Adopting a new version of the operating system is often a pretty tough task. History tells us that many enterprise customers will wait until the first or second update release before even considering a move. This usually revolves around the perception that this initial release would be unstable or lacking polish on some of the new features that were introduced, or simply that critical 3rd party applications just aren't available and certified yet. I've certainly been in that situation with my Apple laptop, so it's not unreasonable to appreciate it's the same (if not harder) in the enterprise.
But Oracle Solaris 11 is a little different.
The maturity of the codebase
From the moment Oracle Solaris 10 was released in 2005, engineers were already working on Oracle Solaris 11 - solving the hard problems and areas of frustration for our customers, innovating in all areas of the operating system. While many new features were introduced such as the IPS, Boot Environments, Automated Installer, and a complete overhaul of the networking stack including network virtualization, other areas such as Oracle Solaris Zones, ZFS, SMF and DTrace that were introduced in Oracle Solaris 10 were being polished and matured. Well before Oracle Solaris 11 was released in November 2011 we already had the codebase used in a variety of production ready releases - from the ZFS Storage Appliance, the many OpenSolaris releases, and Oracle Solaris 11 Express. With huge numbers of consumers through our customer base, internal deployments and beta programs, Oracle Solaris 11 has been refined and stabilized through years of hard work.
Oracle Solaris has had a long history of preserving application source and binary compatibility with careful engineering at the core. Application written on previous releases of the operating system can expect to be run on newer releases. Oracle Solaris 11 is no different in this respect. However, the introduction of Oracle Solaris 10 Zones provides administrators with the ability to run an existing application as is in an Oracle Solaris 10 environment running on top of Oracle Solaris 11. Most 3rd party applications that are certified for Oracle Solaris 10 are ideal candidates for deployment in Oracle Solaris 10 Zones, meaning that you don't have to wait for your 3rd party vendor to certify on a new release and you get to deploy Oracle Solaris 11 quicker.
Some useful guides to help you
But with all new releases, there's a little bit of a learning curve to get over and that can lead to some frustration. For Oracle Solaris 11, we've produced two guides to help you understand some of the differences, and how you can base take advantage of some of these new features. Take a look at the following guides and kickstart your Oracle Solaris 11 experience today!