2012-03-24 2:02, Bob Friesenhahn wrote:
On Fri, 23 Mar 2012, The Honorable Senator and Mrs. John Blutarsky wrote:

Obtaining an "approved" system seems very difficult.

Because of the list being out of date and so the systems are no longer
available, or because systems available now don't show up on the list?

Sun was slow to update the list and it is not clear if Oracle updates
the list at all.

great. After reading the horror stories on the list I don't want to
take a
chance and buy the wrong machine and then have ZFS fail or Oracle tell me
they don't support the machine.

I can't answer for Oracle. There may be a chicken-and-egg problem since
Oracle might not want to answer speculative questions but might be more
concrete if you have a system in hand.

I think it is just not interesting for Oracle to support
random 3rd party systems - and this is my personal speculation
based on news articles and stories and "screams" on forums
from ex-Sun customers and small partners driven out of business
by Oracle's different priorities in different areas - systems
support, sunray deployments, messaging/portal infrastructures -
you name it.

For over a year there was even a problem to just buy Oracle's
Sun products - the salespeople in remaining Oracle partners or
in Oracle offices could not point to a position in a price
list and state how much something costs, or if it is on sale

Oracle tries to take place as a systems company. A big systems
company. They cut off many small-server product lines which
had little margin - and we really liked those smaller ones
with low price and excellent remote manageability. According
to rumours, they did not prolong Solaris support agreements
with other hardware vendors such as HP (or Dell?) which Sun
had for a while. Why bother supporting something cooked

Oracle seems interested in selling their customers the whole
stack - rack, servers, software - and maintaining it themselves,
reaping the high profits and selling support year after year.
If this does not fit a particular customer's vision or budget -
then begone, nasty poor people!

Well, this is their right. They bought it. And we others
have to play along.

So, I think, in the near future there will be no actual HCL
for Solaris support on non-Oracle branded hardware. You might
buy Solaris OS support on your third-party systems, I heard
it is around $1000 per socket (per year?) for smaller systems
and maybe more for larger systems, and Oracle might inquire
what other systems you have - so they might bargain to get
more out of you ;) Possibly this might also be done to see
if your hardware is supportable and if they want to sign
the deal.

I guess if they do sell you support, they might be feeling a bit
obliged to help with your OS problems. At least if the bugs you
find make it higher up in their internal invisible bug tracker.
At least that was the way in Sun days - most problems had to
get "economical justification" for higher managenent to assign
paid-for resources to its solution (consultants, analysts,
coders - whoever).

But I wouldn't expect that they'd conjure up drivers for your
specific hardware or something like that, if it is different
from what they support today. That's more likely to happen
in opensourced systems by porting from BSD, etc. into Solaris
and/or OpenSolaris-derivate systems, without any guarantees.
Many 3rd-party network drivers are available as such projects.

So, I think, an old Solaris HCL might be okay for things to
"just work". Whether anyone will officially support that -
is a different matter. Google up the specific components
like disk and network controllers to see if their drivers
were not obsoleted in recent years of OpenSolaris development.
Some older hardware has indeed lost support because nobody
used or sold it for ages, and driver models evolved and
changed, and nobody rewrote a new driver for a particular
piece of old junk ;)

Alternatively, dive into an open-sourced system like illumos
and its OpenIndiana distribution. I'm not sure that you'll
have any better support either, but the code is open so you
can (hire someone to) solve your particular problems.
And there's some activity in the mailing list to ask away :)

You might also revise Nexenta HCL, they might do a better
job at maintaining (and testing) current hardware lists
that are known to work (and be officially supported) with
their OpenSolars-based storage OS distribution. Since they
play a big role in illumos, their known-good HCL might be
quite relevant for OpenIndiana users in general, I think :)

Good luck, really!
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