OpenSolaris, Amazon, MySQL and Glassfish… Clouds Parting

We made some big announcements this week at our annual developer forums, CommunityOne and JavaOne. I thought I’d highlight a couple in particular.

We announced the first commercial release of OpenSolaris – targeting high speed developers and development teams (not consumers…). OpenSolaris focuses on developers wanting to be freed from proprietary software models, who see innovation and automation in operating systems as a source of competitive advantage.

If Solaris 10, OpenSolaris’s older brother, is for IT departments prioritizing carrier grade stability over rapid innovation, OpenSolaris targets the exact opposite – developers, from high performance computing to social networking, that prioritize a constantly refreshing repository filled with community innovations (and ZFS-based automated rollback) over an unchanging qualification target. Go to to download a free copy, or click on the OpenSolaris logo to have a bootable CD delivered to you (free of charge). Or if you want a simpler way of trying it out… just go to Amazon!

We also announced a partnership with Amazon, through which we’ve made OpenSolaris, alongside MySQL and Glassfish, available with commercial support on Amazon’s elastic computing cloud. From where I sit, this is a profound change in the industry – the world’s most popular database is now available, and commercially supported, as a cloud service. As is the fastest growing Java container, and a redefined OpenSolaris for the modern world.

The traditional software industry, first revolutionized by open source, next by software as a service, is now embarking on a third revolutionary change… infrastructure as a service.

Sure feels like the clouds are parting.

(And again, if you’d like a free copy of OpenSolaris sent to you on a bootable, “live” CD, just click on the OpenSolaris logo above.)


Filed under General

34 responses to “OpenSolaris, Amazon, MySQL and Glassfish… Clouds Parting

  1. Umberto

    Congrats Jonathan, this is incredible how much effort Sun is putting in to meet the developers needs. Impressive steps are taken to bring the evolution to the next level.
    Thanks Sun Microsystems.

  2. Austin Lopes

    No matter what every one opines, I think you are steering the company in the right direction. Hey, better late than never.
    I think the Sun’s marketing dept still needs a major overhaul. Your products are top notch. If you cannot push them to the market and make revenue, then the point of product development is lost.

  3. I’d like to see Sun directly offer some consumer cloud services, and have said as much already:

  4. Martin N

    Jonathan – why is Sun so adamant about pushing OpenSolaris instead of Linux on its hardware? What beyond DTrace and ZFS does OpenSolaris provide that Linux does not? There’s a tremendous open source developer community behind Linux, and methinks OpenSolaris is going to have a heck of a time attracting even a fraction of those developers, despite its alleged open-source license.
    My second question is – can Sun not make money off Linux instead of OpenSolaris on Sun hardware? Reason I ask is – instead of driving a wedge between Linux and OpenSolaris – why not allow ZFS and DTrace to be ported to Linux outright? Why not alter Solaris’ CDDL license? What does Sun stand to lose by giving up CDDL and allowing OpenSolaris to be GPLv2 like Linux?
    How is leaving Solaris CDDL going to attract more developers than by turning it loose to the world by changing from CDDL to GPLv2?
    Don’t get me wrong – I love Sun, I love Gosling, the JVM, and everything Sun has done, but it’s like you guys are grasping at straws with this OpenSolaris initiative… Isn’t there another way where Sun can get what it wants as well as Linux fans?
    Or is it Linux (or I should say Linus Torvals) that is reluctant to have a change of heart that would make this a win-win for everyone, without killing off the momentum of either OS – Linux or Solaris?
    What’s the scoop on this, and can you provide cost/benefit analysis of these scenarios? Thank you.

  5. iloveopensolaris

    I love OpenSolaris, downloaded and tried it already!
    I found a few bugs, who should I report them to?

  6. If there is something which I am looking forward to see, it would be Sun’s S/W revenue in future, the innovation is there, we have some exciting products, community and adoption, a perfect marketing strategy will do wonders.

  7. Kevin Hutchinson

    MySQL Enterprise licenses are sold by the server per year. Cloud computing gives you access to a flexible scalable number of servers dyamically provisioned from a single operating system image to serve variable demand levels. So I can’t understand how you license MySQL on cloud computing with a server/year fee model? Is a server an image or a running instance? Should I average my running instance count over the year, or pay for the maximum I ever ran?
    MySQL is actually quite hard to host on the Amazon cloud right now because you need to somehow schedule syncronization to the Amazon S3 storage system to prevent your elastic compute servers losing all that valuable data. That’s where consultancy companies like Right Scale make a good business. To solve this issue, Amazon will be bringing out mountable disk images later this year (to compete with alternative solutions like and S3FS – see Since this is the "hard part" maybe the MySQL team could post some "How To" guides showing reliable ways to protect the data using Amazon Web Services, or sell this kind of configuration work as a support service. Or even better why not host official MySQL images on EC2, where these images just need my to plug in a few configuration options (username, key, secret-key, S3 bucket name, etc) and it Just Works!? You could then rent out the use of these official MySQL images, or let people read the FAQ and go make them for themselves.
    I’m just trying to help you to monetize your investments. Good luck.

  8. Peter

    In response to Martin N and anyone else asking the same question:
    You can purchase Linux pre-installed on Sun’s hardware. As a Solaris & GNU Linux user, I can name a few reasons why you might choose Solaris over Linux: Apart from ZFS and DTrace, there’s RBAC (Role Based Access Control), Zones, a Kernel Driver API (doesn’t require you to taint the kernel, back port drivers or upgrade kernel and core system software just to install a new driver), then there’s Solaris Binary Compatibility and better stability.
    The Linux Kernel, combined with GNU software, is better on embedded hardware, where the ability to strip it down to the bare bones is advantageous with limited resources. The Linux Kernel also has far wider hardware support, you don’t see MIPS or an ARM port of Solaris, however GNU software also runs on Solaris.
    Variety and competition is the spice of life, mono cultures and lack of choice is dangerous, free software and quality open, unencumbered standards for true interoperability and competition, that’s the way of the future.
    Sun has contributed more code to any distribution of GNU Linux than any other company on the planet.

  9. otis

    Why Sun isn’t focusing more on more-reliable OS, such as FreeBSD? It runs perfectly on Sun HW (from X2100 to T2000) and scales better than Linux. This could be an interesting alternative do Solaris… Linux is good to workstation use.

  10. kf

    Are you going to mention any other important announcements from this week – like the ON2 codec? I would love to get your company perspective on how this cae about and what was your driving force behind bringing in a codec that is only known for streaming.

  11. Anonymous

    Whatever happened to the Sun Grid?

  12. Bob R

    I’m glad to see a Solaris option for AWS, but just today I tried to reach AWS for support for it to no avail. What is your take on the customer service side of AWS, and what do you say to developers trying to convince there companies this is a good move. A commercial support contract I’m sure would provide an actual phone number to call, but what about startups, small shops, or the tinkerers among us who push these innovations into the workplace? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
    Thanks, -Bob

  13. Jonathan Clouds are indeed parting. The people who have supported and valued your services will support you when you commercialize your new products.A step in the commercialization of the products-place advertisements, real ones, not links, on your blog too.Maybe people are missing reading on the new things you are offering. Every drop counts. I have come to admire this concept. Keep up the good work!The comment authentication is failing at the first attempt even when the sum of the addition is correct.

  14. Sridhar Yerramreddy

    This is a true model of elastic cloud… Sun has contributed so much to innovation models that I believe are incredible and most authentic..
    Linux , solaris or open BSD matters but more than than these, software matters the most….

  15. To ilovesolaris

    You can report bugs on the OpenSolaris Knowledge Center pager:
    Look for the "bug database" link to bugzilla:

  16. CB

    "OpenSolaris focuses on developers wanting to be freed from proprietary software models, who see innovation and automation in operating systems as a source of competitive advantage."
    Can’t Sun see the contradiction here
    -releasing FREE software, so that developers can gain competitive advantage, whilst
    -Sun themselves FAIL to get a competitive advantage from it.
    Odd business model, guys.

  17. I don’t know where to put this, was going through one of your courses in my idle time and saw some text in colours that really stress the eyes. I don’t know whom I can tell this so I am putting the comment here. The course is ‘Sun Start up Essentials’ and the sixth screen has orange bullet points and ‘ The world’s fastest, Most efficient servers’in orange. The thing really freaks out the eyes as the color is fluroscent.I was checking these courses, its not wordy and is precise but here this struck me and as I don’t know whom to tell this I thought maybe some one can address the thing, well that is, if you feel it should be aesthectically pleasing to eyes. Regards

  18. Kevin Hutchinson

    Hey Jonathan. Here’s a slightly drunken thought from a Mexico City hotel room. You were late on Rich Clients (Flash) and late on cloud computing (Amazon), but there is something you could easily be early on. It’s this: client-cloud-computing. You’ve already got the JXTA and Jini stuff and it’s not so hard to see how you could help those Facebook folks turn their clients into servers with JXTA and Jini type technologies. Of course, if you were successful in this, it would seriously hurt your hardware sales. But you’re a long-run kinda guy…

  19. sachin

    DEAR Jonathan,
    Things going in right direction. Well SUN & MY SQL is a great COMBO- developers surely get benefit.Regards Sachin

  20. Mohit Joshi

    Why doesn’t Sun push into ASP space like Google-Salesforce are trying to, letting developers host java applications for free up to a certain bandwidth, and charging beyond that. To go one step beyond, think of adding web based development and modeling tools which will automatically generate the required code. I think the interest will be immense, because there are a lot more java developers then python.

  21. Jon,
    This is a huge deal. Sun is on the right track and its sorry to see so many people not understand that. I can’t wait to play with AWS+MySQL.

  22. ilovesolaris

    ‘To ilovesolaris’:
    Thanks, I found the bug database. Apparently someone else had found my bug already. It’s good to know that someone is working on it, because every once in a while I can’t log into the system.
    When I have some free time, I’ll look into the bug myself.

  23. Anonymous

    Hi Jonathan,
    How about taking some of the cash Sun has in the bank and promoting existing Sun’s offerings on a large scale? It will probably increase Sun’s access to newer markets, heighten Sun’s "cool" factor, and generate the growth everyone wants Sun to achieve. There are so many cool things going on at Sun that the current effort around evangelizing Sun’s offerings and value is just not doing Sun justice.

  24. Anonymous

    Why don’t you leverage a top notch advertising agency to market the work you’re already doing on a larger scale. Your marketing is obviously not cutting it.

  25. RJS

    What’s this I hear about NASA not going with a Sun Constellation System? If it weren’t for the fact that they are sticking with the makers of their current system, that would be even more embarrassing.
    Meanwhile the stock price has dropped to a multi-year low… Luckily Sun did a reverse split, otherwise the value of my investment… uh, no, it doesn’t really work like that.

  26. Dare-to-post

    Please focus on business strategy and enough with the repetitive miniscule product deals. Look at HP! That’s the kind of focus,
    instead of making us sick at JavaOne. FJ

  27. Walter Benjamin

    Does anybody else think the website sucks?

  28. VirtualGuru

    Go and try it:
    See more info on

  29. Software Guy

    There are several middleware software making money (not much) for Sun. One is the provisioning product (Gartner Magic Q-Chart as leader) – Identity Manager (acquired from Waveset), One is Sun Directory Server (traditional in C) and One is Sun Web Server and Web Proxy Server. These products are still active in market and I have to say they are much better and mature than those Open Source by Sun at Sun WILL NOT make them open as long as there is good money from license fee.
    In addition, CDDL prevents linux port of ZFS, which is Sun’s intention. And Sun also control the "right to provide software support" for Sun-branded software. That means you might get more sources of support by using Glassfish rather than Sun Java Application Server 9.

  30. Software Guy

    Oh, One more restriction on Sun’s agreement.
    If you run a web 2.0 startup and try to use Sun Java XXXX Server(s), be aware a limitation :
    End-User: Employee < 200:1

  31. Refreshing to see further open distribution from a major player in the industry like Sun. If only more companies would realize that their customers would probably have a much better overall experience with the product using such a business model as this.

  32. Jonathan,
    I applaud your efforts with your Blog. I found it from reading an article about you. I was intrigued, so I decided to check it out. You have such a great sense of humor. I must admit, I am not into technology. However, I am big proponent of blogging and transparency. After reading several of your blog posts, I see the commitment and human side of your management style. More Corporate giants should follow your lead. I think that the public would beigin to trust them more, if this happens. Thanks for all of your efforts.

  33. Rahul

    I don’t get OpenSolaris though – what market are you targeting? It seems poorly planned.
    Are you targeting the Home/Casual user? In a distro without
    Do you want developers to use it? Then I don’t get the Free CD thing. Ubuntu comes on a CD because almost everything a home user needs is on it. If you’re targeting developers in India/China like someone said, wouldn’t it be better to have a DVD? You spend way more on the first class shipping than on the cost of manufacture of the DVDs, and a CD without Netbeans/JDK or gcc is useless to devs in India/China who order it because of their poor quality broadband.
    And this is unrelated, but your advertising in India STINKS. Get a better graphic design team to do your ads.

  34. First of all, great that you are blogging. One of the few in Fortune 500 that do it. Keep up that good work.
    I used Amazon’s new service and great to see you are partnering up, I sincerely hope that services at Amazon will extend. I know the Sun products as very high quality (and not affordable for me) so in this way… really great!

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