Last night I went to my first Open Solaris User Group meeting. It was located at the Sun Office in Alpharetta, Georgia, and I learned quite a bit about the new roadmap for Solaris. The new roadmap at first glance, seems to incorporate many aspects of open source development combined with an enterprise Unix mindset.
Just like Ubuntu, there will be 6 month releases of Open Solaris, and 18 months of support. The new distribution in May will be released on one CD, just like Ubuntu. In addition, like Fedora and Red Hat, the community releases will eventually make their way into the actual enterprise Solaris release. One very interesting fact about SUN is that they will be the only vendor in the Unix/Linux Operating System game that makes hardware and participates in this new Open Source development model of frequent releases with support. This does appear to give them some sort of an advantage in making a stable enterprise Operating System.
On the virtualization front, Sun has quite a few buns in the oven. They have a partnership with Microsoft such that the hypervisor for each respective server will run the other’s guest OS. They have this new LDOM technology, which I have gotten to play, and can vouch is very cool! They also have a new upcoming x86 virtualization product coming out as well.
One of the other reasons I attended the meeting was inquire about the use of Python in Open Solaris. One use of Python is in their package management system, or pkg, in Open Solaris. Apparently, the packaging spec is still underway and in active development to some degree. If you are interested in contributing you can follow the link.
In a final note, when I mentioned the book Jeremy and I were writing, “Python For Unix and Linux Systems Administration”, one comment was, why another language? It is a very good point that I would love to hear a response to from other Python developers. I can think of a few responses to that question, especially as it pertains to Perl and Bash, but I would be curious what other people would say in response to the question of, “I already know Perl and Bash, and maybe C and Java too, why should I learn Python?”.