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Comment Re:Of course (Score 2) 945

Before the their/there/they're your/you're cops arrive, allow me to state that I intended to state "who gets there first?" as my final rhetorical question, not "who gets their first?". I've no excuse save that I'm distracted by my full-time job :)

Comment Re:Of course (Score 3, Interesting) 945

I still own and drive my 2001 Honda Insight daily. Its top speed is 113MPH -- that's when the governor kicks in -- and it is truly scary. Particularly WHEN the governor kicks in, suddenly the IMA is whining as it goes into recharge mode at a speed way past what it expects, then since your foot is still to the floor it accelerates the car as hard as it can (which isn't much) until the governor cuts off gas to the motor again.

In truth, about 90MPH is when the Insight gets pretty scary to drive. Ultimately, it's an all-aluminum, incredibly-efficient econo-box that can get out-accelerated by my wife's minivan.

I have never had a problem with freeway speeds (75MPH) in the Insight. The only time it gets scary at that kind of speed is when the road is grooved, like for construction, or uneven. Then the offset between the front and rear tires comes into play, and the car will kind of shimmy around a little in the lane.

So to sum up:
* Max speed of 55MPH? B.S. I've owned my 2001 Insight for nine years now, and drive faster than this all the time.
* Max sped of 120MPH? B.S., by about 7MPH. My sole experiment showed the governor kicking in reliably at 113MPH (which, by the way, is the max rated speed of the tires)
* Anemic performance? Damn right! My hybrid automatic transmission still averages better than 50MPG... and that's running larger, grippier tires than stock. I don't mind getting out-accelerated by trucks at stoplights; I'm playing the high-mileage game, not "who gets their first?".

Comment Re:engineering != rhetorical bile (Score 2, Interesting) 177

Now, one can say that their customers are stupid, and Oracle is milking them by offering a product of little or no additional value. Or one can say that Oracle is trying to milk the Linux cash cow by attaching their name to what's effectively a rebranded existing Linux distro. One can also say that their execution is incomplete or poor. But by no means would such a product be useless.

Or one could say that Oracle Enterprise Linux fulfills its role: an Oracle-controlled software platform that allows the Oracle kernel folks to have their say about the way a stock configuration should look to better run Oracle databases and middleware. Which, to me, is really the point of the distribution entirely. Oracle undercuts the Redhat price for support, gets more of the profits, and guarantees the OS will do what it needs to do.

I support some 2,000+ physical Linux machines, and of those, the vast majority are running OEL or Oracle Virtual Server (a Xen-based product). By and large, the stock configurations work perfectly for us -- with some tweaking for RAC, and tuning for the memory/CPU configuration of the box, of course -- while I cannot say the same for our Redhat instances.

Comment New Sun Hardware Requires New Kernel Version (Score 1) 177

The article is missing the point. The key pitch here is that you need to be running Oracle Enterprise Linux 5 Update 6 or newer to work on the latest generation of Sun x86 hardware. It's a big deal inside of Oracle because Oracle wants to be running on Oracle hardware, but is about 80% Dell stuff on the x86 side right now in the Oracle data centers that weren't Sun acquisitions. There's a substantial hardware refresh effort inside the company right now, temporarily making Oracle one of Oracle's biggest hardware customers.

But this is part of a pitch to existing customers: run our OS and you have full hardware support TODAY. Run Redhat and you'll have it when they release Redhat 6 or if they decide to backport new hardware features to their kernel in a few months or years. The announcement is a statement that Oracle -- for the first time -- is taking the lead in releasing a newer kernel ahead of Redhat, rather than waiting for the Redhat release first before releasing the slightly-tweaked-for-Oracle version in Oracle Enterprise Linux. It's driven by hardware needs, and for at least several months that will be a selling point to customers wanting the latest and greatest: use OEL4u5 or Solaris, not Redhat, or else you won't leverage the new hardware features effectively (if at all).

I actually think the compatibility issue may just boil down to the SAS driver update to work with Sun's latest chipset. But it's a bit of a show-stopper if you're not running OEL5u6, since you can't even install the operating system without the SAS driver update.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 1) 234

I truly hope your experience [[with the 7410]] will be better.

As do I. We've experienced reasonable success in certification for our needs -- principally NFS, with a sprinkling of CIFS -- and are in a fairly unique position to leverage the platform and influence the direction of development. We're not just buying eight of these units. We're buying a few hundred of them...

Comment Re:Why the silence? (Score 1) 234

And this whole process only authorizes you to use the download for 90 days on an evaluation basis. Beyond that, you have to cut a cheque. And, as another poster mentioned, you don't get any patches either.

Already debunked your assertions in this thread.

1. Hobbyists and personal use were unaffected by the license changes; what is affected is COMMERCIAL production or development use beyond 90 days: . Summary: Oracle's never going to come bash in your front door to extort license charges for that virtual Solaris you're running on your laptop or on that Sparc III you fished out of the dumpster.

2. Critical security patches are available generally and immediately; usability and functionality upgrades are on a six-month release basis for non-paying customers:

Just 'cuz a load of Anonymous Cowards on Slashdot keep saying you can't get patches for unpaid Solaris installs doesn't make it so!

Comment Re:Sad (Score 2, Interesting) 234

It's not that it wasn't up to the job, it's that the features weren't/aren't backported to Solaris (10) yet.

Right you are. I stand corrected. My main experience with the 7000-series storage devices comes from some training classes, followed by hands-on recently as we've received a few of the devices with many, many more back-ordered due to the global solid-state disk shortage.

Thanks for the clarification.

Root file systems on ZFS were originally OpenSolaris-only, but are now possible in recent updates of Solaris 10.

Yep. Happy day! I'm running Solaris that way right now (though typing this from my Ubuntu Linux box).

Comment Re:Why the silence? (Score 1) 234

That's FUD. You can still download and run Solaris for free. You only need to pay for it for commercial use.

If I didn't have several posts in this thread, I'd mod this "informative". The anti-Solaris FUD spread far and wide since the acquisition has been ridiculous.

Most of the hysteria, I think, springs from the transition adjustments. Suddenly Oracle went from several years of an unwritten policy of "we do not buy any Sun hardware" to being the #1 customer of Sun hardware. Every trade-in, every re-purpose, every non-end-of-lifed system that Sun/Oracle gets its hands on is being recertified and used internally. Oracle had a HUGE pent-up demand for hardware to get a large number of projects off the ground, and Sun is scrambling to provide it. There's a lot of uncertainty right now just because of the growing pains, but with a new $300Mn data center going up in Utah due to open in 2011 (with three more expansions planned already), and maxxed-out data centers all over the world with hardware being refreshed, there's enough demand in the channel to backlog providers of everything from solid-state disks to capacitors.

Sun's scrambling to meet this huge demand -- in addition to a large number of companies that also held off orders due to acquisition-uncertainty -- with a reduced staff from those who left voluntarily or were let go during the acquisition. Oracle's spending out of the war chest, finally able to appease the hardware-hungry project base that had been stymied for years while it was hunting for a hardware vendor to buy.

There are, of course, growing pains. But the two companies, IMHO, are going to come out of this much stronger than before, and able to compete head-to-head in the IBM/ACN/HPQ/MSFT space.

Comment Re:Why the silence? (Score 1) 234

The language of the license is for production and production evaluation use only. Check out the real story here:


The license and accompanying entitlement from the web, without a contract and without hardware, only entitle the downloader to non-commercial, non-production, or personal use in perpetuity. Production use and evaluation for production are good for 90 days.

The whole patch debacle is a tempest in a teacup. If you're a hobbyist or personal user, it's just business as usual: download, install, get your patches on a 6-month schedule, get your zero-day patches as soon as they're available on Sunsolve.

Comment Re:Why the silence? (Score 2, Informative) 234

What buttons do I have to click to get my free patches? Oh that's right, they don't supply patches for free anymore.

Wrong again. You get LOTS of free patches with a free install of Solaris. RedHat set the pace for this: if you install RHEL, you have to use up2date which requires a registered system with the RedHat Network (RHN). If you don't want to register and pay for RHN, you wait for the next release and do your upgrade from that. Sun implemented a similar system -- in planning, testing, and preliminary deployment LONG before the acquisition -- requiring registration and a support contract number before allowing entitlement to certain patches in a more timely fashion than the traditional six-month release cycle.

Maybe you just re-install every 6 months when the new media set is released? right!

Actually, you can upgrade off the install CD from the media sets, too, without reinstalling. Always have been able to, and it's a simple, easy way to keep up-to-date, though it requires some downtime to install. Downside: no zero-day exploit fixes. Upside: free patch sets every six months. As long as I've been working with Solaris -- since 1999, and up through right now while I'm downloading the latest kernel exploit & StarOffice 8 security patch on my Solaris box -- the zero-day security exploits are listed in the patch entitlement for ALL Solaris systems, not just those with a support contract.

Upgrade old release (7, 8, 9):
Upgrade newer release (10): (x86 on this page; the SPARC install instructions are also in the documentation)ma

To get your security patches, go to Launch-> Applications -> Utilities -> Update Manager. Go through the registration wizard. Choose "Continue without providing a Service Plan Number". Accept the software license agreement. Finish the registration; if you want to use this as a base image for mass-deployment, click the "enable auto registration" option.

Next select all updates, and install them.

I understand you're concerned with not having the latest-and-greatest usability and functionality updates to your OS on a faster-than-6-month schedule. If it's of sufficient concern to you, register for a cheap Solaris support contract through SDN and be done with it. But for the rest of the world that wants to continue using Solaris for free, CRITICAL SECURITY PATCHES ARE AVAILABLE TO ANYONE WITH A SUN ONLINE ACCOUNT.

Free security updates online as soon as you get around to installing them. Free every-six-month usability and functionality updates. What exactly is the problem with this patch schedule? That those who choose to pay nothing for a great operating system don't get usability and functionality updates on the same schedule as paying customers?

OpenSolaris exists to fill that niche: customers who need bleeding-edge features on a very timely schedule and don't want to spend a lot of money. You can even patch production Solaris boxes from OpenSolaris patches if you wish, though I understand some assembly is required. Never done that myself. Never felt the need.

Overall, I think the Oracle acquisition of Sun has been a good thing for both companies. Sun gets to keep the lights on and payroll flowing, Oracle gets a bunch of hardware & software products in its portfolio.

Comment Re:What about VirtualBox? (Score 2, Interesting) 234

I do wonder, though, whether they'll stay committed to VirtualBox down the road

I hate to engage in speculation, but Oracle now has two virtualization solutions:

1. Server-side "OVS" or "OVMS": Oracle Virtual Server. This is a Xen-based implementation used widely within Oracle under the framework of their Grid and Elastic Grid products. It's portable, scalable, and is a huge revenue-generator in areas like Oracle Education.

2. VirtualBox, which is more of a client-side, "run it on the desktop" app.

They both have their niches, so I don't see either going away any time soon. OVS is a beast to manage on more than a handful of servers, and paravirtualization (required for good virtualization of Windows) is just now getting rolling onto the "good" side of the usability & performance hump. While Vbox has worked great in that environment.

Speculation: I think we may see some sort of interoperability merge in the future between Vbox & OVS. I am fairly certain there is no development along those lines right now -- Oracle's really busy working on integrating all the web-services & database stuff acquired from Sun, PeopleSoft, and other acquisitions -- but I bet it's on a roadmap somewhere.

Comment Re:Uhhh... (Score 4, Insightful) 234

Oracle had one plan when they bought Sun. Kill it and pump a few extra rounds into it, just to make sure.

Nope. Oracle had a major goal when they bought Sun: create a vertically-integrated platform where they control everything from the hardware through the OS, applications, and support contracts. IBM has that sort of leverage with DB2 + Web Services on AIX, along with a killer international sales and support force with its fingers everywhere in the Fortune 500. IBM is really Oracle's main competition and has been for several years because they could offer whole-life-cycle, end-to-end support at a fraction of the cost of Oracle's offerings. The acquisition of Sun allowed Oracle to compete where it was getting hammered.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 2, Informative) 234

Oracle doesn't care about you unless you're willing to spend a lot of money.

Correction: Oracle wants you to spend a lot of money, but they care about you as a potential paying customer. For instance, you can pick up a two-user license of Oracle Database for free and run a large production web site on it if you want. Think about your typical MySQL deployment: One user for the web site, and maybe a second user for the administrative user (usually "root"). Oracle gives this away for free for unlimited use.

The goal is to eventually rope you into a larger deployment with more capabilities so you become a paying customer. Always has been.

But I can assure you the sales guys "care" to get your money even if you're only spending a little bit of it. And Oracle spends a ton of money on trial programs, free software (Oracle Enterprise Linux, for instance), and other promotions to eventually drive revenue.

Comment Re:Sad (Score 4, Informative) 234

Oracle could leverage Open Solaris as the ideal Oracle platform.
They could push for high end web solutions to use Oracle+Solaris+Java.

Actually, Oracle DOES leverage OpenSolaris as an Oracle platform. The 7410 storage platform exclusively runs OpenSolaris under the hood. Bog-standard Solaris wasn't up to the job. We've bought a number of these storage platforms and are testing them out right now; other than annoying production delays due to unavailability of really-honking-big SSDs, they are extremely cool and high-performance storage solutions.

Also the newer T5240 boxes run way better on OpenSolaris than on stock Solaris 10. No ifs, ands, or buts. Better hardware support and faster I/O. You have to be running the 10/09 release of Solaris 10 to even support these boxes at all, and OpenSolaris supported them before they were even released.

Comment Re:Why the silence? (Score 4, Informative) 234

Oracle removed the ability to download and use Solaris 10 for free.

Thanks for playing. Please try again.

1. Register at
2. Click "Downloads & Trials", and select "Top Downloads".
3. Under "Servers & Storage Systems" select "Solaris".
4. Download the option most suited to your needs. For certain releases, you may be asked some survey questions first. If you're not certain you want Solaris full-time on your workstation, I'd suggest going with the VirtualBox image.

The assertion that Oracle no longer allows you to download and use Solaris 10 for free is completely FALSE. I hate seeing this canard repeatedly trotted out as if it were true. There were a couple of days during the support transition and shutdown of legacy Sun data centers when Solaris downloads were affected, but that's been fixed for quite a while now.

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