Lifecyles.

Solaris 8 was released in spring 2000. Now after more than six years its end of life has been announced - but this only means that we will stop shipping media kits in February 2007 and that the clock towards the end of service life starts ticking for five years. End of service life will be March 31, 2012. This is a pretty long lifecycle e.g. compared to the seven years offered by RedHat for their Enterprise Linux. With the Solaris lifecycle model Sun has found a good balance between innovation and stability. In the Linux space there is still a discussion about wether such a balance can be found. Kroah-Hartman who works with Chris Wright to maintain the 2.6.x.y kernel patches recently stated "I think the enterprise stable kernel model doesn't work","I think stable enterprise Linux is really an oxymoron". The Solaris model has a much stronger focus on the stability aspects needed for binary distributions whereas in Linux there is a stronger focus on the freedom to innovate in the source code, as can been seen from the deliberate decision to have no stable binary interface for device drivers. Solaris offers the DDI/DKI. For layered software the lifecycles are even shorter. MySQL AB is about to draw the curtain on older databases and they have come up with a lifecycle model offering five years of support.
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Franz Haberhauer - Chief Technologist - Hardware Presales Germany

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