Solaris 10 costs less than Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and does more)

Those who have seen me speak to customers, know that I have a "mantra" when asked to compare Solaris to various Linux distributions.  It goes like this:

As a result, one FAQ I get is, "How much less does Solaris 10 cost?"  According to our Sun site and the Red Hat site list price comparisons for support and licenses are:
 

  Standard service
1 year
(5 x 12)
Premium service
1 year
(7 x 24)
 
Solaris 10 (up to 2 sockets)
 $720 $1080 
Solaris 10 (unlimited sockets)
$1320 $1980

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (up to 2 sockets)

 $799$1299
 11-20% more than Solaris
Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (unlimited sockets)
$1,499$2,49913-26% more than Solaris

 

Hmmmm....  So much for the idea that "Linux is cheap or free." 

Other important notes about Solaris 10:

Red Hat touts a number of new features in RHEL 5 that Solaris has had for years including:

  • Multi-level security which was first built into SunOS 4 back in the early 90s and is now included in Solaris 10 in the form of Trusted Extensions.
  • Real-time processing which was first featured in Solaris 8 over 7 years ago
  • Virtualization which was introduced in Solaris 10 in 2005
  • Open source development model which Solaris introduced 2 years ago
  • Integrated LDAP directory which Solaris 8 included in the year 2000
  • Auditing features which have been built into Solaris since version 2.3
  • SystemTap profiler which is a poor substitute for Solaris 10 advanced, award winning Dynamic Tracing Facility

Other advanced, open source features in Solaris 10 include:

  • ZFS, an advanced, easy to manage scalable file system
  • Service management facility to simpify operation and security
  • Secure by default to control network services out of the box
  • Predictive self-healing to provide the highest RAS available.
  • A large collection of third party applications

In short Solaris is a better "Linux than Linux"

Why should you care?

If you are interested in a data center quality operating system used for years by the most demanding customers at a low price, Solaris should be your first choice.

If you have more questions about Sun's strategy for Solaris and are a US Federal Government customer, contact Sun Federal at 703 204 4100 in McLean VA.


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About

Jim Laurent is an Oracle Sales consultant based in Reston, Virginia. He supports US DoD customers as part of the North American Public Sector hardware organization. With over 17 years experience at Sun and Oracle, he specializes in Solaris and server technologies. Prior to Oracle, Jim worked 11 years for Gould Computer Systems (later known as Encore).

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