Operating environments can be like family members, especially if they’re legacy OS’s. Solaris users recently got news that the support window for Solaris 10 has been extended by Oracle. The vendor puts the news in the middle of its “on your way to Solaris 11” message. Whatever the spin, the extra time will be good news for companies that rely on Solaris applications.
The applications are often crucial for the companies that use them. If these legacy environments are aging like your uncle Jeff, they still can have a longer life than expected. Health comes and goes with vendor roadmaps. Uncle Jeff can get a longer prognosis with a more care. Oracle has extended its care for Solaris 10.
There’s no doubting that commercial Unix futures need close watch. By one analyst’s accounting, only one in 85 servers deployed in 2019 ran any kind of commercial Unix. A Gartner report by Daniel Bowers quoted in a Network World article said that while many Unix applications have been moved to Linux, the ones that remain are mission critical. These critical apps are the ones that give IT managers some weight when discussions about futures and spending rise up.
Solaris 10 got its lifespan for Oracle support extended to the start of 2024. Original plans were to set a January 2021 retirement date. A span of four years to do a migration to a Solaris 11.4 stack is a much better prospect than getting key apps into a new version by the end of the coming year The phrase “lift and shift” has been popular with vendors who want their datacenter customers to move applications. The promise is always that code suites can be transferred with little change.
The shifting is easier with Oracle VM Template (OVMT) utilities, which help an Oracle VM Server for SPARC (logical domains) environment from one machine to a target system supporting the SPARC sun4v architecture. This scenario only supports domains that use virtual disks.
As with any well-built OS, Solaris has a deep community of experts working outside of Oracle. OpenSolaris keeps everyone in the game longer. Solaris 10 features like Zones (Solaris Containers), ZFS, Services, Dynamic Tracing are being emulated by other legacy OS suppliers. It’s a good sign when features of an OS get adopted, because the marketplace has decided the new capabilities can retain customers.