Oracle virtually eliminates Sun / Habrahabr

September 11, 2017

Avoid this trap, do not attach anthropomorphic features to Larry Ellison.
Bryan Cantrill

It seems that Oracle decided to finally get rid of the labor resources that make up the backbone of Sun Microsystems.

This is not an ordinary but it is not an ordinary employee of the company, transformation – optimization but a real slaughterhouse. According to Bryan Cantrill, the creator of the dynamic debugging system Dtrace this time caused irreparable damage, as a result of the loss of 90% of the production staff of the Solaris division, including the whole leadership.

From Solaris before illumos

In 2009, Oracle acquired the most serious difficulties in the market of Sun Microsystems for 5.6 billion US dollars. The company was losing market share due to the avalanche spread of Linux as a server OS, the success of the amd64 platform and the vague strategy for the relationship with the open source community. Solaris became open too late – only in 2005, and not completely open, separate elements OS, such as localization and some drivers, remained proprietary . Then there was OpenSolaris but he failed to become a community gathering point. Whether it was a CDDL license, or the problem was that Sun was trying to manipulate the project. It's hard to say why, but it did not take off.

Kicked butt, had fun, did not cheat, loved our customers, changed computing forever . Scott McNealy

The epitaph of Scott McNealy reflects the life of the company as perfectly as possible – they had a great time, they did not fool their customers and changed IT forever. It quickly became apparent that Solaris Oracle is simply not needed, and he does not intend to develop it. Then on August 13, 2010, one of the most shameful events in the history of open source software happened – the company quietly shut down the source code for Solaris OS. No official statements have been issued on this score.

We will distribute updates to approved CD-ROM or other open source-licensed code. In this manner, new technology innovations will show up in our releases before anywhere else. We will no longer distribute the source code for the entirety of the Solaris operating system in real-time while it is developed on the nightly basis .

This is just an excerpt from internal circular for the company's employees, who naturally immediately leaked to the press. It's about the fact that the source code will be uploaded only during the release of the new version of the OS, and updates will be only binary. But it turned out to be untrue, after the release of Solaris 11 the source code was not posted .

For those who speak English I highly recommend watching Brian Cantrill's speech at the Usenix conference. The epigraph to the article is one of his quotations, here are a few more.

On the principles of company management. Left without the wise leadership of the managers, the engineers issued a mountain of innovations: ZFS, DTrace, Zones and many others.

Sun was ruled by hostile groups led by atamans like Somalia

On the closure of the source code of OpenSolaris.

This is a REFLECTIVE trick from the side of the corporation. Because of this behavior, we become cynical and suspicious .

The consequences of closing the OpenSolaris source for the new OS project illumos – a fully open fork of OpenSolaris.

We we prepare for the time of the Day of Judgment in open source licenses, we have such scenarios, they work and it's great .

Soon afterwards, all developers DTrace, ZFS creators, teams zones and networkers left Oracle. All the development and innovation in these directions went on to the operating system illumos, where the diaspora of programmers from Sun Solaris settled. Due to the peculiarities of open licenses, including CDDL, within the framework of which the development of OpenSolaris was underway, Oracle can not claim for all subsequent improvements in the illumos code. That is, it can, but only within its own open source project. The Doomsday Scenarios work as it should .

For the sake of completeness, it should be added that Oracle is actively involved in the development of the Linux kernel, which is traditionally one of the ten most active companies

Facts in bulk

  • The main goal: to extract patent fees and fines from Google for the use of Java in Android OS, the rates were large – $ 8 billion Not grown.
  • In general, the monetization of Java failed, Oracle transfers NetBeans Apache Foundation, the right decision.
  • It also decided not to launch the Sun Cloud platform.
  • Due to bureaucratic delays around security patches for MySQL, fork MariaDB appeared, where a significant number of developers and part of the community moved. They were enough for the new company.


Sun Microsystems has only recently been a living legend and the best that has ever been in Unix. Here is just a small part of their heritage.

  • NFS
  • RPC
  • ZFS
  • DTrace
  • Zones
  • Fault Management Architecture
  • Service Management Facility

Oracle had every opportunity to develop and maintain OpenSolaris, but instead closed source and since then Solaris has not already ] of the future. When the lawsuit with Google over the use of Java in the mobile OS of Android ended in zinc in Oracle have lost all interest in the assets of Sun Microsystems. Instead, the company will sell software based on its own operating system – Unbreakable Linux.

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