Oracle Solaris Review

Powerful with high availability and very stable


What is our primary use case?

Clients mainly use the solution as a database operating system in many environments. Most who are using it are financial institutions, telecoms, or companies in the energy sector. 

What is most valuable?

Of late the most valuable feature is virtualization. They have attained virtualization and it's quite simple to create the Oracle Solaris zones.

The solution is quite powerful.

Oracle Solaris is great due to the fact that it actually is meant for high-end servers. 

The high availability is great. You can clone and you can do quite a number of things with them. There's also the ZFS File system which is very good. Is one of the best file systems that there is.

What needs improvement?

Most of the product is still command-line, despite the fact that they've got a graphical user interface in some areas. For some reason, core administration is still done via command-line.

The manufacturer can put most of those command-line environments into classical use like other operating systems. With Solaris the administration part is through command-line which may be difficult for some people who may not be used to that way of working.

Currently, there are two variants, there's SPARC and there's x86. I would have wanted a scenario where they're all just one product.

I would have loved if the clustering data was a bit simpler. Currently, the clustering data is a product on its own. It would be great if there was higher availability data with that.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been an Oracle Solaris consultant for over 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is the most stable operating system compared to other operating systems that I know. If you look at it, it's rarely attacked by viruses and it rarely fails due to its reliable hardware. SPARC is normally very stable.

It rarely fails. Even if it fails, it gives you a lot of warnings in the logs. The log warnings are very clear. If you follow along you really get to the crux of the matter. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

When it comes to scalability, it's even more scalable than other competitors given the fact that it's a high-end operating system.

It ranges from one single processor to over a hundred cores. It's a very scalable operating system. I'd say it's more scalable than any Linux and Windows environment - in vertical scaling, that is. The SPARC servers are extremely powerful. You can put a very huge database on it or even a very big application.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle support is good. The only this is that it is expensive. At the end of the day, if you are on Oracle support you are sorted out quickly. They are very responsive and knowledgable. If you are not on Oracle support you have to support it yourself and figure out what the issues are without their assistance.

With Oracle, everything is together and it comes nearly with all the patches and it's really great. If you put it on Oracle hardware, everything is there and it still works with Oracle. Once it's in installed the only issues that may arise are performance issues, and that may be a configuration problem on your end. 

At the end of the day, Oracle support will support you, and they will sort you out. They normally release patches on a regular basis. It used to be a monthly basis, however, I think now it's a quarterly basis. Those patches can help you if there's a new hardware release, which is not on your old Solaris environment.

How was the initial setup?

In the latest versions, the initial setup is not very complex. Solaris is normally of two variants. There is the SPARC variant and there is the Intel variant. 

With the implementation, the steps and procedures are very clear. You just install more if you're installing in SPARC or if you're installing it on an Oracle hardware.

It's very easy to install due to the fact that all the patches are there, unlike other products where you have to put apart from this other side of all these. With this solution, everything is there, so it's very straightforward. The implementation is very, very straightforward, and simple by the way.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This is a free product. It doesn't cost anything. What you can purchase is support. 

If you buy Oracle hardware it's supported free with the hardware. If you're putting it on non-Oracle hardware, that is when you buy the support license, which is also very reasonable. It is $1000 dollars per year, so it's not overly expensive. 

If you compare what it can do with how much Oracle charges for support, it's more or less free.

What other advice do I have?

In our company, we don't use Oracle Solaris. As a person, I was employed as a Solaris System Administrator. I'm just a consultant. We don't use Oracle Solaris, because we're not big enough to use the solution ourselves. 

Overall, I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

I would highly recommend Oracle Solaris. It's a stable operating system and it's been around for a long time. If you're planning to have an Oracle Database, the best operating system for the Oracle Database is Oracle Solaris.

If anybody is implementing a new solution or a new environment and thinks of putting in Oracle Database, the first option would be Oracle Solaris, then they can look at other OSs like Windows and Linux.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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