Some thoughts about Mainframe Solaris

Before starting to rave to much about Mainframe Solaris, we should ask “Cui bono?”. With all respect to the technical merits, i have my problems with this technology and with answering this question.. I´m still searching for the business case for this OS. In my personal opinion, it has only one purpose: Helping IBM´s sales reps to sell mainframes as they can say “Even Solaris runs on our new iteration of our zDinosaur”. Yet another technology to help IBM with their nuclear submarine problem But: I have no idea, why even the most underinformed CIO should do this. When i take the experiences with Mainframe Linux into consideration, the price/performance will be horrible. Why should you use a mainframe for a considerable amount of money with a performance on par with a small x86 server? This doesn´t look as a wise choice. The next point: Software support … there is not really a ISV support for Linux on mainframe besides of IBM, and i don´t really think that this will be much different with Mainframe Opensolaris. This Opensolaris isn´t a binary compatible implementation. You have to recompile your stuff, you have to requalify it, you have to redeploy it on a completly different platform. As the Mainframe Solaris is still a Solaris, you have to keep the skills in your company. You have to backup it from the inside to make an consistent backup from a running system. Sorry, no savings here. By the way, IBM´s zSeries in entirety leaves me with some questions: There isn´t a single widely accepted benchmark available for Mainframe Linux, and when zSeries is such a great consoldiation plattform, why isn´t there an AIX for this plattform? Such a move would be obvious. And i would like some more data about those mainframe consolidation projects: Consolidation hundreds of small old servers with light load, is a tedious job, but not an archievement. How many of them were development or testing servers … and so on. Data you need for decision making. I don´t see any advantage in doing such a consolidation project: Consolidation by virtualisation? Well, the best way to consolidate old Sun SPARC servers (maybe a couple of E250) ist to buy a new Sun SPARC server (perhaps a T5220 or a V490 depending of the task) . You have Containers, you have LDOMs von CMT-Systems to. You can use the same binary, and when your ISV doesn´t exist anymore, you can use the Solaris 8 Migration Assistant for example. Much easier than porting, less risk and vastly cheaper. At the end: Even when i take out of consideration, that this technology months to years away from beeing ready for prime time, i don´t see any viable reasons to use Solaris for Mainframes. Okay, with the exception of political ones (“The Sun SR didn´t send me coffee mugs for years” ;) )