I started this blog less than a week ago, and I wrote a niche article about SmartOS that I expected to get a few dozen views on over a period of days or weeks. It’s been a little over a full day, and I definitely got a lot more eyes on it than I was expecting. Thank you all so much! This really tells me that there is an interest out there in better SmartOS content. I heard you, and I’m planning on answering that.
I’m doing some research now on SmartOS packaging for a series of articles aimed at users first, and then at packagers. This seems to be one area where SmartOS is hurting. If you want to use new paradigm software like Riak or node.js, you’re probably going to be pretty happy with the packages that are available today. If, however, you’re moving legacy UNIX applications like Postfix and Dovecot (as I am doing for my personal mail server), you’re going to have to either work with older packages or make some new ones. I’d very much like to see more people packaging and maintaining packages for this platform, and as it turns out it’s not that hard to do.
I’m a sysadmin by profession, spending part of my time in a traditional IT department and part of my time on a naturally formed DevOps team. As such, I’m personally quite interested in automated provisioning, configuration management, continuous integration / continuous deployment, etc. Expect more content about applying SmartOS in those areas, too.
There is an air of mystery about SmartOS, not because it’s complicated or hard to manage, but perhaps because of a number of smaller factors like lack of good PR (Slashdot, where are you?), the docs are a bit rough, and maybe some other factors. What I’ve found is that the platform is surprisingly easy to deploy and manage, and that the community surrounding it is friendly and helpful. I’ll be sure to write more about the community aspect of SmartOS, as well.
Feel free to leave me comments on what other things you’d like to learn about SmartOS.