As Scott McNealy said: you've gotta get all your wood behind one arrow. That arrow is now Linux.
I personally have been involved in projects where we've replaced a million dollars worth of SPARC kit with 50 or 100 grands worth of Intel running Red Hat. It would have been easier, cheaper and quicker to have just swapped the hardware and recompiled... TCO is not (just) in the hardware, it's in the people you need to program and operate it. We had guys with 20 years BSD/SunOS/Solaris experience, developers and sysadmins.
But who'd risk their mission critical systems on an OS the vendor is embarrassed of?
ZFS definitely has some potential though. I hope it will be released under a more liberal license that will allow a direct Linux kernel module as opposed to fuse support.
Zones and ESX are very different beasts, and de-duplication of memory is only part of the issue when you're talking about virtualization of user-space versus hardware virtualization.
I don't really know much about Solaris, just trying to understand the business reasons behind their decision to compete with Linux kernel.
(just thinking out loud, can there be any other reason?)
However my company is going to move away from Solaris to Linux because Oracle is simply not trustworthy (I won't say "IMHO" because it is pretty much a fact).
I don't worry about MySQL at all.
He's not exactly impressed.
Oracle can easily make a new OGC the following day and name whoever they are comfortable with (or whoever they think will help OpenSolaris get developed in the right direction.
At least with Nexenta, you have an apt-get which might work for some common packages. With straight Solaris, I have to go through all my shell scripts and only use POSIX options, etc., which turns out to be quite a pain.
The Solaris kernel is excellent. The Solaris 10 userland, not so (except for the newer core stuff like SMF), and OpenSolaris is supposedly a Solaris kernel with a saner userland. But I'm yet to be convinced it is stable enough to run in production, and the new packaging system looks mildly troublesome.
And it's still difficult to get it to install without X.
You're right, the XML config is a bit nasty.
But, if linux had ZFS i'd probably use that instead.
FreeBSD has it, but it's been largely abandoned on Mac OS X.
However, if there were a sufficient community around it, this would not be a problem. But because it's so driven by Sun, and they never really managed to build an active community, there is no one who would naturally start using the forked OS.
But not even that would be enough to keep it alive and evolving.
Why not just say that the licenses are incompatible?
That's the simple truth, and that's not a slight on either of them.
The real problem here is that there doesn't appear to be an OpenSolaris development community outside of Sun^WOracle. It's much like Mozilla in its early days, though with an even smaller chance of success. Mozilla's competitive landscape was devoid of credible open-source alternatives - that's not the case for OpenSolaris.
Anyway, it was Sun who raised the possibility of licensing OpenSolaris under GPLv3 (that would still prevent Sun from borrowing lots of Linux code and Linux from borrowing any Sun code, but it would, at least, be a start) not the Linux folks who considered re-licensing Linux under a CDDL-friendly license, hence the "unidirectional" slant of my post.
As for the community and Sun^WOracle's contributions, Oracle has made it clear that they would follow an open-core model for the OS.
That's really sad, IMHO, but predictable. Ellison is nicer than Gates and way cooler, but it doesn't make him a particularly nice guy who wants to share.
BTW, I think the copyright fragmentation you see in Linux is one of its strengths. When you contribute a patch to OpenSolaris, do you retain its copyright or you transfer it to whoever controls OpenSolaris?
FWIW, it saddens me to watch Solaris stumbling towards its grave. Remaining available only on hardware sold by Oracle renders it worthless to me.
I can't make that shift now, which means that I need to build my own credible alternatives to using Solaris. And when I am in a position where I could afford Solaris on Oracle hardware, I won't be so inclined - because I'll have my homebrew alternatives, and a bitter taste in my mouth.
So it goes.
Larry Ellison: "Uh, sure, we'll get right back to you on that."
[Larry alt-tabs back to his word processor with a draft of his Solaris Developer Trial licensing plan: foree for 30 days followed by a $9000-per-seat licensing fee]