Linux and Solaris face off
Some reader experiences
Earlier this year, we asked our readers why people thinking of Linux aren't also thinking of OpenSolaris (or vice versa), now that both are pukka OSS operating systems.
Well, one reason that people might choose to miss out on OpenSolaris is because we're (in general) a conservative lot – once bitten, twice shy – and a lot of people have had bad experiences with Solaris (and, dare we say it, also with Windows and Linux) in the past. No matter how much software and UI improves, it takes ages for the community to accept this. A reputation that took years to build can be lost with one bad release – but won't be quickly reinstated with one good one. So there will always be people who resist change – and why not, if what they have now works for them.
However, various people pointed us at NexentaOS and "an OpenSolaris-based distro focused specifically on developers". So perhaps things have improved for Solaris lately and, as I said in the original article, it's now worth another look.
But there are issues to check out. For instance, Matt Rose wrote in to say: "Our customers run AIX or Solaris. There are few significant differences between these two OSs (or indeed Linux) from our application's point of view, but there are significant differences between IBM and Sun's JRE. This means everything we do has to be targeted to one of those vendor's JREs. This limits us to Windows or Linux if we want to use the same OS for both vendor's JREs."
He concludes: "There's not much Solaris offers us for development above Linux (I can't actually think of anything we would care about) and there are no IBM JREs available for it. [But] if Sun's freeing up of Java means IBM's API becomes more compatible, this might change."
Nevertheless, some of you found that Linux wasn't issue-free either. Herve Regad-Pellagru, for example, has been a long-term Linux advocate but says: "Well, let's face it, after spending so much time fixing problems with Linux, including at the school where I've deployed it, I'm forced to view the problems of Linux [as]:
- A dogmatic view of the technicity: some parts, like USB support are largely broken for users, by design.
- Neverending reinventing [of] the wheel: how many times was the scheduler, the MM layer and the modules interface redone totally since kernel 2.0? Each time. Of course, each module providing support for any given piece of HW is obsoleted, and unless it's redone by some good will, it's gone for good. That's the end of any vendor support.
On the other hand, he recognises that "the fantastic progress of the desktop part (Gnome, Nautilus and all what is behind) is absolutely stunning...and totally portable to Solaris or any Unix. This is the real workhorse of freeware.
"Freeware has to find another kernel to run on, as a desktop for devs or anyone else. Might be OpenSolaris, why not? I believe the folks at Sun have understood the need and sure as hell I'm downloading OpenSolaris tonight!
"Sorry, Linus, but to me, the Linux goal, aka being an incentive to vendors, and an incubator, is over, now is the need for something the user finds usable, and supported."
So, I had supporters of both Linux and Solaris writing in, and my overall impression was that there is now a valid choice – providing you were using the latest versions and resources – with neither OS being the obvious "right answer".
Powered by the penguin
Dear Henry Thoreau,
We use RAC on RH linux and it is horrible, horrible. Is there any FS worst than OCFS/OCFS2? (voting disks cannot run on ASM, we now spent more $’s for GFS) For some reason there are tons of “smart” Oracle RAC people that say: “Why don’t you use ASM?” So I feel obligated to add this comment.
Another thing RAC can only bind to a physical interface why not a virtual interface??????? So that you have the option yo use 2 switches.
1. Linux is terrible compared to Solaris.
2. Running Oracle on RedHat is a nightmare, not all the kernel levels are “certified” and once they are, there are 75 newer kernel revisions out already with no option to update to a supported one. As soon as a new one is released the older one disappears from the up2date site. (so much for easy patching!!)
3. We opened a support call for a certified LINUX engineer to perform an update (after Oracle support left the builing)... oops no more powerpath. That resolved they found out the HP proliant support pack was no longer functional and that it had to be reinstalled since it compiles during the install, well the kenrel is now different and the modules had to be recompiled. Who wants this much work? Track 10 different software packages to see if you can perform an update.
4. Then they updated to AS 4 U3 all is good, but only once they needed to do a test system refresh they found out that the relink of Oracle executables no longer worked, unable to refresh an instance, so off they go again, 7 hours later the test system is reinstalled with AS 4 GA release and all works fine.
5. Oracle applications just stopped. Turns out that even if you use ext3 you still run into the 2GB file cap if your software is not compiled with the latest lib info (this is up to Oracle) a log file grew to 2GB.... Lame! (was not the listener.log in this case)
This also bit our Cisco MARS devices:
The CS-MARS uses the listener.log file for logging purposes. Once this file reaches the operating system
limit of 2 GB, the listener stops working.
As Cisco puts it "operating system limit"
we have now spent more money to switch to RH, we even increased in staff also made use of Oracle Ondemand, they got kicked out. Now the RH systems are running ok, but most of them are still on GA release of AS 4 and the support team found that they have two options, 1 update tons of 3rd party drivers and modules after a kenrel update or 2, just don’t update.
Oracle ondemand recommended, when we started with the RH migration, RH ES3, then they made the crazy call to add more memory, guess what the kernel for ES3 do not support more than 8 GB of memory. So before this migration officially even started we had migrate again to AS 4. (this was just one of the systems so I will let it slide.) (Solaris = one kernel)
Meanwhile it is business as usual on the Solaris nodes.
I guess it is cool to say, hey we use LINIX…. Lalalala….
Linux (no virtualization options… well in RHEL 5, but not certified for Oracle and no live upgrade. The resource scheduling and resource management is terrible compared to solaris, role based access sucks compared Sol.
We migrated to Linux… (we are so cool!) I wonder where we can find the "Powered by the penguin" stickers for our servers
2x the nodes, 4x the admin tasks, 2x backup licenses and currently 4 x the downtime. (not sure why they opted to turn all our DB servers into RAC, not like it helped single nodes running Solaris still require less downtime.
I guess if Linux is your passion and you like spending many hours with it every week, then it’s for you. Someone like me that only wants to work 40 hours a week, Solaris is the way to go. I have no desire to install any system at home and play around with the latest kernel etc.
One vendor for hardware, OS and driver support proved ease of administration. Thank you SUN for ensuing that my admin years are spent on the functional side of applications and not on reading support pages from 3 to 5 different vendors to ensure a supported configuration is met before conducting a kernel update.
Linux by kids for kids.
Article from Dreamland
I would like to say that the opinions of the people in that article really don't mean much. And the basis of the article, that Sun and Linux are competing in any way, is a joke.
Linux has already won. Oracle Enterprise Linux(RAC). That is the beast that all others aspire to be. And it's done. Solaris is gone. Their proprietary hardware at 30K a pop is gone. There is nothing to think about.
Sun is consolidating all of their hardware in Nevada. Not saying where exactly, because I don't like kicking a horse when it's dead. They are also laying off people right and left. They took a 1.6 Billion dollar death kiss from Microsoft. They are no friend of open source anything- don't BS yourself.
Linux people know and remember this. And linux people run your IT shops. Because linux people know WTF is going on in IT. Solaris is/was a closed who the hell knows OS and architecture. Their new found balls are found too late. Sun bit the hand that fed it. And the memory of Linux is eternal because unlike it's proprietary cousin, it's history can't be bought off and erased from the internet.
Companies that are successful run Linux. Companies that are running applications that cannot adapt because the programmers are too stupid understand C/C++ run Solaris. And they just don't have a choice then, so there's no discussion. They either keep paying out the ass or that app dies. Superior or not doesn't matter when the playing field isn't even. When the playing field is even, linux wins every time.
Linux is as stable as Solaris if you know WTF you are doing. If you have some guy off the street that calls himself a sysadmin while he's in College, no- it doesn't work that way. Linux has weaknesses, and so does Solaris. But Linux has many many MANY more strengths than Solaris.
And in the end, it's what Bill Gates figured out. It doesn't matter if that one trick pony POS can run one app for 1 million years. What matters is if can run whatever you want, on whatever you want, and if it can be gotten now.
And one more point. Don't confuse Sun custom compiled for Solaris Java with stability. They fk'd everyone else, as IBM learned. That's why it's stable on Solaris. You turkeys just don't get it. Sun cut their own head off. Why you aren't seeing it rolling is because you either A) Don't do anything with Sun B) Are a developer that reads press releases C) Are not involved enough in IT to know.
I'm glad the Carrion removed their Sun ad from the front page. Guess some opinions die harder than kickbacks.
Linux does all I need
The reason I'm using Linux and have not - as yet - switched to Solaris is that I haven't heard of anything in Solaris that Linux doesn't provide. I'm pretty sure that there are many differences, and many ways in which Solaris is better than Linux, just as there are ways in which Linux is better than Solaris. However I haven't seen anything that made me say "Wow, that is something I absolutely must have". Why should I take the trouble to change from a Gnome-based Unix-like operating system (Linux) to a Gnome-based Unix-like operating system (Solaris)? Different backdrop?