Monday Jun 30, 2008

No "patches" for OpenSolaris

Are you prepared for the change in the way fixes are delivered in OpenSolaris?

With the Image Packaging System (IPS) in OpenSolaris, there is no longer the concept of a "patch" as it is known in Solaris 10 and earlier. Updates to OpenSolaris will be delivered via refreshes from the distribution repository - there will be no patch delivery vehicle for fixes in OpenSolaris.

Interim relief for critical situations, for example security issues, will still be delivered via the IDR program but once the formal fix is released, it will be obtained by refreshing your packages via IPS.

Do you create your own patches for 3rd party software?

If you "roll your own" patches using the Sun patch architecture to update 3rd party software via the patchadd utility, then I recommend you look at transitioning to the IPS mechanism. Let me know if this applies to you, as I'm curious to know how many folks out there actually do this currently.

Saturday May 17, 2008

Solaris chosen over Linux for better performance

It's nice to hear a success story, no matter how big or small, so I was pleased to see that Real Time Matrix Corp. had a pleasant surprise when the compared the performance Solaris 10 to Fedora.

Despite being a committed Linux environment, they decided to try out Solaris 10 while they had a T1000 on trial...and ended up feeling quite pleased with the result, claiming that Solaris 10 had "50 times the throughput" of the Fedora configuration.

For the full story, take a look at the online article.

Thursday May 08, 2008

OpenSolaris provokes!

OpenSolaris certainly seems to have stirred up a great deal of both interest and controversy in equal measure! There's been a lot of reasoned debate and a very encouraging level of interest and optimism too! Naturally there has been a whole load of the usual foaming at the mouth rhetoric but hey, so what? Religious "OS vs. OS" flamewars are nothing new...and by the looks of it, these wars are as intellectually impoverished as ever.

Personally I think it's all rather reassuring. If OpenSolaris was of little consequence or, as was asserted by a laughable bit of FUD, doomed to die, then we wouldn't be seeing such emotionally charged battle lines being drawn. Clearly we're doing something right to provoke such a defensive response!

That said, I don't assert that there aren't valid questions and concerns being expressed or that rational discussions aren't taking place. To be honest, I guess this is less about advocating OpenSolaris and more about my personal dismay at the flamewar phenomenon in general. It's just that the OpenSolaris versus Linux issue seems to be the "flamewar du jour" and it reminded me of my distaste for all the online pontification that goes on.

Curiously, I learnt recently that a possible explanation for this psychology is that people are far more unlikely to change their stance in group settings (whether that's a group of people in a meeting or in a public forum) due to a visceral need to "save face" - the fallacy being that you lose face by being persuaded to adjust your views. Frankly, I tend to have much more respect for people who don't fall for this delusion and retain their rationality. Anyway I digress...

This is still the start of the journey for OpenSolaris. We (Sun and the community) have a lot more work to do. It's certainly too soon to be wishfully doomsaying with any credibility. Interestingly, I'm already hearing of inquiries coming in about the OpenSolaris production support offering. It will be interesting to see how many folks sign up for this.

The production support includes 24x7 coverage with a 1 hour response commitment to top priority calls. Note also that if necessary, support calls under this plan can be escalated up to our team in engineering...just as they can under the regular support plans.

Okay, so you don't get the onsite hardware rapid response support like you would with a regular enterprise service plan - this is a software only. But for the price, this is a really cool offering!


Jimmo has been at Sun since 1994 and is currently a director within the software organization. This blog is infrequently updated with his thoughts, ramblings and observations. Enjoy!


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