Sadly it appears my Solaris experimentation will be cut short. Oracle does not allow people to update their Solaris installs without a license, even, apparently, for non-production purposes such as experimentation. Though I don’t want to put the Solaris machines in production neither do I want to run test servers unpatched. That still introduces risk into my network.
This is a shame because I was seriously considering replacing CentOS with Solaris. Solaris has some excellent capabilites and a long history of innovation. A brief check of the licensing fees also showed Solaris licenses to be competitive with those of RedHat.
On the bright side working with Solaris gave me an idea how to solve a key CM problem: rollback. It turns out that the XenServer “snapshot” feature can be used just like a Solaris boot environment. I will be writing more about this as I describe my plan for a formal CM process.