Oracle Solaris Review

Improve flexibility, automate DR process, and speed up recovery time using Zones


What is our primary use case?

I have worked for multiple large enterprise environments and one small environment.

I have touched every Solaris OS from 2.5.1 to Solaris 11.4. In my time, I have maintained Sparc 10 workstations and M8 servers, as well as everything in between.

Businesses I have worked for include Manufacturing (large SAP and Oracle DB shops), Outsourcing, Military, and Logistics companies.

I have extensive knowledge of how the OS performs and its capabilities.  

How has it helped my organization?

We were able to use zones to reduce the hardware footprint by seventy percent in my time at one company. Using zones, we're also able to automate our entire DR process, taking it from a twelve-hour Recovery time (with three people) to a forty-minute Recovery Time (with one person).

The ability to manipulate the zones and the files within the zones from a global OS provides us flexibility that no other virtualization can match.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the Zones, ZFS, UAR, ABEs, pkg and the entire network stack.

I love the way you can create virtual NICs in the local zones and maintain all of your zpools in that local zone as well. The ability to use ABEs as a back-out for changes is invaluable.

The Unified archives for system-builds and OS backups, to be used in the event of a major issue, has also served us well. This capability has saved us countless hours of potential downtime during our change windows, as we were able to recover a host within five minutes.  

What needs improvement?

Marketing and communication efforts need to be improved. Many in this world think Solaris is dead or dying. This idea has to be stopped and even reversed in order for Solaris to regain market share. Solaris is one of the best OSs out there today, and everyone seems to think it's going away. If Oracle spent more time informing people of what they're doing WITH Solaris vs laying off their developers then we would see a lot more people adopting this superior OS.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for more than twenty years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is one of the most stable Operating systems on the market.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Solaris is extremely scalable, both vertically and horizontally.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle customer service is slow at times. I typically find my solution before they do. This is not to say they aren't helpful, rather I just have a better time finding answers than they do.

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

I did not work with another solution prior to choosing this one.

How was the initial setup?

This solution is very straightforward and simple, even for a Linux admin.

What about the implementation team?

This solution was implemented in-house.

What was our ROI?

Not sure I have ever put a number to it, but we save a lot of man-hours because we run Solaris.

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

Just look into it. You'll find that this is one of the lower-cost solutions out there. There is no OS licensing cost if you use their hardware and purchase hardware maintenance.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I did not evaluate other options.

What other advice do I have?

I would suggest that you test it in your environment. Start small and see what it can do, and reach out to me for any help. You'll see it is a solid solution that more people should adopt.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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