Monday Nov 12, 2012

New Solaris Cluster!

We released Oracle Solaris Cluster 4.1 recently. OSC offers both High Availability (HA) and also Scalable Services capabilities. HA delivers automatic restart of software on the same cluster node and/or automatic failover from a failed node to a working cluster node. Software and support is available for both x86 and SPARC systems.

The Scalable Services features manage multiple cluster nodes all providing a load-balanced service such as web servers or app serves.

OSC 4.1 includes the ability to recover services from software failures, failure of hardware components such as DIMMs, CPUs, and I/O cards, a global file system, rolling upgrades, and much more.

Oracle Availability Engineering posted a brief description and links to details. Or, you can just download it now!

Thursday Nov 08, 2012

Happy Birthday! (to Solaris and SPARC)

Oracle is celebrating the 20th and 25th anniversaries (birthdays?) of Solaris and SPARC.

You can find video highlights of the histories of SPARC and Solaris and brief (static) infographic histories of SPARC and Solaris.

Wednesday Nov 07, 2012

Today: Oracle Solaris [&Cluster] Live Webcast!

Today, Oracle is hosting a live webcast, with Q&A, discussing Solaris 11.1 and Solaris Cluster 4.1 The webcast begins at 11AM EST, but you should register before the event. (Registration is also available at http://bit.ly/RfdkvK.)

Thursday Oct 25, 2012

Oracle Solaris 11.1

Oracle Solaris 11.1 was announced at Oracle OpenWorld recently. This release added 300 new performance and feature enhancements.

My favorite new features:

  • Solaris Zones on Shared Storage
  • Support for 32 TB (!) of RAM
  • Improved Oracle RAC lock latency
  • Dynamically resize the Oracle DB SGA
  • Industry-first support for FedFS
You can learn more from the press release or by attending the Solaris 11.1 webcast on November 7.

Wednesday Oct 24, 2012

SPARC SuperCluster Papers

Oracle has been publishing white papers that describe uses and characteristics of the SPARC SuperCluster product. Here are just a few: I hope you find some of those papers useful.

Tuesday Oct 23, 2012

Virtual Networks in Oracle Solaris - Part 5

           A
        long
        time
     ago in a
   blogosphere
  far, far away...

I wrote four blog entries to describe the new network virtualization features that were in Solaris 11 Express:

  • Part 1 introduced the concept of network virtualization and listed the basic virtual network elements.
  • Part 2 expanded on the concepts and discussed the resource management features.
  • Part 3 demonstrated the creation of some of these virtual network elements.
  • Part 4 demonstrated the network resource controls.
I had planned a final entry that added virtual routers to the list of virtual network elements, but Jeff McMeekin wrote a paper that discuses the same features. That paper is available at OTN. And this Jeff can't write any better than that Jeff...

All of the features described in those blog entries and that paper are also available in Solaris 11. It is possible that some details have changed, but the vast majority of the content is unchanged.

Tuesday Jan 31, 2012

(Solaris) Destination: Detroit

We will have another Solaris 11 Technology Forum soon. The two I hosted in New York City and Boston included over 150 attendees. Dozens more attended the session in Chicago hosted by my associate Scott Dickson. These sessions pack hundreds of details regarding the practical uses of Solaris 11 into 4 hours - plus lunch!

Next week - February 8, to be exact - I will host a session near Detroit, Michigan. You can attend by registering online. Two other Solaris experts - Dave Miner and Alex Barclay - will join me as we explain new Solaris 11 features such as the Image Packaging System and Automated Installer, network virtualization and resource controls, Immutable Zones, and ZFS Encryption and other new security features.

Registration is not required, but available seating is filling up quickly, so don't wait!

Thursday Nov 10, 2011

Solaris 11 Released!!

Oracle released Solaris 11 on November 9, 2011.

You can download Solaris 11.

You can also watch videos, participate in forums, and read white papers, data sheets and documentation.

Friday Oct 28, 2011

Oracle Solaris 11 Launch

Join Oracle executives Mark Hurd and John Fowler and key Oracle Solaris Engineers and Execs at the Oracle Solaris 11 launch event in New York City, at Gotham Hall on Broadway, November 9th and learn how you can build your infrastructure with Oracle Solaris 11 to:

  • Accelerate internal, public, and hybrid cloud applications
  • Optimize application deployment with built-in virtualization
  • Achieve top performance and cost advantages with Oracle Solaris 11–based engineered systems
The launch event will also feature exclusive content for our in-person audience including a session led by the VP of core Solaris development and his leads on Solaris 11 and a customer insights panel during lunch. We will also have a technology showcase featuring our latest systems and Solaris technologies. The Solaris executive team will also be there throughout the day to answer questions and give insights into future developments in Solaris.

Don't miss the Oracle Solaris 11 launch in New York on November 9. Register Today!

Tuesday Oct 18, 2011

What's New in Oracle Solaris 11

Oracle Solaris 11 adds new features to the #1 Enterprise OS, Solaris 10. Some of these features were in "preview form" in Solaris 11 Express. The feature sets introduced there have been greatly expanded in order to make Solaris 11 ready for your data center. Also, new features have been added that were not in Solaris 11 Express in any form.

The list of features below is not exhaustive. Complete documentation about changes to Solaris will be made available. To learn more, register for the Solaris 11 launch. You can attend in person, in New York City, or via webcast.

Software management features designed for cloud computing

The new package management system is far easier to use than previous versions of Solaris.
  • A completely new Solaris packaging system uses network-based repositories (located at our data centers or at yours) to modernize Solaris packaging.
  • A new version of Live Upgrade minimizes service downtime during package updates. It also provides the ability to simply reboot to a previous version of the software if necessary - without resorting to backup tapes.
  • The new Automated Installer replaces Solaris JumpStart and simplifies hands-off installation. AI also supports automatic creation of Solaris Zones.
  • Distro Constructor creates Solaris binary images that can be installed over the network, or copied to physical media.
  • The previous SVR4 (System V Release 4) packaging tools are included in Solaris 11 for installation of non-Solaris software packages.
  • All of this is integrated with ZFS. For example, the alternate boot environemnts (ABEs) created by the Live Upgrade tools are ZFS clones, minimizing the time to create them and the space they occupy.

Network virtualization and resource control features enable networks-in-a-box

Previewed in Solaris 11 Express, the network virtualization and resource control features in Oracle Solaris 11 enable you to create an entire network in a Solaris instance. This can include virtual switches, virtual routers, integrated firewall and load-balancing software, IP tunnels, and more. I described the relevant concepts in an earlier blog entry.

In addition to the significant improvements in flexibility compared to a physical network, network performance typically improves. Instead of traversing multiple physical network components (NICs, cables, switches and routers), packet transfers are accomplished by in-memory loads and stores. Packet latency shrinks dramatically, and aggregate bandwidth is no longer limited by NICs, but by memory link bandwidth.

But mimicking a network wasn't enough. The Solaris 11 network resource controls provide the ability to dynamically control the amount of network bandwidth that a particular workload can use. Another blog entry described these controls. (Note that some of the details may have changed between the Solaris 11 Express details described in that entry, and the details of Solaris 11.)

Easy, efficient data management

Solaris 11 expands on the award-winning ZFS file system, adding encryption and deduplication. Multiple encryption algorithms are available and can make use of encryption features included in the CPU, such as the SPARC T3 and T4 CPUs. An in-kernel CIFS server was also added, and the data is stored in a ZFS dataset. Ease-of-use is still a high-priority goal. Enabling CIFS service is as simple as enabling a dataset property.

Improved built-in computer virtualization

Along with ZFS, Oracle Solaris Zones continues to be a core feature set in use at many data centers. (The use of the word "Zones" will be preferred over the use of "Containers" to reduce confusion.) These features are enhanced in Solaris 11. I will detail these enhancements in a future blog entry, but here is a quick summary:
  • Greater flexibility for immutable zones - called "sparse-root zones" in Solaris 10. Multiple options are available in Solaris 11.
  • A zone can be an NFS server!
  • Administration of existing zones can be delegated to users in the global zone.
  • Zonestat(1) reports on resource consumption of zones. I blogged about the Solaris 11 Express version of this tool.
  • A P2V "pre-flight" checker verifies that a Solaris 10 or Solaris 11 system is configured correctly for migration (P2V) into a zone on Solaris 11.
  • To simplify the process of creating a zone, by default a zone gets a VNIC that is automatically configured on the most obvious physical NIC. Of course, you can manually configure a plethora of non-default network options.

Advanced protection

Long known as one of the most secure operating systems on the planet, Oracle Solaris 11 continues making advances, including:
  • CPU-speed network encryption means no compromises
  • Secure startup: by default, only the ssh service is enabled - a minimal attack surface reduces risk
  • Restricted root: by default, 'root' is a role, not a user - all actions are logged or audited by username
  • Anti-spoofing properties for data links
  • ...and more.
As you can guess, we're looking forward to releasing Oracle Solaris 11! Its new features provide you with you the tools to simplify enterprise computing. To learn more about Solaris 11, register for the Solaris 11 launch.

Tuesday Oct 11, 2011

Solaris 11 is Coming!

Yes, the noise you hear is the pre-launch sequence for Solaris 11, which is getting closer every day!

The Launch Event will be held in New York City, at Gotham Hall on Broadway. Space is limited, so if you want to attend in person you should register online. A webcast of the event will also be available. Registration is available for both.

I have registered, so if you attend perhaps I will see you there!

Monday Sep 12, 2011

Oracle Solaris 11 Early Adopter Program

The next step in the release of Oracle Solaris 11 is here! Gold members of the Oracle Partner Network (OPN) may download the Early Adopter release to begin qualification of their applications on Oracle Solaris 11.

Oracle Solaris 11 includes the new major feature sets that are available in Solaris 11 Express, released in November 2010, and much more. You can find a complete description and download link of this Early Adopter release at oracle.com.

If you are not currently a member of the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN), you still have two choices:

  1. Learn more about OPN and register at http://www.oracle.com/partners/en/opn-program/index.html
  2. Begin to experience key new features by downloading Solaris 11 Express

We are looking forward to helping you learn all about these exciting new features and the benefits you will derive from them!

Friday Aug 26, 2011

Oracle Unveils Oracle VM 3.0

Oracle released Oracle VM Server for x86, version 3.0, earlier this week.

Thursday Aug 18, 2011

Oracle Solaris available for Exadata Database Machines

Oracle Solaris 11 Express is now available on Oracle Exadata Database Machines, enabling you to benefit from all of the OLTP and DW performance of Exadata hardware, and the industry-leading scalability and availability characteristics of Oracle Solaris.

For details, see the press release.

Wednesday Aug 17, 2011

Oracle Virtualization Launch

On August 23, Oracle will host a virtualization launch.

You can attend in person, in Redwood Shores, CA, or via webcast:

About

Jeff Victor writes this blog to help you understand Oracle's Solaris and virtualization technologies.

The views expressed on this blog are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Oracle.

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