Oracle and Solaris: What's the Future?

With Solaris and OpenSolaris now under Oracle's control, where are these two OSes headed?
Posted September 7, 2010

Paul Rubens

Paul Rubens

Plenty of industry observers are wondering about the future of Solaris and OpenSolaris now that Oracle controls them. Based on Oracle's past, the company may very well go in a far different direction with these Unix OSes.

Oracle is a very big software company, and Larry Ellison is a very rich man. How did they get that way? By selling proprietary software, not by giving it away. It's the key point to bear in mind when looking at the twin train wrecks of Solaris and OpenSolaris, the two UNIX OSes Oracle controls by virtue of the Sun acquisition.

Perhaps train wreck is too strong a phrase, but there's no doubt Ellison's vision for Oracle Solaris has very little in common those of many Solaris developers and users. "It's picking the Sun technologies that are commercializable and focusing on those, and ignoring those that are not. They are just science projects," is how Ellison sums up his approach.

As for OpenSolaris and the whole idea of having an open source, cutting-edge version of an enterprise OS -- like Red Hat has with Fedora and Novell has with OpenSUSE -- well, that might be the way Red Hat and Novell like to develop their enterprise Linux OSes, but it's not the way Oracle is used to developing its proprietary and highly profitable software offerings. Never has been, and probably never will be.

So it's hardly surprising Oracle is not a happy place for Solaris engineers to be right now.

Read the rest at ServerWatch.

Tags: open source, Oracle, open source server, Solaris, OpenSolaris

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