn’t a lot of news coming. Quite simply there isn’t much to say. I’ve felt a need to return to blogging various smaller technical posts just to keep the blog on life support until something happens at Oracle.

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.

In the meantime, there is an increased exodus to Linux and other platforms. Particularly from customers who were unsatisfied with Solaris 10 and embraced SX:CE as an interim solution.

Some of you will recall my OPEN LETTER TO ORACLE. It got no response. None. Nothing.

Some of you will have noticed my push to explore the OpenSolaris delays through “proper channels”, that is through the OGB. The idea was this… OpenSolaris is developed in several Community Groups (CGs), such as pkg (for IPS), Indiana, Distribution, ON (the kernel itself), SFW, etc. Therefore, if we wish to get answers, perhaps the OGB should simply formally request a status report from the appropriate CGs! That makes sense right? But the board members can’t seem to think this way… they insist that “OpenSolaris” the distro is an Oracle controlled thing and therefore won’t even try. The OGB has no interest in governing their own community or even making attempts, vain as they may be, to make progress. This is precisely why I declined nomination this year, the OGB is completely useless. The press that resulted from my proding turned into a useless circus with OGB members suggesting a fork is imminent…. and that’s simply madness.

But… is hope lost? NO! Is Solaris dead? NO! I still believe that things will be made right and that a new era is opening up for Solaris. We’re simply in a very scary transition period which will pass with time. Once Solaris 11 is released we’ll look back and wonder why we all made such a big fuss…. but it would sure be easier if we got a little love from Oracle or Solaris Engineering.

Keep the faith. Try to keep your organizations from flee’ing a great platform and just stick it out as long as you can. Lets all hope that Oracle gives us a little support here and lets all just keep taking it in the crotch until that time.