by Stefan Schneider
Published July 2012
Making applications available on Oracle Solaris 11 is simpler than ever before, and most applications are known to work smoothly in an Oracle Solaris 11 native environment. The Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) provides a comprehensive portfolio of services and resources to enable a smooth and cost-efficient migration of an application to Oracle Solaris 11.
Note: Most of the services described in this article are available only to members of the OPN. For information about the benefits of being an OPN member and the requirements, see the OPN page. For information about the benefits of migrating your application to Oracle Solaris 11, including IPS, Automated Installer, Service Management Facility (SMF), network virtualization, Oracle Solaris Cryptographic Framework (with Oracle’s SPARC T4 servers), ZFS, and DTrace, attend one of our developer Webinars or go to our Oracle Solaris 11 developer resources page.
The first building block for a smooth migration is the Oracle Solaris binary guarantee, which warrants that Oracle Solaris 10 binaries can be executed on Oracle Solaris 11 without recompilation.
Even binary-compatible applications rely on all the frameworks that have been provided with Oracle Solaris 10. Applications that need this fine-grained support of the older Oracle Solaris 10 infrastructure are likely to work smoothly on Oracle Solaris 11 systems using an Oracle Solaris 10 branded zone. This method will work as long as the application has supported being run in an Oracle Solaris 10 zone before.
During the process of migrating an application, Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) who are OPN members can send e-mail to Oracle’s ISV Engineering (ISVe) group to receive support from highly experienced software development engineers who can answer questions about transitioning applications from Oracle Solaris 10 to Oracle Solaris 11.
The OPN-recommended transition starts with a planning phase, as shown in Figure 1.
Figure 1. Planning Phase
The following planning steps help to minimize costs during the validation (testing) process:
A careful analysis using the resources listed above will help set expectations for the validation and certification done in the next phase.
Oracle offers services for the hands-on software validation that is done during the testing phase shown in Figure 2.
Figure 2. Testing Phase
A very efficient first step consists of using the Oracle Solaris Preflight Applications Checker. This tool allows you to test an existing application in its regular Oracle Solaris 10 environment. The tool checks the binary, the source code, and the running system for all known issues that might prevent the application from running on Oracle Solaris 11.
Even careful planning might not reveal a number of problems, so the tool is very useful. For example, any given application is likely to use third-party components that aren’t under your control. The tool will check all these components. Applications might contain incorrect code that worked in the past by chance (for example, statically linked
libc, misaligned mutexes, and so on). Oracle Solaris 11 no longer allows a number of these items, because they cause severe performance and stability side effects in modern operating systems. The tool documents the usage of outdated frameworks that are no longer available in Oracle Solaris 11. Inspecting an application with the Oracle Solaris Preflight Applications Checker will most likely lower costs, because required coding and configuration changes can be scheduled and fixed before valuable lab resources are allocated.
OPN Gold-level members who are members of the Oracle Solaris Knowledge Zone can lower their validation costs through two freely available OPN offerings:
The Oracle Solaris Developer Initiative is a service that allows OPN partners to qualify their Oracle Solaris applications without extra support costs on state-of-the-art Oracle Solaris 11 systems.
Oracle Solaris 11 has been freely available since November 2011. Customers with registered and supported systems have access to Oracle Solaris Repository Updates (SRUs), which typically are released monthly. These updates are strongly recommended, because they will prevent failures while qualifying an application on Oracle Solaris 11.
Systems without support contracts or without the benefits of the Oracle Solaris Developer Initiative are not entitled to these SRUs and will need to wait until the next Oracle Solaris 11 update release occurs at some point in the future, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3. Update Process for Users Without (Left) and With (Right) Software Support Contracts
Qualified OPN members can use the Oracle Exastack Labs development cloud remotely to build and qualify applications on Oracle Solaris 11 for SPARC-based and x86-based platforms.
The lab offers virtualized systems that run the latest versions of Oracle Solaris 11 and the latest versions of the Oracle Solaris Studio development tools. Users of the lab can create complex system topologies using multiple Oracle Solaris 11 images on different hardware architectures in a private network. The service is free for qualified OPN members.
The last step in the testing process should be the final qualification and certification.
OPN offers a freely available Oracle Solaris Ready certification, which warrants a high-quality product on Oracle Solaris 11. OPN partners can use this go-to-market certification to document that a given application harmonizes well with Oracle engineered systems.
Stefan Schneider worked with SunOS doing 3D robot simulation research while obtaining a PhD degree in object oriented databases for manufacturing. He then productized an object oriented database for a startup company in the early 1990s. He joined Sun in 1994 to port and optimize a SAP application to Solaris 2, and he worked with Sun’s key partners to support the adoption of Sun technologies such as Oracle Solaris, multithreading, Java SE, and Swing. As the CTO of Oracle’s ISV Engineering group, he currently manages Oracle Solaris 11 adoption for all Oracle partners.
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