Entries from March 2012
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I am a little unclear as to the new licensing restrictions around Solaris 11. My understanding (Caveat: I Am Not A Lawyer™) is that it is free to use for personal and non-commercial purposes, but anything after a 30-day trial period must be licensed if you intend to use it for any kind of commercial purposes - this includes development and testing environments. You also do not get access to patches or software updates without a support contract; sadly that now includes things like BIOS and firmware updates that used to be freely available in the Sun days. All part of the new regime, I suppose - we all have to get used to contributing to Larry's yacht fund now.
Heading on over to Oracle's online store reveals that a "Oracle Solaris Premier Subscription for Non-Oracle Hardware (1-4 socket server)" starts at £672.00, which does compare favourably with Red Hat Linux. Excluding the 2-socket tier, an equivalent 4-socket Red Hat license would set you back around £1,000 and only includes a license for 1 virtual machine. More details of what's included in the support offering are at http://www.oracle.com/us/support/systems/operating-systems/index.html.
Update : An anonymous reader provides some clarification - it looks like it may not be such a great deal after all :
The list price comparison to RHEL intrigued me. I think the Solaris price is higher than £672/$1000 for the 4 socket example you're giving as according to the Oracle store description page for the 1-4 socket non-Oracle option:"Please note, this subscription is based on the number of sockets in the system you need to support, when ordering enter the number of sockets in the quantity field."
So that'd be £672 * 4 = £2688 (or $4000). I'm assuming premier is the same sort of service + SLAs on both. The equivalent to the single socket £672/$1000 subscription would be the RHEL 2-socket premium subscription at $1299/yr. Hopefully I'm not missing anything here.
I would be interested to hear of any experiences of Oracle's support when using non-Oracle hardware, as to date (apart from some non-production environments running on HP ProLiant systems) everything I have run Solaris on has been a Sun/Oracle SPARC or x64 system, and the OS support was included under a larger company support contract. Update 2 : There's some experience of Solaris on HP kit in the comments below.
- Text Install : This is very similar to the old Solaris text-mode installs (SPARC and x86) and even has the same colour-scheme and "F2_Continue" shortcuts down the bottom. Takes me right back to installing Solaris 8 on old Pentium systems!
- Automated Installer : This provides a "hands-free" network installation system, and replaces the old Jumpstart system. You need to have your own IPS repository (more on that later) set up, or have access to the Internet so you can reach Oracle's IPS repository.
- Live Media : This is only available for x86 systems, and is very similar to the Linux "live environments" on Ubuntu and Fedora etc. It lets you run the system off the CD and experiment with it before actually installing it. It's pretty slow and you'll need a lot of memory so I personally didn't find it of much use other than to check hardware compatibility and so on.
- Repository Image : Unlike previous Solaris releases, the installation media does not contain all available packages. Instead, it contains a smaller subset of software which will allow you to get a basic system up and running. After that, you need to connect to Oracle's pkg.oracle.com server to download other packages, or use this image to either setup a local IPS server on your network (or mount it and use it as a local repository).
- USB Install Images : Again, only available for x86. I didn't test this out as I didn't have a need for it, but it would be a useful addition to the Solaris Sysadmin's toolbox.
- Virtual Machine Downloads : These are VM images that can be imported directly into a variety of hypervisors - could be useful for getting started quickly, but most admins will either be using the text or automated installers.
There's also a "Oracle Solaris 11 Preflight Application Checker" available, which checks an application running on Solaris 10 and indicates whether it should run without problems on Solaris 11. However, given the Solaris binary compatibility guarantee it's unlikely you'd encounter problems. In any case, you could always run a Solaris 10-branded zone under Solaris 11 - indeed, creating a Solaris 10 zone from a running system (using flash images) is a supported configuration and process.
1 Install Oracle Solaris 2 Install Additional Drivers 3 Shell 4 Terminal Type (currently sun-color) 5 Reboot
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