Oracle Cancels OpenSolaris – What’s The Big Deal?

There has been turmoil and angst recently in the 0pen source community of late over Oracle’s decision to cancel OpenSolaris. Since this community can be expected to react violently anytime something is taken out of open source, the real question is whether this action has any impact on real-world IT and operations professionals. The short answer is no.

 Enterprise Solaris users, be they small, medium or large, are using it to run critical applications; and as far as we can tell, the uptake of OpenSolaris as opposed to Solaris supplied and sold by Sun was very low in commercial accounts, other than possibly a surge in test and dev environments. The decision to take Solaris into the open source arena was, in my opinion, fundamentally flawed, and Oracle’s subsequent decision to change this is eminently rational – Oracle’s customers almost certainly are not going to run their companies on an OS that is built and maintained by any open source community (even the vast majority of corporate Linux use is via a distribution supported by a major vendor and under a paid subscription model), and Oracle cannot continue to develop Solaris unless they have absolute control over it, just as is the case with every other enterprise OS. In the same vein, unless Oracle can also have an expectation of being compensated for their investments in future Solaris development, there is little motivation for them to continue to invest heavily in Solaris.

Comments

The big deal is Oracles

The big deal is Oracles Roberts stated:

"Oracle will continue to make OpenSolaris available as open source, and Oracle will continue to actively support and participate in the community," Dan Roberts, director of Solaris product management at Oracle, said during an OpenSolaris IRC (define) meeting "Oracle is investing more in Solaris than Sun did prior to the acquisition, and will continue to contribute technologies to OpenSolaris, as Oracle already does for many other open source projects."
Oracle will also continue to deliver OpenSolaris releases, including the upcoming OpenSolaris 2010.03 release,"

They have gone back on their word. I'm probably still going to try the Oracle Solaris 11 Express, but my enthusiasm just isn't the same as previously.