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How would I decide which one to use?

We plan to run our own http/https webserver and also to run sendmail smtp server. We will be using ZFS for boot partition and use ZFS encryption where possible (everywhere except OS).

We will not be using UNIX user security features beyond user, group, permissons. As in no role based security or any of that stuff. To lock things down, we will create our own program that runs as root and can be operated by the lower privileged user by logging in through our own device.

What features are missing in Solaris 10 that exist in Solaris 11? (assuming the latest update on both which as of this post is 9/2010 for both Solars 10 and 11)

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5  
I assume you don't want someone to carefully compile a list of every possible difference between the two and list it here because that would be lazy and disrespectful, so if we're down to differences that matter to you... well only you can answer that for sure. –  RobM Mar 23 '11 at 17:32

5 Answers 5

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Please note that Solaris 11 has not been released but that should happen until the end of this year (or sooner).

With that in mind, your options are Solaris 10 and Solaris 11 Express. Both are supported in production and will require you to buy a license. So I'm assuming that's not a problem.

Since you're asking which one to use, I'm also assuming your company doesn't have a hard policy in place. Solaris 11 Express is the continuation of the OpenSolaris project and offers a lot of improvements (there are tons of documents detailing it) and it has access to a much bigger list of current software ready to be installed.

The problem with Solaris 11 Express is that the path to Solaris 11 is not clear, although it shouldn't be hard since both will be based on IPS. People have upgraded from OpenSolaris 2009.6 (b111) to Solaris 11 Express (b151a) without much trouble but that still means you'll have to stop in the near future to upgrade to Solaris 11 "proper". In some environment that's not desired but I'm guessing in your web server it should be acceptable.

It's very hard to decide this for you but, unless you've more rigid software requirements that mandate you use Solaris 10 (in that case you wouldn't be asking here), I advise you to install and test Solaris 11 Express. Solaris 10 is nowhere near it's end of life but it's nevertheless sooner than Solaris 11 will be. Solaris 11 Express also offers a more pleasant experience for people used to Linux/BSD environments.

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1  
Solaris 11 has since been released (on Nov. 9, 2011). –  alanc Dec 10 '11 at 20:57

Absent other factors (known bugs that affect your environment/planned environment, vendor/software requirements, existing corporate environment, etc.), install the latest version of the OS you intend to use.

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10  
It's one louder. –  Chopper3 Mar 23 '11 at 17:10
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@Chopper3, Why don't you just make ten louder and make ten be the top number?! –  Chris S Mar 23 '11 at 17:15
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@Chris ... these go to 11. –  Hyppy Mar 23 '11 at 17:16
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I'll show all you young whipper-snapper Unix-y types! IBM Z/OS baby! Ours goes to 13! –  voretaq7 Mar 23 '11 at 17:27

Given your ZFS encryption requirement, your only choice is Solaris 11 Express. Solaris 10 doesn't support ZFS encryption and probably never will.

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Solaris 11(former OpenSolaris) has enhancement on its Network stack, it can create virtual-nics, using dladm.

Solaris 11 can turn it self into a switch/router/firewall, you can build a virtual network environment (multiple VMs, switches, traffic-throttle) in sol11.

Take a look at Solaris 11 manual and manpage of dladm(1m) in Solaris 11

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As you have mentioned that you are planning to do ZFS encryption , you have to choose Solaris 11 itself because there is no encryption possible in Solaris 10

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