A new roadmap is on the web… Solaris 11.5 as Solaris.next and new Sparc M8+ chips are planned for 2020/21… Good new for the best operating system on the world 😉 http://www.oracle.com/us/products/servers-storage/servers/sparc/oracle-sparc/sparc-roadmap-slide-2076743.pdf
[UPDATE – 06/2019]
As you might already recognized the official roadmap disappeared from oracle-web… my last discussion with the SPARC product management was “well, no one else publish a roadmap”… I am not happy with that answer, but as it seems Oralce does not say there will be a M8+ right now. Also the naming scheme for 11.5 is in discussion, again regarding re-certification as an argument, so we might see more 11.4 updates rather a 11.5 release. But they promised again that Solaris will be supported at least until 2034 from today and will be developed to meet all necessary features to be the most stable and secure OS for the next decades.
But even if Oracle will not bring a M8+ chip we still have a public roadmap from our Fujitsu friends who build very nice SPARC systems:
Oracle M8 chip is after 18 months still the fastet processor to handle JAVA workload (see spec.org) and phenomenal fast in database analytic in-memory queries (up to 10 times faster than x86) with their DAX engines.
Fujitsu CPUs compared to M8 does not provide so many cores on the chip but have a better single thread performance than Mx chips.
To finalize it is still a very good idea if you need a highly secure and robust environment to go for SPARC systems. “Endless” OS support (still 15 years, no one else promise that), a great platform supported for the next years and still a roadmap from Fujitsu to reinvest if necessary.
No RISC no fun!