Solaris Going Open Source

By Blane Warrene

A Financial Times article announced Sun Microsystems will be releasing their Solaris operating system as open source in the near future.

This is a rather intriguing new player to open source for web developers. Sun has long been a prime choice in the data center for large scale web application hosting, and of course supports many of the most popular web-related server software that we know from the Linux environment such as Apache and MySQL.

I recently read an evaluation of Solaris versus Linux, with some surprising results. While it was not done in a pure test lab – it seemed a fair test. You can read the evaluation here.

Most interesting in the results were Solaris outperforming Linux on the compilation of applications, and in ssl and web tests. The Linux filesystem did perform better than Solaris — however — this is not necessarily an important metric on the web hosting side.

While Solaris on x86 (Intel) systems does not have quite as many application binaries available — the move to open source will surely encourage developers to look at the system again for ports for installation.

This move also again shifts a traditional large enterprise class operating system into the hemisphere of web developers who would not have the economics to invest in it (Solaris).

I find it fascinating that in numerous studies corporations of all sizes are looking at open source solutions in some form or fashion, and so many large software players are toying with source code releases. While I continue to believe that we will always have multi-platform environments, web developers who favor open source should watch benchmarks, research and industry statistics and always be building a portfolio of reasons why open source can work for their customers.

  • Art Bodom

    Mr Warrene, in hopes of helping you communicate your worthwhile insights to us readers, I humbly offer the following suggestions to improve your writing. First I’ll quote you, then offer my correction. Thanks for reading!

    “…will be releasing their Solaris operating system as open source in the near future.”

    Wordy. Better would be, “will soon release their…as open source”

    “rather interesting”

    Rather insipid. Interesting is a feckless word, and has almost come to mean its own opposite through its widespread use as the most popular choice for damning with faint praise. But to qualify it as only “rather interesting” utterly drains away any power it might once have had. How about “intriguing,” “significant,” “important,” or “fascinating” instead, and leave the “rather” in the dustbin with other enervating qualifiers like “pretty,” “fairly,” and “somewhat”?

    “I had recently read…”

    Why use past perfect here? How about, “I recently read” instead?

    “While it was not done in a pure test lab – it seemed a fair test.”

    Why is there a dash here? The first part of the sentence is just a clause, and only needs a comma to separate it from the second part.

    “The Linux…Solaris — however — this is….”

    Again, dashes are not correct here, but the solution is different. This is a compound sentence without a coordinate conjunction. It should read, “The Linux…Solaris; however, this is…side.” We could also lose a few words if we rephrased thus: “not necessarily an important web hosting metric.”

    While Solaris…available — the move to open source…installation

    Again, a dash where a comma is needed. Just stop using dashes, since you seem to be using them when you know that some punctuation is needed but have no idea what it is. Dashes are not for getting you off the punctuation hook.

    “I find it fascinating…”

    Hooray! “Interesting” has finally been replaced, and there is no needless and incorrect dash in the last sentence. Perhaps there is hope, after all.

  • JP

    It bugs me that you use — instead of Em-Dash

  • hey art, if you dont like it, dont read it. there was no need to post a big comment correcting his english in front of everyone. if you really feel like you need to do it, send him an email or something, with the new sidebar or a private message. theres no need to make fun of us that are more INTERESTED in getting information out than being gramatically correct.

    in response to the actual blog content…
    i think its great that they are going open source, and i am definately looking forward to trying it in a web application environment. thanks for the info!

  • Art, this is a blog, not a published article. Blogs are all about unpolished thought. Back off the english and appreciate the thought.

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