Use the OPN Fast Track to move your Application to Oracle Solaris 11

The first building block is the Oracle Solaris binary guarantee. It warrants that Oracle Solaris 10 binaries can be executed on Oracle Solaris 11 without recompilation.

Even binary compatible applications rely on all the frame works which have been provided with Oracle Solaris 10. Applications who need this fine grained support of the older Oracle Solaris 10 infrastructure are likely to work smoothly on Oracle Solaris 11systems using an Oracle Solaris 10 branded zone. This will work as long as the applicaton has been supported to run in a Oracle Solaris 10 zone before.

Planning of the Transition

The OPN recommended transition starts with a planning phase (see picture below).


The following steps will help to mimize the costs in the validation and testing process:

  • Check the outdated and removed OS components: The Oracle Solaris 11 EOF (End of Feature) page lists all outdated components of Solaris which been removed from Oracle Solaris 11. Typical items on the EOF list are ancient server hardware, the related drivers, locales which aren’t anymore needed due to political changes, outdated frameworks etc. Most applications are known not to be affected by these changes. Screening this list helps to lower the costs in the later testing phases

  • Check the “ISV Oracle Solaris 11 ISV Adoption Guide” on the Oracle Technical Network (OTN). This document lists all know border cases which may create problems for applications. These problems may occur due to the evolution of the operating system frameworks. Examples are:

    • the open source OpenSSL 1.0 library which follows the industry standards. The predecessor version 0.98 (from 2004) as shipped in Solaris 10 is unfortunately not 100% compatible with it’s own version 1.0.

    • upgrades in command shells and commands may behave different in corner cases. Checking an existing application against these known corner cases raises the likelihood of a successful software validation run on Solaris 11. Known problems can be fixed upfront without an expensive investigation in a QA lab.

  • Most applications rely on third party components in one way or the other. Oracle ISV-Engineering is tracking and publishing all applications with public support statements for Oracle Solaris 11 through their “partnertech” blog. Quite a number of partners do not publish their platform support notes on public web sites for one reason or the other. OPN Gold members with a Solaris specialization may use the Oracle ISV support through email to get detailed support information about the Solaris 11 availability of third party applications.

A careful analysis with the help of the documents listed above will help setting the expectations for a validation and certification in the next phase.

Validation of the Application

Oracle offers as well services for the hands-on phase of the software validation.

A very efficient first step consists of using the Oracle Solaris Preflight Application Checker. The tool allows to test an existing application in it’s regular Solaris 10 environment. It checks the binary, the sources and the running system for all known issues which may prevent it to run on Solaris 11.

The tool is very useful since careful planning can’t reveal a number of problems:

  • any given application is likely to use third party components which aren’t under the control of the developer. The preflight checker will check all these components as well.

  • applications tend to use incorrect coding which worked in the past by chance. Solaris 11 doesn’t allow a number of these use cases anymore. They had severe performance and stability side effects in modern operating systems (examples: statically linked libc, misaligned mutexes etc.). Applications using these loop holes in the past worked by chance only.

  • the tool documents as well the usage of outdated frameworks which aren’t anymore available in Solaris 11.

An inspection with the Oracle Preflight Application Checker will most likely lower costs since required coding and configuration changes can be scheduled and fixed before valuable lab resources are being allocated.

OPN Gold members with a Solaris specialization have the choice to lower their validation costs through two freely available OPN offerings:

  1. Free patch access for in house Solaris 11 systems through the “Solaris Developer Initiative”

  2. Free remote access to the “Oracle Solaris remote Lab” with Solaris 11 SPARC and x85 servers

Solaris Developer Initiative

Solaris 11 is freely available since November 2011. Customers with registered and supported systems have access to the (around) monthly Solaris Repository Updates (SRUs). These updates ares strongly recommended, they will avoid failures while qualifying an application on Solaris 11. Systems without support contracts or without the benefits of the “Solaris Developer Initiative” are not entitled for these enhancements. Non registered systems will only be able to use a future Solaris 11 update release for free. See picture below:

This service allows OPN partners to qualify their Oracle Solaris applications without extra support costs on state of the art Solaris 11 systems..

Oracle Solaris Remote Lab

The other alternative is the usage of the Oracle Solaris Remote Lab. Qualified OPN members can use this development cloud to build and qualify applications on the Solaris 11 SPARC platform as well as on the x86 platform.

The lab offers virtualized systems with the latest versions of Solaris 11. The lab offers as well the latest versions of the Oracle Solaris Studio development tools. Users of the lab can create complex system topologies using multiple Solaris 11 images on different hardware architectures in a private network. The service comes for free for qualified OPN members.

Oracle Solaris Ready Certifcation

The last step in the development process should be the final qualification and certification. The Oracle Partner Network offers a freely available “Oracle Solaris Ready” certification which warrants a high quality product on Solaris 11. OPN partners can use this go-to-market certification to document that a given application harmonizes well with the Oracle engineered systems.

ISV Developer Support for OPN Members

Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) in OPN can use the Oracle ISV email support in all these development phases. Highly experienced software development engineers can answer all questions around a Solaris 10 to 11 transition of applications.


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« January 2017