Editor's note: This is a really old post! But captures things I believed then and still believe today. OpenSolaris was, and is, unique and maked huge contributions to enterprise IT. To track today's IT environment be sure to sign up for the CTOvision newsletter. - bg
For a combination of personal and professional reasons, Pro OpenSolaris is the perfect book at the perfect time for this period in my life.
As a CTO with enterprise-grade experience I know Open Source Software and its many benefits. And as a security professional I have long known of the powerful security features of Open Source in general and Solaris specifically. As a computer scientist I have also been a long time personal user of Solaris (as well as Linux, Mac OS X, XP, and Vista). But things have been moving fast in the open source community and some of the most dramatic changes have been in OpenSolaris, so it has been hard for me to keep up. This book provides a great update of those changes and puts them in a context I needed for continual learning.
But let me tell you why I really liked this book. It presents information on a subject I believe all software developers, programmers, project managers and CTOs really need to know, and it presents it in a way that is fast, fun reading. Harry Foxwell and Christine Tran have mastered the art of expression, and that is a rare gift for technical people to do.
But here is why you really need to read this book: Although you can find loads of information on the Internet covering technical details of Open Source Software and especially Solaris, it can be very hard to find a comprehensive update on the new innovations in OpenSolaris. Things like a massively scalable new data storage approach called ZFS and the significantly enhanced security over the already very secure Solaris. Virtualization is also a key topic, as is the metrics and monitoring ability of Open Solaris (DTrace). And, of importance to Linux and Solaris developers alike, a great overview and context of the OpenSolaris open-source based development environment is provided.
This book gives you everything you need to take a computer from its current state to one that is running OpenSolaris, either alone or as part of a virtualized system. It then provides great context and suggestions for tailoring the environment to be just the way you want it to be.
On a personal note: I've known Harry for about five years. I first met him when I was CTO at DIA. I found him to be one of the most pleasant, easy to interact with professionals in the business. He also has the gift of being able to explain and teach, which is something I have always appreciated. Those gifts come through in this book.
Let me close with another great reason to buy the book: it will give you a great, no-nonsense understanding of what is really coming out of the Open Source software community. All technology professionals need a better understanding of that. Please order you copy of Pro OpenSolaris.