It would appear that Donald (Prince of Orange) Trump’s favourite database maker has dumped Solaris 12 from its roadmap as part of its cloud initiatives.
Oracle published a new roadmap and Solaris 12 is absent. A new blueprint dated January 13, 2017 expunges any mention Solaris 12 in the places where Oracle had included it in the 2014 edition. There is a mention of “Solaris 11.next” as due to debut during this year or the next complete with “Cloud Deployment & Integration Enhancements”.
You can’t find any mention of “Solaris 11.next” anywhere on the worldwide wibble.
Oracle does mention SPARC Next appearing this year in 2020 SPARC Next+. It also hints of plans to launch SPARC infrastructure-as-a-service, probably under the brand “@Customer” with services in “Dedicated Metered & Non-Metered” form.
It appears that there will not be a full new version of SPARC but the existing flavour will be enhanced and will be supported for many years to come.
While it is not the end of Solaris which some have predicted, it does seem to indicate that Oracle has not much will to push through a full version.
Oracle has been doing its best to set the record straight after claims that it really no longer loves Sun’s Sunsparc technology.
Reports started to appear saying that the company was no longer committed to the technology.
However Marshall Choy, senior director of product management for Optimised Solutions at Oracle, insists that is not the case and since Oracle bought Sun it has taken five processors to market in a four-year time frame. That covers the T3 to M6 lines.
“The speed and rate of innovation has increased from the Sun days, not just Sun processor deliveries but the timeliness of those deliveries to market, and meeting and beating the performance forecast,” he told me. Choy said Oracle has doubled performance with each subsequent generation of processor.
Oracle has two processor lines, the T-line and M-line. They are the same core technology, it’s just they target different size platforms. The T-line process is a 16-core chip with eight threads per core, definitely well beyond Intel’s Xeons, at least for threads. The M-line is a 12-core chip, also with eight threads per core.
Choy acknowledged that Sparc sales are mostly existing Sparc customers replacing ageing hardware, but also insisted that the company “continues to pursue and win competitive takeouts, both from RISC competitors and x86”.
However numbers seem to be falling. Choy also defended Solaris, saying there have been multiple release with significant updates, particularly Release 11.2, released in April 2014. That version added an integrated hypervisor, an image packaging system for patching and updates, unified archives for rapid provisioning of apps and services, software defined networking and support for OpenStack cloud provisioning in Solaris.
The argument is that Oracle continues to make massive investments in future versions of Sparc and it is not going the way of the dodo. The only problem is that it does not appear to be making them much cash.