OpenSolaris 2010.03 (2010.04)

By Alasdair Lumsden on 10 Apr 2010

Opensolaris

Like many people, I’ve been waiting eagerly and anxiously for OpenSolaris 2010.03 to come out. Over the past 9 months, OpenSolaris has come along leaps and bounds with a never ending procession of new features and enhancements, such as ZFS Deduplication and COMSTAR. While the OpenSolaris dev builds provide access to these new features, are generally stable enough for production use if you pick the right build, it’s obviously best to stick to stable releases for production environments.

However March came and went, and we’re now one third of the way through April, and still no sight of 2010.03. This has caused a lot of people to become quite anxious regarding OpenSolaris’ future.

Oracle have stated they’re going to invest more in Solaris than Sun did, and have stated their intention to keep OpenSolaris going. However they have also recently revoked the free version of Solaris 10, making it a 90 day trial. My understanding is that now, to run Solaris 10, you need an entitlement to do so, which comes from having a valid support contract for Solaris on Sun^H^H^HOracle hardware.

This has serious implications for many businesses, including EveryCity. Our current platform is Solaris 10 based, and while we started off using Sun servers, their Intel Nehalem range is simply too expensive, so we’ve been purchasing Dell R410 and R610 machines.

Thankfully, we have already planned to move to OpenSolaris for some time now, and our forthcoming platform will be OpenSolaris based. So this is no real issue for us – it just means Solaris 10 update 8 will be the last update to our Solaris 10 platform, and at some point down the line all our Solaris 10 Zones will become branded zones under OpenSolaris.

The future is uncertain, but thankfully OpenSolaris shows no sign of going away. Oracle’s culture is quite different from the one at Sun; it’s clear they’re very corporate, and rather secretive. They have also stated that they take a very “hands off” approach to their User Groups, so for example the LoSUG group now has to be managed by non-Oracle employees, and there’s no longer any free food/drink for attending. I was tempted to volunteer to help organise LoSUG, but unfortunately I just don’t have the time at present. Hopefully that will change in the future.

Oracle are hell bent on making their investment profitable, and as long as OpenSolaris continues to develop at the pace it has been going thus far, and continues to be free and open, I’m happy. If anything Oracle’s behaviour may bring the OpenSolaris community outside of Sun/Oracle closer together, and foster more community involvement and development, which can only be a GoodThing[tm].

And while there’s been a lot of suggestion that OpenSolaris 2010.03 may never materialise on the grape vine, this is clearly not the case, and it seems it may be just round the corner:

Re: osol-discuss - So who has been able to update to the b136 image?
by Alan Coopersmith alan.coopersmith@oracle... 2010-04-07T13:58:54+00:00.

Chad Welsh wrote:
> I have run update from IPS package manager and from the
> pkg image-update from the command line and nothing. are
> the packages only in the ON Gate? If so when will they be
> released into the wild for us to use?

Packages for the later builds have been built for all the gates, not just ON,
but not published to pkg.opensolaris.org while the 2010.03 release is being
finished.
Hi Sarah,

Due to some security concerns and other issues, I'd flipped a coin
and await the forthcoming snv_b138 kernel release.

As for any independent distro releases between now and before snv_b138, my opinion is to wait on doing any major system upgrades, 'production' related migrations, or journalistic reviews until snv_138 is officially released. 

This is for mainly commented for current users using OpenSolaris for 'very' high-end production-grade audio/video workstations or high-availability servers with several TBs of in-flux data. 

If you are having ANY major issues with a prior OpenSolaris release, just give OSOL 2010.03 until April 16th or await the snv_138 kernel release.

You'll be 'very' glad you did.

~ Ken Mays