Oracle pledges annual Solaris updates for you to install each summer

Oracle will deliver “update releases” of Solaris every northern Summer, under a new plan it revealed this week along with news of the Solaris 11.4 beta and a hurry-along for users of old Sun hardware.

In a post< detailing “minor changes” to its release schedule, Scott Lynn, director of product management for Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris, said the company’s new plans work as follows:

  • Oracle Solaris 11 update releases will be released every year in approximately the first quarter of our fiscal year (that’s June, July, August for most people).
  • New features will be made available as they are ready to ship in the next available and appropriate delivery vehicle. This could be a Support Repository Update (SRU), Critical Patch Update (CPU) or a new release.
  • Oracle Solaris 11 update releases will contain the following content:
    • All new features previously released in the SRUs between the releases
    • Any new features that are ready at the time of release
    • Free and Open Source Software updates (i.e. new versions of FOSS)
    • End of Features and End of Life hardware.

“This should make our releases more predictable, maintain the reliability you’ve come to depend on, and provide new features to you rapidly, allowing you to test them and deploy them faster,” Lynn said.

He also revealed that the beta for Solaris 11.4 has been upgraded with 280 bug fixes, several new features, mitigation for Spectre Variant 1.

But there’s also bad news: Solaris 11.4 won’t run on hardware released before 2011.

“Specifically, systems not supported in Oracle Solaris 11.4 include systems based on the SPARC T1, T2, and T3 processors or the SPARC64 VII+ and earlier based “Sun4u” systems such as the SPARC Enterprise M4000,” Lynn wrote.

“To allow customers time to migrate to newer hardware we intend to provide critical security fixes as necessary on top of the last SRU delivered for 11.3 for the following year.”

But those updates “will not provide the same level of content as regular SRUs and are intended solely as a transition vehicle”, especially for those on newer hardware who have been “encouraged to update to Oracle Solaris 11.4 and subsequent Oracle Solaris 11 SRUs as soon as practical.” ®

Bootnote

The Register asked Oracle for a briefing about Solaris 11.4 on April 9. As of April 19 we were told the company is considering our request. The blog post on which we’ve based this story was dated April 17. Oracle did not direct us to the post. Just why is anyone’s guess.

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