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    As an alternative viewpoint, it could be said that Linux, Intel, and Dell started killing Sun long before Oracle bought them.

    Sun was on their way down for a while, and it was inevitable that somebody would buy it and try to salvage what they could. It happened to be Oracle, but it was going to be ugly regardless of who bought them, and it’s still a better outcome than Sun going bankrupt.

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      it could be said that Linux, Intel, and Dell started killing Sun long before Oracle

      I completely agree. I was around for a series of in-house bake-offs for various vendor products and our own software (compiled with gcc on Linux, SunC on Solaris) where we benchmarked side by side, iirc, Dell 2650’s and Sun V490’s both with VxFS/VM and hooked to identical FC arrays and switches. It wasn’t even close, the Intel-based kit was generally 2x or faster on non-I/O bound workloads and around 2/3 on I/O-bound. The acquisition cost of commodity hardware won and we filled DC’s with them.

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        Fair comment. I do wonder what would’ve happened if IBM had bought Sun (they were rumoured to be interested at the time of the Oracle buyout) - AIX and the Power CPUs are thriving, probably against the expectations of many (me included).

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          I knew about POWER, but I’m surprised to hear about AIX. Where/how is that getting used these days?

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            In my (perhaps limited) experience, organisations who would’ve chosen Solaris on SPARC as their preferred Unix in the 90s/early 2000s long ago started switching to AIX on POWER. This is typically for monolithic commercial enterprise applications that don’t scale as well horizontally as they do vertically (think massive ERP systems, for one).

            I’m not sure how long this will continue though - Linux on POWER has been well supported for time time now.

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              It was No 1 year after year in reliability surveys back when I followed them.

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              I feel like Solaris and Sparc were going to get cut no matter what. The market for proprietary hardware running proprietary UNIX is small and shrinking, and everybody who was in a position to buy Sun had a vested interest in there being fewer players in the game. IBM may have kept them around longer, but eventually they’d be phased out in favor of AIX and Power.

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                Possibly, but IBM has kept competing products that it’s acquired - for example, Informix is still around even though it competes with DB2. SPARC and POWER can, in some ways, be seen as complementary (particularly the multithreaded low-power T-series SPARC CPUs, which don’t really have POWER equivalents).

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            If only Google had bought Sun instead of Oracle. They would have been much better stewards of Java, Solaris, DTrace, ZFS etc

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              Java maybe, but not Solaris or ZFS because Google is an massive Linux user (cluster, Cloud, ChromeOS, Android, developer machines) and distributed file systems on top of ext4. A lot of ZFS features aren’t interesting in a Google-style cluster. And probably not DTrace because single-system tracing isn’t as a big a use case as cluster-level tracing.

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              “Unscathed” is the nicest thing you can say about the development of Virtualbox. I think about projects like Vagrant that exist because people don’t like using Virtualbox’s CLI and I think about the paid alternatives that aren’t cheap, but people are willing to shell out for something with a better UI.

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                Am I reading this correctly? It seems that of all Sun properties, Oracle has only retained Virtualbox and Java.

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                  They only wanted Sun for the IP anyway.

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                    And Java they’re slowly giving up on…

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                      I don’t follow it that closely, but the development pace seems pretty decent to me still, especially for a large and mature platform that a ton of things depend on. Since the Oracle acquisition, Java/JDK have had a v7 (2011) and v8 (2014) release, with quite a few major new features, and v9 just had its first release candidate a few weeks ago.

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                      They are still big on MySQL. The article rightly mentions Monty’s MariaDB, but Oracle still seems to be keen on continuing active dev on the MySQL front.