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Solaris update plan is real, but future looks cloudy by design

Oracle OpenWorld catalog mentions virtual SPARC on cloudy x86, migratory motions

Oracle looks like it's going to suggest Solaris users move to its SPARC-powered cloud.

Ever since Oracle quietly announced it would not deliver any more point-zero upgrades to its Solaris operating system and instead move to continuous delivery, The Register has wondered exactly what Big Red plans to deliver, and when. Our interest grew after Solaris boss John Fowler left Oracle and then grew again as soon-to-be-former Oracle staffers told us of big cuts to he Solaris and SPARC teams.

Oracle Solaris and Oracle’s SPARC deliver a seamless transition to Oracle Cloud

Now we finally have some hints about Solaris directions, thanks to the Session Catalog for OpenWorld, Oracle's annual gabfest that kicks off on October 1st.

The description of one session, “Best Practices for Keeping Your Oracle Solaris Workloads Secure”, at last puts a little flesh on the bones of Oracle's new Solaris update plan. The sesssion's blurb says those who show up will “Hear about the new changes to the Oracle Solaris release model to provide continuous delivery of new features, functionality, and security fixes, and learn how you can best take advantage of the streamlined lifecycle management technologies to ensure that you never have to have awkward conversations with your boss on why your systems have been compromised.”

The catalog also tells us that Oracle still has Solaris people capable of answering deep questions, as a session titled “Oracle Solaris Engineering Panel” promises “No question is too hard, no answer is too technical.” The session also offers the chance to “get deep and technical with the brightest minds of Oracle Solaris engineering to get a look behind the scenes on how Oracle Solaris is addressing the latest computing trends, solving real customer problems, and meeting the demands of modern application architectures in the cloud.”

Another session, “Lift and Shift Your Oracle Solaris Workloads to the Oracle Cloud”, offers the chance to “learn how easy it is to move your Oracle Solaris–based workloads to … Oracle SPARC–based cloud solutions”. The session also promises information on “how to transition from a fully on-premises workload to public or hybrid cloud.”

To The Register's mind, the most interesting Solaris-related talk at the event is titled “Virtual SPARC on x86: Your Legacy Solaris Apps Survive on an x86 SPARC Emulator.” Here's what you'll hear if you show up:

Many organizations have critical applications and data on legacy systems because they are unable to take these systems offline long enough to complete migration and recompilation.” The speakers promise to “explore different ways to manage these workloads and migrate them to more current options, either on-premises or in the cloud.

There's yet another hint of Oracle suggesting a move to the cloud in a talk titled “Leveraging Oracle Solaris Security and Performance Benefits in Oracle Cloud.”

“In this session hear the latest developments on how Oracle Solaris and Oracle’s SPARC deliver a seamless transition to Oracle Cloud while providing the best security and performance in the cloud as well as in your data center,” the session's blurb says. Attendees will also “Learn how to achieve the true economic benefit of moving to the cloud without compromising existing enterprise-quality best practices, and easily transform these assurances directly into your cloud environments.”

Those session descriptions add up to all-but-confirmation that Oracle will keep running a SPARC-y cloud for some time, and seems to be encouraging Solaris-on-SPARC users to go there. But the mention of SPARC emulation suggests Oracle's also keen on another path.

Reg operatives will attend OpenWorld and will be tasked with tying up these loose ends! ®

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