PermaLink Next steps now that Quickr on Solaris is disappearing04/02/2008 03:20 PM
It isn't that often that we have to deal with end-of-life on a major product on a high-volume platform around here, so the last 24 hours or so I've been figuring out what my options are.  In some ways, they're not very pleasant, but it could be worse.

If you hadn't heard, apparently Quickr 8.1 isn't supported on Solaris. If you have 8.0x running on your Sun boxes right now, enjoy it, because it's the end of the line unless IBM gets enough static from customers and relents.

The thing is, if the 8.1 production stuff for Windows and Linux is already out the door (as of March 28, 2008), then even if they did choose to produce a Solaris build, it'd be at least three months before we saw it, unless they decided to pull the plug on the Solaris build just before launch. I doubt that, though. More likely the decision was made quite a long time ago and only now became more public. I still haven't seen any official announcement from IBM, just the fact that they edited (on March 31, hours after I emailed the product manager about this) the hardware/software requirements for 8.1 to reflect the complete non-presence of any mention of Solaris.

So, where to?

I could dump the product. We've only owned it since QuickPlace 1.0 years ago. We only have eight or nine hundred Places on it. We only have an organization-wide license covering 70,000 users. If you went out and bought 70,000 seats right now, it'd be around $5,000,000, but of course our yearly Passport renewals aren't nearly that much. We only have everybody from executive officers to field-office droids using it. We only save an assload of money every year by not trying to put all that stuff in email. Microsoft email. I guess that doesn't matter to IBM.

I could move to another platform eventually. I'd like to move to Linux, but we have the biggest bunch of penguinphobic executives around here I've ever seen (which is partly why we've spent millions on Suns when we could have spent tens of thousands on smaller, nimbler Linux boxes) and the odds of me getting the approval/certification process to get it moved to Linux in less than a few years aren't very high. They associate "open source" with grand evil and will have nothing to do with it, on the wrong assumption that the more you pay for a product, the better it is.

That sort of leaves Windows.

It's not entirely awful. We have plenty of people around here who can run a Windows server to my satisfaction (many more, in fact, than can run a Sun) and in the Windows world I'd likely have much more complete control of my machine (as I've said in an earlier post, I don't even have a shell account on my Suns). I'd get the current releases first, instead of third. I'd be able to call support and get someone who knows the platform a lot more readily than I can with Sun right now.

Somebody online mentioned that this is probably just the beginning, that shortly we'd see Solaris support end for Domino itself. If and when Solaris goes the way of Alpha NT, NetWare, OS/2 and HP/UX, there won't be a hell of a lot of reason for Sun to show up at Lotusphere, and their involvement there has been fun and useful for me for more than a decade. Even if they'd only appeared there one year and brought the Austin Powers impersonators, they'd still be memorable. I have to figure that Sun knew IBM was pulling the plug on Quickr for Solaris months ago, and if Sun is OK with it, I guess that's how it's gonna be.

Still, IBM moved rather uncharacteristically quickly on this. We actually had plans in place for the 8.1 upgrade, hoping it was going to finally let us run Quickr 8 on Domino 8 (instead of 7.02 with a patch). I guess we can dump those plans and instead move the Places to a Windows box. It'd sure solve a lot of problems for us... the upgrade to 8.0x caused us no end of failures involving the conversion of older Places, a conversion which ran much better when we set up a temporary Windows box to do the conversions, then FTP the result over to the production Sun.

Did I say "uncharacteristically?" How about "unpleasantly quickly." How about "vomit-inducingly abruptly?"

If you're on Sun right now and like it, now's the time to grab your IBM rep and let them know that they had better not pull this stunt when (or maybe if) they declare EOL on Domino on Solaris. I mean, email them right now. I am.

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Blabber :v

1. Turtle04/05/2008 03:29:34 AM

Well, sort of explains more. The thing is, I could understand if wasn't specifically supported for Solaris, but when within four hours of my emailing the worldwide product manager for Quickr, they update the site to specify that Solaris isn't a supported platform for 8.1, I have to step out and say, well, if not a "major" point release, then WHAT?

I have also been around long enough to see this happen with Notes/Domino for NetWare, OS/2, HP/UX and NT Alpha. And it smelled and tasted the same. "Well, we just won't say it's supported, and people will get the hint."

"...the small number of customers that have been impacted?" Cram it, Peter van de Graaf. I was an early and BIG adopter and booster. I really don't give a shit about anybody else, but I convinced my day job to buy seventy thousand seats Of QuickPlace 2.0 on Solaris based mostly on my own professional reputation going back in the Lotus world to 1992. Thanks for cutting my legs off.

2. Daniel Lieber04/04/2008 07:52:31 PM

Quickr 8.1 is not currently available for Solaris. This is unfortunate and should not be read as the end of Quickr for Solaris--there is a customer community--although relatively small in number of customers with typically many users and a loud voice--that is not being forgotten. IBM has stated they do want to support Linux but that did not happen with the current 8.1 release either. Sun and Lotus have a long history and I am confident it will continue as the vendors typically support each other quite well. This could be a timing problem and it will get sorted out. Peter van de Graaf, the Quickr Program Manager, posted a response over at Vowe's blog that explains a bit more.

3. jimmy bracco04/03/2008 08:59:48 AM

How about "characteristically Quickr"...:)
Maybe you could just run a windows VM on your solaris box...that'll fake em out

4. Turtle04/03/2008 02:32:18 AM

I'm laughing. I think I just spit up a hot dog I ate in 1992.

5. Volker Weber04/02/2008 05:46:57 PM
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