Oracle Solaris Review

By using Solaris Zones, I have consolidated big environments into just a few hosts.


What is most valuable?

Undoubtedly, Solaris is a very stable, extremely fast, and secure operating system. I have worked as a Solaris instructor for 16 years, and certainly I can assure you that it is incomparable.

An interesting point is that Oracle has been constantly introducing new features for Solaris, and this crucial fact makes Solaris a reference product in the market.

How has it helped my organization?

Fantastic features are contained in Solaris, such as Zones and LDOM, which have given solutions to companies for which I have provided consulting services. By using Solaris Zones, I have consolidated big environments into just a few hosts. Additionally, by using the built-in resource manager feature from Solaris, it's possible to control and set up limits for CPU and memory consumption. Finally, installing packages and patches into a virtualized system are very simple tasks.

Solaris has made the administration simpler, easy and intuitive. Its innumerable security and performance features provide conviction to companies that they're moving forward in the right direction.

What needs improvement?

During my many years of use, I've suffered with small problems while implementing the advanced features of Solaris. They were always, however, resolved by referring to the old and legendary Sun Solve and, today, to the excellent Oracle documentation website (http://docs.oracle.com).

For how long have I used the solution?

I've worked with it for exactly 16 years since version 5.7 (Solaris 7). I've had the opportunity to follow dozens of features being implemented during this long period of time. Better yet, I have a good perspective about next new features which will be introduced in the near future, so I am sure Solaris will continue alive and strong for many years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I've had the small problems in the Areas for Improvement section, but other than that, I haven't had issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I've absolutely never had any issues with stability. Solaris is a very solid and stable operating system, and its release schedule ensures that all potential stability problems are resolved as soon as possible. Additionally, the Solaris kernel is one of most interesting and featured kernels that I have ever seen because almost everything is made and implemented by taking into account security and stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

One of the more remarkable advantages of Solaris is the fact that it scales almost linearly. New SPARC processors introduce more cores and Solaris' performance responds proportionally. In particular, I have observed a huge performance gain while processing mathematical applications.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

They're straightforward. Honestly, I don't have constant contact with customer services, but the few contacts that I have had were fair enough. Oracle professionals always had a suitable behavior and an appropriate attention to problems.

Technical Support:

When my clients needed technical support, the level of customer service was excellent because most field engineers are ready to solve any problem almost instantly.

When critical problems come up and the first level of engineers is not able to solve the issue, the problems are forwarded to more experienced specialist and it is enough to solve the issue quickly.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

A long time ago, an open Linux distribution was the main option for running most hosts, but raw performance and security problems forced us to migrate most critical systems to Solaris.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not complex in any way. All Solaris implementations are extremely straightforward, easy to install, and well documented. Most Solaris commands are kept from older versions, which is a big advantage because we can reuse past knowledge.

What about the implementation team?

I always implement solutions by myself because have enough knowledge about Oracle solutions. Nonetheless, most vendors team that I could work together have an appropriate knowledge about all Oracle products.

What was our ROI?

The ROI of my customers have been very high. As Oracle Solaris provides a total integration with the remaining Oracle portfolio, the necessary time to implement any Oracle solution is very short. Furthermore, as Oracle Solaris is very solid and stable, usually the downtime is insignificant and all investment is recovered by keeping their business working well.

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

Before thinking about pricing and licensing, we should try to understand whether the return of investment will be enough and fair. For example, I have provided technical consulting services for several companies that, at first, chose another operating system, but after some time, they implemented Oracle Solaris because they understood the importance of an operating system which provides security, performance, and total integration.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, I didn't. Usually, I try to understand the customer's environment before making any choice, but most of the time I can use Oracle Solaris and part of its features as the more suitable solution.

What other advice do I have?

Before implementing Oracle Solaris, my best recommendation would be to know all its available features for making the right choices. I have seen several implemented solutions which are working, but they could have implemented better techniques and methods if more appropriate features had been chosen for the specific project.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I'm a paid instructor for Oracle.
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author avatarConsultant: Unix and Clusters (Orange UNIX Engineering) at Orange Business Services
Consultant

I completely agree on this @Alexandre. Zones and LDOMS are some of the best features I have used in Solaris along with some of the most complex solution of Clusters. The Zones revolution in Solaris 11 is also something very new and interesting. Solaris OS is one of the most stable OS I have ever worked in. I am sure it will stay in the market for long time specially for Banking and Telecom domains.

author avatarMalware Reseacher, Instructor, Consultant and Speaker at BlackStormSecurity
Vendor

Thank you for words, dear Yogesh. Oracle Solaris has been one of best OS for many years because it is full featured, has excellent performance, it's stable and secure.

I'm really glad for seeing that you have similar opinion about it.

I hope you have a good day.

Alexandre.