It is with a sad heart, however, that I look at the work so many put into making OpenSolaris what it was, only to see it turned into the next HP-UX – a commercially relevant but ultimately technologically uninteresting operating system. This is not to denigrate the work of those at Oracle working on Solaris 11, but I personally believe that a truly innovative OS requires an engaged developer base interacting with the source code, and unique technologies that are adopted across multiple platforms. With no one inside or outside of Oracle believing the unofficial pinky swear to release source code at some abstract future date, many may wonder what will happen to the bevy of cutting edge technologies that made up OpenSolaris.
The good news is that those technologies are alive and well in the illumos project, and many of us who left Oracle have joined companies such as Delphix, Joyent, and Nexenta that are building innovative solutions on top of the enterprise-quality OS at the core of illumos. Combined with those dedicated souls who continue to tirelessly work on the source in their free time, the community continues to grow and evolve. We are here today because we stand on the shoulders of giants, and we will continue to improve the source and help the community make the platform successful in whatever form it may take in the future.
And the contributions continue to pour in. There are nasty DTrace bugs and new features, new COMSTAR protocol support, TCP/IP stability and scalability fixes, ZFS data corruption and performance improvements, and much more. And there is a ZFS working group spanning multiple platforms and companies with a diverse set of interests helping to coordinate future ZFS development.
Suffice to say that OpenSolaris is alive and well outside the walls of Oracle, so give it a spin and get involved!