This isn’t a huge HPC story, since there are only two OpenSolaris systems on the current Top500 (and no Solaris systems), but its worth mentioning that Oracle continues to cloud the waters for customers on products and services and related to its Sun acquisition.
Of course there’s HPC, and Lustre, which are both in significant flux at Oracle. And now the future of Sun’s operating system seems clouded. First, as reported by Timothy Prickett Morgan at El Reg, Greg Lavender, the lead engineer for Solaris, has left the building. He departed Sun in June, and Oracle won’t comment on his departure or even explain how it doesn’t matter because they’ve got it all handled with someone even better.
Lavender’s departure from Oracle may or may not be a big deal for Solaris or OpenSolaris. It is hard for an outsider to say, and probably not much easier for those inside Oracle who are former Sunners either.
What can be said for sure is that Oracle’s behavior regarding Sun products and personnel – products are not announced properly, and no executives are made available to answer questions, if you can even identify which executive is still at the company to answer a question – most definitely does not endear Oracle to Sun’s hardware and software customers. By not answering two simple questions – did Lavender leave, and if so, who has replaced him – Oracle makes it a bigger deal than it needs to be.
And then there’s OpenSolaris. Oracle has broken off communications with the OpenSolaris community, and according to the charter that means that the board may soon disband leaving the community to Oracle to handle (or ignore).
In a nutshell, the OpenSolaris governing board was seriously considering disbanding on the spot. The motion was defeated with an even vote (three for, three against, one abstention). The board took another vote and unanimously agreed that Oracle needs to appoint a liaison with the OpenSolaris community by August 16 or on the August 23 meeting the board will trigger a clause in the OpenSolaris charter “to return control of the community to Oracle.”
Joe Landman also comments on all these goings on at his blog, which is worth a read. His take is that Oracle is simply shedding everything that doesn’t directly make money.