Drifting away from OmniOS (CE)

March 26, 2019

Toward the end of last year (2018), the OmniOS CE people got around to migrating the OmniOS user mailing list from its old home on OmniTI's infrastructure to a new home. When they did this, they opted not to move over the existing list membership; instead, people who were still interested had to actively subscribe themselves to the new mailing list. At first, when I got the notice about this I thought I'd subscribe to the new list. Then I thought about it a bit more and quietly let my subscription to omnios-discuss tacitly lapse when the old mailing lists were completely decommissioned at the end of the year.

The reality is that while we still run our OmniOS fileservers, this is only because our migration from them to our next generation of servers is a slow process. We have been quietly drifting away from OmniOS ever since we made the decision to use Linux instead in our next generation, and that has only sped up now that we have new fileservers in production. Our OmniOS machines are now in a de facto 'end of life' maintenance mode; we touch them as little as possible, and if they were to develop problems our response would be to accelerate the migration of filesystems away from them.

(On top of that, my ability to contribute to omnios-discuss has been tenuous in general for some time. Partly this is because we are so far behind in OmniOS versions (we're still on r151014, and yes we know that is well out of support at this point), and partly this is because my OmniOS knowledge is rusting away from disuse. The code for my DTrace scripts is increasingly a foreign land, for example (although I remember how to use them and we still rely on them for diagnostics at times).)

I feel sentimentally sad about this. Although we only ran it for one generation of fileservers, which will amount to five years or so by the time we're done, OmniOS itself was mostly quite good for us and the OmniTI and OmniOS people on omnios-discuss were great. It was a good experience, even though we paid a price for choosing OmniOS, and I'm still reasonably convinced that it was our best choice at the time we made it.

(I'll feel more sentimental when we turn off the first OmniOS ex-production machine, and again when the last one goes out of production, as our Solaris 10 machines eventually did. We'll be lucky if that happens before the end of summer, though.)

Written on 26 March 2019.
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Last modified: Tue Mar 26 23:31:17 2019
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