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Oracle Solaris OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Oracle Solaris is the #8 ranked solution in our list of top Operating Systems for Business. It is most often compared to Oracle Linux: Oracle Solaris vs Oracle Linux

What is Oracle Solaris?

Oracle Solaris is a complete, secure, enterprise-grade cloud platform. From built-in, near zero-overhead virtualization and application-driven Software Defined Networking, to scalable data management and high availability clustering, we give you everything you need to build your enterprise cloud.

Oracle Solaris 11.3 is the world's most advanced enterprise operating system. It delivers security, speed, and simplicity for enterprise cloud environments and DevOps

For more information on Oracle Solaris, visit Oracle.com

Oracle Solaris is also known as Solaris 11, Solaris.

Oracle Solaris Buyer's Guide

Download the Oracle Solaris Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Oracle Solaris Customers
Siemens, IVV
Oracle Solaris Video

Archived Oracle Solaris Reviews (more than two years old)

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Daren Ferreira
Infrastructure as a Service Manager
Real User
Improve flexibility, automate DR process, and speed up recovery time using Zones

Pros and Cons

  • "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."
  • "Oracle customer service is slow at times."

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.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I 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.
ITCS user
Interim CTO at Vectorsec
Real User
Combines the power of a neural network with the benefits of virtualization to improve the AI's performance

Pros and Cons

  • "Its networking has helped me combine the power of a neural network with the benefits of virtualization to improve the AI's performance."
  • "I would love to see improvements in SVM, so file systems could be increased or migrated without downtime to the environment, similar to what ZFS is capable of."

What is our primary use case?

Oracle Solaris has inspired my professional artificial intelligence system and research activity for a new operating system dedicated and focused on cybersecurity.

The System Management facility helps the administration of my development server, and by using the professional FLEXCUBE financial application, I have tested the capability of trading features within my project.

How has it helped my organization?

  • It offers zero-overhead virtualization.
  • It's an application-driven software.
  • Its networking has helped me combine the power of a neural network with the benefits of virtualization to improve the AI's performance.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features of Oracle's technology are the use of Kernel Zones and a ZFS file system, which is the best choice for a shared file system.

What needs improvement?

Needs NTFS support and VMware compatibility. To install Solaris as a VMware virtual machine, I need to convert the VirtualBox image to a VMware image.

I would love to see improvements in SVM, so file systems could be increased or migrated without downtime to the environment, similar to what ZFS is capable of.

For how long have I used the solution?

One to three years.

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

It is more expensive, but very complete and worth enacting.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, because I've been an Oracle developer for 10 years, and I perfectly grasp the power of Oracle Solutions.

What other advice do I have?

Best choice for professional workers: I personally suggest Oracle Solaris.

I'm happy to test the Oracle Solaris 11.4 Beta.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Oracle Solaris. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,608 professionals have used our research since 2012.
it_user522021
IT Specialist at Bureau of labor statistics
Vendor
Allows us to move our database from platform to platform; it's reliable and secure

What is most valuable?

  • Its portability is most important. We can move our database from platform to platform.
  • The database itself is fast and reliable and secure.

How has it helped my organization?

I think it's more industry an standard and, as a result, we're able to have the right people, the right skill sets, to work on our solution.

What needs improvement?

Right now, we don't have any difficulties.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Based on my experience I'm very satisfied with the solution. Based on the architecture we have, based on the dependedability, we never have downtime or impact of sorts.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I'm pretty happy with it.

How are customer service and technical support?

I think Oracle is great in support. We have 24/7 support and anytime that we have any technical hardware or software issue, then we can call and get help.

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

I think right now everyone talks about the cloud. I think we were falling behind. I would say in, perhaps, not 10 years, maybe less, something like five years, we have to follow the trend.

At that time we had Sybase and we had SQL Server, but then we started moving everything to Oracle.

How was the initial setup?

It was pretty straightforward. It depends on the skill set of the people working with it. I think, for us, we have a group of people that have been working on the operation of the system for a long time.

What other advice do I have?

Regarding selecting a vendor, we are public sector, so we need to have a vendor that has been an industry leader for a long period of time. That's so we can have, in the next decade or two, have reliability.

I think I'd follow the majority of the customers and learn what the vendor has been doing, but not only in the past, what they intend to do in the future as well.

I base my rating of nine out of 10 on the technical solution, and the customer relationship, and the technical support.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user321234
Director at a construction company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Enables us to transition our large customers from datacenters to the cloud

What is most valuable?

The facility to work between database and the equipment. The facility to integrate with other platforms. Our customers use our cloud. They know the importance of Oracle. They have your own datacenter, but slowly, they want to change to the cloud.

How has it helped my organization?

Our strategy is to sell the Oracle cloud because it's easy to configure and to increase demand. And most important for us is the security. We have the biggest customers in Colombia, for example, Bank Colombia, Exito Retail, the biggest retailer in Colombia. Davivienda is another big bank in Columbia; Aval Group. All are working with us with Oracle Solaris.

It's slowly come to them. All the customers I named used IBM before. For example, Bank Colombia was on a platform called IBM Power. We sold to them the Solaris platform, the M7 platform, for digital information.

I think Oracle Solaris is stronger than Power in Colombia.

What needs improvement?

It's good. To me, it's better than other products. For example, Power AIX. I think Solaris better. 

For how long have I used the solution?

Three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. When we sold the solutions with Solaris, we sold them with premium support. The stability is sometimes is not good. That's the truth. So we sold another component, the TAM (Technical Account Manager) for complete premium support. Oracle TAM helps us to have better support.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's scalable. For example, when the customer uses Oracle databases, you can migrate to the biggest version easily. This includes migrating from IBM Power to Solaris. I think this is added value for Solaris.

How is customer service and technical support?

Good. I think it's good.

What other advice do I have?

To me, the perfect vendor provides reliability, that's the big one. And security. That is the other big one.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user588831
Senior System Administrator at a logistics company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Compressible file system has been a great benefit for archiving large numbers of small text files

What is most valuable?

ZFS.

How has it helped my organization?

Compressible file system has been a great benefit for archiving large numbers of small text files.

What needs improvement?

Software availability.

For how long have I used the solution?

10+ years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, not really an issue in our environment.

How are customer service and technical support?

Not available.

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

No.

How was the initial setup?

Fairly straightforward. Storage seems to be the most complicated part when dealing with physical servers.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

This was a long time ago. We considered Linux but wanted the vendor support offered by Sun at the time with both hardware and software, because we didn't have expertise in the area.

What other advice do I have?

Nowadays, I don't think Solaris has a lot of advantages over less expensive options. I do love ZFS and have found it to be very stable. I don't have much experience with it in other distributions but some early attempts with fuse were not stable. That was a while ago, so I bet you can get a stable release of something with ZFS.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user490860
Chief Operating Officer at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
It feels like Oracle and Solaris are designed to properly work together.

What is most valuable?

The following features are most valuable to me:

  • General stability of platform in terms of day to day running minimizes time spent fixing the product
  • General stability in terms of update, fix, patch timescale, minimizes required downtime and effort to maintain
  • Completeness of solution, feels like Oracle and Solaris are designed to properly work together

How has it helped my organization?

Aforementioned stability simplifies ongoing maintenance.

What needs improvement?

The total cost of ownership of SPARC vs. x86 will always be a consideration.

There is a lack of general availability of training outside of Oracle University.

We are Oracle partners so come from this from both sides of the fence.

Generally skills in Solaris (RISC) are on the decline whereas Linux is still on the rise. You can expect nearly every techie to have x86 windows and or Linux skills but Solaris is a niche skill that is getting harder to recruit for. Previously Solaris was for the enterprise and x86 was commodity however because of the improvement in hardware, x86 is generally a match for RISC in many cases but far cheaper.

If you were starting from scratch, most companies would opt for x86 because it’s cheaper and easier to find skills and training for. You can find any number of training courses for Linux online, classroom, book based, you tube etc etc. Solaris tends to be only supplied by Oracle University at premium rates.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have used this solution since August 2003.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with deployment. This is a key feature of Solaris.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with stability. This is another key feature of Solaris.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I did not encounter any issues with scalability. This is another key feature of Solaris.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle Support is generally good, although in support requests, there can be a feeling that they are sticking to a script rather than answering the question. My perception is it increases time to resolution. For higher-priority calls, once you get through first-line support, things tend to get better.

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

We previously used x86 Linux equivalents.

What about the implementation team?

We generally implemented everything with an in-house team.

What was our ROI?

Using Oracle Enterprise Edition on Solaris was an audit requirement, but I suspect we did not use enough features to make it cost effective otherwise.

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

Oracle licensing is very complex, so don't make any assumptions that could come back to bite you.

What other advice do I have?

Implementing this product is a no brainer if you are using Oracle databases on SPARC.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
it_user521709
Software Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
MSP
It is stable and it scales. Unlike open source solutions, there is service for it.

What is most valuable?

It's stable. It scales.

What needs improvement?

It’s hard to say where I think Solaris can improve. I feel like Solaris is getting more and more into a niche. The problem Solaris has is, it's fighting against open source. Open source is taking more and more of the market. It's for free. Solaris you have to pay for. I think there is a problem. I feel it's a propriety system; not open to be modified by the community.

For how long have I used the solution?

We’ve been using it a long time; since Solaris 2.6.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Running tests can cause it to crash. I do quality engineering off Oracle Solaris. We make changes to adapt it to our hardware. Of course, then we need to make sure that those changes don't cause problems. When you have your first implementation, you didn't think about things and you might run into problems; the system can crash or stop.

What other advice do I have?

It's scalable. It's stable. You have service for it. If you have a problem, you call and there will be somebody coming and helping you with it.

I can't live without Solaris, because that’s my job.

Solaris has a big customer base, compared to others; at least that's what I feel. I'm mostly focusing on Linux as its competitor. I see that you have servers there; you can scale much higher than on Linux. Linux is more in the field where you do multiple small systems, and I'm at the end of big-use systems.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521781
Staff Engineer, Database Engineering at a media company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
I can see the whole picture and analyze the data.

What is most valuable?

I can run the database, run a query, run the report, see the whole picture, and analyze the data.

How has it helped my organization?

I can see the whole picture and analyze the data. I rely on those a lot. With this database, I feel like I can see the entire database.

What needs improvement?

I would like it to be faster; sometimes it takes a while, including making a connection. It can be complicated at times, too.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. Once in a while, I see IT is involved in a ticket but I don't think it's happening all the time.

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

I think we used to use Sybase and then we transferred to Oracle. Now, they no longer use the Sybase servers.

I’m not so sure why they switched from Sybase to Oracle, maybe the technology required them to move from Sybase to Oracle. It could have been more stable, more space or something like that.

What other advice do I have?

I like it. If someone asked me for advice, I’d encourage them to use the Oracle.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user522078
Snr Unix Admin at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Backwards compatibility and stability are the most valuable features.

What is most valuable?

Backwards compatibility and stability are the most valuable features.

What needs improvement?

The product is really good in and of itself. It does need more third-party support and applications.

What needs to be improved is the documentation. That's not an issue with the product per se, but the documentation lacks lots of things. It's very difficult to find related things. They are not referenced. When a document speaks about one topic, it almost never refers to related topics. That's a bad thing. Documentation speaks mostly about how to do things; it does not speak about why to do or not to do, when you have options. That's missing. Sun used to have such documentation. With Oracle, I don't see it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using for over 20 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Everything crashes now and then, but Solaris crashes much less often than other operating systems. I am not even talking about Microsoft; I don't know anything about that. Even among other Unix types, Solaris is probably the most stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Evaluating scalability depends on what is meant by that term. You cannot go beyond the server, so whatever you have installed in the server is how far you can scale. However, depending on the application, if you can run your application in parallel on a number of machines, then it's scalable. That's not a feature of Solaris, it's a feature of the application.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is reasonably good, 6/10. Sun support used to be better, more technical. Oracle support for Solaris is probably more persistent, but you have to go through more stages to get to a high technical level. When the problem requires more than one type of support, the delay might be significant.

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

Probably more than half of the companies where I worked used Solaris, but not all of them. There were a few companies where I worked that were strictly Linux shops; no Solaris. The ones that did use Solaris chose it because it usually scales better in a vertical way. You can get a lot more performance out of a single machine. However, when applications can be scaled horizontally, it's usually cheaper to scale them on x86, which more or less means Linux, although not always.

What other advice do I have?

I don't know if I would recommend this solution. It depends on what and how they want to implement it. I definitely would not advise against it, but a lot depends on, not only on the applications, but also on the skill set that they have. If they have people who know Linux and no one who knows Solaris, go with Linux. I have seen system administrators who don't even know that Unix types other than Linux exist. So, asking them to do something on a different Unix operating system, be it Solaris or HP-UX or a long list of others, that's useless. They know only Linux.

That's probably more of a limiting factor than the application. I can run almost any application on Solaris or on Linux, although not with the same efficiency; that's a different story. Most of the time, Solaris will outperform Linux, but not always. Linux is more flexible, so if I need to make adjustments, they are typically easier to do on Linux.

However, the main thing when advising other companies what to do is: What kind of skill set do you have? What kind of skill set can you have? It's much easier to find people who at least claim to be Linux system administrators than Solaris. You almost have to be a dinosaur.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521556
Platform Architect at Ally Financial Inc.
Vendor
It provides flexibility in virtualization and in dynamic reallocation of resources.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are its flexibility in virtualization, flexibility in dynamic reallocation of resources and security.

How has it helped my organization?

It's an integrated stack for us, so hardware, software, OS and platform all work together, because they all come from Oracle. It easy with the Oracle databases, WebLogic and so on; it's an integrated stack, so we have one vendor to go through.

What needs improvement?

Live migration of kernel zones would be the biggest improvement for us; the ability to migrate that from one hardware platform to another on the fly without downtime.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is extremely stable. Of all our OS platforms, it's the most stable we have.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've scaled it up to the very large systems, the E25Ks in the past. We've rolled in 5000s in the past. We're just now getting T7s, so we're working on those now.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support has been very good. We've had very good success with it, better than we've had with other vendors. They're very fast; good resolution time; good escalation in the hierarchy also.

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

We had a solution that was going out of support. It was dying off, so we needed to move to a newer platform. Because Oracle already had the database, it made sense to use that platform.

How was the initial setup?

It was a new technology. Some learning curve was involved, but after we understood how to deploy it and how to use, it worked out quite well.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, we also looked at IBM. That was the other major player. They were cost prohibitive and they didn't seem to have a very good roadmap, as far as their processors and OS.

When I’m choosing a vendor such as Oracle, the important criteria for me are responsiveness, good sales, good after sales, good long-term technical support, and a breadth of technologies; not just siloed on one technology, they've got the entire stack.

What other advice do I have?

When you're doing a TCO analysis, you have to take all factors into consideration, such as migration cost, training cost, back line support cost, professional service cost and to the entire solution. A lot of the vendors just wanted us to pinpoint one area without thinking about the wider-range impact. It makes a big difference.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Suk Kim
senior managed consultant at a tech services company
Consultant
The DTrace feature offers performance and fault analysis.

What is most valuable?

  • ZFS: It is very stable and scalable. It provides excellent security, and cool deduplication, compression, encryption and recovery capabilities.
  • DTrace: It is the best for performance analysis and fault analysis.
  • Zone containers: The feature is stable and can provide the service with fewer resources.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Improved transaction processing performance
  • Fewer faults (reduction in maintenance fees)

What needs improvement?

  • GUI or menu configuration support
  • Management tool visualization

For how long have I used the solution?

I have more than 15 years of experience with Solaris, including three years of experience with Solaris version 11.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I have never encountered any stability issues; stability is perfect.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not encountered any scalability issues. Scalability is powerful and very simple.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rate technical support in Korea very high.

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

We used Linux on x86. Linux is very good, but this project is very important from the security, stability and scalability points of view.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is very simple and clean.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated Linux. The issue was cost.

What other advice do I have?

The Solaris Unix platform is very powerful, simple, and scalable. The on-premise environment is optimized, but the cloud environment is not.

If you need a Unix platform, I recommend Oracle Cloud. Oracle Cloud only supports Unix platforms.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521721
Manager, Database Administration/Architect at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It's solid in terms of security.

What is most valuable?

It's solid in terms of security; secured systems.

What needs improvement?

In terms of monitoring, they have quite a bit right now, but it could be a little bit better, especially with all of the virtualized resources.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using the database for 15 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been stable, pretty much.

Down time has not been because of the OS.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Under load, it has scaled well.

It will definitely meet our needs going into the future.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support is pretty good. Sun used to support it, and now it’s Oracle. We use technical support mostly for the database, and now both the software, the OS, as well as the hardware, are all from the same vendor.

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

The company has had it for, pretty much, since I joined the company.

How was the initial setup?

The upgrades are pretty straightforward, now-a-days. You can do live upgrades and things like that pretty well.

What other advice do I have?

I definitely recommend it.

When I’m looking at vendors to work with, I definitely look for one with a good reputation of being reliable because that provides a solid foundation for the many components that will run on it. It's definitely not like the sort of software that you can get from some new start-up, which might provide more features and value. The product and the vendor have to be proven.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user417540
Oracle Database Technical Systems Consultant at a tech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
MSP
Using it in conjunction with Oracle Solaris Cluster, our organization can achieve the best possible Oracle database performance, security and failover capabilities.

What is most valuable?

Reliability, safety, support offered, speed, endurance. Overall, if I’m forced to make an automotive industry comparison, from my perspective Oracle Solaris is the “Volvo” of operating systems.

Reliability – because referenced operating system was always trustful to host assigned applications, in the most desirable way

Safety – penetration test performed against related platforms never get the chance to pick any vulnerabilities. Attempts were logged on system log, daily check scripts pick those and send to monitoring team, investigations was performed to pinpoint the offending host. All the times the host was the one used to perform penetration testing. Other layers of infrastructure security prevented the attackers to rich the Solaris environments, but never heard about proper configured OS like this to get on its knees due to such.

Support Offered – Oracle SPARC platforms come with free support for Solaris operating system, and in contrast with the saying “there is no free lunch”, the support offered is at the highest standards. In some of the rare occasion when high severity incidents ( with root cause proven to be triggered from application side), the customer on organized conference requested a Service request to be opened with Oracle, so the issue to be cornered from both directions. I can say that have nevered encountered a new or known bug on OS side during those experiences.
Speed – Living the hardware and storage capabilities out of the equation, the responsiveness and agility of Solaris operating system is one in the top of my preferences.

Endurance - Years of uptime (except planned downtime related to recommended patch set applying) say it all.

After all of the above, hope that the comparison from automotive industry will not be considered forced at all.

How has it helped my organization?

Using Oracle Solaris OS in conjunction with Oracle Solaris Cluster, we are able to offer our organization full OS support so they can achieve the best possible Oracle database performance, security and failover capabilities. This way, their business doesn’t suffer due to unexpected and unplanned IT infrastructure-related downtime.

What needs improvement?

Since Solaris Volume Manager is the obvious choice for a shared filesystem, I would love to see improvements in SVM so that filesystems can be increased or migrated without downtime for the environment - in a similar way that ZFS is capable of.

Offering more GUI applications might help adoption of Oracle Solaris by professionals coming from the Windows “world”.

Also, adaptation of behavior of commands similar to those from Linux would add familiarity for Linux system administrators aiming to use Oracle Solaris as well. (E.g., in Linux, the ifconfig command with no parameters returns the output for all interfaces. In Oracle Solaris, it causes an error and usage help).

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for 3.5 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Encountered issues were back in the time when not enough experience was available for related OS, and some due to bugs that were fixed by patches released.

How are customer service and technical support?

I will rate technical support as excellent.

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

IBM AIX was also considered, but x86 platform support from Oracle Solaris (for laboratory, test, DEV and QaS environments) added an advantage that leaned the scales toward Solaris. Proprietary hardware came with an added list of tasks you need to consider and be aware of during live use.

How was the initial setup?

The initial migration project came with lots of organizational challenges, but from a technical perspective, the well-organized “My Oracle Support” and attached community provided the needed answers to go along with a successful pilot environment. From that point on, we needed only to be patient, trigger and organize interactions between various teams, and solve performance issues related to layers other than the OS.

What about the implementation team?

There was an in-house implementation. My advice is to boldly adapt Oracle Solaris OS if the cost fits the organization budget, because this will save lots of future costs related to fixing issues and malfunctions. During implementation, adopters can count on professional support from the vendor using the “My Oracle Support” tool.

What was our ROI?

ROI, pricing and licensing are variables in an equation that changes from one case to the other. In my case, I wasn’t involved in the accounting part of this; therefore, I cannot provide more details.

What other advice do I have?

Before adopting Oracle Solaris, extensive pre-testing is needed in order to gain the necessary experience. Ideally, certification on Oracle Solaris for related IT team members is desirable.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user488784
System Architect at a consumer goods company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Oracle Solaris 11 is highly scalable and fault-tolerant.

What is most valuable?

In Solaris 11, Network Virtualization, LDOMs, Zones, ZFS, and Live Upgrade are the most valuable features to me. In Solaris 10, the most valuable features are the Live Upgrade, ZFS, Zones, and SVC Feature.

How has it helped my organization?

It helps a lot in data center consolidation, P2V, and with LDOM live migration. It reduces required overall downtime, and is highly scalable, especially with T5 architecture.

What needs improvement?

I have noticed very frequent HBA and NIC card failure in T5-1B or T4-1B blade servers. More stability is required. I have experience multiple instances where QUAD HBA+NIC Port, for T4-1B, T5-1B was failed. And we had some downtime, as replacing HBA card, potentially needs server to be powered-off. Though this was noticed in case of Blade servers only, not for T5-8 or T5-2 or T4-2 etc.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using Solaris 11 for 3-4 years, and Solaris 10 for 10 years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I didn’t encounter any issues with deployment.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I didn’t encounter any issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

I rate technical support at 9.

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

I have had the opportunity to work with various other UNIX as well as Linux operating systems, but among all of them, I found Solaris to be a very stable operating system. Now with the evolution of LDOMs, ZFS and zones, it’s providing a perfect platform for virtualization solutions.

How was the initial setup?

To me, installation doesn’t seem complex, but at the same time comprehensive understanding of technology is required.

What about the implementation team?

We performed implementation ourselves, except some time when we requested Oracle professional services request.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend Oracle solutions such as T5 Super-Cluster, T5-8 and the Oracle Solaris 11 operating system, as they are highly scalable and fault-tolerant systems.

I rate Solaris 10 a 7.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user488778
Infrastructure Consultant at a tech company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
By standardising the infrastructure, we were able to reduce the number of physical hosts.

Valuable Features

Built-in virtualisation (Zones / LDOMS), ZFS, SMF, and FMA.

Improvements to My Organization

By standardising the infrastructure, we were able to reduce the number of physical hosts. We got rid of file system corruption (thanks to ZFS). Enlarging the file system was as easy as eating the candy.

Room for Improvement

The product itself is great. I would like to see whether other companies start developing for Solaris.

Use of Solution

I have been using Solaris 11 for four years and Sun Cluster 4.1 for three years.

Deployment Issues

I’ve never had a problem with deployment (well-configured Jumpstart and AI). We have noted almost no hardware failures. Due to Solaris Cluster 4.1’s Live Migration future, we have achieved 99.9999% service uptime.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The level of customer service varies depending on the geo zone, but mostly Oracle support is very good and quick with providing the resolution for problems.

Initial Setup

Because we have designed our boxes in a very complex way, the setup took some time and it’s not a straightforward (click, click) setup. It requires skills to create a well-functioning environment. That is why people who have never worked with Solaris or had “one date” with it should never set up any Solaris box.

Implementation Team

We implemented the product in-house. I recommend reading the documentation and not assuming that if you know Linux, you know Solaris.

Other Solutions Considered

Concurrently we have used HP blades with VMware for our Linux environment. Due to fact that not all of the applications were running on Solaris, it has cost us much more effort to make those three work together. It is more time consuming to deploy VM on that environment than on Solaris.

Other Advice

If you have never done it or you do not have a sufficient amount of experience, hire an external consultant or an Oracle consultant to do the job.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user490869
OSS Engineer at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Zones: allows for better server utilization. Drives number of physical servers down.

Valuable Features

The following are the most valuable features to me:

  • Solaris zones: Allows for better server utilization. Drives number of physical servers down. Very lean virtualization technology which I generally prefer to others.
  • Live upgrade: In Solaris 10, it allowed us to decrease downtime.
  • ZFS: Was and is still the best logical volume manager / file system in my opinion. There is still nothing like it production-ready in the Linux world. Favorite features:
    • dedup
    • snapshots
    • checksums and self healing

Dtrace is also pretty useful. However, now Oracle Linux has it and also in RedHat Linux, there is “systemtap” which closely mimics dtrace.

Improvements to My Organization

It’s pretty much irrelevant right now as we switched to RedHat several years ago. At least in the telecom solutions I work with.

Room for Improvement

I would probably like to see it open sourced once again, as was situation with Open Solaris.

Right now, I see less and less organizations using Solaris and, at least from my point of view, there is not much active development around it.

Use of Solution

I used this solution for eight years.

Deployment Issues

Deployment was never an issue.

However, Solaris 10 Jump Start and Solaris 11 AI were somewhat harder to use than the analogue PXE boot + kickstart technology used in RedHat.

Stability Issues

Stability was never an issue either.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The last time I had to deal with tech support was probably five years ago.

Initial Setup

I find that Solaris had a more difficult learning curve compared to Linux. Partly because there was a much wider Linux community, which is still true today.

I wouldn’t call it complex, but definitely when I started to work with Solaris in 2003, I found a few surprises. At that time, I had Linux administration experience.

Implementation Team

We implemented it in-house.

Other Advice

As I've mentioned, it’s hard for me to make any recommendations as I have been working with RedHat for a long time now.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Consultant: Unix and Clusters (Orange UNIX Engineering) at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Robust kernel and its patch and package management system is strong.

What is most valuable?

Robust kernel: The heart of an OS, i.e., it’s the base/foundation of any operating system. If we have a robust kernel, the chance of getting server panic, etc., is reduced to almost negligible levels and that’s true with Solaris and even with IBM AIX. The bug levels and vulnerabilities to hit such robust kernels are very low.

Patch/package management: Change is a part of IT, with the increased technologies day by day, new software is evolving every day. If the way to install, manage, upgrade, configure them is not easy, then instead of using the software for growth, techies will be killing their time fixing them. With Solaris, this system is very strong. Regular security fixes, vulnerability fixes, recommended patches for new kernel and for new features is in Oracle’s release management process, which is very beneficial for customers to stay updated and fix old bugs.

Visibility at the OS level (nothing hidden): In case of issues, the logging system for Solaris is outstanding. With logs, we can debug the issues to a higher degree by ourselves. In case any changes to kernels are required, Oracle is always there to fix them via patches/pkgs, which is again valued added for any customer.

Compatibility with third-party DB's and applications: The compatibility to install databases and application on top of Solaris is just amazing, we hardly see any issues during installation/upgrade, except third-party driver issues. So overall, it’s an amazing OS to work with.

How has it helped my organization?

It integrates with different applications with complete stability.

What needs improvement?

I think Oracle should also promote x86 architecture for Solaris, so that the same can be used in ESX and in cloud environments with an x86 variant. It would be a bonus for Oracle.

SPARC hardware is costly. Most businesses want to run their infrastructure environments - especially non-production environments - on x86 hardware, where customers can run heterogeneous OS platforms (Linux, Solaris and/or AIX). However, this is not possible with AIX at all (especially with Solaris). So, if Oracle improved x86 support in Solaris, it could promote Solaris x86 as having the same stability and reliability levels as Solaris SPARC servers. This would provide customers a reason to move their servers - which are currently migrating to Linux servers – to Solaris x86. And I am sure this will boost Solaris even further. I am well aware that Oracle is promoting Oracle Linux for the same reasons, but I think the same can be done in a better way for the existing Solaris OS.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it since 2007 until now.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We always perform POCs first and try to do all possible testing in that phase. As such, we have not encountered any major deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It actually depends on the application version, and compatibility also. Sometimes, after a kernel patch, we might encounter some issues, but that’s just because of poor planning and poor documentation.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For standalone systems, scalability’s always a challenge, but improved T-series and M-series have good options. However, Oracle still lags behind in this area, compared to ESX and IBM (LPARs), to a great extent.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Sun Microsystems customer service was superb!!! (My first love sunsolve.sun.com.) When Oracle initially took over, their customer service was just pathetic, but it slowly improved. It’s always hard to maintain the same standards and I can understand it’s tough in the initial phases. I would say, from my experience, there is still room for improvement in this area.

Technical Support:

Technical support is good, as it’s divided into different levels. Sometimes, it takes time before L1 escalates to L2/L3 and that sometimes is frustrating (sometimes :-) ).

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

Before moving to engineering, I worked as admin / implementation team in a heterogeneous environment. So this solution completely depends upon cost and the client’s requirements.

How was the initial setup?

Migration is always a challenging step, if you want everything to be the same as it is running on an existing environment. AIX to Solaris or Linux to Solaris or vice versa is always a job to be performed with extra precaution, as you are going to play with your data.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it ourselves and did the hardware replacements via a global vendor. It’s good.

What was our ROI?

ROI is good. I am sure Solaris has devoted everything to it. For an OS to survive a long time, Oracle has to maintain Solaris like a baby, as Sun Microsystems did until 2010.

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

Since taken over by Oracle, there has been an increase in the software cost (earlier patch/packages were free with SunSsolve), but that’s business and I think it’s okay.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Today, if you ask me for low-cost solutions, I have open-source Linux versions and for stable releases, we have RedHat and IBM AIX.

What other advice do I have?

It’s a very good product to use. You are going to love this OS.

I still love Solaris; for me, it’s always been the best.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user490857
Manager - Systems Engineering at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The most valuable features to me are ZFS, Automated Installer, and Kernel Zones.

Valuable Features

In, Oracle Solaris 11, the most valuable features to me are ZFS, Automated Installer, and Kernel Zones. In Solaris 10, they are ZFS, SMF, Live Upgrade, Zones, and JumpStart.

Room for Improvement

I would like to see improvements in user adaptability, the poor UI, and in the packaging of the applications. Solaris should look like Linux and the end user should not be afraid of using it. It's way different than linux.

It should have POSIX compatibility with Linux.

Use of Solution

We have been used Oracle Solaris 11 for four years, and Solaris 10 for eight years.

Deployment Issues

There is limited deployment support outside of the documentation on the Oracle site, which is a problem when it comes to configuring, deploying and support for Solaris. Outside of docs.oracle.com, there’s very little knowledge base available, which is a big problem for Solaris.

Customer Service and Technical Support

For Oracle Solaris 11, I rate customer service and technical support a 7/10. For Solaris 10, 6/10.

Initial Setup

Solaris 11 had its challenges, being a new OS & again with the limited knowledge outside of the subscription world and its adaptability rate.

Solaris 10 was not too complex to deploy.

Implementation Team

If I had a chance, I would implement it on my own, as long as Oracle’s subscription is affordable.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

It is NOT affordable compared to Linux. Oracle’s licensing policy is horrible.

Other Solutions Considered

Unfortunately, we are moving away from Oracle Solaris & completely into Linux now. We have replaced a whole lot of Solaris with RHEL. That's what’s happening more in IT. Oracle’s poor strategy to lift the Solaris OS and tight licensing policy is killing Solaris.

Easy-to-find self-help in Linux through different sources increases its user adaptability rate & popularity. If Solaris is even going to survive, they need to change the marketing & licensing strategy.

Other Advice

Solaris 11 OS is as good as Linux. In fact, some of their features are way more advanced than Linux. But you need to self-learn, get to the comfort level of using it and push others to do so, especially the platform consumers.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user491505
Assistant Vice President - (Unix) at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
Zones and resource allocation through capping and project is my favourite feature.

What is most valuable?

Zones and resource allocation through capping and project is my favourite feature.

Lately, I have been using ZFS and I absolutely love it, but I didn't get much of a chance to explore it fully in a production environment.

How has it helped my organization?

This product performed wonderfully with my banking client, where I participated in implementation of virtualization through Solaris zones and then capping CPUs. We integrated zones with VCS clusters. It provided unmatchable stability, high availability, scalability and the best tunable performance.

We used it on M series, X series or the latest T series. It gave great reliable performance on all of the hardware.

What needs improvement?

I believe it's a great product and its latest versions are also really good. However, I believe Oracle is not utilising its full potential by restricting it best performance with Oracle hardware. Even though it can be run on SPARC, as well as Intel hardware, the problem lies with the way Oracle chooses to promote it. They are always saying that it performs best with Oracle hardware. They should understand current demand for open source and publish white papers for its performance on Intel hardware. And they must change their stratergy with Dell, HP and other blade server manufacturers and enable them to use Solaris and promote Solaris.

Also, they should promote Oracle Solaris with open source tools like HANA, Hadoop, Puppet, Chef, and Ansible. Meanwhile, they can continue to develop and promote their in-house competitive products as well.

To summarise, I feel the main issue lies with their promotion and sales strategies, and also their relations with competing hardware vendors and database/application vendors.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used Solaris for more than 8 years, almost all of my career, with all of my clients.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I have done many deployments, migrations and so on with Solaris or to Solaris, and I never faced a problem where I would have received a response from Oracle/Sun support that it was not possible. The product and its features work almost exactly as promised and the documentation available for the product.

Yes, I have seen bugs like zoneadmd hanging, or a zone getting stuck in a shutting down state, but they usually don't happen during deployments or planned activities.

How are customer service and technical support?

Experience with Sun support was absolutely fantastic, but it deteriorated a little when Oracle support took over.

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

Most of the environments used Solaris, and we upgraded from Solaris 8/9 to Solaris 10.

How was the initial setup?

In my experience, we mostly moved up from older hardware running Solaris 8 to Solaris 10 on new hardware. Complexities came in the form of an upgraded version of Veritas Cluster and volume manager or storage migration. Solaris itself didn't create any issues at OS level.

What about the implementation team?

We mostly did implementation through in-house teams.

The most important thing is to have a sufficient downtime window and application or database support teams to be available to verify immediately.

What was our ROI?

I don't have much of an idea about pricing, but it should be decoupled from SPARC architecture.

What other advice do I have?

Even though nowadays, I am using RedHat Linux, in my environment, I miss Solaris a lot.

Trust Solaris. It is still better than Linux in many ways.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user492567
Oracle Consultant / Infrastructure Platform Architect at a tech company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Stability, scalability, dependability, and high availability. The OS still needs a more visual interface.

What is most valuable?

Solaris' most valuable features to me are its stability, scalability, dependability, RAS, HA, I know there are loads more TLA’s that can be used, and of course it’s grown into all the new cloud features, also, to be ready for the next generation.

For Oracle, it’s Oracle; is there any better database? I’m biased. It can be used on the smallest device running a simple meta data store to the biggest, hard-hitting, critical system.

I just think the maturity of Solaris, the base core has been proven, and it is evident in these Enterprise level/required features. People don't look at Solaris and ask is it production ready, it is probably one of the first options written down when people need to look at a Unix OS for big critical solutions because of the core features. Other features thats always been there is of course Security also, and now being expanded with all the Cloud ready features.

What needs improvement?

I’m working less and less with the OS it seems. Where I used to think, "I’d love them to improve this," I’ve heard that's exactly what they’ve done. Even the newest Oracle Mini Cluster only has a visual interface for deployment and management.

The OS always needed and still does need more of a visual interface. Not to take anything away from the command line - I love that - but for basic mass user community acceptance, there is a large Windows, under-30 user base that doesn’t know how to think when they don’t have a mouse to do things with.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Solaris as an OS to host mostly Oracle primarily since 1998. I first ran it on a little Sun Classic 50. That would have been Oracle 7.3.2. Next machine up was a Sun Sparc E450. I called it the coffee table, as it was right next to my desk. I had 2 of them, one running an Oracle Database, the other Running Dynamo Application Server + Apache Web server. Eventually I lost my coffee tables to the server room when the project went live.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

With Solaris and Oracle, never. If you’ve done your homework and you're prepared and know what you want to accomplish and how to get it done, then all goes perfectly, but then that's life: Prepare and things work; don’t and you have a hard time ahead trying to hammer it into shape/direction.

How are customer service and technical support?

You DO need to know how to work with support, they do have all the information, and the means to figure out a problem, but like any support division, not always the easiest to engage with.

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

I use Linux a lot, and, well before Oracle, I used to work on Sybase.

How was the initial setup?

I’ve never done anything straightforward. I tend to specialise in the complex deployments, putting them together in such a way that they actually become simple to manage with the minimal of skills.

What about the implementation team?

I use to be with a platinum partner, then I worked for the vendor, and now I'm with a partner again, so I’ve done both sides of the fence. The most important part of any solution is KNOW your problem first, then look at the proposed solution and it’s components and the features, and identify which features are to be used to solve which part of the problem, and try and follow KISS. ;)

What was our ROI?

Consolidate where it makes sense. At times, simply trying to increase ROI can increase complexity, which pushes up operational complexity and associated costs/risks, which actually hurts cost of ownership and has a silent impact on the ROI, as it might not get adopted as eagerly as hoped.

What other advice do I have?

Again, with any project, know the problem; know your available options. There might be multiple options in different products available from the same vendor. Decide which ones together will work best for you, and it will at times definitely not be the one that is being proposed by sales. Don’t be afraid to push the vendor to the edge. At times, the best options/solution might cost you some red eyes/sleepless nights, but they also long-term put you ahead of the curve of your competitors.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My current employer is a Gold Servers and software sales partner for Oracle.
ITCS user
Enterprise Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
The compliance command simplifies how complex security audits are performed.

What is most valuable?

Too many features to count, the built in, low overhead integration is a huge plus, as is the ease of patching, the ability to use DTRACE to real time troubleshoot issues, the integrated security and most of all the performance.

How has it helped my organization?

The compliance command simplifies how complex security audits are performed, saving time. Also the patching is better than Linux, just as easy to patch, but with the integrated snapshots easier to back out of a patch. This saves hours of patch prep each time you patch a server. Enabling admin/server rations exceeded any linux or windows solution.

What needs improvement?

One cool feature with Oracle Linux, is the ability to patch without a reboot. Getting this working on Solaris would rock! With the new M7/S7 chips, better DTRACE visibility into the hardware acceleration offloading would be nice. Difficult to explain a server that is 90% idle but doing the workload of 4 Intel servers.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Solaris since the early 90s.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No major issues, the biggest challenge is retraining older Solaris 10 admins. The Linux admin shave no issues switching over.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues, recovery from patching is simple and I have yet to have a Solaris 11 system core dump. Troubleshooting RCA on a core dump is very easy though.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues scaling this, you can scale to over 1024 cores using the Fujitsu M10-s servers. I don;t think any Intel system can do that.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is what you would expect from a large multi-national company... but I rarely call support. The online tools are great.

Technical Support:

The online tools are great, but the phone folks could use a little more training. But I rarely call them, as the online tools work %90 of the time.

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

I have used Linux, Windows, AIX and more. With Solaris 10, I stopped using AIX for any solutions, and focus on Solaris for larger systems, Linux for smaller systems and Windows when I need Microsoft. The new S7 is having me take a second look at using Solaris for the smaller systems as well.

How was the initial setup?

Install is simple, the OS is preinstalled on the servers. Installing from ISO is simple,and Oracle also has several VMs you can download and deploy.

What about the implementation team?

We use in-house staff most of the time. As I said, Linux admins can easily transition over. Patching is a great example.. linux is "yum update" and Solaris 11 is "pkg update"

What was our ROI?

The ROI is higher than Windows, due to the ease of patching and troubleshooting issues with DTRACE. Running down issues is wickedly fast, as you can use dtrace while the problem is happening.

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

Licensing is a core feature, as you can use zones and LDOMs to reduce the number of core you need to license Oracle product for. This is a huge saving for anyone using Oracle Database of Middleware.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we look at all options, and pick the OS that is the best match for the application. Solaris is more often or not the choice.

What other advice do I have?

Have an open mind when looking at a new OS. Many things have changed in the last five years, you can not compare Solaris 11 to older versions.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Malware Reseacher, Instructor, Consultant and Speaker at BlackStormSecurity
Vendor
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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