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Leaving Oracle

August 18, 2010

I joined the Solaris Kernel Group in 2001 at what turned out to be a remarkable place and time for the industry. More by luck and intuition than by premonition, I found myself surrounded by superlative engineers working on revolutionary technologies that were the products of their own experience and imagination rather than managerial fiat. I feel very lucky to have worked with Bryan and Mike on DTrace; it was amazing that just down the hall our colleagues reinvented the operating system with Zones, ZFS, FMA, SMF and other innovations.

With Solaris 10 behind us, lauded by customers and pundits, I was looking for that next remarkable place and time, and found it with Fishworks. The core dozen or so are some of the finest engineers I could hope to work with, but there were so many who contributed to the success of the 7000 series. From the executives who enabled our fledgling skunkworks in its nascent days, to our Solaris colleagues building fundamental technologies like ZFS, COMSTAR, SMF, networking, I/O, and IPS, and the OpenStorage team who toiled to bring a product to market, educating us without deflating our optimism in the process.

I would not trade the last 9 years for anything. There are many engineers who never experience a single such confluence of talent, organizational will, and success; I’m grateful to my colleagues and to Sun for those two opportunities. Now I’m off to look for my next remarkable place and time beyond the walls of Oracle. My last day will be August 20th, 2010.

Thank you to the many readers of this blog. After six years and 130 posts I’d never think of giving it up. You’ll be able to find my new blog at (comments to this post are open there); I can’t wait to begin chronicling my next endeavors. You can reach me by email here: my initials at alumni dot brown dot edu. I look forward to your continued to comments and emails. Thanks again!

40 Responses

    1. Mike will be next.

      Just wondering how long before the ZFS team throws in the towel too.

      Something really really bad must be going on at ORCL. Managers must be really pissing engineers off.

  1. Adam,
    when you, Brian and others engineers are leaving Oracle we can expect that Solaris 11 is not going to be the next Solaris 10 (in terms of features and technical advantages). Is is going to be just another *nix. Very sad …. 🙁

  2. Thanks for the many interesting and in depth blogs over the years, it’s certainly enhanced my understanding of Solaris and the capabilities.

    Best of luck whatever comes your way.

  3. It’s been a great pleasure reading your blog entries and reviewing your slide decks over the years, Adam. Wherever you land next, I hope you’ll keep it coming. Best wishes on your next venture!

  4. @TimC none of the above!

    @Sean and UX-admin we’ll see. My money’s not on Mike though — Oracle will at least retain one third of the original DTrace trio 🙂

    @Przemyslaw Well there will never be another Solaris 10; that release was a rare gem. There are a bunch of good folks working on Solaris 11, and I’m sure it will be a solid product.

    @Iain, Al, Dave, and Michael Thanks!

  5. Interesting 🙂 So when will the announcement be made?

    And I’d argue there won’t be another Opensolaris, THAT was a rare gem. Solaris 10 was nice, but the progress made over the last several years with Opensolaris was rather stunning IMO.

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  7. Adam, this looks like a good opportunity to thank you for the excellent work you have done on (Open)Solaris, and to wish you continued success in the future.

  8. Adam, me to would like to thank you for all the innovation you brought us. And more important that we could actually see how it was done and learn something from it by opening the source. (I know that was not your decision)
    Perhaps you could contribute to the various “open” solaris projects currently really taking off or FreeBSD for that matter.
    Best of luck to you.

    Please mail me regarding a project that could use your help.

  9. Good luck Adam, I understand believe me lots of us including me have found greener pastures since Oracle’s takeover, Andy

  10. One other thing… the front page of still links back to your sun blog. Perhaps it could be updated to this one?

  11. Hey Adam, was great to know you in the heyday of OpenSolaris — I’m sure it’s slightly bittersweet, but I wish you the best in your upcoming ventures!


  12. Hi Adam,
    best wishes for the future.
    I was wondering whatever happened to the BP rewrite feature for ZFS. I guess Oracle had other priorities. I don’t suppose there’s any chance you’ll be pushing that code to the gate before you go? Ha Ha

  13. I wonder if Rickey C. Weisner is still there? I had hoped the acquisition by Oracle would breath new life into SUN; but the realization seems to be the demise of SUN engineers hard work.
    Very disappointing..

  14. Adam, I wish you all the best on your future endeavors. Discovering ZFS and finding your blog posts inspired me to become an Opensolaris fan and subsequent Fishworks supporter in our enterprise. The changes over the past year are saddening. Hopefully the dispersed Sun talent will find ways to continue to create amazing things.

    1. Richard, I was so pleased to read your comment. Stay tuned for me, Bryan, and the rest of the ex-Sun folks to create some more useful stuff for you!

  15. Adam,

    This is *not* a surprize… If not for Fishworks you’d have done this several years ago.

    So, I can’t wait to see who snaps you up or who you link up with to create something amazing…. again.

  16. Hi, Adam,

    Thanks for your valuable helps on my NFSv3 and NFSv4.1 DTrace project. (You are busy in Fishworks at that time). Hope to see our name on some amazing projects in near future.

  17. Adam,
    Best wishes for the future and thanks for all your feisty, illuminating and authoritative comments to me in the past about Fishworks, Solaris and ZFS.
    Chris Mellor,
    The Register.

    1. @Chris And thank you for the steady stream of articles; I’ll be all the most interested as an outsider 🙂

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