Wednesday Mar 26, 2014

If You Have to Ask, You Wouldn't Understand

Although being subjected to that kind of attitude is unpleasant, subjecting someone else to it is loads of fun. Just ask someone who rides a Harley why they ride a Harley, and watch how much they enjoy unloading that sentiment on your head, you member of the unwashed, you.

I feel the same way about Oracle Solaris. Don't talk to me about how much Windows or some other OS is capable of doing. I don't care. Your OS is a metric cruiser. Go away.

That feeling of vast superiority is even more pronounced when I'm talking about Oracle Solaris Studio. Which should have been renamed Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux Studio, if you are insightful enough to ask me, because any Linux developer who is working on anything remotely interesting should be using Oracle Solaris Studio as their IDE. I freakin love it. I've had the pleasure of interviewing Don Kretch, the head of the Solaris Studio engineering team, many times. And I've enjoyed myself every single time. If you think you're worthy, you are welcome to try to understand our conversation (jump to "Interviews with Don Kretch," below).

If my rhetoric has convinced you, as it would convince anyone of vastly superior intelligence, you'll want to pretend that you already knew how good Oracle Solaris (and Linux) Studio is, and berate me for even suggesting you didn't. Good for you. You're catching on. But you'll still be faced with a dearth of actual knowledge about this IDE for the Vastly Intelligent.

Not to worry. There's a way for you to learn what you need to learn without anyone else finding out so you can pretend to have known all along.

Oracle Solaris (and Linux) Studio 12.4 Beta Program

The Beta Program for Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4 begins today. Download the software, try out its new features, and join in the discussions. These resources will help:

Landing Page, including links to Beta Program Forums
Download Center, where you can download a free copy

Interviews with Don Kretch

About the Photograph

Photograph of 2002 Harley Davidson Softail Deuce taken by Rick Ramsey in Massachusetts, USA.

- Rick

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Wednesday Jan 29, 2014

Man Vs. Machine

Man vs machine. Command Line vs GUI. It's not a new debate. In fact, when I was a little boy I watched this Paul Bunyan cartoon with the dismay of a sysadmin watching the increasing popularity of GUIs:

Cartoon: Paul Bunyan's Ax vs The Chain Saw

What Skills Do Sysadmins Need to Manage a Modern Data Center?

Video Interview with Brian Bream

When I wrote technical manuals for Oracle Solaris back in the day, I had the luxury of my very own lab. For instance, while writing the NIS+ books, I was able to discover my own procedures on a small network and, when I needed something larger, I could ask the sysadmins in Sun's bigger labs to try some experiments for me. Little did I know those were the Golden Years of technical writing.

They were also the Command Line Years. We used the command line for everything, including email, product testing and, of course, managing Solaris. The command line put the operator in control. You had a mental map of what you were doing, you were completely engaged, and if something became repetitive, you could always write a script for it. The shell was the interface, and emacs was the only tool you needed.

When GUI's first came out, we hated them on principle. They were slower than the command line, and they didn't really add any value. Plus, they weakened your skills.

Since then it's been a tossup. GUI's have gotten steadily better, but they didn't add enough value to overcome our attachment to the command line. In fact, we kinda resented them because they were used as a pretext to hire less experienced and cheaper sysadmins.

However, with the advent of vertically-integrated systems such as Oracle's Exadata and SuperCluster, the GUI may have finally come into its own. Listen to Brian Bream explain why.

Watch video interview here

Photograph of bicycle in Durango taken by Rick Ramsey in Oct 2012

- Rick

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Wednesday Nov 16, 2011

Silly Developers, VirtualBox Is For Sysadmins!

That's one of my favorite bumper stickers. (Well, along with the sticker placed upside down on Jeep windows that says "If you can read this, roll me over.") I don't object to the "silly boys" sticker because, in my humble opinion, girls look much cuter in Jeeps than guys do. But as Ginny Henningsen points out, a similar sentiment can be applied to Oracle VM VirtualBox.

While writing her other sysadmin-related articles for OTN, Ginny horsed around with VirtualBox so much that she fell in love with it. Not as a developer, but as a sysadmin. Read why she thinks it's such a great sysadmin tool:

My New Favorite Sysadmin Tool: Oracle VM VirtualBox

Here are some of Ginny's other articles:

- Rick Ramsey
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Friday Jul 15, 2011

Using Oracle Solaris Resource Manager with Oracle Database Resource Manager

photo courtesy of Square Space.

I don't like to budget my spending, I don't like to count my calories, and I don't like to plan my rides too carefully. Takes all the adventure out of life.

But it's different at work.

If you are accustomed to working with either the resource manager for Oracle Solaris or the resource manager for Oracle Database, you may be wondering what the other resource manager is for. Can you simply pretend it doesn't exist until the quarter is over? Or will it act like your wife's cat and break something if you ignore it? Could it, perhaps, be better than the one you're used to? What if you combined them?

This might help ...

Introduction to Consolidated Resource Management with Oracle Database and Oracle Solaris

This white paper not only describes the differences between Oracle's Solaris resource manager and its database resource manager, it shows you how to use them together in the best way. Apparently that's referred to as consolidated resource management. (If you ask me, they shoulda called it amalgamated resource management, but the people in the Naming Department stopped consulting me years ago, after I suggested they name the next SunOS Jaws.)

(Think about it. Java on Jaws. It woulda rocked.)

Anyhow, because it is a white paper, it does spend a little time talking about resource management in general and the role of Oracle's resource managers in server workload consolidation. Did you know that resource management is particularly good at maintaining a service level agreement (SLA)? It makes sense, right, but it's not something I would have used to start a conversation in a biker bar. What I did know is that SLA used to mean Symbionese Liberation Army).

Control mechanisms, which resource manager to use for what, and how this all plays in a high-availability environment are also covered in this first of four papers on resource management. Read it. You'll learn a lot that you thought you already knew.

- Rick
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Kemer Thomson
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