With Oracle Solaris 10 Premier Support ending on January 31, 2018, we've been getting questions about the different support options for Oracle Solaris 10 going forward. I'm going to attempt to answer all your questions here.
After January 31, there will be two types of support available for Oracle Solaris 10. These are Extended Support and Sustaining Support.
Here is what each of those gives you or doesn't give you according to our Oracle Lifetime Support Policy: Oracle and Sun System Software Document (edited to remove references to Oracle Linux for clarity):
For selected Oracle Solaris operating system software releases, Oracle may extend the technical support period by offering Extended Support for a three year period. With Extended Support, you receive access to technical experts, backed by industry leading online tools and knowledgebase resources. You benefit from:
For selected products, Oracle may offer Sustaining Support for an indefinite period. Sustaining Support applies after Extended Support expires or should you not purchase Extended Support, immediately after Premier expires. With Sustaining Support, you receive continued access to technical experts, backed by industry leading online tools and knowledgebase resources. You benefit from:
Well, let's start with Extended Support. Oracle Solaris 10 Extended Support will continue to supply you with fixes, security patches, security alerts for Oracle Solaris 10 similar to Oracle Solaris 10 Premier Support for 3 years. It doesn't, however, include new hardware support.
After 3 years, Extended Support ends, and your only option is Sustaining Support. Sustaining Support includes all fixes up to the point you entered Sustaining Support (more on this in a minute). It doesn't include any new fixes beyond the date you entered Sustaining Support nor does it include new hardware tools.
Now, an important part of support is how it interacts with Oracle Solaris licensing. When you purchase Oracle x86 or Oracle SPARC servers, you are granted a non-exlusive, royalty free, non-assignable limited license for Oracle Solaris for the exact version of Oracle Solaris that shipped on that machine, or, in the case of Oracle SPARC M7 and Oracle SPARC M8 systems, that was available at the time of delivery. You can read the license here, if you'd like.
It is Oracle Solaris Support that gives you access to additional patches and updates. Your Oracle Solaris Support contract also has a license that is associated with it. That license is only valid as long as the support contract is maintained. When support lapses, the license becomes invalid, and you are no longer entitled to any new fixes, patches, updates, etc.
If you purchase Oracle Solaris Premier Support for Non-Oracle x86 Hardware, that support contract grants you a license for Oracle Solaris. That license is valid while Oracle Solaris Premier Support for Non-Oracle x86 Hardware is maintained. If you stop support, you are no longer entitled to any new fixes, patches, updates, etc.
Oracle Solaris 10 Premier Support ends on January 31st, 2018. You will have to choose 1 of 4 options before then:
I hope this helped explain what your options are beginning on February 1, 2018. Please ask any other questions you may have, and reach out to your Oracle Sales Team so they can work with you on the next steps.