back to article Looking forward to Solaris this year? Whomp-whomp. Check again in 2018

Oracle's latest roadmap for its SPARC and Solaris platforms shows that at least one major milestone has been delayed. The database tax giant just published online a new version [PDF, Reg mirror] of its product roadmap that shows Solaris pushed back from its late 2017 release date – announced in its January roadmap [PDF …

  1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. xosevp

    Oracle SPARC is dead ???

    In Oracle SPARC and Solaris Roadmap, Jan/13/2017: there is a "SPARC next+" (M9) processor.

    In the latest Roadmap, "SPARC next+" was deleted:

    It looks like the final SPARC processor(M8) will be presented on September 19, 2017:

    1. ThreadGuy

      Re: Oracle SPARC is dead ???

      Yep, that is the real big story here: confirmation (following news of mass layoffs in SPARC/Solaris engineering) that there will be no more SPARC products after the already completed M8 chip is released. And presumably no more new server platforms either.

      1. theblackhand

        Re: Oracle SPARC is dead ???

        This graph illustrates the problem for SPARC (and Itanium and Power).

        Enterprise server market growth gone from a 50%/50% split between x86 and non-x86 systems in 2009 with a total value of around US$10b to a US$15b market where x86 has a ~70% share, IBM gets 17+% and the rest share 13% and dropping fast. And if you break out cloud and Enterprise sales, Enterprise is falling (and has been for years) while cloud is growing, which is killing the margins and volumes in the Enterprise business.

        Larry's supported SPARC long enough to make sure it lasts longer than Itanium, but both are playing their end games. You can hate LarryOracle for it, but this decision has been been made by the market as much as Larry and Oracle.

        1. Mad Mike

          Re: Oracle SPARC is dead ???

          The stupid thing here, is that Larry has an ideal cadidate in Sparc to make a lot of money. They've started putting software accelerators in silicon on Sparc and this could help sell their software products and get people buying their hardware. You can only do this if you produce your own chips, as Intel is not going to put specific DB accelerators etc. in their silicon. Make these accelerators enough of a benefit and Sparc starts making financial sense and you get hardware lockin as well. From a profits point of view, this could be a result for Larry and Oracle.

          With the right strategy, Sparc could become the platform of choice for Oracle workloads and regardless of everybody hating Oracle, there's still a hell of a lot of it out there. If they keep the home of Oracle x86, he's facing continual competition from a lot of others who now have reached a level of maturity that they're pretty damn good.

          1. Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oracle SPARC is dead ???

            > They've started putting software accelerators in silicon on Sparc

            You realize that on Linux Intel x86_64 this feature - namely CPU workload offloading - has been available for ... umm ... 7+ years?

            You've heard of NVIDIA GPU's, CUDA and OpenCL, right? And you are aware that on Linux Intel GPU offloading is application-neutral, yes? Meaning it's not specific or limited, and locked-in, to the Oracle database. It can be accessed from OpenMP from example, without the need for calls to OpenCL.

            Starting to think about workload offloading 7+ years after it's become mainstream on a competitor platform, and only for a very specific application - namely the Oracle database - is not a winning strategy. Too late.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Oracle SPARC is dead ???

            Was this written 5 years ago, more?

            The market doesn't want big, super expensive iron it wants cheap commodity hardware, especially if its cloud based.

            Vertical scaling smacks of monoliths, we are going to decomposed applications and micro-services.

            I wouldn't be making any big bets on propriatory expensive RDBM's like Oracle either, open source and nosql is and will continue to take ground there too.

            Ironically, the network is the computer.

            Oracle is the new IBM.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Oracle SPARC is dead ???

              Your perception is way more outdated! Latest SPARC S7 and SPARC M7 systems and now SPARC M8 systems are significantly lower *cost* than either Intel or Power when you compare like for like, i.e.: equal performance, storage and RAM. And if you look at the pricing in oracle cloud, where its all subscription based, the price for one Intel latest gen core is the same exact pricing as one SPARC core. Considering that the Oracle SW multiplier is the same for SPARC and x86 and yet the SPARC core is proven 2x faster than latest Skylake core, you can half your oracle licensing costs by running on SPARC. Whats not to like about cutting Larrys revenue in half? Maybe this is why Larry isn't happy with SPARC?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oracle SPARC is dead ???

      FYI, Theres also Fujitsu's SPARC roadmap with a next generation coming out in a few years, noting that they recently released the Fujitsu SPARC M12 with SPARC64 XII systems. Even with the launch of the Oracle SPARC M8, the SPARC64 XII is actually still the fastest processor in the world on a per core basis!

  3. iOS6 user

    Solaris is dead, long live the Solaris

    In mean time latest publicly available iso and usb images more than 2 years old on with hundredths well known CVEs will be repealing or scarring probably all new potential Oracle Solaris customers on any try to approach to the Oracle Solaris on distance shorter than stick.

    BRAVO Oracle, bravo .. magnifique

    Hopefully transition people using Oracle Solaris which needs commercial support to Nexenta or OmniOS will kickstart soon with way higher speed than it was up to now.

    PS. Even knowing that in upcoming 11.4 will be at last integrated deduplication based on taken over GreenByte technology (it took Oracle +8 years =8-O .. to prepare this as product which could be integrated into mainline) I'm not convinced that with Oracle Solaris as the product it has any positive long term future.

    Long live The Solaris but Oracle for me is more or less already is dead or dying company ..

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Oracle cares about one thing only...

    These are sad days indeed. The problem is that Oracle cares about revenue above anything else, which (in my very personal and humble opinion) includes customer happiness. Sounds crazy, but just look at all the evidence around you.

    When they took over support costs immediately went through the roof while you basically got much less in return (for starters no more access to SunSolve; one huge knowledge base which had pretty much background info on *anything* Sun had made and/or supported). That place was amazing. Trouble with your (6 year old) Blade server? No problem: full specs plus instructions on how to take it apart were all available. But after the takeover you could forget about all that.

    I've said this for quite a while already, even though it honestly saddens me, but people who are still using a licensed version of Solaris are much better off with looking for alternatives. The most obvious alternative is of course OpenIndia or Illumos, the open source Solaris version which isn't fully controlled by Oracle (and therefor can't be shut down on a whim, which happened with OpenSolaris).

    Another solid alternative is FreeBSD. Solaris is a direct descendant of a true Unix environment, AT&T's Unix Sys V to be precise. FreeBSD has its roots into Research Unix through BSD (Berkeley Software Distribution). But what makes FreeBSD a true replacement for me is because it supports everything which made Solaris great. DTRace or ZFS? Not only does FreeBSD fully support those (you can nowadays even have your root filesystem fully on ZFS without issues), the origin of some of these features comes directly from Sun Microsystems who at one point helped the BSD project with porting these over.

    Even from a licensing perspective will you find that FreeBSD has much more in common with Solaris and the vision and ideas behind it, than others. You can get commercial support for FreeBSD if you need it, but you'll soon learn that you'll come across companies (and people behind those companies) who care for the operating system and your happiness over money. Sure: a SLA is a SLA and that has to be honored on both ends. But you'll have much less risk to be talked into something which in the end will only cost you more money while your benefits are slim at best.

    Solaris really is at its end. You may think that the "continued support" sounds like a good thing but trust me: it isn't. They don't do that to make your life easier, they do that to reduce their own overhead costs as much as possible. Instead of sorting out an update which specifically meets certain demands and/or standards (like making sure you separate between optional and required updates) they'll now simply throw everything together and release it. Then it's up to you, their "valued" customer, to sort it all out.

    And if it doesn't work? No worries: I'm sure that for only E 1500,- / month extra you can get on-hands telephone support but only during business hours and limited to those questions which apply to the continues upgrade process.

    1. asdf

      Re: Oracle cares about one thing only...

      Solaris to FreeBSD sure sounds better than my future which will be HP-UX (hate company but love the OS, never crashes ever) to RHEL to save them duckets (not my choice obviously). Bye bye POSIX hello Windows lite.

      1. Down not across Silver badge

        Re: Oracle cares about one thing only...

        Solaris to FreeBSD sure sounds better than my future which will be HP-UX (hate company but love the OS, never crashes ever) to RHEL...

        Given a choice, I would definitely opt for FreeBSD instead of RHEL as well. Good network stack (although Linux is getting there), Dtrace, ZFS (yes yes, I know you can run ZFS on Linux but..) and quite crucially no Poettering's wonderful creations.

        And being BSD its almost like going back home to SunOS (no, SunOS 5 and later (ie. Solaris) do not count).

      2. oldcoder

        Re: Oracle cares about one thing only...

        Windows won't save you... as you lose control over your data and operating system.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oracle cares about one thing only...

        Oh god, HP-UX? It’s trash compared to the one decent UNIX OS that they had and killed: Tru64!

        1. Alistair

          Re: Oracle cares about one thing only...

          Tru64 was a rock solid entity in one respect, but it suffered from a couple of bad drivers in my experience. HP took over non-stop, and most of the tru64 folks headed there.

          Non-stop is a rock. *(cough)* even when you screw up the partition certs. (and if you get the reference, I know where you work)

      4. Alistair

        Re: Oracle cares about one thing only...


        Sadly, hpux *can* crash. Mind you it seems to me to only have done that when the *cough* oracle database did something egregious.

      5. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Oracle cares about one thing only...

        You might love HP-UX, but HPe doesn't seem to. I support one of their contracts where I'm putting in new SPARC systems running Solaris 11. And most of the hardware in the datacenters are not HPe or HP hardware.

    2. FuzzyWuzzys

      Re: Oracle cares about one thing only...

      Oracle has always been about sales and nothing else. It's a wonder Larry is still alive, the number of death threats he received due to the utter pile of cack that Oracle v5 was!

      Read the biography of Larry, he only ever cared about revenue from the second him and Bob Miner started the company in 1977. Bob Miner was the Wozniak to Larry's Steve Jobs, Miner worked his nuts off to try to make a rock solid product but Larry only ever cared about bullshit and getting contracts signed, increasing year on year on-paper revenue numbers to the point of burning out sales reps like so many cheap matches. Miner, I believe at the behest of his family, eventually left to run a vineyard and sadly died of cancer some years ago. Larry is still very much alive and still very much obsessed by the on-paper revenue numbers.

  5. stephanh

    great new features coming in Solaris

    * default desktop color changed from blue to teal!

    * .... that's all our remaining Solaris "staff" could figure out , really.

    Looking forward to your continuous $upport.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Solaris 11.axed

    Already in 2007 they called Solaris the "most advanced OS". I only needed to enter a handful of commands to mount a USB thumb drive.

    Yes, it was probably for security reasons and nobody uses thumb drives anyway. After all Sun was the dutt in dotcom and you can simply install straight from the Internet.

    Here's another awesome line:

    "Storage (Storedge) is something we connect to our servers".

    I worked there and witnessed the arrogance first hand.

  7. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oracle support knows nothing about Solaris...

    Having had the pleasure of opening and closing several support queries with Oracle over Solaris, I can say that "Solving it one's self" is not cause for celebration.

    The response turn around was s l o w, I was asked to speak in English (!!), and when I retorted, I am, I was asked to speak "US English" ( Foxtrot Oscar)

    Putting Edward Screven in change of Solaris says it all... For the record, Oracle have never really cared about Solaris.. for them, it was baggage that came with Java (the *only* reason Oracle bought Sun.. Larry had to be convinced by Scott.. Otherwise, Jonathan would have sold us to IBM)

  9. TDog

    Shit happens

    So does Oracle.

    Now distinguishing between them is easy...

    According to Oracle.

    I used to support Java.

  10. Peter220

    Solaris or OpenSolaris users could switch to OpenIndiana (Illumis) which is derived from OpenSolaris.

    Alternatively, switch to Linux or a BSD Unix depending on your requirements.


  11. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge


    Select one or more from the options below

    - Collectors

    - Final Cut

    - Swansong

    - Is that still going?

    - Why

    - Can't be bovvered.

    As Oracle is all about 'the cloud' and screwing its salesforce there is obviously no place for anything that runs on real hardware.

    Oh, how the mighty has fallen... (like HP, IBM etc)

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Keep the OS, but bring back the pizza box

    You can keep the OS, but the old pizza box hardware was beautiful - proper engineering (from what I remember, it's been a while). I'd love to see an upgrade to the hardware but in the exact same box.

    Yes, I know they don't fit in a rack that way, but if it looks that elegant you don't want to hide it anyway :).

    Meanwhile, FreeBSD it is, although I share the sentiments about HP-UX (bleagh for the company, but the OS was wonderful to work with, and here too I worked with some impressive hardware).

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Elop effect

    I think Oracle just planted "Elop effect" v2.0 ... i'm curious if anybody will buy Solaris/Sparc after these events

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shocked? Not at all

    When every CIO you talk to says some variation of "we are no longer investing in Solaris, we are moving everything to Linux on X86" and that happens hundreds of times a month across entire swaths of formerly Sun friendly customers, is it any wonder that Oracle wants to get out of a non-growth business even if they thought they could make a go of it?

    No way this is a technical decision (the Solaris technical expertise was largely gone already anyway), and honestly, by this point 7 years after aquisition, if this was the end game they should have already moved/ported zones, ZFS, Dtrace, various TCP/IP stack enhancements, and a branded zone emulation solution into Oracle Linux and made it stand out among the other flavors. Or open sourced the lot. Sun Solaris was on the decline already, but big O's handling has ensured a demise that is slow and painful.

    BTW, when a CIO says "we are moving everything to (Linux/X86/the Cloud/etc) what they really mean is "most of the apps that we can easily port will move there once we find the money to migrate the apps/code, the rest will just shuffle around between various Unix's or end up sitting on an old Sparc box until it falls over. Its incredible how much technical debt is out there that people think vmware or the cloud will magically solve...the core of the problem is never infrastructure, its code.

  15. IGnatius T Foobar

    Legacy platform

    Like it or not, Solaris/SPARC is now a legacy platform. The only difference between it and HPUX/Itanium is that the latter is a few years ahead in its trip to the tarpits of doom.

    It's a Linux world now, and Snoracle knows it.

  16. teknopaul Silver badge

    Seems like decisions taken when its too late to do anything but can the project.

    Sometimes it seems like big red can't be bothered to manage Java. I still don't get why they bought Sun that being the case. Hardware and Solaris were clearly a burden.

    Perhaps to stop a competitor doing something cool with the platform that they were not a part of.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All this talk about Solaris, Java and ZFS. It's NFS Oracle wanted.

    And of course all of Sun's management talent who loved to attend the annual "Customer Engineering Conference" in Vegas...

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Solaris 11.Next?

    Solaris 11.Next? Next what?

    Oh Solaris 11.Next.Bug.Fix - in 2018.

    You can easily find detailed roadmap slides at Kinko's. They come in packs of 500. You choose the color.

  19. FuzzyWuzzys

    " The database tax giant "

    Love it, and having been intimate with Oracle's audit and revenue recovery dept, I couldn't agree more!

  20. TVU Silver badge

    "Looking forward to Solaris this year? Whomp-whomp. Check again in 2018"

    It's just sad to see the neglect of Solaris under Oracle and I wish that Sun Microsystems had been bought be someone else back in 2010.

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Other stories you might like